As we begin 2011 one thing is certain: We all continue to rely on computers throughout our daily lives more than ever before. Having a computer that isn’t working correctly is now more than just an inconvenience– it can interfere with our routine and prevent us from doing our banking, looking up directions, keeping in touch with friends and relatives, viewing our family photos and much more. It can also be costly and frustrating to haul your computer into a computer repair service center every time you have a problem. With this in mind there are a number of common problems that cause computer users to seek out computer repair services. Many computer problems can be solved at home provided that you are comfortable with installing software updates. The following five things can help to fix or prevent the most common computer problems that result in computer service center visits.
- Running Windows updates regularly. The majority of computers that enter a computer repair shop are far behind in Windows updates. This is by no means a coincidence– Since Windows critical updates are designed to patch critical design flaws, not installing them leaves you vulnerable to software problems. Run Windows updates regularly and your chances of needing computer service will decrease.
- Frequently research security products. Malware, spyware and viruses cause by far the highest number of computer repair service calls. Make sure to do regular research into which security software will best serve you. When it comes to viruses and malware things can change very quickly, so it pays to conduct regular research or consult a computer repair center to find out which solutions are working best at the time. What was the best antivirus product last year may not be a good product this year.
- Ground yourself from static electricity before opening the computer’s case. You should never handle a computer’s internal components without properly grounding yourself from electrostatic discharge (ESD). This involves an anti-static mat and an ESD grounding strap. Since small jolts of static electricity (often too small for you to feel) can seriously damage computer memory and circuit board elements you should never open your computer’s case or handle internal parts without using the proper grounding equipment.
- Update firmware regularly. Firmware is the software that internally controls computer parts like motherboards and printers. Many strange, unusual and difficult to solve computer repair problems are the result of hardware compatibility issues caused by out of date system firmware. Manufacturers usually provide download links to updated firmware for motherboards, routers, printers, network cards and other devices on their websites.
- Update hardware drivers. Video cards, printers and other devices are all run by software drivers provided by the manufacturer. Manufacturers continue to release new drivers to fix compatibility and other problems. Making sure that the drivers controlling your hardware are the most recent ones available from the manufacturer is one way to avoid a costly computer repair technician visit.
For a do-it-yourself type of person, understanding and following these five steps can often solve computer problems and thus eliminate a computer service center visit. It is also important to understand that not all problems are simple and a qualified computer repair service technician is only a phone call away.