Quick fixes for com­mon com­puter prob­lems

The Sun (Malaysia) - - TECH TODAY -

MOST PC users don’t have much pa­tience with the de­vices, de­mand­ing they func­tion non-stop, so the user can work, surf or play games. So as soon as some­thing stops work­ing, many are quick to lose their tem­per.

How­ever, a lit­tle bit of tin­ker­ing can of­ten save the day.

Jammed disc drive Even after press­ing the Eject key, the drive won’t budge.

In or­der to open it man­u­ally, tools like a straight­ened pa­per clip can be used to poke a re­lease but­ton in­side a small hole that is of­ten con­cealed by a panel on desk­top com­put­ers.

The clip has to be pushed in un­til it is met by re­sis­tance, which in turn will cause the tray to spring open. The com­puter has to be turned off prior to the prode­cure.

Slow boot-up If it takes too long to start up Win­dows, clean­ing up the auto-start menu may speed up the process.

“Many ad­di­tions to the auto-start menu go un­no­ticed,” Flo­rian Holzbauer of Ger­many’s Chip mag­a­zine says. Th­ese pro­grams may bog down the sys­tem. If this doesn’t work, the ex­pert rec­om­mends back­ing up the data and re­in­stalling Win­dows.

Er­ratic mouse cur­sor If the mouse re­fuses to play nice, tak­ing a closer look at its un­der­side might fix the is­sue. Mouse bel­lies are like mag­nets for filth.

With an en­crusted mouse, a cur­sor tends to bounce around un­pre­dictably.

In op­ti­cal mice, slimy gunk of­ten tends to ac­cu­mu­late near the in­den­ta­tion where the sen­sor is lo­cated.

The ro­tat­ing balls in­side me­chan­i­cal mice are also likely to pull dirt in­side, so tak­ing them out and giv­ing them and the cas­ing a good wipe may also solve the is­sue.

Colour cast A loose plug may be to blame if the screen has a red­dish tint to it or flick­ers. Un­plug­ging it, clean­ing it gen­tly and re-con­nect­ing it se­curely could do the trick.

An­other thing to look for are cracks in the ca­bles. Try­ing out an­other ca­ble and see if the prob­lem goes away. Faulty graph­ics card drivers may need to be re­in­stalled.

If all else fails, it might be time to buy a new mon­i­tor or graph­ics card. They don’t last for­ever.

Un­recog­nised USB de­vices If a com­puter all of a sud­den fails to recog­nise a de­vice, such as a dig­i­tal cam­era or a smart­phone, it may be a good idea to give the con­nec­tor a gen­tle tap to shake out any re­main­ing dust there. Switch­ing USB ports is an­other op­tion.

Users can also try unin­stalling the driver via the Con­trol Panel. After re­boot­ing the com­puter, re­con­nect­ing the de­vice will re­in­stall the driver.

Noisy com­puter “In most cases, the fan is prob­a­bly dusty,” ex­plains Holzbauer.

When deal­ing with desk­top com­put­ers, fix­ing this re­quires some man­ual labour: Dis­con­nect the com­puter’s power plug, then open the case and vac­uum it at the low­est set­ting.

For the clean­ing of the small fan blades, the ex­pert rec­om­mends moist­ened cot­ton swabs.

Sticky key­board The clean­ing cloth should only be slightly damp. The cloth must be wrung out well so that the ma­te­rial is clear of wa­ter. Liq­uids are poi­son to sen­si­tive elec­tronic com­po­nents.

If wip­ing doesn’t yield any re­sults, par­tic­u­larly dirty keys can be re­moved and given a plunge in the wash­ing ma­chine or dish­washer, but only after mak­ing sure they’re se­curely wrapped in

a bag. – dpa

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