Common Computer Problems

The first thing you need to do is save any important data that you have open that is currently unsaved. The next thing you need to do is call me immediately as this is going to be a hardware problem of some type and we will need to fix this or it will get worse.
The first step to fixing a slow computer is to verify that your machine is the actual source of the problem. Videos that seem to buffer forever, and websites that take ages to load, may not be your computer’s fault. If the problem is your PC, check whether you have plenty of free space on the hard drive holding your operating system. Windows needs room to create files while your system is running. If your hard drive is maxed out, performance suffers. Now is the perfect time to clear some space.
Speedtest.net is your best friend when you're having connectivity problems. Run a speed test to see what your download and upload speeds are—ideally they should be at least 50 percent of your Internet service provider’s advertised speeds, with a ping under 100 milliseconds. If the speeds seem solid, make sure that you aren’t inadvertently downloading or uploading anything. Many torrent downloading programs run in the background and minimize into the system tray instead of the taskbar.
Hardware problems are hard to diagnose and solve. First, confirm that you aren’t just getting the latest wave of Windows updates, which can automatically restart your computer during installation. Then work on updating all of your critical system drivers. Your graphics card, motherboard, and network card drivers are crucial.
If you’re not running your Web browser and are still getting pop-up ads on your desktop, you’ve most likely installed adware—a program that displays unwanted ads. Although benevolent adware exists, most of the time adware is up to no good. Getting rid of it isn't easy. The easiest way is to give us a call and let us find exactly what nasty malware is on your computer.

More Common Problems

Browser hijackers are a particularly nasty breed of malware. Such programs take over your Web browser and can stealthily redirect your Google searches and other queries to fake pages meant to steal your personal information or to further infect your system. Running a real-time antivirus utility is the best way to stay safe. If your browser has already been hijacked, uninstall the browser and use your antivirus program in conjunction with Malwarebytes to remove the intruder.
Spotty wireless connections can be a puzzler. Is it your computer? Your router? Your ISP? Try a few things before calling your Internet service provider. Confirm that your computer is within range of your wireless router. Weak signals mean weak connections. Next, make sure your PC’s wireless card has the latest drivers. Try letting Windows troubleshoot for you by right-clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar and selecting Troubleshoot problems.
Sometimes the biggest problems have the easiest fixes. According to support technicians, the lion’s share of issues are due to an incorrect system clock. Website security certificates sync up with your computer’s clock. Old computers in particular run the risk of having a dead CMOS battery—the watch battery in your computer that keeps its system clock ticking. Click the clock in the system tray and select Change date and time settings to correct any issues.
Let’s assume that your printer’s drivers are up-to-date, and that it has enough paper and ink or toner to print. Try turning the printer off and on. Unplug the printer and plug it back in. Check your printer’s print queue by looking for the printer icon in the system tray and double-clicking it. The print queue shows you the status of each job as well as the general status of your printer. Ensure that ‘Use Printer Offline’ isn’t checked. Sometimes, printing while your printer is turned off can cause Windows to set your printer to work offline, and that can stall jobs sent later.
Before you call tech support, make sure that the software you’re trying to run is compatible with your operating system. Older software might not function on Windows 8, and an app created for Mac OS X definitely won’t run on your Windows PC. A 32-bit program might run on your 64-bit operating system, but it doesn’t work the other way around. If an online game balks, you might be missing the required plug-ins—Java and Flash are the usual culprits. Most browsers will alert you to install these items if necessary.