Computer Hardware

Computer Hardware

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Computer security

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Tag Archives: RAM

Computer Freezes After Startup

While working on computers, there is a high probability that your system may freeze for no rhyme or reason. If your computer freezes frequently, it is time you first figure out the reasons behind such malfunctioning of your system.

Reasons Why Computer Freezes on Startup

There are myriad reasons for a computer freezing on startup. Following are a few causes, which could be detrimental in freezing your system more often.

  • Defective hardware (Electrostatic discharge and loose connections between hardware and computer motherboard)
  • Faulty software (Codes using lot of RAM; software infected with adbots, viruses and spyware)
  • Bugged operating systems (A corrupted Windows registry of operating system)
  • Infected drivers (Improper installation of drivers, small programs that enable the hardware and software to work in sync)

In all the above, the root cause that answers your query on why computer freezes is, almost all computers today are assembled and so the hardware components are manufactured by different vendors, which may result in hardware malfunctioning of the system. If your software is corrupted with malicious programs through Internet, freezing on startup is a warning sign indicating that your operating system may be at risk. This is because, viruses and spyware usually replicate their code and store them at hidden locations in your system, thereby using up more RAM. This eventually slows down your system. However, if the registry of the operating system is corrupted, then a symptom like computer freezing on startup would indicate warning to reformat your system.

Computer Freezes Shortly After Startup – Fixing the Problem

Sometimes, it may happen that you log into your system and as the system is loading, your computer freezes randomly, and no matter how many times you tap your keys and bang your mouse, the system remains frozen. In that case, I would suggest you to try the following:

  • Reboot your system and set your system in clean boot.
    Click on Start, and type msconfig in the search box of the start menu and click on Enter.
  • The system may prompt you for a confirmation, sometimes asking for an administrator’s password. Type the password and click on Continue.
  • Now, click on selective startup on General tab and under the Selective startup of the General tab, clear the load startup items checkbox.
  • Select Services tab and click the check box for Hide all Microsoft Services. Then click on Disable All.
  • Click OK. And once the system prompts, click on Restart.
  • If your system starts, apply divide and conquer algorithm to detect the non Microsoft service which is causing the problem, if your system is running on Windows Vista or Windows XP.

Once the startup fiasco is solved, check for the registry. Here are some steps to check this.

  • Click on Start.
  • In the search box of startup menu, type REGEDIT. Click Enter.
  • Now find this registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
  • Once found, set the NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation to 1 to delete any duplicate or short versions for DOS names.

Computer Freezes After Startup But Works in Safe Mode – Fixing the Problem

Most people complain about the computer freezing up in Windows Vista and they might also observe that it prompts for the system to start in ‘Safe Mode’, once rebooted. Now before understanding whether this safe mode is advisable or not, it is important to understand what this safe mode is all about. Safe mode is a special way for Windows to load when a system is not starting in the normal mode. Now in the safe mode, not all functions are enabled. Most device drivers are not loaded (like that of printer and scanner). The command files autoexec.bat or config.sys are not run. Standard VGA graphic mode is used and not the normal graphics device driver. In this mode, the system checks for the msdos.sys for information to find the required Window files. So now the question arises, what to do once the system boots in safe mode? To check the root reason for what had caused Windows to load incompletely should be your first plan of action.

Click on Start, and click on control panel. In recent times, if you have added any device driver, try uninstalling it and then attempt a reboot. If your system starts normally, it means that the device was having some conflict with the driver software. Check further for installation of games or new applications and try uninstalling them as well, if you have doubts about their installation. However, if there is no problem with the hardware or the software, then it indicates a corrupt registry issue, which can be resolved only by getting a new installation copy of Windows.

When you face such an issue, do not jump into conclusions, that your system needs reformatting. Check out all the possible causes and try to figure out the core reason why your computer freezes after starting. And yes, one more important thing, always save your data in backup devices like CD or a pen drive. It will save your work at least!

Computer Problems and Solutions

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, 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.

how to cope with slow computer

If your computer is running slow, you may be wondering if some virus has affected your system, or if your system is slowed down by the antivirus software that has been loaded. Well, you are on the right track. However, these may not be the only reasons why your computer has become slow. There may be other reasons which may be causing this problem. Let us take a look at some of these possible problems.

Why is My Computer Slow to Start Up

It often happens that you have a computer with the best of the configuration, a high memory RAM, a good amount of hard disk space and of course a very good high-speed processor, and yet your computer is slow to start up. The reason for this is that there are a good number of start up processes that you have initiated. Many times, when we install a software, we forget to uncheck the option to start the software during start up. Too many software running in the computer during start-up, may make the computer slow to start up. So, the way out of this problem, is to disable the functionality to start these software during start up. You can also browse the computer’s start up services and disable all such services that have been programmed to start up when your computer boots up. Similarly, if there are any services that keep running in the background, you need to shut down those applications. These applications that run in the background, not only cause other processes that you are running to slow down, but may also make the computer slow to shut down. You can simply go into the ‘Task Manager’ of your computer, if you are using the Windows operating system, by hitting the Ctrl-Alt-Del keys together and end all the unnecessary applications that are running. However, reducing the number of start-up services in your computer, is a better way to counter this problem, because, disabling the applications individually, will not stop them from booting up during start-up.

Basic Causes for Slow Computer

Now, let us take a look at the basic reasons which may cause the computer to run slow.

Insufficient RAM
This is one of the basic reasons that may cause the computer to run slow. If you are using a software which takes up a good amount of RAM, then obviously, the other applications will run slow. Another important aspect that you need to take care of is ‘paging’. When the RAM in your computer is full, the computer processor utilizes some space from your secondary storage device that is your hard disk to run the applications. Hence, it becomes very necessary that you provide some amount of free space in your RAM.

Virus Issues
This is what is considered the basic reason, why a computer is slow, and often, the conclusion is right. Adware, malware and spyware software can considerably reduce the computer performance. Of course the easy way out of this problem is to install an antivirus software in your computer. But one thing that you need to keep in mind is that, antivirus software though a necessity, can also reduce the performance of your computer. Hence, it becomes very important that you choose an antivirus software, which does not occupy a lot of RAM.

This is one tip that I can provide you with. Defragment your computer at least once in a month or fifteen days. This reduces the clustering of files in the computer. To do so you just need to click the Start menu, go to programs, accessories, then to the system tools options and select the option for defragmentation. Also remember to delete temporary Internet files from your computer.

Corrupted Registry
For convenience, let us assume that everyone uses Windows. The Windows registry is like the DNA of the Windows operating system and stores all vital information about your system that includes: interface settings, installed programs and program settings, settings for drivers and hardware and personal user profile. This implies that if registry crashes or gets corrupted the entire system will stop working. When you install new drivers or devices, add and remove programs, open and close applications and change their settings, your registry becomes littered with corrupt entries. Your computer’s performance is seriously hampered and causes system errors, freezes and crashes. To prevent your computer from slowing down, proper maintenance of the registry is vital.

So if you too are wondering why your computer is running so slow, you must have got some idea about how to resolve this problem. Your computer is just a machine and it cannot do anything on its own accord, unless you have prompted it to work in a particular way. Many times, we install software without checking each and every step of the installation process. It is in these stages that we are often asked if we want to install some unwanted software along with the software we are installing or if we want the application to start up every time the computer boots up. So follow the tips I just equipped you with. In most cases, taking simple precautions can ward off complex problems.

Computer Hardware Repair and Maintenance

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.

Floppy Drive
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.