During day to day usage, it is quite common for us to experience problems with our computers. After a few unsuccessful attempts, our next step is to reach out to a technician which can be a cumbersome and time consuming process. At times, however, the problem itself is quite simple to fix and can be resolved with little to moderate levels of technical knowledge. Therefore, it is always good to rule out these basic scenarios first and then reach out for help as a last resort. Today, we will have a look at a few common problems and their possible solutions. They may not work all the time but they have the potential to be life savers for those who cannot bear to be without their computers. The problems that we will discuss will primarily focus on Windows 10 based laptops and desktops.
Problem(s): Computer not powering on/ Powers on but no display/ Not Charging
Solution: Power cycle
Everything seemed fine but the then out of the blue, the desktop or the laptop simply does not power on. If no indicators such as a power surge or any other peculiar symptoms were observed, there is a reasonable chance that a power cycle may do the trick.
Power cycle is basically a process that releases the static energy that may have built up on the computer. To put it in more layman terms, it is an electrical reset of the device. To perform a power cycle, in case of desktops, unplug everything from the unit leaving it electrically isolated. In that state, simply press and hold the power button of the device for about 90 seconds. Once the process is completed, simply plug everything back in and if it’s your lucky day, the computer will be up and running as if nothing happened. The process is similar with laptops as well. The added step is to remove the battery as well, if possible, and then hold down the power button. In case of embedded batteries, hold down the function key (fn) along with power button to perform the power cycle. With laptops, power cycle can be a possible solution if the laptop powers on but there is no display or if the battery of the laptop is not charging.
Problem(s): Computer is running slow/ Getting a blank screen after logging in/ Does not boot up Windows
Solution: OS reset
If you are experiencing slowdowns in the performance of the computer that initially weren’t there and you are Windows 10 user, then an OS reset may be the way forward. It can also work in cases where you are having boot up issues such as getting a blank screen after logging in or not loading beyond the manufacturer’s logo during the boot process.
The process to initiate the reset itself is quite simple. Within Windows, it can be initiated from settings>update and security>recovery>get started (in the reset this PC section).Alternatively, you can simply type “reset this pc” in the Cortana search bar and it will directly lead you to the final screen. There are 2 types of reset that can be performed, one is the “keep my files” option and the other is the “remove everything” option. In either reset, applications are removed but, as the name suggests, the keep my files option keeps your files safe but it performs a less extensive reset. On the basis of the severity of the problem and whether files are a priority or not, you can take your decision.
There are other ways to perform the reset without accessing the Windows itself. To initiate the reset from the login screen first click on the power symbol on the bottom right corner and select the restart option while holding down the shift key. A menu will appear and select the troubleshoot option from the list. This will present the reset this PC option to you. If the computer does not boot up beyond the manufacture logo, try hard shutdowns 2-3 times by holding the power button down as soon as the computer powers on. It should pull up the automatic repair screen. From there, select advanced options and it will pull the same screen where the troubleshoot option is available.
The OS reset option is the best tool at the disposal of the user to resolve their own problems. It is highly suggested to perform the OS reset whenever you feel that the problem is software based because this can resolve most underlying software problems within 1-3 hours, depending on your choice of the reset type and the processing speed of your computer.
Problem(s): USB port not working/ Audio missing / Touchpad not working
Solution: Driver re-installation
After a Windows update, if you face the problem that one of your input/output devices has stopped working, then it may be due to a driver issue because, at times, the current drivers are not compatible with the latest update or the update created a conflict with the driver. Even in cases where no recent update has been done, it is always good to rule out the possibility of driver issues.
With Windows 10, you get this neat feature that whenever you uninstall any driver for a device, in the next boot, it will automatically reinstall the most appropriate driver for that device. If that does not fix the problem, you can take a more advanced option by downloading the drivers online yourself. In case of built- in devices such as a touchpad or built-in speakers, the manufacturer’s website of the computer is the best place to look for them. If it is an external device like a keyboard or a mouse, then look for the drivers on the manufacturer’s website of the device itself. Once the most relevant driver has been located, simply download and install the driver. Do not forget to restart the computer as a reboot is needed in most cases for the changes to take effect.
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