Computer Tips To Help Small Businesses Operate Profitably

Computer Tips To Help Small Businesses Operate ProfitablyWhen working properly, computers enable small businesses to make big business profits; however, get booted off your computer and you’re suddenly starving. In most instances, computers usually act up due to lack of care by its owners. Here are four computer tips that’ll keep you up and running smoothly.

Tip #1 — Back up your computer’s data no less than once a month.

Too often a small business is thrust back to infancy because it didn’t take time to back up precious data; information that took hours upon hours to create. Information that’s irreplaceable, such as customer databases or employment contracts. Keep in mind you’ll want to back up your written data as well as check books such as Quicken and email address books. If your computer has a CD writer, it’s simple and quick to back up your data. Simply select the files and folders you want to back up and copy them to the writer.

Or if you have an older computer, copy your most important files to a floppy disk. Either way, don’t stop there; now take the CD or disk and store it in a fire-safe box! To expedite the process, organize your files within folders so you can quickly grab and copy one or two folders.

Tip #2 – Don’t turn off your computer every evening.

Too frequently computer users turn their computers off every evening. This is unnecessary and not recommended. A computer’s components are at their most vulnerable when turned on and off. When a computer has to heat up [turn on] or cool down [turn off] it’s at this precise moment components fail. It’s recommended you turn your computer off once or twice a week or only when necessary, such as from a power outage. However, don’t do the opposite and never turn your computer off, since many anti-virus programs require a computer reboot be performed before new virus patches take effect.

Tip #3 — Automate anti-virus software so it updates automatically no less than once a week.

Depending on your software, you may need to prompt it to update. Unfortunately, there are people with too much time on their hands who desire to attack and make your computer unusable. A computer user is not ultimately protected from viruses and spyware [pop-ups, cookies, etc.] unless you’re using a combination of anti-virus and anti-spyware software and a firewall, a piece of hardware that protects computers from being hacked. You must have all three pieces in order to ward off viruses, lurkers and attacks. What’s more, most of the attacks are very quiet. You don’t know someone is on your computer. Instead, they secretly store information, such as child pornography or music MP3s on your computer, since it’s illegal, and redirect child-porno or MP3 seekers to your computer instead of theirs.

Tip #4 — Install a firewall if you keep your computer constantly on.

Using a broadband or DSL connection dramatically increases your exposure to being hacked. It only takes an average of 15 minutes being online before a home-based computer is attacked. The only true way to protect a computer from a hacker is to install a hardware firewall. It’s a misconception that software-based firewalls ultimately defend computers. This is simply not true. Computers must have a hardware firewall for ultimate protection, such as a SonicWall or Netscreen firewall, a component installed between a home user’s cable or DSL connection and their computer.


Knowing the Computer Hardware Maintenance

There are several things you need to know about computer, starting from the parts up to the maintenance tips. What should you do? In this case, keeping the great work of you computer is not a trivial matter at all, even more important than providing the best place to put it. The following explanation will … Continue reading “Knowing the Computer Hardware Maintenance”

There are several things you need to know about computer, starting from the parts up to the maintenance tips. What should you do? In this case, keeping the great work of you computer is not a trivial matter at all, even more important than providing the best place to put it. The following explanation will tell you more about the best maintenance tips, especially in dealing with the hardware. You cannot consider it as an easy thing, since hardware becomes the important aspect in computer operation. What about anti virus? The following explanation will tell you more about anti virus maintenance.

There are many different anti viruses available out there on the market. They claim as the best choice for customers. In fact, some of them even cannot perform the good work at all. What do you think about it? Recently, keeping the computers free of viruses and malware becomes certain problems due to the difficulty to determine the real best anti virus to help us protecting the computer either at home, at office and everywhere. The quite expensive price makes them feel disappointed of finding the anti viruses cannot work properly on their computer. There are many viruses attack the computer system. So, providing the best protection is a must thing.

How can you protect the hardware? The first thing you can do is to purchase or download the reputable anti virus. It will be better for your computer. In fact, some companies provide/run the online virus scans for free. Some of the examples are such as Kaspersky and also Trend-Micro Housecalls. The important thing is about updating the anti virus. It is true that anti virus is created in such a way to guard your computers from the virus invasion. The anti virus companies update their software in a regular way. Please remember that the threats on the internet are really awful. You should never let your computer at home or everywhere are driven by Trojans, worms and even hacks. To get the maximum protection and benefits, updating the software every two days is highly recommended.

