Here you will find answers to some common questions we run into. We hope this is a useful resource but if you can't find what you need, please feel free to contact us.
My PC is running slow... Do I have a virus?
There are many factors that can contribute to a PC running slow, some may be hardware related (parts of the computer) or some may be caused by software (programs running in the background or possibly a virus).
Here are a few common causes:
The computer does not have enough Memory (RAM)
Programs today are designed to use a lot more memory than those from several years ago. Any program running (including background programs such as anti virus software, auto updaters, syncing software etc) are all using memory.
If you bought the computer a few years ago and it seems to be really running slow these days, a simple and inexpensive memory upgrade might be exactly what you need!
The Hard Drive is extremely full
Having a lot of music or videos stored on your computer's hard drive generally won't slow it down. The exception to the rule is if the hard drive is near it's capacity (for example, at 95% full). This is because Windows normally uses some space on the hard drive to process operations and cache items. If this space is not available, you will notice things are very slow.
One of your components is faulty, or failing
This can be harder to diagnose, since some of the symptoms may be the same as those listed above. At our service centres we have specialised tools we can use to test your hard drive, memory and other hardware components to see if they are faulty or causing issues.
A specific program is running slow when you use it
Occasionally program installations can become corrupt when the software updates itself or when add ons are applied (such as browser toolbars in Internet Explorer); sometimes it can happen simply from repeated use. Certain programs may have self-diagnostic features which can possibly fix the issue, or in some cases, the software may need to be completely reinstalled or updated to a newer version.
Things are slow or erratic when you are on the internet
This problem may simply be to do with the speed of your internet connection (even the fastest PC in the world can be limited by the speed of it's internet connection when browsing online). In some cases this may be a sign that you have a virus, since viruses often target internet browsers, especially if you are being redirected to unusual websites or noticing strange pop ups.
We have years of experience with many different types of virus removal and can give you recommendations about the best type of anti virus software available to suit your needs.
I can't access the internet or emails
Usually these two things are related and both require an internet connection.
Both email and internet browsing are down, you can't get online by any means
Power cycle your modem (turn it off for 30sec, then turn it back on) - you've probably heard it before, but you'd be surprised how often this fixes the issue!
Failing this, the problem may be related to your internet provider - give them a call and they will run through a few basic tests with you to make sure there are no issues on their end.
Still no internet? Your modem may be faulty or there may be a problem with your PC, possibly even a virus that is blocking all internet traffic. At this point we would recommend dropping the computer in to one of our service centres for testing.
You can access the internet (view websites) but can't receive any emails (or vice versa)
If it is a case of one without the other, it is most likely a problem with your software on the computer or possibly a virus that has targeted your internet browser and bloacked traffic.
My PC is not turning on at all
You've just had a recent power outage and now the computer won't turn on or power up
Try pulling the power cable out of the back of the computer, leave it for 10sec then plug it back in.
The computer powers on, but there is no display on the screen (the screen displays a 'no input signal' type message)
Firstly, check to make sure the cables that connect the monitor to the computer are secure and haven't come loose on either end.
If the cable is fine, the problem may be with the graphics/video card. A basic card is inexpensive to replace, however higher end 'gaming' cards can cost several hundred dollars.
I get as far as the 'Windows Loading' screen, then the system restarts
This problem is commonly called 'being stuck in a boot loop'.
You notice a brief flash of a blue screen with white writing on it before the computer restarts
The 'Blue Screen of Death' is a colloquial name given to the Windows fatal error screen. This can be caused by one of any number of reasons, possibly being software or hardware/driver related; essentially a serious error that is preventing Windows from starting up.
We can analyse the BSoD for you and often get to the root of the problem without too much hassle.
The computer just seems to restart in the same place over and over again
This may be a file corruption with Windows, or in some cases an issue with the hard drive. There are a number of tests and repairs we can run to fix these types of issues.
The computer shuts down randomly
This is more likely an issue to do with overheating. Modern computers are designed to shut down once a certain heat threshold is reached to prevent serious damage to the components.
A computer in this situation may need thermal paste to be reapplied to the CPU heatsink, a good blow out of excess dust, or perhaps some extra cooling installed (such as addtional fans) if the computer is used in a particularly hot environment.