10 of the most common computer problems with solutions

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In my line of work I get many calls about the below common problems and if I was to estimate I would say that at least 25% of them could be solved using the list below to troubleshoot the cause. Not only will this get you up and running quicker with a sense of achievement it will also save you the cost of a  technician coming out and charging you to just change a fuse for example. It could be that a cable has been accidentally pulled out or maybe your dog has chewed it all these things are worth checking before calling someone to take a look.

Just because your computer monitor won’t come on or your mouse won’t work does not mean that you have a virus or you need a new computer the solution could be much simpler. If you don’t find the solution here remember these are only very basic checks that all of us can forget to do before panicking about it been a more severe problem. It is not intended to be an advanced guide to computer problems but hopefully it will help before you decide what you need to do next.

error message common computer problems


fix common computer problemsPossible Solution/Cause

Computer will not start Check all cables are plugged in and switches turned on.
Check monitor is turned on and plugged into the computer.
Change fuse in cable.Check extension if using one.
Try a different known working socket.
Change power lead.
Check no buttons or switches are stuck.
No sound coming from computer Check that your speakers are on and plugged in
Check that the speaker is connected to the right port (Green to Green)
Check the volume is turned up
Check you don’t have sound muted (icon in taskbar)
Try plugging in ear phones to rule out broken speakers
Monitor screen blank Check monitor is correctly connected
Check monitor is plugged in and turned on
Check connection to computer is not loose
Computer Boots but wont launch windows Can you boot into safe mode? (F8 on start-up) if yes the problem is likely to be something software related rather than hardware.
Run malware, virus scans
If you can’t boot into safe mode try booting into your computers repair my computer mode to fix start-up issues
Try using system restore if you can boot to safe mode or recovery to restore to a previous date
Slow internet Reboot your router and restart your computer (reboot router by unplugging and plugging back in after 5 minutes)
Check for malware and spyware infections.
Check there are no problems with your provider
Check other reasons for slow internet speeds here
Wireless connection dropping Reboot both the computer and the router
Change the wireless channel
Move the router to a more central location
Extend your network using powerline adapters
Extend your wireless network with a Wireless N Range Extender
If your aerial is removable replace with a TP-Link TL-ANT2405C 2.4GHz 5dbi Indoor Omni-Directional Antenna or similar to increase range.
Mouse wont work or wont work correctly Ensure mouse is connected correctly to the back of the computer.
If wireless change mouse batteries.
Ensure mouse is being picked up by receiver (likely a red button on bottom of mouse).
Check that receiver has not fallen out of range
Keyboard wont work Check batteries in Keyboard
Check it is connected properly
Ensure it is being picked up by the receiver (red button on bottom)
No internet connection or Local only Check all connections to router and that they are correctly plugged in
Check none of the cables are damaged
Restart router and restart computer
Check for red lights on the router (indicates there is a problem with the router)
Check all sockets have an ADSL filter connected
Change ADSL filters
Connect router to master phone socket
Check with service provider that your service is not disrupted
Try another router
Computer running very slow or sluggish Check that no antivirus scans are running
Close some programs if running multiple programs
Malware and virus check
Low memory
Many more reasons with deeper explanations can be found at – Reasons for your computer running slow





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