Tag Archives: PC
Similar to other components in the computer, hard disks are also vulnerable to complications and problems. There are many times when you might have experienced some problems with your computer’s hard drive. Do not worry, as with some simple steps and guidelines, you can diagnose the exact problem and try to fix it. It is not necessary to call up a computer repair professional as soon as any related error pops up on the screen. You first need to diagnose the exact problem, try to troubleshoot it, and if you are not successful, then you can go ahead and call the computer services. There are a couple of tips below on how to repair a hard drive.
Hard Drive Problems
There are many types of errors that may come up on the screen due to these problems. If there are errors on the computer monitor, but there is no clicking or scraping noise from the disk, then you need to know that it is a problem that can be resolved by using a software application. But if there is a certain noise coming from the drive, you need to realize that it is a serious issue, which only needs to be handled by a professional. So, if you are thinking of getting this part repaired, it is better to take it to a PC shop. If the disk is in warranty, you can get it done for no charge at all.
If the disk is not making noise, but there are some errors popping up on the screen, you can try to resolve the problem with fixing bad sectors. The disk has several sectors on which the data gets stored, and if these sectors go bad, the data stored thereon is lost and cannot be accessible. However, data on other sectors of the disk will remain as it is. The bad sectors then need to be tagged as unusable, after which the operating system will not try to store data on them. This would however reduce the overall storage capacity.
Those thinking of rectifying the disk problems on Mac OS or Windows need to understand that these operating systems have an inbuilt application, which scans the disk for errors and tries to resolve them. For fixing bad sectors, follow the steps below:
- Open ‘My Computer’, and right click on the drive, which is to be repaired
Select the ‘Properties’ tab, and then the ‘Tools’ option.
- You then need to select the ‘Check Now’ button, which is located in the ‘Error-checking’ section. You may need to type some kind of a password or confirmation.
- A window will be displayed with two check boxes.
- Select ‘Automatically fix file system errors’ to automatically corrects problems with files and folders that the scan detects. Otherwise, the disk check will simply report problems but not fix them.
- To perform a thorough disk check, select ‘Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors’. This scan attempts to find and rectify physical errors on the disk itself, and it can take much longer to complete.
- If you want both to be done, select both the check boxes. Click on ‘Start’ in the window to start the process.
Corrupted Hard Drive
If you want to repair a disk, which has been corrupted, you need to use a particular software for getting rid of all the corrupted data and emptying the disk. Download a disk utility application to a floppy disk from another PC. Insert the floppy in your computer’s floppy drive, and switch on the computer. After the BIOS of the PC loads, the utility will start. Follow the step by step instructions on the screen to delete all the corrupt data and make your disk free of corrupted data. You can now use your disk as new.
For ruling out the possibilities of data loss, it is strongly recommended to do a periodical data backup, which will certainly keep your important data safe.
Suddenly find yourself in a situation where your PC isn’t working? Can’t seem to fix it? And you have tried everything from defragmentation to deleting temporary Internet files, but it still won’t do much for you. You could either have some kind of hardware problem, or a virus in your computer; the bottom line is you do not know what to do and you need to get some urgent work done.
You wouldn’t find yourself in such a bind if you had a PC repair service at your beck and call. So why didn’t you think of getting one before? Probably because you thought you could handle all of it yourself. Well, my friend, there are some technical details that even you don’t know.
Important Things To Consider Before Choosing a Home PC Repair Service
- Meet with a computer consultant from a computer service agency and talk to him. If he tries to confuse you with technical jargon, then he is not worth choosing. Look for someone who can simplify and explain the problem to you in layman’s terms. You should also feel comfortable with your repair service ‘guy’, and also gage whether he has your best interests at heart.
- Look for a consultant who is willing to listen to you, your problems, and your needs before shooting off solutions to you. The reason you are using this service is so that the person can understand and do what you want them to do, and offer you the best advice and solutions.