The next thing you can do to protect your hardware is to do the frequent scan by using your most reputable anti virus. There are two basic operations of anti virus, which are the standard and deep scan. Which one should you choose? The deep scan should be run when the software is installed for the first time. You should repeat this action at least once in a month. Actually, you do not need to wait until one month to re-scan your computer. If you find the computer works slower than usual, it is the indication that for you must run the deep scan to protect your computer.


Tips For Buying Better Computer Hardware

Computers are essential to keep pace with the high speed world. If you don’t have a personal computer, you are surely going to lose some amazing opportunities to move ahead in life. But, if you’re interested in buying computer for yourself, it is important to pay attention to few important things.

Although there are many things to take into consideration at the time of buying a PC, you need to make sure you have checked it for hardware configuration. You should also make sure your computer can easily be upgraded after purchase. This is the point where you will have to install new hardware to replace the older one. But, if you don’t know how to find right type of computer hardware, you should keep following things in mind.

* It doesn’t matter if you want a Hard Disk, Floppy Drive, Power Supply or any other type of computer hardware, you should consider shopping over the internet. The reason is that it will help you make a choice form the wider range of options and you will be able to upgrade your computer in the right way.

* Another important thing to keep in mind is that you should always shop from an authentic site. This is one big issue associated with the option of buying hardware over the internet. There are many sites selling substandard parts and these are the sites that should be avoided at all cost.

* While shopping for computer hardware, you should always try to shop around. It means you should try to find few popular sites to make a comparison for price and variety. First check for the available variety of hardware. This is important to get everything from one single site. Then, compare these sites for price and available discounts to proceed with your shopping.

* In case you don’t have enough money to upgrade your PC, you should consider the option of buying used hardware. This is the option that helps you get a faster PC without spending a fortune on hardware. But, as mentioned earlier, always shop from an authentic site for used hardware to get the better bang for the buck.

* At the time of buying computer hardware, it is essential to pay attention to compatibility. Yes, it seems like all hard drives will work for your PC, but that’s not the case. You should read the manual before searching for computer hardware over the internet.

These are few of the most important things that you should take into consideration at the time of shopping for computer hardware. Always bear this in mind that your PC will work in the right way if you add right sort of hardware. That’s the point where compatibility comes into play. So, pay attention to all these things and get right compute hardware.


Benefits Of Having Computer Repair Services

Computers have developed into an essential component of our lives. People are usually resistant to change in the later part of their lives, but computer technology is one change that has been accepted and absorbed by middle aged men, children, teenagers, and even working mothers. This is because computers make life easier and faster for them. From checking bank statement online, paying bills, talking to a long-distance relative, making online purchases for home delivery to using crochet designs computers serve the needs of people of all ages, geographical locations, social standards etc.

The people of Iowa who live the “Heartland of America” are just as eager computer users as people in any of the busiest cities of the U.S. In Iowa there can be a student completing his thesis, an employee working on his deadline, a teacher preparing online lectures or a housewife downloading a recipe – all of them make good to extreme use of computer. Fortunately, even if they do have computer trouble like system cash software errors they are near Iowa computer repair shops who can reach them just in time. If you are a resident of Iowa it is better if you Google search the name of some nearby Iowa computer repair shops and see the list of their services to know who to contact in time of troubles. Most of them will be willing to come over at your doorstep- home or office- to render on spot service. You will be saved the hassle of disconnection and carrying your heavy gadgets to the workshop and then waiting impatiently only to be handed over the long bill receipt of which you understand a very little.

Efficient Iowa computer repair services in the different areas of Sioux City, Mason City, Davenport, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and many others are likely to give you competitive prices and a customized solutions. This means that, unlike above, you would know what got repaired and why, and a general solution won’t be imposed on you. They won’t try to impress you by getting any additional hi-fi hardware installed, especially when you don’t need it, and also give you pro-active solutions to handling your computer problems better. If you are a business you can even arrange for a tutorial from a good Iowa computer repair company when you are getting services for your internal network setup. This would save you the cost of having an in-house IT team and let you remain within your budget.

Services in the Iowa computer repair arena include hardware repair which covers CPU, CD/DVD ROM, PC/Laptop/MAC, hard drive, printer and shared hardware etc. Software related services include:
• Data backup and recovery for precious files like MS-Word, Excel, audio/video downloads, images, confidential data
• Firewall and email security
• Web design and development
• LAN/WAN set up
• Windows OS configuration and trouble shooting
• And many more

Iowa computer repair experts will be available 24/7 and will charge you from a flat diagnostic fee for the first hour to incremental charges according to the complexity of problem.


