This article details a logical approach to PC repairs that should be useful for the majority of software issue types that can occur. Hardware problems are not covered as they invariably require the assistance of a PC technician and extra tools to analyze and repair them.
The range of software problems that can occur is massive and can occur due to numerous causes:
– Out-of-date software: Applications conflicting with device drivers.
– Incompatibility issues: Software not made for your system’s specific version).
– Conflicting configuration: Often in the registry where various applications may share the same registry settings).
– Damage: Faults introduced due to viruses, deleting files, messy program removals.
The basis of any good PC maintenance is to schedule some key activities to backup your computer and keep the applications current and up-to-date. This usually consists of the following recurring activities:
– Running Windows Update to pull down patch updates.
– Updating anti-virus definitions regularly and running scans on the full system.
– Backing up personal data and (importantly) versioning copies of the registry file.
– Maintaining 10% free disk space at all times and defragmenting drives every four weeks.
These tasks improve the resilience of your computer making PC repairs easier to complete. When issues do arise you have, at the very least, backup copies of your data that you can access. Any PC repairs should begin with attempting some manual steps to fix the issues:
– Research the symptoms online. Use product support systems, forums and the Microsoft knowledge base for expert advice. If others have experienced the issue then patches/workarounds may already be in place.
– Backup all data (including the registry) prior to attempting any resolution.
– Resort to online PC repair software (e.g. Register Easy, Reimage). Most of these tools offer a free scan to analyze registry and/or file system issues. At the very least they can give an insight into the root cause of problems.
The last resort for PC repairs should be to reinstall software. Make every effort to remedy the problem manually or call upon a PC technician to attempt a repair. Reinstalling software invariably clears out your personal configuration information for that application (if you don’t starting with an application again, from new, then this would be less of a concern).