When it comes to the various components that make up our PCs, one thing to note is the built-in security measures that are part and parcel of their construction. However, despite this reality, issues with hardware still do, commonly occur. Although, for those individuals in the workplace, their problems can be resolved by contacting the IT support team, there are those much smaller, more common problems that occur more often while using our systems. It’s important for us to be able to identify these problems, to recognise them, when they are happening. Below are some of the more common issues that occur while using our systems.
1. My System Continuously Restarts
This is a major issue, as it can result in totally loss of whatever you were working on at the time of the restart. One thing you can do to minimise the impact is regularly save whatever it is your doing, while on your system. That said, there are things you can do, to attempt to fix the problem.
The first thing you need to verify is that your system is not restarting because of a Windows Update. As these updates will usually force your system to restart automatically. So, go to Update & Security in the Settings menu, then click on Windows Update, then check your Update status, to determine if in fact an update has occurred, which caused the system to restart.
The second thing for you to look at is your hardware. Things such as strange and unusual noises, are typically tell-tell signs. All computers today come with overheat protection, which means the system will automatically shutdown to prevent any heat related damage from occurring to any of your components. One thing you can do is to clean it out. Consider using compressed air to blow out any dust in hard to reach areas in the system case.
2. Mobile Phone Is Not Synching With My System
If you want to preserve or secure the data on your mobile phone, it’s a good option to use your computer as a backup source, syncing it to your system. However, at times the sync can fail. This can be as a result of many different things. But the most common cause is because the end user was running a specific program at the time of the attempted sync. So be sure to close all programs before doing your mobile phone backups.
3. My Internet Is Slow
One of the most frustrating things you can experience on your system is a slow internet connection. Regardless of what you’re doing, whether you’re watching a movie on Netflix or chatting to someone on Facebook, an intermittent internet connection can really put a dampener on that experience. However, despite that, there are things that you can do to resolve this problem. Slow internet connections can be the result of several things, such as a physical fault, your local area, the weather, your internet service provider, etc.
That said, the first thing you’ll want to try is a modem restart. Sometimes a fluctuation of power can cause the modem or any device connected to the power socket to overload. So you should consider that as a first potential cause.
Simply, disconnect the modem from the mains, then wait several minutes before turning it back on. You want it to be fully powered down and discharged, before you turn it back on.
Another potential cause is your Wi-Fi signal. After examination, you may discover that there is nothing wrong with your router or your internet service, just that your signal strength is weak. This can adversely affect your internet experience, causing the net to lag. In a situation like this, you can resolve the problem, simply by repositioning the router.
The last thing you can do is contact your ISP. If after attempting all the solutions above, you were still unable to fix the problem, then it’s probably because the problem is due to an external fault. In which case, you’re better off contacting your internet service provider.
You may find out that your ISP is currently upgrading the line, or there is bad weather, or there is a fault on the line and an engineer has already been dispatched to the area to fix it. Alternatively, if the problem is with your home, they will run a line test to verify first hand, before either fixing the line on their end or sending out an engineer to your main junction to fix it.
4. The Printer Isn’t Working
One of the most common issues that virtually every computer user experiences is a printer no longer working.
There are many things you can do to attempt to figure out the cause. The first thing you’ll want to do is power it down, unplug it, then switch it back on again. You should also check ink levels. Another thing you can do is check the print queue, to make sure it’s not bogged down with print jobs. You should also make sure your printer isn’t set to Use Printer Offline. It’s not uncommon for Windows to default the printer to this mode without your consent. So be sure to disable this mode, then retry printing.
5. Weird Noises
When systems start to make strange noises or a lot of noise, it’s usually as a result of failing or faulty hardware. In other cases, it may simply be a noisy fan. Mechanical hard drives become very noisy just before they are about to fail, so you should first, run a test on the hard drive, and if it is about to fail, then back up your data, using a new hard drive. If it’s a dodgy fan, then that’s something you should be able to replace, quite easily.
6. Can’t Open Email Attachments
In most cases this is as a result of the attachment having a file type that is not compatible with any program currently installed on your system.
If you’re unfamiliar with the file type, then you should do some research online. You’ll want to find out what it’s commonly used for, and the programs that are capable of opening it. The file type is basically, the three letters that appear after the file name, i.e. .rtf, .pdf, etc.
If the file extension is unknown, meaning, there are no programs capable of opening it, then it’s likely a mistake. You should thus, consider changing the file extension to something else. If you know what the file is supposed to be, then you should be able to figure out which programs should be able to open it. For example, if it’s a document, extensions like .rtf, and .doc, should open it just fine.
7. Motherboard Issues
The motherboard is the part of the system that holds all the other components, such as the CPU, RAM, GPU, Hard drive, etc. There are many components on the motherboard, that if damaged can cause system-wide problems. Common problems with your motherboard are usually BIOS and RAM related. Fixing the problem may be as simple as resetting the BIOS or buying new RAM, however, in many cases, the end user is forced to buy a new motherboard altogether.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website: