Even if your work computer is maintained and repaired by the IT department, and your spouse takes care of the ones at home, you really should know the basics of troubleshooting. Since about 90% of issues are caused by about half a dozen things (on PCs and Macintoshes both), any time you put into learning basic troubleshooting is a good investment. We’ll take a look at a few of the most common issues.
The PC side
On PCs, that “90% of all computer problems” phrase means that your computer likely suffers from one or more of the following conditions: a fragmented hard drive; Windows registry errors and improper settings; too many programs loading at startup; and adware, spyware, malware and viruses. Bad RAM, dying hard drives, faulty motherboards and other serious problems cause the 10% of cases that require expert repairs.
CRE computer rentals, of course, arrive in perfect working order, but there’s no magic involved, just the generally accepted PC regimen: Use a decent defragmenter (the one that comes with Windows is notoriously bad); use a registry cleaner; get your startup routine in order; and use a well-rated tool for removing adware, spyware, malware and viruses. If you don’t have time to study all the alternatives, a recent PCmag.com article discusses the best maintenance and tune-up tools.
On the Mac
One recurring problem with Mac OS X is programs crashing (freezing). It can happen even with well-maintained iMac rentals, but the solution is easy – press Command-Option-Escape or choose Force Quit from the Apple menu, and select the unresponsive program from the resulting list. Forcing a crashed program to quit will rarely affect other programs or the OS itself, and the application should run fine when restarted. If your Mac is beginning to slow down and feel sluggish, on the other hand, it could be many things – but remember, the chances are nine out of 10 that the problem is among the basic ones we’re discussing here.
At least 20% of your hard drive should be free space (with Windows, too). Check yours by highlighting the drive icon in the Finder and pressing Command-I (Get Info). If there’s not enough free space, throw out garbage, offload files and/or buy a bigger hard drive (internal or external). You also may need to repair permissions, which you do with the Disk Utility program. This application will also “verify” your drives and “repair” a number of common problems with files and volume structures. The same problems that can crash an iMac can bring down the mighty Mac Pro rentals, too – but never fear, Disk Utility comes on every Mac.
Bottom line reminders
If you learn the basic steps in this article, and read the other instructional blogs that we publish regularly, soon enough you will only have to worry about the 10% of computer problems that require expert intervention. Speaking of experts, our Account Executives are ready to reply right now to your call or e-mail. Of course, you can use the Quick Rental Quote form if you know what you need.