How To Speed Up Your Computer Software

Many people when they buy a computer tend to go on using it ignorant of the fact that it requires certain maintenance to keep it running smoothly and performing optimally. As a result, continued usage without maintenance, the computer performance goes down. To most people this is an embarrassing situation. But what you ought to realize is that you are not alone in this predicament and all you need to learn is how to speed up computer software.

All software installed or files saved to the computer are stored up as an entry in the registry which is the brain of the computer. Without it the computer is nothing and if it clogs up and this results to sluggish computer performance. To speed up the computer performance you need to scan and repair your computer registry using a good registry cleaner. Delete all unnecessary files and Uninstall all temporary files, software and programs to experience an instant speed boost. This is a simple way of speeding your computer.

Computer viruses may also be major reason for your computers declined performance. You need to perform a PC scan at least once a month to check for viruses. There are many free tools on the internet and you can download a home version of antivirus to get rid of viruses, spyware and malware.

One of the easiest ways to speed up your computer is to do away with all the decorative effects personalized on the PC. This means that you will have to do away with such effects as colorful wallpapers, menu animations, buttons reflections, etc. that consume the computer memory. Getting rid of all these effects will help speed up your computer.

PC maintenance software is readily available in the market and you can opt for this option. Such software manages your computer and enables you to realize the full potential of your computer. They also have in built functionality that services your computer.

While saving data in the computer the operating system fragments or rather scatters data all over the hard disk. This drastically slows down the access speed (the time needed for accessing files). To get maximum performance from your PC the data on your disks need to be arranged in perfect order in order to have the fastest access time possible. The solution to this is defragmentation. It involves sorting and merging individual file fragments into separate zones. Therefore, run a disk defragmentation once every few days to ensure a consistent good speed.

Having followed all these tips above and your PC still shows signs of sluggishness; this may call for you to upgrade the essential data processing hardware like the RAM and processor to optimize performance.


The Basics of Computer Software

Computer software is the phrase used to describe a set of instructions, or a program, that lets a computer know what it is supposed to do. Hardware refers to things like the computers themselves, monitors, printers, disk drives and other pieces that are hard, meaning solid and tangible. Programs are not tangible and are given the name software. There are several types of software but the three most common are application, programming and system.

Operating systems, device drivers and utilities are all examples of system software. An operating system is basically like the commander of the computer and organizes all the activities that take place. One of its many jobs is to act as an interface between the user and all the hardware. Also, it distributes system resources for the application software.

Printers, monitors, keyboards and mice are devices that require a device manager. Each device has its own driver that stores all the information that the computer needs to run the device properly and to its fullest capacity. For instance, a keyboard driver gives the computer all the necessary info to recognize and properly carry out the function of each keystroke.

Utility programs have many functions. They are used to maintain and configure computers as well as optimize performance. Cleaning the registry, defragmenting, managing files, portioning the disks, compressing data and backup are common utility tasks. Utility software is almost always already installed on a computer before you buy it.

As the name suggests, programming software helps programmers write computer programs. Source code, or a human readable program, is written in object code, or a computer language. The result is a program. Debuggers are used to test out programs and fix and errors. Additional programming tools include interpreters and text editors.

Everyday tasks performed on a computer are run with application software. Every application a computer does is also referred to as a task. Even a game is a task, or application. When you take over the role of WWII hero, you are utilizing application software. You also use this type of software when you run medical, business, educational and scientific programs.

Companies use applications software everyday to aid with the needs of business. Spreadsheets, payroll, customer service, accounts receivable, inventory management and data base organization are all run with such software. A company may also invest in software that will teach employees to learn a second language to increase worker capability. Software is also used every day in hospitals to run some monitoring equipment. Researchers use it in their labs to test theories in modeling programs.

The software industry is expected to grow by over 50% by the year 2013. There are thousands of computer software companies all over the world and ten times as many programmers working to make the industry even bigger. Job seekers and investors realize how important this industry is and the pace at which it is expanding. It is little wonder that so many people are trying to get involved in this field in one way or another.


