Solution to Your Computer or Laptop Overheating

Every time we get a computer or a laptop at our workshop, the first thing that pops into our heads is the chance of overheating of the system. This is mainly habit due to the fact that the most common cause we get of computers and laptops breaking is all down to overheating of the CPU. Now as you may know the CPU is the brain of your system and therefore is the most valuable and needs protecting the most out of all the components of your laptop or PC.

Why do laptops and computers overheat?

Nine times out of ten the main reason why a computer system over heats is that there is a hindrance with the cooling system. Mainly it is dust that has clogged up the fan which means it cannot circulate air out of the vents causing warm air to circulate inside and around the main hardware components, which therefore leads to overheating. Another indicator is if your computer or laptop is making a loud noise, this could be a stray SATA or IDE cable which is getting jammed with the fan.

Laptops tend to overheat a lot faster than your standard computer, mainly due to the fact that a laptop is more compact and the components are more close together generating more heat. So bear in mind, if you are ever thinking about building your own laptop then it is crucial to have an excellent ventilation system.

How to stop your computer/laptop from overheating

It is simple, owning a computer is just like owning a home, car or pet it will need looking after. Some people under estimate the importance of keeping your motherboard components clean. Over time there will be a gather of dirt and dust which is ready to clog your ventilation and therefor damaging possible a thousand pounds worth of hardware (depending on the laptop/computer). It isn’t worth it for a fifteen minute job of simply opening your system and removing all the dust and dirt from the fan.

Another way I have found what works when preventing the computer from overheating is too check the power settings, this could help you save a lot of battery life and therefore you will be using less heat.

So if you have any questions or are looking for solutions to the above problems, then tek squad are here to help repair them!

Prevent Overheating – Top Tips

Overheating can be a problem in laptops and can be down to any number of reasons. We’re going to discuss the most common reasons and what you can do to safeguard against them.

Why is Overheating such a problem? The act of overheating can be quite damaging to your computer if left unchecked. These days most computers have a safeguard against this and will automatically shut down if they start getting too hot. This can be a nuisance as they will usually shut down without ay hint of warning, sometimes costing you your afternoons work.

The reason why it will shut down is because overheating can affect your computer’s Central Processing Unit (CPU). This is the brain of your computer and does all the “thinking” for your computer whilst your Rand Access Memory (RAM) does the doing and your Hard Drive Disk (HDD) does the remembering.

If the CPU was to overheat, this could cause damage to it which would then stop your whole computer working. The term “Central” in CPU shows exactly how important this is. Imagine if your brain was to suddenly stop working, that is as important to us as the CPU is to a computer.

Overheating can usually occur if the vents of a computer become blocked, usually by a build up of dust. To prevent this happening you can use a dust cloth or ear buds to clean the external vents. If the dust build up is particularly bad, then you may have to open up your computer to clean the dust from the internal vents. As it’s harder to use ear buds and cloths inside your laptop or computer, I’d recommend using a can of compressed air. This will clear off all the dust that have attached themselves to the components of your computer.

TOP TIP: To prevent the CPU fan from turning when using the can of compressed air, pop a wooden pencil in there to stop the rotars turning. Don’t use a metal pen as this could be carrying static electricity and cause damage to your CPU.

If you have thoroughly cleaned your computer and still have trouble with overheating, then your heat sink could be faulty. This could need replacing. If you’re having trouble with an overheating laptop, feel free to give us a call for more advice.

What’s the Difference between a Quick and a Full format?

It’s one that can crop up at any time. For instance you could find yourself with an old computer that’s running slow that you just want the hard drive from. Or you could discover an old USB drive that you no longer need the data for. This is also good to know if by some unfortunate chance your USB drive was to corrupt.

Before we discuss the long and short of it (or the quick and full of it), lets take a look at what exactly a format is. First, low-level formatting is essentially dividing up your hard drive or USB into separate spaces. Your computer will essentially ring fence a part of your hard drive and be able to access it when needed.

Secondly, high-level formatting is the writing of a file system to your hard drive disk. For example when you’re installing an Operating system, the Windows (or Mac OSX, Linux) files will be written to the boot sector first, with empty space being written across the rest of the disk.

So now we know what formatting is, lets take a look at quick and full formats. A quick format will write 0s over the existing file system structure, basically overwriting and deleting your Windows installation. A full format, however, will write zeros to the full disk. As there is much more of a surface area to be covered, it naturally takes longer for a full format. So if you’re keeping your hard drive I’d recommend a quick format if you need to format at all.

If you’re giving your hard drive away though, for instance if you’re selling your computer, then it’s best to give your hard drive a full format. Otherwise there could still be some recoverable data of yours on the computer’s hard drive.

So, if you’re keeping your hard drive or computer, a quick format is fine. If, however, you’re giving your computer away, best to give it a full format just in case.

New Computer This Christmas? Stay Safe With These Top Tips

So you’ve started the new year with a new computer. Lucky you, but if you want to make the most of your computer then you need to make sure to look after it. Here are some basic tips to help you keep your computer secure and running smoothly.

