6 tech dead ends – and how to get past them
Every computer user runs into trouble now and again – but sometimes, you hit a brick wall that you can’t seem to get over. Even if you’re usually pretty computer-savvy, if your computer slows down, your Wi-Fi fails, or a strange alert pops up, you might find yourself stuck. Our friends at Noel Leeming Tech Solutions have some smart advice.
First, try switching your computer off and on – it often instantly and quite mysteriously fixes lots of issues. While you’re doing that, make sure you accept any updates. If you haven’t updated for a while, that could be the root of the problem.
Then, try their DIY tips for getting up and over that seemingly impossible wall.
1: Unwanted restarts
When your device keeps closing down or restarting for no reason, it can be a sign of a hardware problem. This might mean you need a new PC or laptop, but it’s worth trying to solve the problem in other ways first.
What to try:
- Check that your Windows or IOS (for Mac) system is up to date – the restarts could be due to an old version.
- Update all your system drivers – graphics card, motherboard, video card, and network card drivers. Here’s a handy how-to guide for those on Windows and here’s one if you use Mac.
- Give your device a good clean – sometimes dust and dirt can make your device overheat, which can trigger a shutdown.
2: Slow going
Trying to work on a device that’s running slowly – websites taking forever to load, videos glitching and buffering – can be very frustrating.
Here are some ways to get back to speed:
- Work out whether your device or your broadband is to blame –
speedtest.net is a good way to check. If it’s your broadband connection, call your internet provider.
- Check the free space on your hard drive – if it’s full, your system performance can suffer. Clearing some space by deleting large files or unwanted programs could help.
3: Pop-up problems
Pop-up ads are annoying on the internet, but if they show up on your desktop when you’re not using a web browser, you have a real problem. Rogue pop-ups are usually a result of adware, a type of virus that can be tricky to remove.
What to do:
- Using well-known, credible antivirus software, run a full scan of your computer – the program should find and remove the offending adware.
- If that fails, disable your antivirus software and use a malware-specific program like Malwarebytes to target and eliminate the adware. If that sounds all too hard, just bring your device into the techies at Noel Leeming – they’ll have it sorted in no time.
4: Spotty, unreliable internet
When your connection drops in and out at random, it’s difficult to send emails, book tickets, or get anything done online. Although your internet provider will often be able to help, some do charge for callouts if the issue turns out to be your fault, so it’s worth trying to solve the problem yourself.
Here’s what to try:
- Check that your device isn’t too far from your wireless router – if moving closer helps, it could be that the signal was too weak to keep up the connection.
- Right-click the Wi-Fi icon at the bottom of your screen and select ‘Troubleshoot problems’. Your system may be able to identify and solve the issue on its own.
5: Printer isn’t printing
Printers always seem to fail at the worst possible moment – when you’re trying to print your CV to take to an interview, or the tickets for a show as you walk out the door.
If your printer is being unhelpful, try these fixes first:
- Check that your printer is plugged in, turned on, and has enough paper, ink, and toner.
- Click on the printer icon to find the print queue, which lists the waiting print jobs and gives some information about the printer.
- Check that you haven’t inadvertently clicked ‘use printer offline’ as this can stall print jobs.
- If all else fails, call Noel Leeming Tech Solutions – they may be able to help over the phone.
6: Attachments won’t open
If you receive an email attachment but can’t open or view it, probably you don’t have the right software for the type of file.
Luckily, it’s usually an easy fix:
- For .pdf files, download a free PDF reader and you’re sorted.
- For other types of file, search the extension (the three-letter code after the file name) to find out what type of program you need to download – generally, they’re free.
- If that doesn’t help, ask the person who sent you the file to resend it in another format.
Calling in the experts
We all need a bit of tech help sometimes. If you’ve tried all the DIY tricks and you’re still at a dead-end, get in touch with Noel Leeming Tech Solutions. They’re tech experts, and they’ll be able to talk you through your issue, and hopefully boost you over that brick wall.