Six Steps to Save on Computer Software

Are you looking to get quality computer software at an affordable price? When you operate from home or just require excellent software for the laptop computer, you happen to be presented with an almost infinite number of laptop applications. Digging through the various options can sometimes be a significant assignment. However, if you desire to find good, quality programs there are certain things which you could do that may save you money as well as stress.

With the coming of internet marketing, you have got additional selections than ever. There can be a great number of respectable software agencies that sell software at sizable savings. With a little bit of homework as well as thinking on your behalf, you will get fine quality software that will complete your specific task.

If you want to save money on laptop software packages, here are six things you must do.

1. First, make sure you know as precisely as possible the specific assignment you wish your application to achieve. The more specific a person is, the better. E. G., would you want a universal word processing software to churn out special letters or a more stylish word processing program to monitor the advertising for your enterprise?

2. Determine the lowest requirements necessary to run the software program. Its important to verify that it will run on your notebook equipment. You need to determine the amount of memory the application uses, what operating systems it would function on and how much space is required. Is there any computer accessory needed to use the software?

3. Discuss with friends and contacts that have used the particular form of software you are searching for. Find out where they acquired the software, the cost of the software, how long they have used the program, what form of assurance came with the software, and the like. If in case you have a chore, which calls for a deadline, for instance, a payroll program, find out how they were able to resolve their requests and how much time it took.

4. Search the Net for critical reviews on the software. View customer forums or bulletin boards to find out what visitors are saying about the software program. For example, if you are investigating the QuickBooks accounting program, type in: QuickBooks Accounting Software Review to get assessment details about the software.

5. You must always check the software application before you get it. Many respectable companies will allow you to obtain their computer software and test it before buying. Exploit the chance to examine the program. Enter some data, print a report, and give the program a real workout. Try as much alternatives as possible. Its good practice not to follow fixed procedures. It is better to find out on your own. You must know what the software does in the real environment. Find out what transpires when you happen to make a mistake.

6. If the software provides support, you need to consider an issue about the system that may not be too clear and ask the support staff for service. It is better to check out support before you really want assistance than to wait until you are in a desperate situation. Observe how long it requires to get an solution. Check out how comprehensible the reply is. Ask yourself, Did this finally solve the issue for me?


The Importance of Computer Repair Services

Computers need to be serviced on a regular basis to maintain them in positive condition. There are advantages of doing maintenance and this one of the reasons why people really should take this idea seriously. There are different experts offering computer repair services all over the internet but it’s not always a simple task to get the best provider. Therefore, you should search for the best experienced services providers.

Nowadays, a number of people use computers to do different tasks every single day. In case of the system malfunction, it can lead to intrusion of all your programs. Therefore, in order to prevent incidences like this, there is a benefit to schedule regular maintenance practices. Consequently, large companies and institutions should look for well experienced technicians to repair computers frequently.

The charge that can be incurred to buy a new computer as a result of lack of good repair services is easily eliminated. In fact, some computers fail because of to lack of a timely servicing schedule. Thus, the price that may be incurred to sustain the machine is a smaller amount than that of going to buy a new one. In addition, throughout regular servicing services, the damaged and old accessories are repaired or replaced

It is suitable to work on a maintained machine. A well serviced machine is efficient and provides unswerving services. The problems that people have are either software or hardware related. These sorts of problems make it more difficult to operate the machine, and may as well lead to work that is full of errors.

If you get a system failure, you should go for the most professionally trained and experienced experts. Hiring experienced experts ensures high quality and dependable services. There are diverse companies that have competently trained experts who can offer services in different institutions as well as organizations. Clients must make sure that they hire the most inexpensive company that also has expert trained technicians.

Indeed, there are a good number of benefits of ensuring your computers are at all times functioning in good manner. Inconveniences as well as other many problems that are associated to system failure can be avoided if maintenance strategies are applied. As an effect of different experts who are offering services of computer repair, experienced organizations, companies and individuals have significantly benefited.

In working with the best professional, you will save a lot of money. This will be only being evident when the technician will offer the service and then charge fairly, unlike other cases where you will get some exploitation. The services experts offer you will also be of great quality and this is what will help you to make use of your computer in a long period.


Selecting a Good Computer Repair Service

Computers are now an integral part of day-to-day living. Many everyday activities that we used to perform manually are now computerized to such an extent that we almost cannot believe what things used to be like before the computer revolution. These rapid technological developments have taken over the work environment, but now, more and more homes also have computers. But just like any other piece of equipment, computers can have system failures and and hardware malfunctions, which sometimes lead to important data being inaccessible.