- Always check for references before choosing a computer repair service. A friend may have referred you to a particular service, or you could have randomly picked it out of the yellow pages; irrespective of that you have to always check for references. Call up about three of their customers and ask if they were satisfied, what kind of service they got, and how everything worked out for them. Based on the answers you get, you can make a choice.
- Find out about vendor-consultant relationships. Most computer repair consultants or service agencies will have some kind of tie with vendors that will help them in their work. This could be beneficial to you as a customer.
- Check for the agency’s objectivity. Do they have an underlying agenda in recommending a particular product, or are they doing so in your best interest.
- Find out about the kind of replacements the computer service agency will offer in the event that they are unable to send anyone for your PC repair. Do they have a tie up with another service for such cases? It is important that you look into details.
- Check the rates that these agencies are charging. Are they at par with other agencies or do they seem exorbitant to you? Do not be fooled by an hourly or daily rate, ask for complete rates.
- Check for memberships and computer training that do matter at the end of the day. Good agencies should have some kind of membership with computer associations such as the ICCA. The ICCA membership ensures the customer of high business standard and professional liability insurance. Also, the ICCA allows for reference checks to be conducted by the customer. Where training is concerned, it is important that the consultant be trained specifically in computer repairs.
So, the next time you find yourself stuck in a situation where your printer isn’t working, or the monitor doesn’t turn on, you need not go into a state of panic. Just pick up the phone and call your repair service, that you took such pains to choose and employ.
If you have a computer or PC, it will surely help in easing most of your problems. But with every computer comes along many headaches and complications, sooner or later. A computer is a machine and every machine breaks down sometime or the other. You do not need to run to the computer technician every time your PC crashes or is attached by a malicious software. If you know some simple solutions to the most common computer problems, it will help you save a lot of time and money. These glitches that can be solved by a common person like you and me in the world of computers.
There are many PC owners who think every time they face a problem with computer, they should contact professional help. True, but not every problem needs to be addressed by a computer expert.
How to Fix Computer Problems?
Problems with computer are divided into two groups, i.e., hardware problems and software problems. The hardware problems are related to the peripheral parts of the computer like the CD drive, hard disk, monitor, keyboard, etc. The software problems are more complicated. These problems include problems like modem problems, Windows not starting, drivers not found, etc. Understand what is causing the glitch and follow the standard procedure to solve the problem. The following are a few common problems and solutions to help you overcome the technical snag.
After Power Outage
Today there are many sudden power outages, voltage problems and spikes that can damage computers. These damages cause many technical and software snags and interrupt your work. This leads to loss of data, damage to the hardware, etc. due to sudden power outage. This is a solution to this trouble is use of uninterrupted power supply (UPS). The UPS can provide a constant flow of energy to the computer, even if you encounter a sudden power outage. This will provide you with ample time to save your data and shut down your PC, if needed.
Computer Performance has Slowed Down
You may notice your computer has slowed down considerably and even a simple command execution takes ages. This is because your computer is loaded with unnecessary files, fragmented data, corrupted registry, spyware programs, services, software, etc. that makes your computer slow down. Thus, you need to manage your programs and delete unnecessary data and software that you do not use or need, clean your registry regularly to help boost at least 30% of your computer performance speed.
No Sound from Speakers
You are in the mood to listen to some groovy music on your PC, but you get no sound from speakers, the solution to is to check the back of the computer and see if all the connectors are properly connected. The speaker or single stereo speaker plug should be put into the socket on the soundcard that has a mark Audio Out.
Computer Monitor Displays Fuzzy Images
A computer monitor is the display unit of the computer that is sensitive to electro-magnetic radiations. These electro-magnetic radiations are transmitted from the TV, radio, microwaves, dishwashers, washing machines, speakers, etc. Mobile phones transmit electro-magnetic radiations that is one of the main cause of monitor displaying fuzzy images. Thus, move away these disturbances away from the monitor and this problem with computer monitor will be fixed.
