Common PC problems and how to fix them

Zach Smith


In today’s computer-centric world, many problems can arise and wreak havoc on computers. Malware, slow processer speed, strange noises and vibrations among others can interfere with computer usage.

There is hope, however, as many of these problems have simple solutions.

If a computer is running slow: this problem could be caused by something as simple as a cluttered hard disk to something more serious such as a virus.

The first step when experiencing this problem is to run a complete scan on the system with an anti-virus program (such as Norton or McAfee). If no viruses are detected, a computer might be in need of a disk cleanup.

To run a disk cleanup on a Windows-based PC, click on the “start” button, and then click on: All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup. If this still doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to defragment the hard disk.

To defragment a hard disk click on “start” then, click on: All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.

If the computer reboots or turns itself off randomly: This problem is usually caused by an issue with the computer’s hardware.

In many cases the cooling fan is dirty or defective, or the power supply is dying. In these cases, the computer is automatically shutting itself off so that it can cool.

If you feel an unusual amount of heat radiating from the computer, clean the fan and make sure it’s functioning properly. If the fan is working, check the power supply.

Be sure to check that all cables are connected tightly as loose cables can also cause this problem.

If the computer is emitting strange sounds or vibrations. This problem mainly is caused by a hardware malfunction. A computer is made of hundreds of parts and it’s not uncommon for one of these parts to go haywire.

Unplug the PC, remove the computer case and look for any signs of overheating and loose or deformed components. If you can’t find and fix the problem, you may need to take your PC to a computer technician.

If you suspect the computer may have a virus: the first step in solving this problem is to run a scan on your computer with antivirus software.

Even if your anti-virus software doesn’t get rid of the virus, it should at least identify it for you.

If your anti-virus software tells you your computer has a virus, but is unable to get rid of it for you, you need to search the internet to find more information about the virus (preferably with a different computer, so you don’t get attacked again while doing this).

The next step is to download drivers or spybot-ad-aware programs to help you get rid of the virus; or delete it manually. Finally, run another virus scan to make sure the virus has been eliminated.

If your web browser or homepage has changed, seemingly by its self: you are probably the victim of hijacking.

You get hijacked when spyware is installed on your computer from something such as a link in an e-mail. The spyware then installs JavaScript in your web browser which allows the spyware to change your browser settings and change things such as your default home page.

If you suspect that your PC has been hijacked, make sure your anti-virus/anti-spyware removal software has the latest updates installed, and then immediately disconnect the Internet by unplugging your modem (so that your computer won’t be attacked while you are fixing it).

Run a full system scan with your anti-virus software and then shut off the computer. Turn the computer back on, and run another full system scan. Reconnect the internet, and run an Internet-based scan. In addition, you can try using different web browsers.

Although there are many tech problems you may face, the vast majority of them are easily solvable if you have the right information on how to fix them.



The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

Common PC problems and how to fix them

by Zach Smith time to read: 3 min