4 Common Computer Problems you can fix yourself
By Jeandre de Beer / Kim Komando
Often, users get so frustrated that they needlessly go out and buy a new computer.
With a cool head and a little know-how, however, it’s easy to fix the most common computer problems. In fact, the solutions I recommend below are free.
1. The Blue Screen of Death
Thankfully, Windows’ dreaded “Blue Screen of Death” is getting to be a rare event, but it still occurs. When it does, it isn’t very helpful in helping you hunt down the problem.
The problem can often be traced to bad memory modules. Memory is cheap and buying extra RAM capacity is usually worth it for the performance boost.
It’s not difficult to remove and install memory modules. You’ll find video tutorials at all the major online memory stores.
Just remember to ground yourself when you open your computer. You don’t want to fry sensitive electronics with static electricity.
2. The Spyware plague
A message pops up on your screen repeatedly, telling you to buy a security program. It happens so often that you can’t get any work done.
Your gut tells you that this is a rip-off, and your gut is correct. The message is adware that found its way on to your system, probably through an online ad for a “free” security scan you clicked on.
If you do download – and often pay for – the security program, you’ll end up with fraudware. No matter how many times you run the program it will always find the same problems and keep trying to get more money out of you.
Before you buy any security software, make sure it’s real.
Once you have fraudware, running a real antivirus program probably won’t help. To stop the pop-ups, you must run an anti-spyware program. There are a number of good ones — I’d start with Ad-Aware.
3. SD card stuck in CD/DVD slot
This is one for the Mac people. If you’re distracted or pre-occupied, it’s annoyingly easy to shove an SD camera card into an iMac’s superdrive. The two slots are right next to each other on the right side of the computer.
You don’t have to take the machine apart or ship it to a service center. The fix is easy. Cut an L-shape out of cardboard to use as a fishing hook. Slide it in and pull out the SD card.
4. Network issues
If your wireless network is dead, your router, cable or DSL modem probably crashed. It happens. Reboot the gadgets by unplugging them for 30 seconds, then plugging them back in. There is a good chance that this will solve the problem.