Frequently Asked Questions
Computers are essential to your business and are the backbone of much of your operation. No matter how hard you try, problems and hiccups with these computers and their related systems are bound to happen. Whether it’s hardware or software related, this unnecessary downtime can be costly and annoying. Many of these problems have simple solutions and are no cause for alarm. For everything else, our computer support help desk is available 24/7/365 to resolve all of your network and technology needs.
Below, we have listed 16 commonly encountered computer problems that can typically be resolved with some generalized troubleshooting so you can get back to business.
- My Computer Won’t Start
- My Computer Keeps Restarting
- Can’t Log in
- The Screen is Frozen
- The Blue Screen of Death
- Computer is Slow
- Slow Internet
- Wireless Network Keeps Disconnecting
- Printer Won’t Print
- I Accidentally Deleted Some Files
- Download Speed is Slow
- Can’t Open Email Attachments
- My Computer Won’t Recognize my USB
- My Computer is Making Noises
- My Browser Looks Weird
- My Phones are Down
A computer that suddenly shuts off or has difficulty starting up could have problems with a failing power supply. Check to ensure that your computer is plugged in properly, then test the outlet with another functional device to identify if it is the machine or outlet that is causing the issue.
Hardware problems can often be difficult to diagnose and solve. First, make sure that you aren’t just getting the latest set of Windows updates, which can automatically restart your computer as part of the installation process. If your computer continues to restart, be sure that the fans are clean and clear of any dust and debris as many modern computers have safeguards in place that will shut your computer down to prevent overheating. Otherwise, listen for any strange noises and be cognizant that your computer may be under attack from adware or malware. If this is the case, I would recommend giving our computer support help desk a call.
This is one of the most common issues we help solve. Make sure you haven’t left your caps lock on and that you have made all the appropriate keystrokes. If this does not solve the problem your password may have expired, or your account may have been locked due to too many failed login attempts. Thankfully, many services also have a password reset function that will allow you to remedy this problem, but other services may have layered security which could make recovery more difficult.
When your computer freezes, you may be forced to reboot your computer and risk losing any unsaved work. Freezes can be a sign of low memory, improperly installed or uninstalled software, corrupt or missing files, or spyware. Press and hold the power button until the computer turns off, wait for a few seconds, then restart it. It can also be beneficial to entirely unplug your computer from its power supply while holding the power button to perform a hard restart. Once your computer is back up and running attempt to identify the cause of the shutdown before starting any new work.
The blue screen of death, otherwise known as a STOP error, strikes fear into the hearts of computer users everywhere. However, all is not lost, a simple reboot can often fix the blue screen of death long enough to recover the data on your computer if you have been saving regularly. When your computer displays a STOP error it is usually caused by an underlying hardware or driver issue that will need to be addressed by an IT service professional. It is helpful to tell your IT support helpdesk what you did just before the error occurred so they can properly fix or diagnose the problem
If your computer is slower than normal, you can often fix the problem simply by clearing space on your computer’s hard drive. Old files, unused applications, and too many open browser pages can overtax your machine and cause it to slow down. External hard drives are great storage solutions and will help your computer run faster. You can also install a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware tools, along with regular registry scans to help better protect and speed up your machine.
Spyware and viruses are the two main causes of slow internet service. Proper firewalls and antivirus software can work wonders in steering you away from unsafe websites and preventing your computer from picking up these unwanted hitchhikers, but there is no guarantee. Never download anything from an untrusted or unfamiliar site and never click on any unknown links.
While overloaded routers do happen, it is much more likely that the wireless router is not properly connected. First, try unplugging and following the restart procedure for your router and ensure you are following the proper sign in procedure for your network. Also check to ensure that your internet is not down and your company login credentials have not changed. If all else fails, these issues can be solved quickly with a call to your internet service provider or our computer help desk.
To start with the basics, let’s make sure your printer is properly connected, that it has enough paper and ink or toner to print and that it doesn’t have a paper jam. Next, you can check your printer’s print queue by looking for the printer icon in the system tray and selecting it. The print queue shows you the status of each print request as well as the overall status of your printer and its connection status. The print que can be your best window into solving your printer problems and your best tool for helping our computer support help desk diagnose your issues.
First, find a quiet place and do your best to relax, this is not the end of the world. Try to look in your computer’s recycle bin or find for your latest backup (which you should be doing regularly). As a means of last resort check for what windows calls “Shadow Copies” which are copies of your document that save automatically. If these methods do not work, stop using your computer immediately and contact our computer help desk, as they can often recover files directly from your computer’s hard drive.
As is the case with slow internet, spyware and viruses can greatly affect your download speed and too many people on your network can eat up most of your bandwidth. The first step to solving this problem is to ensure that the browser you are using is up to date. The next step is to check your download speeds on a separate computer or a different browser, if there is one available. If these methods still don’t help, try resetting your router and modem with the reset button or unplug them for a couple seconds. Finally, if you are at your wits end call our computer help desk and our technicians can help you properly diagnose and fix your problems.
If you are having trouble opening an attachment, the problem can often be attributed to not having the software required to view the file. If you don’t have Adobe Reader or another PDF reading program, you won’t be able to open or download a PDF file. This is usually a quick fix that involves downloading a PDF reader. But be weary of what you download, thorough vetting and proper virus scans should be performed before you download anything from the internet. Contact your IT service provider or our computer help desk to ensure you are downloading the right software from a trusted and reputable source.
The first step is to insert the device in another USB port. If this works then you know the first port you tried must be either dirty, which can usually be fixed with some computer duster or a clean toothbrush, or the port is entirely defective. If your USB device does not function in any of your ports, try another device to ensure your computer is working properly before you attempt any more in-depth troubleshooting methods.
Some hard drives are designed to emit noise when certain hardware components are not functioning properly or failing entirely. Computers are mechanical devices and do have a limited lifespan, so if your devices are growing in age be sure to have a backup or disaster recovery plan to ensure your important files and sensitive information are not lost forever. If your computer does start to act up and make noise stop what you are doing, save immediately and call our computer help desk right away to help prevent further damage.
Browser hijackers are a particularly effective kind of malware. These programs can take over your Web browser and redirect your web searches to fake pages meant to steal your personal information or to further infect your system. Installing proper anti-virus software is a great way to ensure that you, and your personal information, is properly protected while online. If your browser has already been compromised, contact our computer help desk for immediate assistance.
The ability to make and receive calls is absolutely vital to your business operations. If the business phone lines are down your entire staff can be cut off from clients, suppliers and support. Phones that work intermittently or go dead entirely can be hard to diagnose, but there is a solution to your phone service problems. Voice Over Internet Protocol, commonly abbreviated to “VoIP” is the best combination of hard-line voice quality and modern cost efficiency in a simple and easy to use package. Visit our VoIP Page to learn more.