Not all computer breakdowns give warning signs in advance, but (fortunately) many of them do!We all have a busy schedule, and computers have become irreplaceable tools in our lives. From keeping track of appointments to keeping in touch with old friends, keeping up with work to keeping on top of the latest news, your computer is a vital part of your household. Being without your computer can be as detrimental as being without your vehicle and make your daily life impossible to keep up with.
Just like a car, your computer frequently signals when it has problems. Ignoring these warnings can allow a simple problem to turn into a severe one! Here are some warning signs you should never ignore to make sure your computer continues to run smoothly and prevent major breakdowns.
1. Your computer is running slowly.
One of the most common computer complaints is a that it’s “running slowly.” Slow computer performance can be caused by many different things, including a system that is too old for your current programs and applications (which can cost you time and money in lost productivity), resource-heavy programs or applications, a lack of RAM (a kind of memory that stores program information to improve overall speed), a fragmented system, a lack of space on your hard drive, or viruses/malware. Many users assume a slow computer simply needs "tuned up" and put off the issue until the machine actually becomes unusable.
Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of a slow computer is a hard drive in the initial stages of failure. If you catch the problem early, a tech can replace your hard drive with a new one and copy all your data with minimal interruption. If you delay, however, this simple fix and upgrade can turn into a much larger hassle, typically involving a complete rebuild of the operating system (and causing you to spend subsequent hours reinstalling software and readjusting settings to your liking). Putting off a hard drive upgrade can also increase your risk of irretrievably losing data.
2. You get a “hard drive failure imminent” message
This message is very clear: it indicates in no uncertain terms that your hard drive is about to die a terrible, painful, death. Yet many people ignore this message until, like in the first example, their computers pass the point where a simple repair is possible and they require extensive rebuild (along with the possible total loss of their data). Perhaps this is due to users not believing the message is authentic or actually critical, but we can tell you with certainty that this is an absolutely legitimate message that is never "just a suggestion." If you see this exact message, shut down your computer immediately and get it to a professional IT technicians!
3. You get the "blue screen of death"
If you've been using computers for long, you've almost certainly seen one of these screens. The myriad of different causes number in the hundreds, but they all have one thing in common: They're all signs of a serious computer problem that will rarely, if ever, get better on its own. If you see anything like the pictures below, it's time to seek professional computer repair help.
4. Your computer runs hot
A computer that runs hot may not just be a minor inconvenience, nor is it necessarily just the way your computer happens to work! Computers do heat up when they're on, but an excessively hot computer should be checked out right away! It might just be dirty, but sometimes the cooling system might be broken or severely clogged. These problems, although not necessarily “serious,” can severely shorten your computer’s lifespan or cause it to fail. If your computer feels too hot to touch comfortably, fan noise is louder than usual, or shuts off completely on its own, it may be overheating. Call a skilled technician immediately.
5. Your computer just "acts weird"
A well-maintained computer will generally be fairly free of trouble. Computers are computers, however, and everyone (including the pros!) will occasionally have a hiccup or get an error message every once in a while. So when does an occasional misfire turn into cause for action? If your computer starts acting up, the first thing you always want to do is reboot. Turn it completely off by clicking the “start” button and selecting “shut down,” or if the computer is completely frozen up it's OK to hold down the power button for 5 seconds to turn it off. Once it's off, wait a moment and turn it back on. If the computer still acts up, it's time to give your technician a call!
Dymin Systems can help you with everything from repairing your computer equipment to implementing a cloud-based data backup plan for your critical business data. Our skilled team provides managed IT support services for businesses throughout the Des Moines area as well as in-store and in-home computer repair services. To learn more about how we can help you with all of your PC repair and maintenance needs, contact Dymin Systems today, visit our repair services and computer sales showroom in Urbandale, Iowa, or call us at (800) 811-3661.