Computers can have problems with their hardware (the physical, tangible components of the computer) or with their software (the intangible, logic systems used by the computer). Hardware problems may arise because of damaged components or faulty peripheral devices. Software problems may be due to a virus, corrupted system files, an incorrect configuration or applications that are in conflict.

While some of the problems computers can experience are easy to resolve and the end user might only need a little guidance, other problems are much more complex and require the assistance of a technical expert. Problems with the system registry are a good example. These problems are often considered sensitive, and end users without technical backgrounds often are advised to stay away from them, as registry corruption sometimes requires that the operating system be reinstalled and critical data may be lost. Do not hesitate to get the advice and services of a computer repair company. You might seem to save some money at first by trying to resolve the problem yourself, but in the long term you’ll save money by obtaining the expert advice of a computer repair service.

Sometimes repair actually means replacement. For example, system crashes that occur frequently may be a sign of permanently damaged hard disk sectors, and this can only be resolved by installing a new hard drive. It is important that you consider a number of factors when you are choosing a computer repair service:

Accessibility: How accessible is the repair service provider to your company or home? The rationale here is that even the most competent repair team would be of no help if their distance from your home of office makes it impractical for them to be available when needed on a short notice. Even with the advent of remote support, site visits are still necessary especially where hardware repair is required. In addition to physical proximity, give preference to the repair service company that can avail support person in the shortest time possible.

Competence: Competence is more than just academic qualification. Computer repair is a technical job, and practical, hands-on skills have far more value than an academic diploma. It is, however, important that repair personnel constantly hone their skills through continuing education. Keep in mind that incompetent technicians can do more damage than you had when you called them in the first place. You should make sure that the person who will work with your computers has sufficient skills and experience to resolve your problem.

Cost: Compare quotations from different service providers in the market before you settle on one. One must tread with caution here because cost must not compromise quality. Look for a ‘reasonable’ priced service without watering down the quality of service you will receive.


Benefits of Onsite Computer Repair Services

Businesses either small or large survive by the phrase “time is money” and thus, cannot afford computer failure due to any hardware and or software problems. In today’s highly technical and cutthroat competitive world, computers have become an integral part of success and one of the possible causes of failure. Many onsite computer repair companies help in maintaining and protecting your computer. They are experts offering a complete line of software, hardware and complete computer support services. Onsite Computer Repair Services is not only time saving but also one of the best ways to get your computer in top working conditions and performance. Onsite computer repair covers all-important aspects of computer repair. It comprises of printers, server hardware, virus prevention and removal, spy ware prevention and removal and operating system supports. They also include network installations and troubleshooting, RS232 communications, data migration from current workstations, data back up and new installations. Onsite computer repairs are one of the most convenient ways to repair the computers for corporate sectors and individuals. The main reason is that it is an economical way to solve any kind of software and hardware damage. It is one of the most self – sufficient services anyone can get and is fruitful because it enhances an individual’s knowledge on the computer and the problems associated with it.

Many software problems can be sorted by getting online tutorials and collecting information to locate the problem and thus, upgrading your own knowledge about computers. Majority of the online vendors use innovative technology to mend the computer problems online. They have highly trained technicians and experts who use the power of specialized software and internet to securely access to your system. This connection helps them in diagnosing or identifying the problem in your computer so that they can fix it immediately.

Getting a computer-repaired onsite is one of the best options, as you do not have to carry your PC to a shop and then wait for days or may be weeks to get it back. It is pocket friendly as most of the onsite technicians charge around 90 dollars to remove a virus or spy ware. Most of the online computer repair services offer a free or fix it policy. It means that you pay to these companies only when your problem is fixed. However, many problems remain unsolved because the repair occurs online. For example, in case the computer fails to boot then these onsite companies cannot help you. In addition, when some part of your system damages, these companies cannot provide any aid to you. It is here that no pay no fix is useful. Make sure that you discuss about such policy before starting with the repair work.


Diagnosing And Troubleshooting Computer Hardware

What is Hardware?

Are these terms familiar to you? Monitor, RAM, CD drive, CPU, graphic cards are all hardware, or more accurately, computer hardware. These components make up a computer, working together with computer software to make a computer work.

Simply put, hardware is the tangible parts of your computer, parts you can touch, feel and so on.

