Computers are great! They allow us to stay connected with loved ones, offer us an unlimited resource for information and they can provide us with endless entertainment – the end! If only; other times they can drive us to the point of wanting to lob it into the nearest lake and hope it suffers as it sinks to the watery depths. So, if at all possible we want to make sure that you can avoid the latter. With your sanity and well-being to the forefront of our minds here are fixes for some of the most common problems that you can encounter.
1. Slow Computer.
Sometimes computers can be a bit like me attempting to understand quantum physics – a bit slow. Firstly, it’s important to remember that videos or websites that take a while to load may not be slow because of your computer; they can also be affected by network interference’s. If you find that your computer is slow in opening programs, operations stall or hang or the booting up takes more than a couple of minutes, then you might have a slowness problem.
FIX– Check your hard-drive (see picture).When the hard drive that holds your operating system (usually designated as C: ) is full, the operating system can’t write files quickly as it needs to search and allocate space for it. This takes time and will slow down your system. Delete any unneeded files such as movies, photos, music, or move them to another hard drive.
Another reason for a slow computer could be due to having too many processes running in the background. To clear some of these processes, click on the start button, type: msconfig and then go to the “Startup” tab. Be sure not to untick anything that is a Microsoft process. Look for Google Update, Spotify, iTunes etc. Untick these, restart and whoosh!
2. Internet is Slow.
Does it feel like your downloads, browsing and streaming music are taking longer that it takes me to get to the point? The first step is always to run a speed test. Speedtest.net is my site of choice for this. If you are getting below 50% of the speed you’re paying for from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and your ping is over 100 then there is an issue to attend to.
FIX- Check that there are no torrents running in the background as they can continuously download & upload files, taking from your bandwidth & speed. ‘Have you tried turning it off and on again?’ It might be the most overused saying in IT but with good reason. Turning off/on the router can resolve a multitude of issues and is always recommended. If your router does not have an on/off switch just unplug and plug it from the wall and plug it back in. Failing this, the next step is to contact your ISP directly.
3. Printer not Printing.
You had one job! Print for God’s sake! It’s even implied in your name! If you find yourself in this situation here are some things to try…
FIX- Always start with the most obvious fix. Does your printer have ink, paper, and updated drivers, try unplugging it, then plugging it back in. If you still have an issue, double-click on the printer icon on your taskbar and check to see what the printing queue says. Click on the “Printer” menu item in the printer window and make sure that “Use Printer Offline” is not checked – this will stall the printing queue.
4. 404 Not Found.
‘I’ll 404 not found you’, you say in your worst ‘Dad’ comeback as the site you’re attempting to load gives this dreaded message. Making that ‘Dad’ statement does very little, if anything at all to resolve such an issue. What may well work however are the following…
FIX- Retry the web page by pressing F5, clicking/tapping the refresh/reload button, or trying the address from the address bar again. Another step would be to check for the errors in the URL (website address). Often times the 404 Not Found error appears because the URL was typed wrong or the link that was clicked on points to the wrong URL.
You can also search for the page from a popular search engine. It’s possible that you simply have the entirely wrong URL in which case a quick Google or Bing search should get you to your destination. Finally you could also clear your browser cache. If you can reach the URL from your phone but not from your computer, clearing the cache on your computer’s browser might help.
5. Unsure of What You’re Doing.
‘So we need to resolve this through reverse polarity, understand?’ ‘Aaah……yeah.’
It’s okay to admit if you’re out of your depth. Knowing your limitations is a good thing. If you don’t feel like you’re skilled enough, ask for help, or go to a professional. There are also many tutorial videos on YouTube, so all you have to do is search.
That’s all for now. I hope you have a great week free of computer stresses.