How To Identify Computer Problems

  Author: johnsamedaygeek 
  Posted in: Blog

Software and Hardware Problems

Whenever your laptop or computer acts up you need to specify the problem as best as you can – it will help you to perform effective troubleshooting on your own. If you have a good idea of what caused the problem you’ll be in a better position to decide whether you can fix the problem on your own or you have to call tech support or a computer repair technician.


All computer problems fall into two general categories:

Software problems
Hardware problems

It may be tricky as some computer malfunctions could be caused by problems from either camp, but the first step is always to try to identify what you are dealing with. Computer hardware problems are usually easier to specify, but they cost more to repair. Software problems, though harder to detect,  usually cost less to fix or repair.


Hardware Problems

Hardware issues are directly related to the physical components of the computer system. For instance, if there’s no image on the screen, the computer simply refuses to power on, the monitor displays odd colors after start-up or the keyboard doesn’t work.

Basic steps to identify and/or solve the hardware problem:

  • Check that your computer is plugged into a working outlet
  • Check that everything is turned on. If something seems to be not working, make sure the brightness is up or the on switch is in the appropriate position or the volume unmuted depending on what you are having issues with.
  • Check that keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, etc are plugged into your device. Try a different port, if one is available, to check if it is the port or the device that is damaged. Make sure that wireless hardware has a fully charged battery.

Software Problems

Software problems usually appear after the startup process. If some applications no longer work properly or the operating system is unresponsive it is clear evidence of a software problem.

Basic Steps to identify and/or solve Software Issues:

  • Try  restarting your computer
  • Make sure your all programs are updated
  • Check that your antivirus software is running
  • If your computer is having problems after a new program was installed, remove that program and try reinstalling it

You may find online help on the Internet if you want to fix problems yourself, but be very cautious of complicated computer issues that take you into depths of your computer you are not familiar with. Inexperienced computer users can inadvertently cause more problems when trying to fix a computer without the training and knowledge it may require.

While trying to identify the problem with your computer, it is good to take notes. Write down what your computer is doing or not doing and note any specific error codes that may come up. This will definitely make the repair process easier if you find that you need to hand off your computer to a Certified Computer Repair Technician.