Hardware Failures

As mentioned before, hardware and software work together to form a fully functional system, theoretically. However, rarely do you get a fully functional system all the time. There will almost certainly be malfunction of hardware, be it within the electronic circuits or even the whole component itself. Sometimes, the originating factor of the hardware failure is not the components of the system itself, but due to outside factors such as environmental disasters like fire, earthquakes and lightning storm.

Recovery of failed hardware components is not a big problem by itself. It is basically identifying and replacing the problematic component. However, hardware failures are most deadly, when it affects daily routine and affecting critical personal or business data. This is especially true of the most important component of a computer system when it comes to storage of data, the hard disk.

The following is a list of common hardware failures:

RAM Failures
Power Connector
Hard Disk
LCD Failures
RAM Failures
Bad RAM is somehow harder to diagnose as similar symptoms may be caused by software problems, other hardware problems or even motherboard failure. However if you experience any of these symptoms, users should check for bad RAM before attempting any other troubleshooting.


Windows doesn’t start showing different error messages each time.
Windows crashes (blue screen) or freezes frequently.
Windows crashes as soon as you try to start a program.
Unexplained random crashes and freezes without error messages.
Power Adaptor
The common weak spot on any laptop is the DC power jack. If someone trips over the power adapter cable while it is still connected to the laptop, there is a high possibility that the power jack will get severely damaged.

On most laptops, the DC power jack is soldered directly to the motherboard and there are only three or four small pins holding it in place, which makes the power jack rather weak. Any sideways pulling of the DC power cord while attached to the laptop will usually dislodge at least one of these pins, breaking the solder around it. Modern laptops use quite a lot of power, from about 70W to 120W or even more. The bad electrical connection from the dislodged pin will cause sparks and heating that will eventually burn a hole through the motherboard and can even be a fire hazard.

Symptoms which indicates poor contact between the DC power jack and the motherboard:

The battery is not charging properly or stays at half charge despite having to use the power adaptor.
The screen flickers (the brightness is changing) while the power cord is plugged in. This is caused by the laptop switching between DC power (screen is brighter) and battery power (screen is dimmer).
The DC plug gets hot after a few minutes of use and may even smell of burning.
There are “scratching” sounds coming from the DC jack.
How to test for broken power jack:

1. Remove the battery 2. Plug in the power cord 3. Start the laptop 4. Gently wiggle the DC power plug on the back of the laptop
If the laptop shuts down abruptly (looses power), find the dealer to re-solder or change the DC power jack as soon as possible as the motherboard has already started to burn around the dislodged pins. The manufacturer might offer to replace the whole motherboard; however the price of a new motherboard together with the labor charge for installing it will usually cost more than the current value of that laptop and sometimes can the pricing can cost over a thousand dollars.

Replacing or re-soldering the DC power jack is not an easy job. It usually takes a few hours depending on the damage and the model of the laptop. To reach the power jack, the laptop has to be completely disassembled and have the motherboard taken out. Then if the board around the dislodged pin is badly burned, the power jack has to be un-soldered and the board has to be patched.

After that a different power jack has to be installed, attached to the case of the laptop and connected with wires to the motherboard, as the patched board wouldn’t be strong enough to support the original type of power jack that was soldered directly to the board.

Hard Disk

Hard disk failures are the most common computer hardware problems. And laptop hard disks fail more often than desktop hard disks due to the portability of a laptop as compared to the rather stagnant laptop. If user knock hard or drop the laptop even a few inches while the hard disk is being accessed or powered up, damage can be done to the hard disk.


The laptop starts as usual but when Windows starts to load it goes to blue screen with either “UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME”, “hal.dll is missing or corrupt” or “WINDOWSSYSTEM32CONFIGSYSTEM” (or similar) is missing or corrupt. All these error messages indicate a file system problem. Sometimes it can be fixed by just scanning the hard disk for errors. However more than half of these cases indicate that the hard disk is starting to go bad and is probably developing bad sectors.
The laptop starts as usual but Windows freezes on the initial “Windows XP” screen, although the blue bar continues to move, and users are able to hear feint but continuous clicking. Hard disks have to be replaced.
As soon as the laptop is started there are loud clicks or grinding sounds and Windows doesn’t load. Hard disks have to be replaced as well.
Shortly after starting the laptop a message appears (usually on a black screen) “SMART test failed. Backup your data immediately and replace the hard disk” or similar. Well, that says it all. S.M.A.R.T. is a self-test that is build into the hard disk.
In almost all cases the laptop can be started from a “live” bootable CD and everything works normal. In rare cases the hard disk PCB (printed circuit board) may get short circuited and even burn. In this scenario, the laptop won’t start unless the hard disk is removed.

