Tech Problems for Non-tech UsersTechnology can make life easier when it works, but when it doesn’t, it can also be a source of unique frustration. The average computer user wastes five days a year waiting for slow laptops and PCs to load, a SanDisk survey found.
One-third of users reported that their technology frustrations left them in a bad mood and one-fourth have expressed their frustration by smashing or stomping on a computer. Fortunately, there are more effective and less expensive ways to handle technology frustration. Here are some tips and resources for dealing with some common technical difficulties.
Reboot FirstBefore trying other solutions, many technology problems can be solved by simply rebooting your computer, mobile device or router, explains technology writer Chris Hoffman. For example, if your computer freezes and shows the blue screen of death, this may have been caused by a low-level hardware driver issue or hardware malfunction, which leaves the computer in a state where it cannot continue processing its commands.
To resolve this, the computer may automatically reboot itself, which restores it to a state where it can function normally as long as it does not encounter the same problem. Other problems that can often be resolved by rebooting include Windows running slow, programs such as Firefox using too much memory or Internet or Wi-Fi network issues.
Computer Running SlowAnother common frustration is a slow-running computer. If rebooting doesn’t solve this, PCWorld’s Ben Kim says the next thing to do is determine whether the problem is your computer or another issue, such as your Internet connection.
For instance, a slow-loading video or website may not be caused by your computer, whereas a slow boot process is more likely to be due to your device. To rule out your Internet connection speed as the problem, try visiting Speedtest.net and making sure that your download and upload speeds are at least 50 percent of what your provider advertises and that pings take less than 100 milliseconds.
If you do this and it still looks like your computer is the problem, next use your file manager application (such as File Explorer in Windows) to check how much disk space is left on your hard drive. If you’ve got enough space, check whether your boot process is launching any programs that are hogging memory.
In Windows, you can do this by launching System Configuration, accessible by pressing Windows-R, typing “msconfig” and hitting Enter. Look at the Startup tab to see what programs are running when you boot up and which can be disabled. Don’t disable programs from manufacturers such as Microsoft, but you can disable apps you don’t need from providers such as Adobe, Google Update or Spotify. After making changes, try rebooting and see if your computer runs faster.
Slow InternetSometimes your computer is running fine, but your Internet connection is still slow. In this case, BabaMail recommends visiting Speedtest.net to check your connection speed, as mentioned earlier. If it looks like your connection speed is okay, check if a program is hogging your bandwidth or if there’s a problem with your network.
To do this, first look for minimized icons that indicate a torrent program running in the background. Next, check if your network card drivers are current, which you can do by going into Device Manager and checking the Network adapters menu. If you see a yellow mark with an exclamation point, right-click on the device name to access the menu for updating your driver software.
If Windows can’t download the update for you, you may be able to download it directly from the manufacturer’s website. If your Internet connection isn’t working, you may need to use another computer and a USB flash drive to do this.