Computer Freezes with Blue Screen Hijacking Your Display
There are many problems that can cause your computer screen to freeze and blue screen to appear. This screen is called the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). This may be due to a spyware or computer viruses that have affected your computer. You need to update your anti-spyware and scan your computer for any viruses. If your computer is free from any such malicious software, then you may need to update your hardware drive. A hardware drive that is not updated may cause the CPU to lock up and interrupt working of the computer. If you find the problem cropping up even after a hardware drive update, then you may need to increase computer RAM. When you increase the RAM, the computing power increases and you will also be able to avoid the computer freeze. At times, BSOD may appear due to critical errors in the driver, software or registry problems. Windows may have to repair or reinstall missing components. If you do not find any visible cause, it would be wise to call the computer technician.
Computer Reboots Itself Again and Again
Another common problem with computers. In order to fix the problem of rebooting itself again and again, you will need to check the hardware. You may have a faulty power supply, defective or dirty cooling fan, etc., that may cause the computer to reboot again and again. The dust that accumulates on the fan, makes it heat up faster and in order to cool down the computer automatically switches off. Thus, clean the fan and check for power supply. Following these simple steps will help you to solve these problems with computer.
Computer Makes Strange Noises
Noises and vibrations from your computer are a hardware problem. Many electronic parts can make high pitch noises. You need to switch off your computer and unplug it from the power supply. Now remove the case from the CPU and restart your computer. Locate the origin of noise and then switch off the computer and unplug it. It may be a faulty fan, loose wire or screw. This means you will need to call the computer technician to help you solve your problems with computer, regarding these type of problems.
Windows Having Problems in Shutting Down Properly
You may have come across the message ‘Windows Shutting Down’ instead of ‘It is now safe to switch off you computer’. This is because a program has not unloaded itself properly that makes the computer insist to run a scandisk the next time you switch on. You need to close all the programs before your shut down your PC and if it is not done, the computer waits for the program to close. It may happen you get the message ‘Do you want to shut this program down or wait’ or you may not. When you don’t get such a message it results in what we call the hanging of the operating system. The solution is not to install Direct X whenever you install a game. Most games have their version of Direct X that makes the files out of sync. Thus, install the latest version of Direct X and not the games version. You may need to also check USB devices, task scheduler, virus scanners, etc. and reinstall them if necessary. This will lead to correct installation and the problems with computer may reduce.
Computer Gives Error Messages on Start-up
Many times when you switch on you computer you see error messages on your screen. These messages may appear such as, abclink.xyz missing or damaged – press any key to continue. If you see this message, you need to press keys for about 8 to 10 times, before Windows actually resumes. This happens when you delete a program instead of actually un-installing it. If you wish to get rid of any program, go to Control panel —> Programs —> Programs and Features. Here, you will find a list of programs installed on your computer. Select the specific you wish to delete and click on Uninstall. The program will be removed from your system and next time you switch on your PC, you will not get any error messages saying a link is missing.
Low Virtual Memory
Do you keep getting an annoying message that says ‘system running low on virtual memory’? If yes, it means your computer is running short of RAM, that is, Random Access Memory. So, to solve this problem, you need to increase the size of your computer memory. Windows 7 users need at least 1 GB of RAM, Windows Vista needs 512 MB of Ram and Windows XP requires minimum 256 MB RAM. Visit your local computer dealer and purchase more memory from him. The dealer may even install the memory for you. This will help you get rid of low virtual memory.
You can avoid these problems if you are aware of the various steps needed for computer maintenance. You should read the manual given with computer before you begin using it. Yes, the manual may sound Greek to you, but it’s always better to know the simple precautions to be taken. The troubleshooting is not an easy task. If you do not understand anything or are still apprehensive about these troubleshooting, then it is a better idea to consult a computer technician. You have many articles on the Internet that help you find solutions to various problems with computer. You do not need to be genius to diagnose and troubleshoot a simple problem. Many times a bit of presence of mind and common sense will help you overcome obstacles of the technical world.
