Top 10 common computer problems & Solutions

common computer problems and solutions

Common computer problems arise due to some small malfunctioning either in the software or hardware. Their solutions are often easy to apply.

Admit it, we all face them in our day to day lives when using a PC. So, don’t be panic. In today’s article, I will point out the top 10 common PC problems and how to fix them by yourself.

10 Common PC Problems And Solutions

1. Computer won’t turn on

This is probably the no.1 problem faced by many of us. To understand this problem, you can compare it to our human body.

When we are sick, we often get a fever. It’s the body mechanism to fight infection. In the same way, when the computer faces any problem, it usually won’t turn on until you fix that.

There are hundreds of reasons why a PC won’t boot up. The issues can range from power supply failure to virus infection. Normally, by following the steps given below, your computer should be able to start.

Solutions:

1. Check the power supply

  • If it’s a laptop, a loss of power could result from a battery that has completely run out of charge. So, the first thing to do is to plug it in and leave it to charge for a few hours. If that doesn’t work, it could mean the charger is faulty, so, if you can try a different charger. If the charger has a power indicator, check whether it lights up when you plug it in.
  • If your PC is a desktop computer and doesn’t start, check that it’s not the plug socket at fault by plugging it into a different socket. If that doesn’t work, it could be that the power supply in your PC has failed.

2. Make sure the monitor or display is functional

If you can see that your PC has power, because the fans start-up or the power lights come on, but nothing else happens, there are a couple of possible faults.

  • If you have a desktop PC connected to an external monitor, it could be the display that’s faulty. Check the power connection to the monitor and that it’s properly connected to your PC. Try disconnecting it and reconnecting it. If that doesn’t work, try connecting a different monitor, if possible. That way you’ll be able to either determine it’s the monitor’s fault or rule it out.
  • If you have a laptop, or if you’ve ruled out the external display, it could be that your PC is in sleep mode and is having trouble waking. To check that, shut it down completely and restart from cold. To do that, hold down the power button for 5 seconds and then press it again to start your PC.

3. Eliminate external hardware

If none of the steps above work, the peripherals could be the culprit. This could either happen because of electrical issues or external hardware failures.

After doing this, try restarting the system again to see if it works or not. If it doesn’t, move on the next final step.

4. Reinstall system

If none of the steps work, the last thing you would want to do is to reinstall your Windows. Because till this point, you can be sure that it’s the software and not a hardware issue.

Since you can’t turn your computer on, there’s no way to get access to your file. However, there are methods to backup your files from the hard drive. A clean installation will help to reset everything back to normal, should your system is infected or corrupted.

2. Slow Internet

Nothing can be more frustrated than a slow internet connection. I know, you can’t enjoy that famous Netflix show or stay connected on Facebook.

But this problem is usually pretty easy to deal with. The problem lies in 2 areas, i.e. internal issue ( issues related to your internet appliance) and external ( related to your Internet Service Provider )

Solutions:

1. Restart the modem

This solution is just like how you would resolve any gadgets. Sometimes a power fluctuation or overused of the internet modem can overload it.

In order to reset everything back to normal, simply switch off the modem, wait for few minutes and turn it back on. You should be good to go in most cases.

2. Fix your wifi signal

Speaking of wifi, you might find that your router and internet are fine, but your wireless signal is weak. This can cause a slowdown—or, at minimum, a latency-filled browsing experience. In that case, you may need to reposition, tweak, and boost your router with a few tricks.

Check out this link here to find out how to fix your wifi signal with some good tips.

3. Kill any unwanted background software

Sometimes, background processes like software updates or any other programs that require internet maybe pulling your data, hence slow down your internet speed.

By simply check your task manager, you can see the list of this software and are able to kill them off. Turn off any automatic updates in the setting and this should help.

4. Contact your ISP

If none of the above works, your problem is maybe an external issue, i.e. from your internet service provider.

