If you own a computer, you’re going to face hardware-related computer repair issues at least once in your life. The causes behind hardware problems vary greatly and can make you feel hopeless, especially if you need to use the computer to meet a deadline. Before you scour the phone directory for the nearest computer repair services, try the following hardware troubleshooting tips for some of the most common computer repair problems.
Computer Won’t Turn On
Is it plugged in? Did you try turning it off and back on again? A computer failing to turn on is one of the most irritating and common hardware problems people encounter. While some of the troubleshooting steps may seem mind-numbingly obvious, even computer geniuses forget them.
Cord management: Take a look at the back of the computer case and make sure all the cords are firmly secured in the appropriate slots – particularly the power cord and the cord for the monitor. Follow the cords to the power strip or the electrical outlet to check whether the plugs are loose.
Power strips: If your computer is plugged into a power strip or surge protector, make sure it’s turned on and receiving power. If the switch doesn’t normally light up to indicate that it’s on, plug an electronic device that works into it, like a radio. If you suspect that the power strip no longer works, try plugging the computer into a different power strip or into an electrical outlet to see if it boots.
Blown fuse: A fuse in an outlet can blow for different reasons. Try plugging the computer into an outlet that works, and see if it boots up.
Power switches and buttons: In addition to making sure the switch on the power strip is flipped the right way, look at the back of the computer case to make sure the power switch is at the “on” position. Do the same with the button at the front of the computer case.
Monitor: If your monitor doesn’t work, it can seem as if your whole computer doesn’t work. If you see a blank screen when you try to turn on the computer, verify that the monitor is on. Look at the front of the computer case to see if its LED lights are illuminated, or listen closely to hear the fans in the computer whir. Double-check the cords that go into the monitor to see if they’re secured well. If you do hear or see that the computer turns on but the monitor’s screen is blank, a monitor repair or replacement may be the solution.
General Hardware Issues
Check the wires: If you have problems with an external piece of hardware, like a printer or scanner, make sure the connections to the computer and power supply are secure.
Consult troubleshooting guides: The software programs you install with hardware components often have troubleshooting guides. Open the guide and follow the prompts to see if you can find a solution.
Perform driver updates: If the drivers for any of the hardware components are out of date, go to the manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers.
Use the device manager: Open your computer’s “Device Manager” screen by pressing the Windows (or Start) button and the R key at the same time. In the text box that appears, type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter or click on “OK.” The next screen that appears lists the hardware components on your computer. Expand each section by clicking on the “+” symbol and look for question marks or yellow flags, which indicate a possible problem. If you do see a yellow flag or question mark, right click on the name of the component and select “Properties.” A small window will appear, and you may see the nature of the problem and a solution in the “Device Status” section. If there are no instructions, try:
- Updating the driver.
- Disabling and re-enabling the device.
- Uninstalling and re-installing the drivers.
If you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work, it’s time for some extra help. If you’re having issues with a particular component, like the printer, contact the manufacturer’s customer service office to receive technical support over the phone or via a remote computer repair service. Otherwise, stop into your local computer repair shop so the pros can pinpoint the problem and get your system up and running again.