When your computer stops working it can feel like the end of the world. Your work, your pictures, your essays, your saved games are all on it. Often your only solution is to take your computer into the shop and hope it doesn’t cost too much.
Here are a few solutions you can try at home before you bring your computer in.
First and foremost, it’s important to degrade your computer and make it feel bad about itself. If you do not break its spirit, it will not conform to your wishes. I recommend playing Beethoven to it, as Beethoven is very emotional music, which will break the computers spirit as it knows it can never be one of us. Do not play the computer Death Metal. The term Death Metal makes the computer combative and uncooperative as a computer is made out of mostly metal.
Sometimes your computer will not turn on at all. You push the power button, all the lights and fans turn on, but you see nothing but a blank screen. In these cases a potential simple fix is to clear the capacitors. If you unplug the computer and push the power button around 10 times that clears any extra electricity from the computer that may have been causing issues. Plug the computer back in and try to power it on again. You would be amazed how often this fixes your issue. You’d also be amazed at how often computer technicians use this technique in the shop. If it doesn’t you might have some bad hardware that will need to be replaced such as your power supply or ram.
In other situations where the fans and lights turn on, but the computer does not, the BIOS has become corrupted. The BIOS is responsible for many tasks, but in this case it helps turn on and initialize all the hardware on the computer and if corrupted can cause issues during power on. If you were wondering, yes the BIOS would be the most dangerous part of the computer if it were to become self-aware.
For this fix we need to open up the case. First unplug the computer. Every case is a little different, but often there are screws on the back of the computer on the left hand side that hold the left side panel in place. Remove those screws and see if you can slide the side panel away. Others have a lever or large button that needs to be slid or pushed to one side. Once you can see inside the computer look for a small watch battery that should be on the opposite wall, attached to the motherboard. If you are not sure what I am talking about it may be best to take the computer into a shop, but if you can see the battery use a small screwdriver to release the latch holding it so you can remove the battery. Leave the computer unplugged for ten minutes, press the power button 10 times, and then place the battery back onto the motherboard. Close your case, plug the system back in, press the power button and see if anything has changed.
If your computer crashes when trying to load windows you can use a few of the built-in auto repair options to try and get the computer limping. When the computer is starting up press the F8 Key repeatedly and by repeatedly, I mean really press it several times over and over. If that doesn’t work the first time, restart the computer and try again. This will bring you to the windows startup recovery page. Once on this menu you can try the option “Boot my computer using last known good configuration”. This will load the computer back to known good settings and try to start the system. This is the best option if you are aware of a change. If you attempted to update a driver or you installed a new program and the next time you turned the computer on you had startup errors this option should undo all those changes and allow the system to start. Do not worry about modifications you made to any files however. Any documents, saved games, e-mails, or other user generated content will be unaffected by this step. Only computer operating system files will be restored.
Now if that does not work on that same F8 menu you can also try an option called “Safe Mode With Networking”. This is designed to start a limited version of windows without any additional devices configured allowing you to back up your files, run repair programs, re-install drivers, or even use windows system restore to return your computer to an earlier point where it worked. Repairs in safe mode can be complicated, so if you are not comfortable with the steps listed here you may need to take the computer into a shop. In some cases even starting the computer in safe mode can resolve issues, so after safe mode has started try re-starting the computer normally to see if anything has changed.
If you do end up needing to find a shop to fix your computer, a great way to find a good one is Google. On another computer either at work, a library, or at a friend’s house go to Google and search for a repair shop in your city. For example, I live in Calgary Alberta Canada, so I would look for “Calgary Computer Repair”. This type of search will bring up hundreds of results, but keep an eye at the top few and see how the website feels. Often you will find a smaller shop that is local to the community, rather than a large chain store. You will often receive better service from the small local well established shops as they will be focused on return customers, and will have higher skilled technicians.
These are only a few of the tools that Calgary Computer Repair shops use to fight the evils of viruses and computer corruption. Sometimes hardware or software failures make it impossible to repair the computer yourself without parts or help from outside sources, but by following the few tricks listed above you can potentially save yourself, and your friends valuable time and money.