How To Deal With PC Specific Problems

Here’s a passel of advice for common mishaps in the Windows world – Las Vegas PC Repair.

Freezes

When an application hangs, or freezes, it’s best to give it a few minutes to recover, especially if your hard drive activity light is lit or blinking. If the app remains frozen, press CTRL- SHIFT-ESC to launch the Task Manager. In the Applications tab, select the program and click End Task. No joy? Click the Processes tab, select the application’s main process (be careful to pick the right ones-check ProcessLibrary.com for help), and click End Process. If your computer hangs soon after you connect a removable device to it, such as a USB flash drive or an external hard drive, disconnecting the device may help. In the System Tray/Notification Area, click the Safely Remove Hardware And Eject Media icon, then the device, if it’s present. If it isn’t listed, go ahead and unplug the device. Some hangs can only be fixed by shutting down the computer and restarting it. Click Start and Shut Down. Give Windows time to end every process; if it asks whether it should kill a stubborn application that’s unresponsive, let it. If the normal shutdown method doesn’t work, try pressing CTRL-ALT-DELETE and then clicking the red Shut Down icon. These OS-based shutdown procedures are less likely to lose data than the next options, which involve a bit of tough love. If your system is completely locked up, meaning the drive activity light is off and you can’t even move the mouse pointer, press and hold your PC’s power button for five or more seconds. (If you simply pr s and release the power button, many computers will enter Sleep or Hibernate mode, or try to perform a Windows shutdown.) If the power button doesn’t do anything, you can unplug the computer’s AC power cord. On a desktop, you may have the alternative of flipping the switch on the rear of the power supply. For a laptop, you should also remove its battery for a minute or so.

No power

You try to turn on your computer, but nothing happens. Check the power cable connections from the back of the PC all the way to the wall outlet, including the switch on the power strip or surge protector. Sometimes trying a different outlet helps. Speaking of surge protection, if your power strip’s reset button has been tripped, a lightning strike or other electrical event may have caused a spike, sag, or surge on the line. Determine the cause, so you can take action if there’s a fault in your building’s wiring or too much load on the circuit, such as from a space heater, shop vacuum, or welder. Never re-use a tripped surge protector, as its protection circuit is designed to take damage so your electronic equipment doesn’t. Buy a new one. If your PC won’t start right after you installed a new drive or graphics card, and all power cables are hooked up, you might need a new power supply with more wattage. A partial lack of power (the case fans work, but the rest of the PC doesn’t) may indicate a fried motherboard or dead processor.

Blue screen errors

As with other cryptic error messages, a Web search is your best bet or visit Las Vegas PC Repair. Write down the STOP number, such as 0x000000F4, and any text regarding the type of error, such as Driver Power State Failure. If your PC reboots before you can catch the blue screen information, turn off automatic restarting in case it happens again. Press PAUSE-WIN. Click Advanced System Settings, the Advanced tab, and the Settings button under Startup And Recovery. Uncheck Automatically Restart and click OK.

Suddenly slow performance

Launch the Task Manager by pressing CTRLSHIFT- ESC. Click the Performance tab to see whether your CPU is busy or your RAM (and thus your swap file) is getting a lot of use (more than 1.5GB). If either or both of these are happening, click the Processes tab. Look for processes that have high numbers in the CPU or Memory column. If the Description column or process name indicates a particular application, shut the app down, restart it, and/or update it. For chronically slow performance, defragment your hard drive and make sure it has at least a few GB of free space. Consider upgrading with an SSD, a hybrid drive, and/or more RAM.

An Ounce Of Prevention

PC trouble is no fun. And in a business, lost productivity is lost revenue. Las Vegas PC Repair is the way to go. That’s why it’s best to try and avoid problems by tucking cables away from walkways, keeping your antivirus current, and enabling WPA2 encryption on your Wi-Fi network. Ensure that every laptop and desktop has good ventilation and clean fan grilles. Finally, try to make only one change to your PC at a time. That way, a problematic new device, update, or application will be easier to identify.

 

Smart Computing | September 2011 p.48

 

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