There are a lot of people who have a general misconception regarding how emails are sent to cell phones. They think that for sending an email to a mobile phone, the recipient should inevitably have Internet access. However, the fact is that even if the recipient does not have access to the web, he can still receive the emails that are sent from a computer.
If you want to send a text from a computer to a cell phone which does not have web access, you will need some details such as the recipient’s phone number and his service provider. You can also directly dispatch it to his email inbox.
Sending an SMS or Email to a Mobile Phone Without Internet Access
The main disadvantage of doing this is that, the recipient will not be able to see the message in the email format in which it was sent originally. He will only receive the email in the SMS format. In such situations, the sender will have to use the email to SMS gateway technology of getting emails and SMS across to the recipient.
Sending an Email to a Web-enabled Mobile Phone
If the cell phone user has access to the web, he has the option to view the email in the format that was used while sending. However, in this case, the sender will have to use the standard email method of sending the email to the recipient’s email account inbox. The recipient will have to use the GPRS or Wi-Fi technology to access the web from his cell phone.
How to Send a Text from a Computer?
To dispatch messages from a PC to a mobile that doesn’t have an Internet connection, all you need to know is the SMS gateway address. Nowadays, majority of cell phone service providers have SMS gateways which do the job of receiving emails and transferring them to the recipient’s cell phone in a text format.
If you do not know the service provider of the recipient, you can find it with the help of the Internet. Use a site that provides information by simply entering the phone number. From such websites, you will get the name and also the service provider of the receiver. Once you know the service provider, you can determine the appropriate SMS gateway address.
Service providers have their own email to SMS gateway addresses. A typical pattern of the receiver’s address would be his ‘cell phone number@company’s extension.domain name’. For example, if the receiver is using Verizon Wireless, his SMS gateway address would be somewhat like, email@example.com. You simply have to email the SMS gateway, which will then mail your message to the recipient in the form of SMS.
Computers have become almost indispensable today. However, it is after all a machine and it too needs care to remain functional all the time. So, wherever Internet technology comes into picture, computer security is a subject of major concern. This is because the PC is exposed to many viruses and malware that can harm its functioning. Computer viruses are malicious programs that start operating anonymously from any location in your system. Like biological viruses, they also replicate themselves and spread from one workstation to another in a network. They are primarily responsible for sudden deletion and corruption of files. Besides, they hamper the security of important documents stored in your system and crash your system’s RAM (Random Access Memory). Signs such as an extremely slow system, abrupt reboots, blue error screens, a lot of undefined and random errors, and a large number of pop up windows opening simultaneously, indicate a possible virus or a spyware attack! There are different types of viruses such as spyware, adware, Trojan horses, web bugs, and worms which also harm your PC. They self infest without the knowledge of your system and corrupt its sensitive data.
Methods to Get Rid of Computer Viruses
Following are methods adopted to get rid of computer viruses:
Choosing an antivirus software: Generally, an antivirus software is a part of your system as a pre-installed feature. However, the market offers you better choices always. Some of the leading antivirus software include:
Of these, Avast and AVG are some antivirus software which can be downloaded for free. McAfee and Norton are sturdy retail antivirus software of which McAfee is the oldest and Norton is the heaviest. Although Norton is one of the best antivirus programs made, its installation may slowdown the system as it is a bulky program. Nowadays, AVG is quite a popular one as it upgrades itself at regular durations without prompting the user each time.
Using online antivirus software and rescue disks: Computer viruses also keep upgrading themselves like the antivirus programs. At times, they do not let you access the antivirus software installed in your system. So what do you do? There are a few online virus scanning software that provide free online tools to tackle risky situations:
- McAfee scanner – Most recommended
- Avast Virus cleaner
- Trend Housecall
- Kaspersky online virus scanner
- Panda Activescan
Rescue disks can also help you get rid of such problems. Most antivirus software on installation, ask the user to create a ‘rescue disk’ and prompt him for reboot. Rescue disks load the antivirus software even before the operating system loads. Hence, the virus detection and removal becomes easy as the user gets access to the antivirus programs. A very crucial point to be remembered is that updation of antivirus software is as important as installing them in the system.
