fbpx

Repairing Your Computer Quicker for Less

Have you started to notice your computer’s niggles, flaws, and problems growing more severe and more frequent over recent months? These issues can irritate you daily, stop you from doing critical tasks, and even put your data in danger. It may be time to book in your computer for a brief service check or repair to get back on track.

When booking your PC in for a service, you can help your technician get straight to the root of the problem. A few simple notes is all it takes. Many people drop off their computers with, at best, a brief and vague description of the problem they experience.

Technicians have a wide range of tools and years of experience to bring an ageing machine back to health. Even with tools and help, without a clear description of the problem, troubleshooting is far more time consuming and expensive. The best doctors in the world couldn’t diagnose a medical condition without a clear explanation of the symptoms.

With just a few simple steps, you can save time and money while ensuring you get your computer back with every problem fixed.

 

Quick computer repair Staffordshire

Take Note of the Problem Every Time It Happens

Some computer problems only crop up every now and again. A machine might freeze suddenly, or shut down unexpectedly. Intermittent issues can be frustrating and seemingly impossible to solve, but these occurrences may not be entirely random.

When these events happen, you can help to resolve your issues by jotting down what you were doing and the programs running at the time they happen. Information about what you clicked on last, or settings you recently changed can reveal unexpected links to the computer’s behavior.

Detailed notes help technicians to reproduce the problem and see the crash or error for themselves. This can lead to faster fixes, more lasting solutions, and less time spend diagnosing problems in the dark. Simple notes scribbled down on a piece of paper or smartphone app can save you a surprising amount of money.

Keep an Eye on the Environment as Well as the Computer

It’s not just things within the computer we need to note down. External factors can play a significant role in how machines operate. Hot and humid days have been known to limit cooling on devices already suffering from heat issues.

Even changing the time of day can raise different computer related issues. There have been occasions where users have reported problems connecting to the internet around lunchtime every day. A seemingly strange coincidence with no apparent cause, until technicians dig a little deeper.

Wi-Fi, which relies on radio waves to send and receive data, uses a frequency of 2.4ghz to communicate with devices. By coincidence, the same frequency is used in concentrated form inside of a microwave to heat food and beverages.

Microwaves, particularly when poorly positioned, or faulty, can cause Wi-Fi issues that disrupt communications every time they are used. Problems that come and go, seemingly randomly, have such a strange link to the computer’s environment that they can be very difficult to diagnose.

Take the Right Hardware at the Right Time

Bringing your computer in for repair, whatever the issue, is as simple as picking up the box itself. We don’t need the peripherals such as the mouse, screen, or keyboard unless those are the things causing the issue. Bringing in a laptop is as simple as carrying it to us, along with the charger.

If you have concerns about how to safely transport your computer, give us a call first and we can advise you what to bring and how best to pack it.

When deciding when to come in, sooner is always better than later. Computer issues often get worse over time. Vents gather more and more dust, fans run slower and slower. Heat issues in particular drastically lower the lifespan of a machine as time goes on.

A machine that gets less and less stable over time puts your programs and your critical data at risk. Updates applied over a shaky foundation can cause any number of software issues. With data, there’s often zero warning before it’s gone.

Can you afford to delay?

Give is a call at 01543 889 444 to book an appointment and give your computer a clean bill of health.


Why annual tune-ups are essential

Remember when you first bought your computer or laptop? You’d hit the power button and it was ready to go waiting for you. Fast forward a year or two, it doesn’t seem as quick does it? That’s because computers need regular maintenance in order to keep them running at full speed.

 

Computer tune-up

Let’s take a look at some of the culprits.

Start-up programs: A lot a programs will start automatically when you turn on your computer, some of these are required for day to day operation, some are not. For example, the iTunes helper automatically loads in the background to speed up things when you connect your iPhone or iPod. But if you can’t remember the last time you connected one of these, it can be disabled.

The average computer can have anywhere between 50-80 programs automatically start-up, each one using system resources which slow down your computer. However, if you don’t know what you are doing and disable the wrong programs, your computer can become unstable and will not work correctly.

Viruses and malware: Almost every computer we see, has got a virus or malware infection and the person those computers it is, doesn’t even know about it. These infections sit in the background, using valuable system resources, slowing the computer down even more. Not only that, but they are also spying on your actions, stealing your private information or  possibly infecting other computers and laptops on your home network. As part of our tune-up process, we make sure your system is completely clear of these infections.

Temporary junk: Computers have a habit of leaving junk everywhere. Every website, document or program you’ve opened, there will be ‘junk’ or snippets of information left behind. These junk files can and will eventually slow your computer down.

Hardware issues: When we perform our tune-ups, we also test the components inside your computer to make sure they are working at peak performance.