This could be something like a network upgrade, bad weather, wires fixing, etc. Definitely, they will assess your internet signal and inform you of the necessary action to take.

3. PC Becoming Slow

I know that kind of feeling you feel when it takes like 5 minutes to open just an app. Well, this is another common computer problems people face in their daily lives.

The root cause is usually due to the duration of how long you have been operating the PC. A computer that is older than 2 years will experience this, regardless of their specifications.

Solutions:

1. Find resource-hungry program

With your system full of programs, there will definitely be one or two programs that use lots of your resources, for instance, a ram.

To find out, open the Task Manager. You can right-click your taskbar and select the “Task Manager” option or press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to open it. On Windows 8, 8.1, and 10.

Click the “CPU,” “Memory,” and “Disk” headers to sort the list by the applications using the most resources. If any application is using too many resources, you might want to close it normally — if you can’t, select it here and click “End Task” to force it to close.

2. Disable startup program

Autostart programs during system startup can be the major reason why your PC is slowing down.

On Windows 8, 8.1, and 10, there’s now a startup manager in the Task Manager you can use to manage your startup programs.

Right-click the taskbar and select “Task Manager” or press Ctrl+Shift+Escape to launch it. Click over to the Startup tab and disable startup applications you don’t need.

Windows will helpfully tell you which applications slow down your startup process the most.

3. Scan for malware and adware

Day-to-day usage of computers can make you accidentally catch malware and adware.

These are usually small malicious programs, caught from the internet when we browse or download something.

These programs are designed to steal your information and to that, they have to transfer information over the internet, which can potentially slow down your system.

To remove them, simply use your built-in anti-virus software to scan and detect. For more information on how to remove spyware and adware, check out my article here.

4. Windows Update Problem

Windows update errors can occur due to a bunch of reasons. Causes include Windows piracy, core files missing, license issues, etc.

The problem is, however, not that serious. But if you still want to have the latest software and security installed, you have to fix it.

Solutions:

The solution is quite straight forward. With an in-built error detection and troubleshooting, Windows has its own mechanism to fix this.

But if you still cannot fix it, I recommend going through the official Microsft Windows update errors fixing walkthrough here.

5. Noisy Hard Drive

Hard drives are usually nearly silent but some do make a muted clicking sound when they’re being accessed or turned off — this is completely normal.

On the other hand, if you start hearing noises only occasionally or noises that you’ve never heard before — like clicking, grinding, vibrations, or squealing — your hard drive may be failing. 

Solutions:

1. Make sure the sound comes from the hard drive

Usually, when we hear the sound from our computers, it’s a hard drive sound. So when the sound suddenly gets louder, we assume that it’s from the hard drive.

To check this, you can simply unplug the power and data cables from the hard drive and reboot the system. If you still hear the sound, the issue is not with the hard drive.

2. Run a diagnostic software

If you’re certain that the sound comes from the hard drive itself, you can run a free hardware diagnostic software which is already available on many computers or available on the internet.

3. Replace the hard drive

If the diagnostic software fails, it simply means there is an issue related to the hardware of the drive. If in that case, there is nothing you can do except to replace it.

Remember to make a back up of your files before replacing it.

6. PC Fan Not Working

Another common computer hardware problem here. However, people usually get panic when the fan stops working.

In reality, that it is normal behavior for the CPU fan to stop spinning when the CPU temperatures are low or you are not running any power-hungry applications.

In most cases, it’s happening due to the motherboard, and not the fan itself.

Solution:

1. Determine the root cause

As mentioned, the motherboard is usually the main reason why the fan stops spinning. This could happen because the fan isn’t installed well on the board or there’s a problem on the board wires.

To check this, simply connect the fan to the external power source and see if it’s still working. If not, then the problem is with the fan itself.

2. Assess the fan

Three common issues related to the fan are:

  1. CPU Fan Save Dusts
  2.  The Bearing of the CPU Fan is Stuck
  3. CPU Fan is Broken

For the first case, you can simply clean it with a cloth. For the second and third cases, which are the more serious case here, you need to hire professional computer repair service to replace the part.