Turn On Automatic Updates

I know this will get on the nerves of every computer user, none more so than Windows users. Windows are always releasing updates and they can take a while to install sometimes. What you want to be able to do is have these updates install automatically. This will help keep your computer not only up to date with the latest software, but it can help tighten up security too.

Find an Antivirus & Update it Daily

Security is a big business these days so no doubt your computer will already come with an antivirus trial installed. The good news is that you don’t have to stick with this antivirus and can remove it. Usually the antivirus pre-installed isn’t the best, they’ve just paid the computer manufacturer to be there. So once you’ve uninstalled it you find a new antivirus. Which program you choose is completely up to you, but I do recommend having one and updating it daily.

Remove Unused Software

This ties in with the last point a little bit. When computers are released, other tech companies pay these computer manufacturers to have their software pre-installed on the models that get shipped out. It is just another form of advertising and is often referred to as “bloatware”, because it bloats up your system when you don’t need it. Removing this software will not only free up system resources, but if you open an old version of one of these programs accidentally, you could have a security issue.

So stay safe with these tips and get the most from your new computer.

How to Run a Memory Test on Windows 7

You might want to run a memory test for a number of reasons:

> Your computer might be running slow. This could be down to a number of things, namely, if your computer memory has suffered a bit of damage, then it’s not going to be performing to its true potential. Also known as a memory leak, running a memory test will identify and hopefully resolve the problem.

> Your computer could crash a lot. Again this could be down to memory issues, especially if caused by a memory leak. A memory leak is where a malfunctioning piece of memory will assign memory to a process or program where it cannot be recovered. In effect, slowly reducing the amount of memory you have available until you have so little memory left running, your computer is forced to shut itself down to protect itself.

To run a memory test, open the start menu and type “memory” into the search box.

Select “Windows Memory Diagnostic” from the list of search results.

Select the “Restart now and check for problems (recommended)” option from the box that pops up.

Your computer will then restart and the memory test will run. Grab a cup of tea as this might take a while.

Once completed your computer will report to you any memory problems it can find. Call Tek Squad and we’ll be able to help fix your underperforming computer.

My Computer Won’t Switch On. What Do I Do?

It’s an awful sound, the sound of silence. You’re all too familiar with the whirring and clunks and clanks (depending on how old your computer is) that commence immediately after you hit and release the power button.

But what happens if you’re let down and all that follows the clicks of the power button is silence? Well, not to worry, there may still be some hope yet.

First of all, you can start by checking the power cable to your computer. Is the cable plugged in? Is there power going through it? Is your PSU switched on?

Plug something else into the power socket you’re using for your computer, if it switches on, the problem is with the socket and not your computer. If the cable is plugged in and the socket is switched on, check that the cable is securely fixed to your computer.

If the cable is securely fastened to your computer and the socket is switched on, check the back of your computer for a switch. Sometimes power supply units (PSU) have a switch on the back of them so that they can be switched off. Check this switch is in the correct position before proceeding.

A lot of computers with these types of PSU will have an indicator light at the back of them. If this light is on and your computer still won’t start up then it could be a bit of a bigger problem.

At this stage it’s important to remember that your hard drive will probably be ok. I say probably because if there was a power surge, it could have passed a current through the hard drive, leaving the hard drive effectively dead.

At this point as your computer isn’t working then you should get in touch with a computer repair company in your area. They will be able to thoroughly examine your computer and troubleshoot it professionally.

 

Precaution measures to take when outsourcing laptop repairs

The modern laptop is a great business tool, as these days you can carry out most of the functions that you can on a desktop computer but with the added bonus of being able to use them on the move. Choosing the right laptop, as with everything, is vital to ensure you can use it for everything you want to, but the effective running of it means regular maintenance. Even if you take all the precautions that you can such as virus prevention software and carry out regular cleaning both inside and out, your laptop will inevitably run into problems at one point and you will need to source a laptop repairs company unless you have someone in house trained to do so.

Sourcing a company to fix something you don’t understand, and few people know the inner workings of their beloved laptops, can be intimidating in the same way as buying a car; how do I know if their taking advantage of my ignorance, so there are a few precautions to take when outsourcing laptop repairs:
Ask around for recommendations.

Nothing beats first-hand experience and so even if this is your first time outsourcing laptop repairs, you may well know someone who does this already or has done in the past. Ask about companies they have tried, and get an idea of which you should consider and which you should avoid like the plague.

Get the person with the most knowledge of laptops and laptops repairs within your company, or even just someone you know and trust, to talk to companies you are considering. If they are ‘talking the talk’ and clearly understand what is being said, companies will feel much less able to try and full any sort of fast one with you, whether that’s including repairs that aren’t necessary or saying a job will take longer than it will.

Have a company lined up to carry out any laptop repairs in advance instead of waiting for a problem before finding one. This means that you will have more time to find a company you trust and feel comfortable as well as check for references, instead of being in a rush to find someone, anyone, to get your laptop going again; you won’t be held to ransom on time.

