Common  Laptop Problems

Here, we will go a bit deeper about common computer problems on laptops. It is a very high probability that it will be a hard drive problem. From my personal experience, hard drive tends to fail at very high rates. And, it is natural for them to fail as they have moving parts which get heavy loads during usage.

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Another factor that puts the hard drive at risk in the first place is that laptops are carried around and sometimes suffer from heavy drops to the floor. There are developed systems that disable the hard drive when it senses it is falling. But, this device only seems to work on the newest systems, and is not very reliable.

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Figure 1: A classic example of a bad sector on a hard disk.

The Motherboard does not have any moving or spinning parts and the build quality they have these days is very good. So, to see a motherboard fault is less likely than a hard drive fault. But, there are many factors that influence the motherboard to fail as well. The well-known DC jack fault happens because force is applied when moving the laptop around, and that force damages the jack. Apple solved the DC jack problem by introducing the MagSafe power adapter. They improved the lifetime of the motherboard significantly. We saw just one MacBook with a loose DC jack.

Laptop DC jack

Figure 2: DC jack on laptop motherboard.

Another common problem is screen damage. The repair for this is very straight forward, simply replace the screen. Sometimes it is hard to get the proper screen, but the work involved is not so drastic. Screens can be found using the laptop model number or the number that is printed on the back of the LCD screen itself. Dell laptops usually need the exact number to be the same from the back of LCD.

There is a part of faults that are caused by manufacturing or assembling defects. For example, some laptops are soldered in faulty components. And now there is a widely know issue with nVidia graphics that is a big headache for companies that make laptops. The lead free solder seems to be the factor that causes the laptop to fail after two or three years of operation.

For laptops and desktops computers, another common problem is the network problem. Up until now, the operating systems, Windows Vista and Windows 7 needed to configure to work on LAN. It is not as straight forward as it used to be with Windows XP.

Less common problems relate to the fact that the operating systems constantly improve and need for the recourse to go higher. Many times we see slow performing laptops because there is not enough memory to run the operating system. And what would be the solution - simply identify the memory type and double or triple the amount.

A big part of computer problems is related to viruses. If a system is suspected to not behave as it should, after the hardware test, the next step would be to check for a virus. The hardware check comes before anything else, because if the hardware is faulty, there is no point to try to fix it. Or try to reinstall the operating system as this would not help. Viruses also largely depend on the laptop age.

Proper cooling is a big issue on modern laptops. The sellers and manufacturers are saying that the customer must not place the laptop on their bed, and should use a cooling pad. But, this is simply not right.


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