7. Printer Isn’t Printing

There are many reasons why your printer won’t print, so start with the basics such as checking to see whether there is an error message or warning light on the printer.

Make sure there is paper in the tray(s), check the ink or toner cartridges aren’t empty, the USB cable is plugged in or the printer is connected to Wi-Fi.

The solution provided below will help you solve most of the underlying issues.

Solution:

1. Restart the printer

By simply cancel all the active printing work and restart the printer can do many wonders.

This is because the printer might be overloaded or the new ink cartridges are being installed. So to get the things in place, simply restart the device.

2. Check for issues on the computer

Every printer has its own driver and is connected to the computer. So should there be any issues related to it, the system will display that, along with the device troubleshooting mode.

Mostly things can be fixed at this point. Make sure your printer driver is up to date and is functioning normally.

8. Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD)

A Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) — also referred to as “blue screen,” “stop error,” or just “system crash” — will happen after a critical error that the system is unable to process and repair automatically.

Usually, you may see a blue screen while upgrading to a new version of Windows, during startup, or suddenly while actively using the computer, and the most frustrating thing is that it’s just a screen with a blue background and a sad character face without enough information to figure out the problem.

Solutions:

1. Check that there is enough space for updates

BSOD is usually a problem occurring due to corrupted files, file system failures and system spaces.

Sometimes, your system space may get filled during the update, causing some of the files to be missing, hence resulted in a corrupted file.

2. Scan your system for viruses

Some viruses can cause a Blue Screen of Death, especially ones that infect the master boot record (MBR) or boot sector.

3. Update your hardware drivers

Most Blue Screens of Death are hardware or driver related, so updated drivers could fix the cause of the STOP error.

4. Return BIOS settings to their default levels.

An overclocked or misconfigured BIOS can cause all sorts of random issues, including BSODs.

5. Perform diagnostic tests on all hardware you’re able to test

It’s highly likely that the root cause of any given Blue Screen of Death is a failing piece of hardware

9. Computer Freezes

A slow or aged computer can freeze from time to time. The main reason behind this is due to lack of enough resources.

Before regularly encounter this problem, your Windows should start becoming slow first. To fix that, you can read the above point.

10. System Automatically Restart

Last but not least for common computer problems here, and quite the most frustrated one too!

There are many reasons for this problem. It can be a result of various issues, including corrupted drivers, faulty hardware, and malware infection, among others.

It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what keeps your computer in a reboot loop. In most cases, it usually happens after the Windows update.

Solutions:

1. Deleting bad registry files

Before you do this, you have to be completely confident that you can complete the process without making any mistake.

Keep in mind that the Windows Registry is a sensitive database. Even misplacing a comma can cause damages to your computer! As such, I suggest you opt for a one-click solution like Auslogics Registry Cleaner.

This freeware automatically searches for duplicate or corrupted registry files.

2. Updating drivers

When your drivers are outdated, it is possible for your computer to get stuck in a reboot loop. This is because your devices are not able to properly communicate with your system.

As such, it is important to check if your drivers are up to date

3. Checking hardware issues

In some cases, a computer may keep on restarting because of faulty hardware. The three main hardware to check on are:

  1. RAM
  2. CPU
  3. External Devices

4. Scanning for viruses or malware

It is possible that your computer has been infected by a virus or malware – that is why it keeps on restarting. You can run a complete virus scan by using Windows Defender.

On the other hand, you can also opt for 3rd party programs like AVG antivirus or Trend.

Conclusion

And that’s all for the top 10 common computer problems and their solutions. These problems can occur in day-to-day life and can be very frustrating.

Some of them can be easily fixed by yourself, whereas in some cases, these common problems can prove to be serious ones.

If you find yourself struggling to fix these, feel free to contact us for free technology assessment