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The 5 Most Common Desktop Support Problems and Solutions

Matt Freymiller
06/03/2021
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Computers are constantly becoming faster and more reliable. Thanks to more durable hard drives and faster processors, your current personal computer will perform better for longer than any PC you’ve had before. But even with increased durability, the newest PCs can still experience issues occasionally.

Here’s five common issues and our tips on how to resolve these problems on your desktop.

1. Slow Internet

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

This could simply mean you have too many downloads in progress at the same time. It could also mean there are too many computers sharing internet connection or a weak Wi-Fi signal where you are.

WHAT CAN I DO TO FIX IT?

If users are causing the issue with downloads or streaming services, figure out what is unnecessary and limit those items. If too many people are sharing internet, you can often set a max speed in router for even distribution of bandwidth or contact your internet provider to increase speeds. Next, check your Wi-Fi signal and try moving your access point or adding additional access points if the signal is weak or unreliable. If nothing else works, it’s time to check your PC for viruses or malware.

2. Software will not install

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

If you can’t install an application, there may not be enough disk space or you may not have proper permissions to install the application. It could also be that a newer version of the software has already been installed. Finally, the software might not be compatible with your OS.

WHAT CAN I DO TO FIX IT?

Free up space on the hard drive, look for previous installations of the software in question, and check with the software vendor to ensure compatibility. If your user account does not have proper permissions, you will need to contact your administrator for support.

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3. Software or OS is running slow

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

A lack of resources (RAM, CPU, Disk) or virus/malware infection.

WHAT CAN I DO TO FIX IT?

Open Task Manager and look for an application that may be using too many resources. Check CPU usage and RAM utilization. A reboot will often clear resources that have been orphaned and not returned to the OS for use. Next you can perform a full system scan for viruses. If you have a virus that you can’t remove, consider reinstalling the OS. Lastly if your computer is greater than 5 years old consider replacement.

4. Computer restarting multiple times

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

Software or Windows Updates could be installing, but the problem could also be a computer virus or bad hardware drivers.

WHAT CAN I DO TO FIX IT?

Windows Updates can cause your computer to restart many times. Especially if your computer has fallen significantly behind. If that is not the issue, then run a virus scan and clean up anything discovered. If you are getting the dreaded “Blue Screen of Death” check your hardware manufacturer for driver updates.

5. Suddenly, applications or computer behaving abnormally

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

Virus infection, failing hardware, or a reboot is needed.

WHAT CAN I DO TO FIX IT?

Start out by rebooting your PC. This often resolves issues because it clears resources that may have been held due to unknown software issues. Run a hardware diagnostic tool to see if your hardware is performing correctly. Lastly, check your PC for viruses and malware and clean up any identified infections.

THE LONG TERM FIX

These are some of the ways to troubleshoot your desktop or laptop computer. But how do you address tech support issues for your company?

One of the big pain points we see, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, is that there is often one person who wears multiple hats, and one of those is to manage and support the IT systems. Because this is not that person’s primary role, there is usually a skills gap and issues often take longer to resolve. This keeps both the internal IT and the employee having the issue away from performing their other important job duties.

Outsourcing the help desk can deliver greater efficiency for your organization. When considering outsourcing your IT services, be sure to consider soft costs such as time savings, and the availability of a team to support your organization. If you are that support person, it’s a good exercise to document time spent supporting the IT environment. Many times business owners don’t realize how much time you are spending on internal support or how this effects your ability to take time off and recharge.

Many people are concerned that a third party will not understand their day-to-day operations and business. What we’ve learned is that there are patterns to any organization. A top-tier Technology Management provider will invest time into training and documentation so that we can learn what it takes to support you and your users.

I hope some of this has been useful for addressing your IT troubles. But if you’d like to talk about a strategic approach to IT support and technology systems, contact the managed technology experts at Elevity. We’d love to show you how we can help.

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