Herein, you will learn how to troubleshoot your computer, and I will also describe some techniques that are recommended by Apple.
My specific technique is based on probabilities, the higher probability for something to fail, the more likely it will fail.
The highest probability of failure on a computer is its hard drive, especially on today's hard drives which have GMR heads. The data on most hard drives are written in high density.
Manufacturers have even switched to glass platter since the metal platter has affected the written information on it, and the fault rates increased dramatically due to the complicated methods. In fact, previous hard drive failures occurred, but were very rare. I am not able to tell the exact probability number for hard drive fail, but it is obvious that it has increased.
The best program to use to diagnose a hard disk is GSmartControl. This program saves time.
Fortunately, hard drives keep self diagnose information which is referred to as S.M.A.R.T. but, unfortunately, no operating system seems to take care of this self diagnosis. Neither Windows or Mac OS X. Operating systems warn the user when there is something wrong with the hard drive, except in very severe cases.
The second most common faults on computers are virus infections. It is beneficial to check all the hardware first, and then look at the software. The hardware that needs to be checked is the RAM, motherboard, PSU or power adaptor on laptops, and the CPU. Good Antivirus is described here.
As mentioned above, virus infections are very frequent problems that occur on computers today. But unfortunately, nobody has statistics about what the probability is for a computer to get a virus infection. Antivirus software can lower infection rates, but even protective software can’t do anything about very sophisticated viruses.
Motherboard issues take third place. There many components which make up the motherboard such as DC jacks and the USB ports which can get physically damaged. There are also many components such as capacitors that are affected by ageing, and MOSFET’s that get a heavy load and can sometimes fail.
The fourth place is dedicated to problems with the RAM (memory). In my practice, RAM faults are always a surprise because a RAM fault is not very common on computers. But, when there is a RAM fault, you can expect random system behavior.
The software that is installed on the computer or the operating system will not work properly in the case of RAM faults. The OS setup or other software setup can reveal a RAM fault. Windows setup works in a type of protective mode and double checks all the files, if there is something that is not right, a message will inform the user.
Fifth place is dedicated to the PSU (power supply unit) or power adaptor on laptops. The fifth place spot does not mean it is not an important fault, it just means its failure is very unlikely. A working PSU or power adapter does not mean it will work properly.
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