Computers are a lot like our bodies in certain ways. They’re always multitasking, and most of what’s happening takes place beneath the surface so the casual observer is never fully aware just how much they do.
But just like our bodies, computers also require repairs and maintenance from time to time and eventually come to an end. So how can you tell if it’s time to take Old Faithful in for a tune-up?
Here are 5 signs that it’s time to get your computer looked at, perhaps even replaced.
1. Software crashes/malfunctions
If your programs and software are frequently crashing then you may want to have your computer looked at. When software runs into problems, it causes your computer to slow down, freeze, crash or send error messages.
If it’s just one program then it probably isn’t a dying computer, but if several programs are acting up and you keep getting the same problems even after rebooting and checking for viruses, then it’s time to take it in for a diagnostic.
2. Hardware glitches
Is your mouse malfunctioning? Are you seeing strange lines or dots on your computer? When you plug in a USB, does your computer not notice that it’s there?
These are all signs that your computer is on it’s way out. But fear not! Because you should first check to make sure that your mouse, keyboard, and monitor cables are all firmly connected. You could just have a loose cable or USB.
If the problem still persists then you could need a new motherboard, power supply, or graphics card.
3. Loud hardware and fans
Loud noises coming from your computer are never a good sign.
If your fan is abnormally loud it could be that your system has too much dirt and dust inside of it. This can be remedied by taking apart the case and using a can of compressed air to clean each component. With older computers though, you’ll probably just need to get a new fan. They’re not expensive though.
If your hard drive is making loud grinding, clicking, or beeping noises you should take it in immediately because this could result in total data loss. What’s often the problem in these situations is that there can be dust and debris in the gears, or in between the platters.
4. Boot failures
When you startup your computer and get a message like, “disk boot failure” or the computer stops while loading Windows and reboots on it’s own this is a sign that either your hard drive is failing or your operating system has been corrupted.
If the operating system is the issue then all you may have to do is reinstall Windows, but be aware that this will wipe all of the data off your hard drive if you’re not careful so be sure to create a backup first.
But if the problem is actually a hard drive failure then there’s not much else you can do except replace your hard drive or get a new computer.
5. Performance issues
If your computer is running slower than a dial-up modem or if it only seems to work when it wants to then there are several possibilities. For one, you may just have an old computer and be running outdated software.
Or perhaps your hard drive is nearly full, or your computer has been compromised by a virus. Of course, it could also be a hardware related issue.
To Sum Things Up
Computers aren’t meant to last forever but many problems can be avoided and remedied by keeping your software up to date, your computer clean, and regularly taking it in for tune-ups.
Computer problems tend to gradually get worse when left unnoticed (like most problems), so if you have any doubts or would just like to make sure your computer is performing optimally, bring it in and we’ll have a look at it!