Everyone, at some time, has had the experience of a computer problem that needed repairs. Everyone has also usually wondered how to tell they needed computer repairs before the problem happened. If you’ve ever had a hard drive crash, you’ll know how scary, and how infuriating it is to suddenly be without your computer. Even that horrible situation, believe it or not, has symptoms, and there are ways of telling when you really need computer repairs.
Computer problems, basics
Typically, a computer will show signs of problems before there’s an actual issue. This is a very basic outline of symptoms of computer issues:
- Smells, particularly electrical smells or ozone around the computer- These are potentially dangerous. It’s a good idea to get the power connections checked, because electrical issues can destroy your hard drive and start fires. Electrocution is a possibility, too, so turn the power off. Get the computer thoroughly checked out.
- DVD running issues- Disks not loading properly, or freezing.
- The “blue screen” on Windows systems- Can mean the computer has had a serious crash.
- Repeating beeps from the hard drive- Real trouble, meaning the hard drive is about to crash. The only good thing about this is that you do get some warning, and the computer may not crash instantly when you hear this sound. Get straight on to your computer technician, immediately.
- Memory issues- These can be system issues, but sometimes the hardware plays a role, particularly if it’s an old computer.
- General malfunctions, screen issues, sound and other problems- Probably video card or other hardware problems. Some of these problems are easy enough to fix, but others mean the cards need replacing.
Software problems are less dangerous than hardware issues, but they can cause major problems, if your operating system crashes. The symptoms are pretty obvious, but sometimes look like glitches or minor problems that come and go. Don’t be unduly optimistic. Get some help and advice from your computer support people.
- Repeated crashes of programs- If it was running OK previously, your operating system may have some bugs or even a virus. Not all software is perfect, either, but it’s a good idea to get the situation checked out.
- Runtime errors- This is a particularly infuriating situation, related to program crashes. Programs run, but with problems. You often get dialog boxes from the software saying “Runtime error…” The problem is that these issues sometimes trace back to system problems, device drivers, hardware, etc.
- Very slow operation- This can relate to low memory, malware, or simply mean the computer needs a tune-up, but if not fixed, it will lead to constant crashes. Older computers, particularly those with lower hard disk sizes, are particularly vulnerable to these types of problems.
Combination’s of any of these situations mean get on the phone to your technician, ASAP. The big disasters really are preventable, but you do have to stay alert, and act promptly.