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We rely on our computers so much that when something goes wrong, it can steal enormous amounts of time from work, slow down everything, and even open up your company to liability. Here are some of the most common problems that wreak havoc on your business computers and what to do about them.
What Goes Wrong
Sometimes things go so wrong, that only an IT professional can get things running again. That said, the vast majority of end users calls to an IT service helpdesk are for a limited number of issues. Here are the most common complaints:
- Slow computer: Videos take forever to buffer and vital email attachments won’t load. When you start up a machine, it feels like the computer is working way too long before you can actually get to something. Certain apps seem to hold everything up; or worse freeze entirely.
- Constant restarting: You are right in the middle of a crucial piece of work when the computer does it again—it restarts for seemingly no reason. This is annoying, and when it happens to your work computer, it can cost you hours of labor and hold up everyone.
- Pop-up ads are driving you nuts: You’re not even using a browser or searching online, and yet pop-up ads keep bursting open on your desktop. They are annoying, distracting, and you worry if there is something more sinister going on in the background.
- Wi-Fi keeps dropping: This is annoying and can be difficult to work out. It feels like nothing has changed in your environment, and perhaps other computers on the network are fine, but one computer keeps losing the signal. And it usually at the most inconvenient possible time.
- The printer won’t print: This problem always seems to happen just when you desperately need to print that contract, email, or proposal. It is also frequently mysterious. The printer was working fine yesterday and nothing appears to have changed, so what’s the problem now?
What to Do About It
If these sorts of problems are holding things up in your office, there are some things you can try before you call a service center. They may or may not work, but they’re definitely worth a try.
- Restart: Turning your computer off and on again is the simple answer to a surprisingly large number of computer problems. Many of us let our computers go into “sleep” mode for so long that processes start to pile up in the background, causing a lot of issues. The same goes for printer problems. Restarting the printer might do precisely the same thing, especially if you first clear the printer queue and make sure you don’t have the “use printer offline” option checked.
- Check online for help: If you have a knotty problem with your computer, it pays to check out an IT support blog to see if they have an answer to your specific issue. If the problem is really serious, you may be able to link up with a helpdesk service that can provide you with fast and effective help over the phone.
- Update virus and malware software: Annoying pop-ups can be malware, and slow internet speeds can be down to malware or viruses slowing the system, running processes in the background, or even communicating private information with the outside world behind your back. Make sure all your protective software is updated and run a full scan.
- Keep everything else updated: All your key software and the critical system drivers need to stay updated. A constantly restarting machine could just be a video card that needs to be updated, and if the wifi keeps dropping, it could mean the wireless card needs a new driver.
If there are extensive problems throughout the system, or if you are facing issues that might void warranties or fixes that could cause too much downtime, it might be time to call for help. Professional IT support services will be able to help you keep things running smoothly while you work out the problem.