Using anti spyware software: Spyware are a high security risk to your system. These programs spy on your system, steal important information, and alter your system configuration. Signs of spyware attacks can be confirmed with unusual changes in web browsers, search engines, random error messages, and a very slow system. The best remedy to this problem is installation of a sturdy anti spyware software. There are many free spyware removal programs available in the market, which can be used to get rid of computer viruses. Some of the best recommended anti spyware programs are:
- Windows Defender
- Spybot search and destroy
PC Doctor and Microsoft anti spyware are also extensively used in spyware removal. Mac users can rely on MacScan.
Using anti adware software: Adware are annoying programs that are responsible for the uncontrolled number of pop up advertisements clogging your web browsers. Not only do they slow down your system, but at times they self install unnecessary software without the knowledge of the system. For removal of adware, Lavasoft’s Ad-adware is the best!
Using firewall to get rid of computer viruses: Firewalls are either hardware or software, and sometimes a combination of both. They regulate network traffic by monitoring port activity of the system based on a set of pre-defined security policies. These policies list IP addresses and ports to be blocked or allowed based on the risk proposed. Some of the best firewall products available in the market are:
- Online Armor Personal Firewall
- Comodo Internet Security
- Little Snitch
- Zone Alarm Free Firewall
- PC Tools Firewall
- Ashampoo Firewall
Of these, Zone Alarm Free Firewall is the best, as it has been going sturdy for years now without any major upgrades.
So, whenever there is a slightest doubt of a possible virus attack, there are some immediate action items to confirm your doubts!
- Stop working. Save the necessary documents and close all the windows.
- Don’t start deleting files frantically assuming the worst. Stay calm and take a backup of all the important data.
- Run your antivirus software immediately. In case it asks for any updations, update the software and run it.
- If problems persist, there is a possibility that the system is under a virus/spyware attack.
Some Tips for Intelligent Browsing
- Browse intelligently. Internet is a web of networks. Hence, the system is always prone to virus attacks. Do not visit sites that might be a source of malicious content.
- Be careful when going for free software downloads, as most of them contain spyware.
- Maintain secure browser settings every time you access your system. Nowadays, every browser gives users the convenience to adjust browser security settings. Go to Tools and access the security tab to alter browser settings if needed. You may also adjust the settings such that cookies get stored only for secure websites.
- Firewalls are a must for your system when it comes to network security. However, nowadays, Apple’s MAC OS and Windows XP have inbuilt firewall programs.
- Read online license agreements, privacy statements, and security warnings before you download any software. Agreeing under sheer carelessness and ignorance can invite malware. In such cases, consult the IT service center or make use of a search engine to check if any form of malware has been reported for the software you want to download. These measures will prevent your system from getting infected with spyware carriers like Kazaa and Grokster.
- Do not open unsolicited email attachments containing word documents and Powerpoint presentations. These are gateways to install viruses in your system. Also, be cautious while clicking on online messages claiming to alert you about your system security risk. Most of the time, they are links for installation of spyware.
- Spyware threat is obvious in case of peer-to-peer file-sharing services. So, it is advised not to download any executable files from such shared connections.
- Last but not the least, update antivirus and firewall software regularly. Most of them today are self programmed to update themselves after a specific duration.
Prevention is better than cure does not apply to health alone. It is always better to prevent the enemy from attacking, rather than letting the enemy attack and then fighting back. Upgrade your system with the latest antivirus software today!
What is computer hardware? Hardware components like the monitor, keyboard, CPU (Central Processing Unit), mouse, and other I/O (Input-Output) devices constitute a computer. The working of the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and I/O devices depends largely upon the CPU. Due to some minor causes, like loose connections or dust saturation, any of them can stop functioning.