A good tool to use to check for hard disk lifespan is ADRC’s hard disk checker. It will scan the hard disk for bad sectors and inform you if the drive is still of good usability.


Overheating happens when inadequate airflow from outside the computer’s case across the CPU and motherboard and back out of the case usually via the power supply fan and other case fans.

Once the airflow is disrupted, heat builds up rapidly within the case. This causes components to either shutdown, if such protection is built in or performs erratically. Over the long term, overheating can irreversible damage components.

It is also advisable to keep the computer in a dry and shaded room, which is clean and little dust.

LCD Failures

The most common LCD or “Liquid Crystal Display” screen failure is the inverter, cable and backlight.


The laptop appears to start as usual but the screen is black, if users move it, it turns on and works properly. Failed cable.
The laptop appears to start as usual but the screen is very dark, although it changes colour a little and users can see a very feint image. Failed inverter or cable 90%/10%.
Immediately after starting the screen has dark pink/red tint and turns dark after a few seconds. Failed backlight.
The screen flickers a few times but then turns dark, if users move it or tap it lightly on the sides, it flickers again. Failed cable or LCD 50%/50%.
Screen is either black or white (no picture) and external monitor works. Failed cable or LCD 30%/70%.
There are stripes on the screen (either vertical or horizontal) that change when users move the screen or tap it lightly on the sides. Failed cable or LCD 10%/90%.
Most motherboard related failures are due to the “On-board” regulated supplies and component failure within those circuits. The on-board power supply circuit had partially failed and was overloading subsequent components else the problem would be with the capacitors which are defective in the first place.

A motherboard failure on a laptop that is out of warranty would usually mean that it’s time for a new laptop. The price of a new motherboard is usually higher than the current value of the laptop.


Plug in the power adaptor and try to start the laptop.

Nothing happens.
The “ON” light comes on, the fan spins, but nothing on the screen (black) and you can’t hear the HD working after 10-15 sec.
The “ON” light comes on, the fan spins, but after a few seconds the light goes off.
After pressing the “ON” button the screen stays black and you can hear a quiet high-pitched sound coming from the laptop.
Corrupted or improper device drivers and operating system
Invalid or corrupt device drivers can wreck havoc on a server, rendering the system unbootable in some cases. Device drivers may also conflict with certain application programs and cause problems with the computer system.

As Windows Vista has just made its launch, chances are some hardware is not supported or not supported fully by the new operating system.

Also, system updates, driver updates can also fix your “hardware” problems.

Controller Failure:

A controller failure can act much like a drive failure. However, when a drive fails, users cannot access that particular drive; when a controller fails, users cannot get access to all the drives, devices and any other components that is attached to that particular controller.

A controller fails because a component or components on the on the controller board fails. When users trying to boot the system, they cannot switch on, view, access, or even get hardware conflict messages.

Controller failure occurs due to one of the following reasons:

Devices/components not connected properly
Verify that the cables are properly connecting the device /component to the controller
If the component fits into a slot, see that the it is flushed in and not loosely connected.

Devices/components not setup properly
Verify that the devices/components is being properly detected and setup in the respective controller setup screen

Bad connectors
Replace the bad connectors with new working ones

Bad components
Replace the component

Bad interface board or motherboard
It is recommended that these components be replaced or that the computer be sent in for servicing

Hardware Failure: The big issue
The big problem, as mentioned earlier, is not replacing or repairing the non-functional hardware, but the time lost, interruptions to daily routine (especially for businesses), and the loss of critical data. If you need a running system at all times, have a backup system as a fail safe, or even two. If users want to ensure that none of their critical data is lost in the event of a hardware problem with their computer, there is only one way to do it — Back up the data as often as possible.

There are many different ways to ensure that the data is backed up, and as technology becomes advances, back up methods become much simpler.

Let’s look for a moment at what a back up is. Backing up of computer files means that users are making a copy of the data that will be stored somewhere other than on the computer. Everyone should always have a back up of at least the most important files, because should anyone experience a hardware problem, they could still be able to access the files.

Many people don’t back up their files, because they don’t know what they need to back up. Start with those files that cannot easily be recreated. Then, move on to files to which you make frequent changes just in case you accidentally change something that you shouldn’t have. Back up your music collection – because this can be quite expensive to replace in the event of data loss.