Dust build up (all those fans inside your computer or laptop act as a vacuum cleaner, sucking up dust and trapping it inside) causes components to overheat. As the temperatures inside rise, your computer will start to throttle back it’s performance in order to keep itself cool. We recommend a full strip down and clean once a year to keep everything clean inside.

Also, hard drives slow down over time. Traditional hard drives are made up of stacks of platters, spinning up to 7200 rpm, which a read/write head whizzes back and forth. Eventually, the platters take longer to spin up, resulting in a slow computer. This can happen on new computers, so we also recommend testing hard drives once a year to make sure they are not failing.

Just like a car, computers and laptops require regular maintenance in order to make sure they are working correctly. That’s why we suggest having it done once a year. If you haven’t had your computer looked at by us this year, then now is the perfect time to book it in for a tune-up…just in time for Christmas.

Call us today on 01543 889 444 to get your tune-up booked in.


Custom Gaming PC

Last week, we were asked to supply and build a gaming computer for a customer in Rugeley. After an initial chat, we put together a quote and specification that would meet their needs. We installed the computer early Tuesday morning and they rang us the following morning to tell us how delighted they are with it.

The gaming computer specifications are:

  • Intel Core i7-8700K six core CPU
  • 16GB DDR4 Memory
  • Palit NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GamingPro Graphics Card
  • 250GB Samsung 860 EVO SSD
  • 2TB Seagate Hard Drive

Below you can see the finished computer ready to be installed onsite.

Customer gaming PC Rugeley


Is Your Laptop Running Hot and Loud?

Laptop computers commonly heat up a little in normal operation. Electronic components, including large capacity batteries, become warm in use. Your laptop should never become too hot to handle though.

When a laptop turns hot to the touch or starts to sound like a jet engine, it’s likely beginning to overheat.

Modern laptops use nearly silent fans to cool components and keep the system is comfortable and safe to use. In some cases, the sound the computer makes is the best tool you have to diagnose its running condition. Excessive heat causes the fans to work harder and faster to compensate. This jet engine sound is one of the first clues you have to indicate all may not be well.

Laptop running hot

Why So Hot

Because of their compact size and portability, laptop computers are particularly prone to overheating problems. Their tiny footprint puts electronic parts closer together, creates less room for cooling vents and adds a heat generating battery which introduces more hot air into the system.

Most laptops have small fans that suck in cool air, passing it over metal fins to exchange heat from the case. The resulting hot air exhaust is expelled through vents back into the room. This process prevents heat building up inside the machine. The constant air cycle keeps the laptop running cool no matter the workload placed on it.

This process can be interrupted by any number of factors during operation. Alongside cool air, computer fans can also suck in dust, stray hairs, even cigarette smoke too. Smoke in particular contains thick tar which coats the fins, fan blades, and internal components.

Foreign debris inside the machine prevents components from working at their best. Tar, dust, and hair slows down the internal fan and coats the heat generating components and cooling fins. This coating prevents air exchange and keeping components warm as if they were under a blanket.

Causes of Overheating

Sometimes the way a laptop is used can cause it to overheat too. Resting a laptop on thick carpets, blankets, or soft furnishings can block vents, preventing the fans from sucking cold air in or blowing hot air out.

Leaving the machine running on carpet or furnishings, particularly for extended periods of time, can cause overheating issues and introduce extra dust into the components too.

The best place to rest a laptop while in use is on a hard surface such as a desk, table, or lap tray. This allows air free access to the vents and helps prevent dust and hairs getting inside the machine.

Overheating Results

As the computer starts running hotter for longer, its fan will attempt to compensate by running faster and more often. This results in the “jet engine” noise many users report when their computer is struggling to keep up.

Unfortunately, once dust, hair, or tar has already found its way into the machine it is notoriously difficult to clean out. The only way to reset the machine to run cool and quiet is to disassemble the base and clean out its components.

Much like a car engine, computer components have a designed temperature range in which they can safely and reliably operate without any issues. Extended periods of running above the temperature they are designed for can cause damage, sudden failures, and drastically shorten the designed lifespan of the computer.

Unlikely Causes

Often times seemingly random blue screen computer crashes can be traced back to components that have been overheating inside the computer. As heat builds up, vulnerable components start to fail, sometimes temporarily, in the hotter temperatures.

By the time the computer is rebooted and cooled down the issue is seemingly resolved. Back in operation, the computer heats up once more and eventually crashes again. These irregular crashes are highly inconvenient and can sometimes cause data loss too.

However, these symptoms are minor compared to a complete write-off of the machine. For some users, the first sign that their machine is too hot to run safely is when the motherboard is burnt out or their data storage has been irreparably lost.

If your laptop is running hot to the touch or has started to sound loud or irregular, bring it to us for a thorough clean out. You can also call us at 01543 889 444 or fill in the form below

    Note: We do not share your data with any third parties