Other than outsourced tech support representatives, computer gurus, and the geek squad staff, most users are baffled when they experience a technical problem on a PC or notebook.
This is due to the average user's either limited or not present knowledge of dealing with a technical problem outside the small notion that if it doesn't get fixed right way and on its own, it will grow exceedingly irritating. Here we have compiled a list of the most common technical problems laptop users run into. Hopefully this could prevent a few readers from waiting hours on hold for live support from an agent or paying over $100 to leave your notebook overnight somewhere the next time your laptop is on the fritz.
1. Why won't my laptop turn on?
Are you holding down that power button and the notebook simply won't turn on? It is quite likely the problem is your notebook's battery, although it is possible other hardware malfunctioning is responsible.
First check if the battery light is illuminated -- this should always be on when your notebook is plugged in. Did you allow for a full charge? If this light is not on, the first thing you must verify is that your power adapter is plugged in at both ends with no interruption.
If the light is red, that means it is low on battery and is not ready to perform a startup. The battery does need time to charge and should be left plugged in for a few hours to allow it to charge fully. Double check to make sure the battery is inserted properly into the laptop.
If it appears there is still no charge, try replacing the AC adapter with a new one as sometimes a short in your adapter can prevent your battery from being charged. If you are plugged in and this light is not illuminated it may be time to replace that battery. Sometimes batteries are damaged permanently after being dropped, exposed to extreme temperatures, corroded by water damage, or just overused without being shut down and given time to rest.
If your battery's light is on but your notebook is not powering up then your problem is not be with your battery and you may need to update the hardware within your notebook. Check to see if the notebook power light is illuminated. It should shine a green light when the laptop is turned on and the battery has juice.
If your notebook refuses to turn on, you may have damaged the motherboard and the best thing to do is to take it to a professional technician. You don't want to jumble and mess with hardware you aren't fully familiar with as you don't want to compound your problems.
2. How come my laptop doesn't run as fast as it used to?
It's true after months or even years of adding software, photos, music, videos, documents, downloads, and other innumerable application you may notice your notebook does not have the responsiveness it once had. One way of returning your notebook to its former performance speeds is by defragging your system.
This is a simple process that once initiated seeks out loose data and chunks of widespread information into more densely organized and tight-knit groups. This allows for faster and easier processing for your hard drive, and will enable other applications to run more smoothly. Defragmenting is important in the upkeep and health of your notebooks.
If you are using windows, click on your start tab, initiate Programs, mouse above Accessories, System Tools, and there you will find the 'Disk Defragmenter'. Another course of action to achieve greater laptop running speeds is by running anti-spyware and anti-virus software and eliminating any malware that may be slowing down your notebook's performance.
Some spyware and viruses destroy your laptop's ability to run smoothly. To have your laptop running faster at startup it is a good idea to check the several programs that are set to auto-run at startup. You can check these programs by clicking the start button, then run, and type "msconfig" into the textbox.
Here you can uncheck any programs that you don't find necessary to have auto-launched at startup. This will allow for a more rapid booting process, similar to when you first purchased your notebook.
3. Why can't I get online?
No matter what your internet connection is, first make sure that all of your equipment is installed properly. Here are some things to check before calling Tech Support.
If you are using wireless - Make sure that you are using the latest up-to-date software for your device. You must be using a proper username. A common solution is to Double check that your wireless settings have not been changed (ie. SSID numbers, wireless channels, WEP or WPAs.
Check that your wireless devices have all the same settings. Even if everything is up-to-date and connected properly, it may still be impossible to connect to the internet if your signal strength is too low. Check that you are within range of your routers wireless internet or that there is WiFi nearby. Also check your WiFi access point which may be locked requiring a password.
If you are using dial-up - Make sure that you have plugged your phone cord into both the modem and the wall. Also, test to make sure your phone cord is operating with no shorts. Make sure you have typed in the proper username and password and that the caps lock is not on.
Check to see that you are dialing the proper number for your system to connect to the internet. Another problem causing situation that can prevent dial-up connection is if your call waiting function is not disabled.
4. How do I stop pop-ups?
Most servers have built-in pop-up blockers in line to prevent being overrun with tedious ads and pop-ups but it remains a common nuisance for many. If your problem is totally out of control it may be essential that you wipe your system clean and allow your notebook to go back to square one.
Quite often the problem these days is that despite pop-up blockers that Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari all have in place to allow for an undisturbed online experience, there are always newer malware being created to get around these blockades in order to bombard you with unwanted ads and viruses.
The best thing to do if this becomes a problem is to have antivirus and antispyware sweeps to seek out and destroy the source of the problem.
5. Why doesn't my laptop's battery hold a charge as long as it used to?
Many of our readers are frustrated by their laptop battery's insubstantial durability and want to know why their battery can no longer hold a charge the way it used to and why is it they have to spend more time plugged into the wall. What many people don't know about their notebook batteries is that they must exercise or "be trained" to work at their optimum functioning.
With standard functioning, laptop batteries should last at least 3--5 hours. Certain applications will decrease the batteries lifespan and there are several things you can do to conserve your batteries length of performance, such as operating in power save move or turning off the backlight.
One way to flex your batteries abilities is allowing its power to drain fully and then be recharged to its entire capacity. This takes several hours but is highly beneficial to your battery's overall life. After much use, batteries do tend to lose juice and drain quicker than they once did. If this becomes problematic, it may be necessary to purchase a new battery for your notebook.