How To Diagnose A Computer Problem

Many people rely on their computers to complete personal and business tasks each day. If your computer has been experiencing problems or not working correctly, here are some computer tips to help you diagnose the problem.

Check the Power On Self Test (POST)

The POST appears before the computer’s operating system loads up and will normally display any problems with the hardware that is preventing the computer from booting up.

Check the Load Time of the Operating System (OS)

computer's audio
If the computer’s audio is choppy or too slow.

If the OS is taking longer than usual to load this may indicate errors in the hard drive. If there are reduced graphics after the OS has loaded, this may indicate a possible driver or hardware failure involving the graphics card.

Perform an Auditory Test

If the computer’s audio is choppy or too slow, this could mean that the processor is working too hard or that there is insufficient RAM to run all of the programs.

Check Any Newly Installed Hardware

Some operating systems, such as Windows, may conflict with a new driver. The OS will normally notify you if a device is causing a problem on your computer. Use the computer’s Device Manager to check the properties of newly installed hardware.

Check Any Newly Installed Software

Some software may require more resources than your computer can provide. If a problem begins after the software starts up, it is likely caused by the software.

Check RAM and CPU Consumption

computer hard disk
The processor is working too hard or that there is insufficient RAM to run all of the programs.

Use the Task Manager to determine if a program is consuming too much of your computer’s resources.

Run A Virus and Malware Scan

Run a virus scan to detect any virus or security problems. Use a reliable virus scanner such as Norton Antivirus or Avast! Antivirus.

Use Safe Mode

If all else fails, run the computer in safe mode. If this doesn’t fix the problem, it is likely that the operating system is the cause.