There can be no doubt that technology has made some parts of our lives easier. However, many people will agree that technology can also be a source of anger and frustration. Just look at your own personal laptop. How many times have you wanted to throw it out the window out of annoyance? How many times have you wanted to impulsively buy a new laptop instead of looking for a computer repair shop?
As your computer gets older, it’s naturally going to experience a decline in performance. However, if you’re able to identify performance problems early, you may be able to increase the longevity of your laptop and keep it working for as long as possible.
To help you identify such problems, we’re going to look at five signs your laptop is in need of repair.
- Slower performance
Slow performance is probably the first issue that you’ll notice. There are a lot of possible reasons why your laptop is slowing down. You might be running too many programs at once or you might be using an application that your laptop can’t handle.
One of the more common reasons, however, is a struggling hard drive. Your hard drive stores all the data on your computer. This includes all documents, video files, audio files and programs. To use this stored data, your computer needs random access memory (RAM), which is a place that temporarily holds a relatively small amount of information so that it can be accessed quickly. Data from your RAM and your hard drive are constantly being switched around, trying to keep up with your activities.
However, once your hard drive starts to get filled up with data, it’s going to have a hard time finding space to store new information. As such, when you try to run a program, it’s going to take your hard drive a little bit more time to access the data that you want. As a result, your computer slows down.
Of course, this is only a simplified version of what actually occurs. Your hard drive is a complex component with a lot of mechanical parts. In some cases, it’s not about how much data your hard drive is storing. Sometimes, your hard drive is simply too old and worn out. Regardless, you should still see a computer repair specialist if you feel that your hard drive is slowing your computer down.
If you normally use a laptop, you’ll know that laptops are notorious for heating up. Unlike desktop computers, a laptop has all its components cramped in a small, compact space. If it’s not getting proper ventilation, your laptop can overheat quickly. In many instances, this might cause your computer to slow down or shut down abruptly.
There are plenty of accessories that you can buy to help your laptop cool down properly. There are cooling pads, which are stands that provide your laptop with extra cooling fans. There are also ventilated stands, which simply helps your laptop get enough cool air.
Also, the cooling fans inside your laptop will start to accumulate dust and debris over time. If the fans get too clogged, it will have a hard time cooling down your system. Eventually, your laptop will start to overheat. If you suspect that your fans have accumulated too much dust, we recommend taking it to a repair specialist. It’s possible to clean the fans yourself, however, you run the risk of damaging other parts of your laptop.
- Battery not charging properly
When you unplug your laptop, do you find that it runs out of juice in just a couple of hours? If this happens to you a lot, it’s likely that your battery needs to be replaced. Yes, you should expect your battery to decline in performance as it ages. However, there are other factors that could be affecting your laptop’s battery life.
For example, there’s this popular belief that leaving your laptop plugged will overcharge the battery and therefore shorten its lifespan. However, most laptops use lithium-ion batteries that stop drawing power from the charger once the battery is full. Therefore, it’s unlikely that a modern laptop will ‘overcharge’.
If you keep your charger plugged in, however, it will start to power the laptop itself as opposed to the battery. Over time, this additional power may cause your laptop to overheat. Overheating leads to more consumption of energy, which in turn, leads to performance and battery problems.
If you’re experiencing any of these issues, see a specialist so that the problem can be diagnosed and fixed.
- Shutting down unexpectedly
You’ve probably heard of the Blue Screen of Death. It is a blue error screen that shows up when the Windows operating system crashes. For Mac users, the equivalent is the ‘kernel panic’ which is usually a black screen with an error code.
Typically, these voluntary shutdowns are caused by hardware failures or software bugs. Sometimes, the system simply cannot function any no longer and will need to force a shutdown. Other times, it’s possible for the system to continue working, but to prevent privacy breaches or data corruption, it chooses to shut itself down.
Regardless of the reason, abrupt shutdowns can cause you to lose a lot of data on your computer. As such, if you get an error screen, it’s best to take your laptop to a specialist as soon as you can.
Unfortunately, computer viruses and malware are still a big problem. Malicious files are being disguised as Windows updates, false pop-ups and various types of links. Even for those who are ‘computer savvy’, some of these are pretty convincing. Which is why you should be extra careful when opening something from an unfamiliar source.
If your computer is slowing down, shutting down abruptly, or doing things that you have no control over, be sure to see a specialist. If you don’t, you’re not only risking the life of your laptop, but also all the files and information that you have on there.
There you have it, five signs your laptop needs repair. With planned obsolescence becoming more and more popular, it can be tempting to upgrade your laptop as soon as you notice a few issues. However, to save yourself some money, it’s worth seeing if a repair specialist can fix the problem for you. A repair job could add a couple more years of use out of your laptop.