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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Do-It-Yourself Computer Troubleshooting & Optimization Tips

Whether you’re a common PC users or business professional, a smooth, error-free computer is essential for optimal productivity and overall usage. Maintaining your computer depends on how extensive you use it, as well as the risks you expose your operating system (OS) to.

In addition to software maintenance and consistent OS upkeep, ensuring your computer is running optimally addresses hardware issues as well. Learning the basics of computer troubleshooting and optimization can be momentous in maintaining your computer system for years to come.

Below are some of the most common computer issues along with tips and insights to help you troubleshoot and avoid them from ruining your computer.

Troubleshooting Slow Computer Performance

If your computer system shows no signs of a virus, but still is running very slow and choppy, you can optimize the computer's performance by disabling or removing startup programs. Startup programs, especially robust items that require a lot of space, can significantly slow-down computer performance. This is especially noticeable when the computers operating system loads.

Take the time to remove any computer programs that you are not using. Additionally, disable un-used programs (that you still use, but not regularly) from loading upon starting your computer. You can also free your computer from old or junk files. The most consuming of these files include large documents, video and audio files.

Assess Any Hardware Problems

Some of the most prevalent computer hardware issues are associated with the computer's hard drive, power supply, and motherboard. When a PC or laptop fails to start, the common culprit is the power supply. This assessment can be a bit cumbersome in pinpointing the true cause. Try experimenting with unplugging the power cord and plugging back in, as well as checking on the computer's battery (if your device is portable.)

Errors in a computers BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) most likely hint at the motherboard needing replacement. If your computers operating system freezes on a consistent basis (often showing the infamous "blue screen of death,") your computer's hard drive is malfunctioning and could potential fail in the near future. Though it's possible to replace these types of hardware by yourself, it's sometimes best to hire a computer repair expert.

Warding-Off Computer Viruses

Computer viruses are popular issues that almost any PC or laptop user faces. A virus is a malicious code or script that infiltrates your computer to cause a host of nuisances. The affects of a computer virus are far more serious when it's intended to steal valuable data on your operating system, such as bank account information and login passwords.

The best protection against computer viruses is to install trustworthy antivirus software. It's important that you choose a quality antivirus software solution. For Microsoft users, one of the most effective options is Microsoft Security Essentials.

When you suspect a virus is present on your computer, update your antivirus immediately. Once the update is complete, disable your Internet connection entirely and do a full system scan with the antivirus program. By doing this, you may be able to prevent the virus from spreading and plaguing your operating system. An important tip is to never use your computer to browse the Internet when you suspect or know that a virus is present. This can further expose your computer to more risks and potential damage.

Consider a Computer Upgrade 

If you're computer is old or has been used extensively over its live, it may be time to make select computer upgrades. In most cases, it's best to consult with an experience computer expert (unless you're quite experience yourself,) because there are hardware compatibility considerations that imperative to understand.

Additionally, an experience computer expert can typically pinpoint the exact upgrades to help optimize and restore you computer. Some of the most common are upgrading the computer's memory (RAM), motherboard, hard disk, processor, and graphics card. 

Conclusion Troubleshooting computer issues can vary in complexity based on the extent or severity of the issue at hand. In many cases, computer problems can be handled by anyone with basic computer knowledge. However, there are situations that demand more extensive repairs (which demand the expertise of true computer specialist.)

About the Author:

This guest article was contributed by Tyler Tafelsky, a tech-savvy professional who offers a wealth of experience in computers, information technology (IT), and business productivity.
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