Laptop Troubleshooting: 5 Common Problems and Solutions

laptop repair

When you start to have problems with your laptop, it’s often due to one or more of the most common issues. These laptop troubleshooting tips will help you diagnose and solve five of the most common causes of laptop problems.

Technology is great until it stops working correctly. Then it becomes a huge pain to try to diagnose and fix what’s wrong.

Especially when it’s your laptop. You rely on your laptop to help you work, watch movies, play games, and keep in touch with friends and family.

Luckily, most laptop problems tend to be things like the laptop won’t boot up properly or your computer has no power. These problems are fairly common which means there are solutions to fix them.

And we’re here to help. Keep reading to learn the basics of laptop troubleshooting. Here are five solutions to the most common problems.

1. Laptop Troubleshooting for a Sluggish or Slow Performance

There are fewer things more annoying than a computer that isn’t working as quickly as it should be. Of course, most of us think that our laptops have caught some sort of a virus.

But if you have a great anti-virus program installed, it may not be the problem after all. Instead, you may have a hacker who has infiltrated your machine for nefarious reasons such as sending spam or mining for cryptocurrencies.

Luckily, there’s something you can do. Start by performing a thorough malware scan. When that’s finished, check all the programs that are running in the background.

If you use Windows, open the Task Manager which you can find by searching for the program’s name using the taskbar. If you use macOS, use Spotlight to find the Activity Monitor.

You’ll find a list of the programs that are currently active. You’ll also see that some are familiar to you and other programs aren’t but that doesn’t necessarily mean the ones you don’t recognize are all bad. Do an online search to research the ones you don’t recognize to see if they are legitimate or not.

If, after doing the malware scan and your programs are legitimate, shut down your open windows one at a time and then restart the programs. You can also uninstall any active programs that are using a lot of memory.

2. Computer Has No Power

When your laptop won’t turn on it’s really frustrating. But it’s often due to easily overlooked reasons.

Start by plugging your A/C adapter into your laptop. It could be that your battery is too low on power to start up your laptop.

If that doesn’t work, check to make sure your battery is properly installed. If it is and your laptop won’t boot up, try taking the battery out and plugging in your A/C adapter. Your battery may simply need replacing.

Batteries are relatively inexpensive. Just check to make sure you buy the right one. Don’t forget it could also be that you need to replace your A/C adapter. Those are also relatively inexpensive.

3. Your Laptop Fan Isn’t Performing Properly

If you can hear the fan from your laptop, it’s usually a sign it’s having difficulty performing properly. You should not ignore this because it means there’s not enough cooling air getting into the case. Left untended it can lead to overheating and damaging the electronics inside.

Some laptops have a single cooling fan while larger systems have two or more. It’s fairly easy for these fans to get clogged with dust, dirt, and other debris. If you hear a grinding or whirring noise or you notice your laptop is overheating, you’ll need to take action.

Locate your fans on the side or bottom of your laptop. Buy some compressed air and insert the plastic straw into each vent to clean it out. Be aware, a lot of dirt and dust may come out.

If that doesn’t work, you can open the case of your laptop to check for additional dirt and debris and to make sure your fans are rotating properly. You can replace your fans relatively inexpensively but you need to make sure you buy the right type.

Alternatively, if you don’t feel comfortable fixing it yourself, you can buy a laptop cooling pad.

4. Weird Noises

When you start hearing weird noises coming from the depths of your machine, it’s a good sign there’s a hardware issue going on. Laptops and desktops don’t last forever. However, everyone has a different opinion on how long they actually last.

If you are hearing weird noises, the first thing you should do is back up your information on an external hard drive or cloud service. Saving it to your own hard drive won’t work because if your computer dies, there goes all your information.

Age is one reason why your hard drive may be failing and you may notice your laptop won’t turn on. Years of spilling food, drinks, and accidentally dropping your laptop could also be causing the odd noises.

If your laptop is relatively new, the problem may be the result of gunk and debris. Try using a can of compressed air to clean out your laptop’s sockets and ports.

If it’s still making weird noises or your laptop won’t boot, try running a systems diagnostics program to determine if your laptop really is dying. Alternatively, you can take it in for to be repaired (if you have a trusted local option) and they can determine what your next steps should be.

5. Spills on Your Laptop

Let’s face it, we all keep drinks nearby while using our laptops. It’s no surprise that sometimes we also spill our drinks onto our laptops.

When that happens, you need to immediately turn off your computer. Remove the power cord and battery as quickly and safely as you can. Doing so will help save your computer, especially if you unplugged it before the laptop shut down on its own.

If you didn’t unplug it before that, there’s a good chance you’ll need to replace your computer. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t still try to save it first but don’t try this unless you’ve already removed the power cord and battery first.

For sticky and/or acidic drinks like sodas, clean off the spill as soon as possible. However, wait at least 10 minutes to ensure any stored electricity in the capacitors and other areas has died out.

Once you’ve waited for that to happen, you’ll need to take apart your laptop and clean each component separately. Try using a can of electronics parts cleaner or, if you don’t have that, try using soap and hot water. Use as little soap and water as you can to remove the spill.

Next, dry out your computer. You can use compressed air, a blow dryer on low settings, and even putting the laptop in front of a fan. You can also try all three.

Wait at least 24 hours but staying off your computer for 72 hours is best since you want everything to be completely dry before you start it back up. If you find your computer has no power after that, it’s dead and you’ll need to replace it.

Keep Learning

The more you know about laptop troubleshooting, the longer you can keep your computer running smoothly and securely. Learn how to keep your computer safe from hackers.

Our blog can help. Click here to learn how to stay safe from online hackers.