Gone are the days of unreliable and overheating laptops. Over the last decade, computer manufacturers have pretty much perfected the ‘art’ of making stable laptops; even software – whether MacOS or Windows – has become a lot less buggy.
Nevertheless, users can occasionally be faced with a laptop that won’t turn on or requires repair. In this article we are talking about the five most common problems that can plague a laptop.
Don’t believe the hype that laptop hardware cannot be fixed! Most laptops have components
that can be repaired or replaced.
Top 5 computer problems (for PCs and Macs)
- How to fix a computer that won’t turn on?
A laptop that doesn’t turn on when you hit the power button can be a sign that it is not receiving power. It may be because the power cord is disconnected and the battery is out of juice. If that’s the case, connect your laptop to a wall outlet and look for a light on the charger or the laptop to see if it’s charging. Let it charge for a few minutes then try turning it on again.
Letting your battery drain completely will reduce its capacity and shorten its lifespan faster than normal.
If this doesn’t work, it could be a sign that the battery is not connected or an electrical fault has occurred. In that case, trying to power up the laptop can cause a short circuit and damage internal components.
- Laptop turns on but screen is blank
This is another common problem we hear about on both Windows and Mac notebooks. Click the power button and you can see indicator lights flick on, maybe the backlit keyboard lights up, but the screen remains blank. This can be caused by a software bug (like a new program you installed) or a hardware failure.
- Software – Software can interfere with core display drivers and cause the screen to remain blank. In this case, try restarting the laptop in ‘Safe mode’. This loads only the most basic programs and basically lets you confirm the screen is fine.
Windows 10: Turn on and turn off the laptop with the power button 3 times; then press the power button to start Windows 10 in recovery mode
MacOS: Press the power button then immediately press and hold the Shift key; once you see a login window release Shift to start the MacBook in safe mode
- Hardware – The ribbon cable connecting the display to the motherboard is known to get damaged. Pressure on the hinge, drops and even regular use can damage the connectors. Do NOT try and fix this yourself! Get in touch with a professional to fix the problem
- “My computer is slow”
A laptop that was running fine but has become slow all of a sudden may be because of a number of reasons:
- Virus, malware, spyware – The laptop has been infected by malicious software. Normally, there isn’t an obvious sign of this, except the computer booting and operating slowly. Visit a computer repair professional near you.
- Software update – Sometimes certain major updates to Windows and Mac laptops can cause slowdowns. As manufacturers add features and graphically intensive elements to the operating system, a computer can start to feel sluggish.
- Hard drive full – Every computer reserves a certain amount of temporary hard drive storage to create a ‘paging file’, which is an extension of RAM. If the hard drive is full, the paging file will be small and the computer will not be able to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
- New software – Loading anti-virus software or installing new programs can slow down a computer; remember, every app you install may run silently in the background taxing your CPU.
- Connected to Wi-Fi but no internet
Has it happened that your laptop is connected to Wi-Fi but web pages don’t load, though everything else in the house seems to be working fine? Whether you have a Windows laptop or MacBook chances are that you have faced this before. This can happen due to incorrect configuration of the network on your computer or may be something to do with the web browser.
If other devices are working fine, your Wi-Fi network is probably not the culprit. Try removing the Wi-Fi network from your system and adding it afresh. This can renew all the settings for the network on your computer. If web pages still don’t load, open your browser and clear out your cache and cookies.
Unfortunately networking problems can be hard to diagnose (and may happen intermittently). You will have to bring your laptop for repair.
- Keyboard making a clicking noise
With time and use laptop keyboards can become sticky and noisy. Dust, debris and food can get lodged under the key and interfere with key operation. With desktops you may be able to shake it lose by shaking the keyboard or replacing the keyboard itself; not so with a laptop. Bring your computer for MacBook repair or Windows repair. Do not stick tweezers or a screwdriver under the key – you will get an electrical shock!
MacBooks’ butterfly keyboards have been beset by problems forcing users to get their Mac repaired.
How do you troubleshoot a computer problem?
For a lay user, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to troubleshooting a computer problem. That said, Windows 10 and MacOS offer a number of in-built tools to refresh software and revert the laptop to a previously stable state. However, if that doesn’t work, you will have to bring your laptop to friendly computer pros to get your Windows repaired or your MacBook fixed.
Why a professional repair person is able to fix your computer and you are not?
We get asked this question very often. The answer is simple: specialized diagnostic tools. As a consumer, you are trying to fix a non-functioning laptop with no special tools or training. Our professionals on the other hand have access to the latest diagnostic software, test benches and hardware to test every part of your system individually. Call ASK Computers today and find out how inexpensive it is to have your laptop repaired.