Faults occurring in the CPU are most hazardous, as it has a very complicated structure. The CPU is an assembly of the motherboard, hard disk drive (HDD), random access memory (RAM), compact disc-read only memory (CD-ROM) drive, and the floppy drive. Unless you are well-acquainted with the CPU hardware, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint exactly where the fault has occurred. If any one of these components fail to perform, there are a few repair tips that can be followed. In order to view the circuitry inside the CPU, its casing has to be removed.
The entire functioning of the computer depends on this component. The processor chipset, that performs all the logical operations of the PC, is embedded in the motherboard. Ribbon cables, power supply, CPU, and RAM are the things to be checked first on the motherboard. Check if any of the ribbon cables or the power supply cord is loose. Check if the RAM chip has been misplaced from its slot. The CPU (chipset embedded in the board) will not show any marks on the outside if it is blown. The only way to check whether the CPU is working or not, is to test it by mounting it on the motherboard of another PC. The motherboard has a real-time clock, ROM BIOS, CMOS RAM, RAM sockets, CPU sockets or slots, cache RAM slots, keyboard controller, interrupts, internal connectors, and external connectors mounted on it. Do not tamper with these components, unless you know each and every one of it well. Do not touch the motherboard without turning off the power.
Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
Also known as hard drive, it is the long-term storage device of the system. If the hard drive cannot be detected, check the jumper setting. The jumper setting can change the mode of the hard disk from master to slave or vice-versa. Make sure the Windows version being used for partitioning is consistent. Check that each drive has been assigned a drive-type. Make sure the pin numbers of the plug are attached to the corresponding pin numbers of the socket. Do not force the plug into the socket with extra force, the pins may bend. If the plug is not fitting perfectly in the socket, try inserting it again by flipping it over. Do not attempt to open the hard drive without enough knowledge of its components.
Random Access Memory (RAM)
It is the temporary memory of the PC. The data in the RAM is erased when the computer is shut down. Check if the RAM is misplaced from its slot. While replacing the RAM in its slot, check the small niche at the center of the chip (the niche indicates how the RAM is supposed to be placed in the slot and may not be at the exact mid position of the chip-strip). Do not forget to secure the side clips that hold the chip in place. If you are unable to secure them, it means that the chip is not placed correctly in the slot.
Compact Disc-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) Drive
Data stored on external storage device like compact discs (CD) is read by inserting the CD in the CD drive. If the CD drive is not functioning, check if the CD is scratched. If the CD works fine in another PC, check if the power cable of the former drive is loose. Check if the plug and socket pin numbers match. If the tray of the drive is not opening, right click on CD-ROM icon and select eject option. If the tray does not open, insert a straight thin metal pin into the edge and try to pull it open. Do not apply too much of force while doing so. Avoid connecting the CD-ROM drive on the same controller cable as the primary hard drive, this will slow down its performance.
If the floppy disk is not opening, try opening it in the floppy drive of another PC. If the disk does not open, then it is probably corrupt. If the disk is stuck in the drive, hold down the eject button for sometime or right click on floppy drive icon and select eject option. If the disk is still stuck, wiggle it up and down till it can be ejected or use tweezers to pull it out. Do not apply too much of force while doing so.
In order to avoid any kind of faults, following maintenance tips can be followed:
- Do not let dust saturate on the motherboard. Clean it with a vacuum cleaner or a hand broom once in 2 to 3 months.
- The hard drive mostly does not need any external cleaning, though by performing de-fragmentation and disk clean, it can be prevented from crashing.
- In the case of the CD-ROM, do not pull the tray forcibly. Make use of the insert/eject button rather than pulling and pushing the tray.
- Clean the tray once in a while. Do not keep any heavy object on the tray. Avoid running scratched or damaged CDs in the CD-ROM.
- If the CPU fan is making too much noise, unmount it and oil the bearings.
- Do not attempt to start the PC if the fan is not in a working condition.
- If the fault persists, contact professional services. Also make a note of what exactly is happening when you start the PC. It makes the diagnosis a lot easier for the professional.
The CPU is the brain of the computer. Proper maintenance of the CPU, as well as all other components, enhances the computer performance.