Technology is amazing when it works. Unfortunately, more often than not, our computers don’t work the way we would like them to. Sometimes, we can chock it up to our own impatience or maybe the age of the computer, but there really is no greater feeling than using a computer that responds as fast as you can click — you know, when you don’t have to sit and wait, working on your patience, for each page to load. Slow or malfunctioning computers are the source of a lot of stress and frustration because we are only as quick as the tools we use allow. In a digital age, computers are responsible for managing many jobs, and it is very unlikely that you don’t use a computer on any given day. To help ease some of your frustrations, here we will discuss a few common computer problems and how to fix them.

#1 Your computer won’t turn on or complete the start-up.

The day we all dread, the day we hit the power button on our computer and nothing happens. There are two very important things to do in this event. One: don’t panic — easier said than done, sure, but the chances of a complete hard drive wipeout are slim to none — even though you can’t get to them right now, chances are good that all of your files are okay. Two: check the power source! Of course, as soon as you saw no signs of life, you probably did this step before you started to panic — kudos. Make sure that the AC power adapter is seated correctly and connected to the power source. Make sure that the problem isn’t in the outlet and is actually an issue with the computer itself. If your computer seems to be receiving power — there are lights present or you can hear the fans power on when you press the power button — but the screen will not come on or it powers on and immediately powers off, this requires some more troubleshooting to identify the problem. Take your computer to a trusted IT service company right away for more troubleshooting. The bad news is, it may be a hardware issue; the good news is, it may not have affected your hard drive.

#2 You are getting a message about “missing files” or “DLL file is missing.”

If you are having difficulty accessing a program or file due to a “not found” or “missing” error, don’t worry, yet. DLL errors are fairly common with Microsoft operating systems and can cause problems because there are so many DLL file types that can all be potential issues. If you do a search engine query about it, you may find that one of the suggested solutions is to download a DLL file to replace your missing or corrupt file — do NOT do this! If you already have, delete it now. Downloading a DLL file from a DLL download site will not fix your file and can introduce more damage to your computer. First, check your recycle bin to make sure that you didn’t accidentally delete the file, which is a common issue. If you did delete it, simply reinstate it on the computer. Second, restart your computer. Sometimes, a simple restart is enough to fix a file error. Next, run a virus/malware scan to detect any hostile programs that are disguising themselves as DLL files. Next, if you are having problems when you run a specific program, reinstall the program if you can. Next, check for any updates. If you haven’t allowed your computer to update in awhile, let it update. If you are having problems in a specific program, update drivers related to that program. The next steps are to attempt to correct Windows by getting updates, reinstalling, or clean installing the programs again. If none of this works, it may be due to a hardware problem, and your best bet is to take it to a trusted IT service for diagnosing and repair.

#3 Your computer displays the blue screen of death.

We’ve all seen it, the image that evokes sheer panic — the blue screen of death (BSoD). The BSoD is a STOP error that occurs when your computer has an issue that is so severe that Windows must completely stop running. When you see this screen, try to remember not to panic; your computer is not dead yet, and there is hope. Generally, the BSoD will display the STOP error code that has caused the corruption and can lead you to its cure. If you are not an expert code reader, you can look up what the code means (or call your IT guy!). One of the first steps you can take is to undo whatever you did leading up to the BSoD. Did you install a new driver? Uninstall it! If the BSoD allows, choose “start using last known good configuration” to access your hardware and uninstall recent changes. Next, check your storage settings, make sure there is plenty of space left on your primary operating system. If you do not have the storage space available, programs can present with critical errors that can cause a STOP error. Once you can access your computer, run a scan for viruses and malware to ensure that the STOP error is not due to some malicious content. If your computer has the storage capacity, run any updates available to see if it fixes file or program corruptions. Make sure that all internal cables, cards, and components are installed and seated correctly and that your computer is starting up with the minimum necessary requirements. If this does not resolve your BSoD, call your trusted IT service company for diagnostics and repair.

Stay tuned to part two of this installment, where we will address other common computer problems and how to fix them. In the meantime, if you need IT support services that you can trust, call the experts at New York IT Service, Inc.