Is advancing of technology better or worse for computer repairs

Technology moves at an intimidating speed, and it can be very disconcerting to find that as soon as you’ve become proficient in a kind of standard software, that it’s been updated and you have to learn how to use all of the new features. You can see the speed of development just by thinking about the kind of computer games that were popular 5 years ago compared to now; games are more complex, graphics sharper, images more realistic, and there are systems that can detect your movements and record them as well. Most technology is moving at this speed even if it’s less obvious, including desktop computers and laptops.

Laptops were once baby computers and so whilst they were very mobile they were an additional piece of technology alongside a desktop computer. Mobile technology and internet is one of the fastest developing areas of technology, and so it is for this reason that a laptop is now a fundamental piece of technology, often able to do everything a desktop can. Desktop computers are now able to do more as standard, instead of only carrying out the most basic of functions, with anything more complex only being on the bigger more expensive computers. Processors are faster, memories are bigger, and there is much more choice available, but what does this mean for computer repairs? Does the additional complex nature of computers these days mean that computer repairs are harder and/or more expensive?

Not necessarily, because as computers have advanced, as has the usability; it is much harder to break your computer these days with the press of one button. Computers are designed for everyone these days, and so they are designed to be fool proof. They are also designed to be durable and so they are not nearly as fragile as they once were; screens are tougher and parts more protected, making it harder to break the exterior parts of a computer.

There are also more ways to protect your computer, specifically against viruses. There is free, easy to download virus protection software available on the internet, as well as affordable ones on a disk. You can keep your computer safe much more easily, eliminating the need for a repair to start with.

Computer repairs can be carried out by yourself more, due to the sheer amount of information out there. The internet is full of guides on how to fix simple issues with your computer or laptop, and there are literally hundreds of books as well as loads of short affordable courses.

The more elaborate nature of computers may make you think that repairs will be harder to carry out, but technology also gives you a helping hand.

Common Printer Problems and Fix Tips

Despite the popularity of email, online document sharing and the means to send invoices, payments and correspondence online, there are still times when you want or need to print items, which is why a lot of people still have a printer. Printers are more advanced than the first kinds; they combine with faxes and scanners, and the quality of print you can achieve is better than ever. Despite advanced technology involved in printers these days, there are, as with everything, still problem and there are a number of common printer problems, and there are a number of them that you can overcome yourself with some simple fix tips.

 

It sounds so simple but to prevent issues in the first place read, and then hang onto, the instructions! Knowing how it works and how to carry out basic functions will always save you time. There are also usually a number of the most common issues explained at the back of the instructions and having these to hand can save you time. There will also be important information you will need on there.

 

One piece of information is the kind of ink and ink cartridge that your printer needs. The ink will run out at one point and so make sure that you buy the right one. Using the wrong kind of ink is a sure fire way of breaking your printer and once you’ve broken it in this way it needs a professional to fix it; an expense you could do without. Take the make and model with you to the place that you are buying the ink from, or better yet, those instructions with the information on.

 

Paper jams are a classic issue with printers also, and this is where the paper is stuck in the printer, and the pressed nature of the printer will make yanking the paper out a mission as well as potentially breaking the printer even more. To fix a paper jam first turn off the printer. You can then inspect the tray that the the printed paper falls in to. If you can see the paper that is stuck and it is quite far through, it may be possible to manually remove it gently. If not, open the printer door that give you access to the printer ink cartridges or toner and look for the stuck paper and again if the paper is visible then you can manually remove it. Then turn the printer back on. If haven’t been able to see paper, or it is not in an area where it is visible, it might be that your printer is experiencing a hardware problem. Contact the printer manufacturer for more help with repairing it.

 

Problems more complicated than you are able to understand or that you cannot find an answer to should always be referred to a professional computer repair individual or company to ensure that you don’t make any problem worse.  

Ideal computer set up for beginners

It’s true that the number of those that are trained and experienced in using computers is on the rise because of work training as well as the use of technology in schools and further education, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is completely confident with them. When faced with a new computer to set up, a lot of people are overwhelmed and worried about breaking it before even using it and decide to get help or pay for someone to do it. You don’t need to do this with a few simple steps and following the instructions.

First of all you need to make sure that you place your computer where you want it, as it will be harder to move when plugged in and set up. This should be a cool and well-ventilated area to ensure that your computer does not overheat and break. Once you’ve done this you should find your monitor cable. Connect one end of the cable to the monitor port on the back of the computer case, and the other end to the monitor. Tighten the plastic-covered screws on the monitor cable by hand to ensure that it is secure. If a cable won’t fit into a hole don’t force it, it’s clearly the wrong one.

Get out the keyboard to connect it to the computer. If it uses a USB connector, plug it into one of the many USB ports at the back of the computer, or if it uses a PS/2 connector, plug it into the keyboard port on the back of the computer, these are often purple. Then find your mouse, and do the same, except if it uses ad PS/2 connector the port to insert it into is usually green. If you have speakers of headphones, plug them into the audio plug at the back of the computer, which will be signposted.

At this point all you need to do is plug your computer in and start it up. Your computer will then most often give you instructions on how to continue, and any software you wish to install will have step by step installation guides as standard. At this point you will be up and running, and ready to learn how to use your computer.