How to Troubleshoot Laptop Problems

by Contributor

It's not hard to begin troubleshooting laptop problems and come up with a solution. Often times you'll be able to figure out the source of the problem on your own without having to bring your computer in for a costly diagnostic service. Here's how to troubleshoot any laptop issues that you may be experiencing and find an answer to your problem.

Rule out any problems that could be caused by a virus. When you are experiencing issues with the performance of your laptop, it's best to start out by running a scan with your anti-virus software to look for viruses and spyware that could be causing or contributing to the problem before spending time to look in other areas. If you don't have anti-virus software there are a number of places online where you can download free, fully functional anti-virus programs that will also perform an initial virus check prior to installation.

Make sure that the battery is accepting a charge. Some power failure issues with laptops are caused by faulty batteries that won't hold a proper charge, not by other components. You can check this by swapping another battery into your laptop and running it through a power cycle.

Test the hard drive with a diagnostic utility. A malfunctioning hard drive can create a number of problems with your laptop and is often the culprit, especially if your laptop is starting to get old. There are a number of diagnostic utilities in Windows and in the system BIOS that you can use to run specific tests on your hard drive to check it's function. Start with Windows, and if everything checks out ok then move to the BIOS diagnostic to double check your results.

Plug in an external mouse and keyboard to check for problems with your track pad or laptop keyboard. When these components malfunction the only way to test them is to plug in an external source, and if they are the cause of the problem it will be apparent immediately.

Hook up an additional monitor to evaluate the functionality of your laptop display. If you've got problems with the color, clarity, or resolution of your laptop screen the best way to troubleshoot that is to hook up an external display to your laptop's VGA or HDMI port. Looking at the picture that your laptop puts out and comparing it to and external display will instantly point out any issues with the laptop display.

Check for issues with your operating system. Sometimes the problem is not with your laptop itself, but is an issue with your operating system. To check this you can use the restore function built into Windows and restore the operating system to a previous point in time that existed before your problems began. This will undo any changes to your system registry and repair any corrupted files that could be slowing down your laptop or causing problems.

Make an appointment to have your computer evaluated at a computer repair facility. Most local electronics stores contain some type of computer repair kiosk where they can run extensive diagnostics to determine the cause of your problems. Usually it won't cost you much money to find out the source of your problem, and once you know what is wrong you can repair it yourself or allow them to perform the work.

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