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The 5 Most Common Desktop Support IT Problems and Solutions

Matt Freymiller
09/28/2022
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Computers continue to leap forward in their capabilities and reliability. 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 occasional issues and require help desk troubleshooting, which could hurt productivity and your business overall.

Here are five common IT problems your desktop can experience — and how to solve them.

  1. Slow internet
  2. Software won’t install
  3. Software or OS is slow
  4. Computer restarts multiple times
  5. The computer or its applications are suddenly behaving abnormally

1. Slow internet

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

Slow internet could mean you have too many downloads in progress on your network at the same time. It may also be the result of too many computers sharing one internet connection or a weak Wi-Fi signal where you’re located.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO FIX IT?

If users are causing the issue with downloads or streaming services, figure out what’s unnecessary and limit those items. If too many people are sharing the internet, you can often set a max speed in the 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 won’t 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. It’s also possible a newer version of the software has already been installed. Or, the software simply might not be compatible with your OS.

WHAT CAN YOU 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’ll need to contact your administrator for support.

3. Software or OS is slow

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

A lack of resources (RAM, CPU, Disk) or a possible virus/malware infection is probably the culprit in such a slow performance.

WHAT CAN YOU 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. 

If none of these options are to blame, and if your computer is greater than five years old, it’s time to consider an upgrade to new hardware.


Further Reading: The Best Web Browsers for Business


4. Computer restarts multiple times

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

Software or Windows updates might be in the middle of installing, but a computer virus or bad hardware drivers could also be the problem.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO FIX IT?

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

5. The computer or its applications are suddenly behaving abnormally

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

You could be dealing with a virus infection, failing hardware or just need a reboot.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO FIX IT?

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

The Long-term Solution

These are some of the ways to troubleshoot your desktop or laptop computer. But how can you regularly address such IT issues — or prevent them from happening — for your business with confidence?

Something we often see, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, is one person who wears multiple hats — one of them being IT. Because this isn’t that person’s only role, there’s often a skills or time gap resulting in untimely or inadequate solutions. This leaves you in a vulnerable position, especially in terms of cybersecurity.

Outsourcing the help desk completely or having a partner join forces with your existing IT team can deliver greater efficiency for your organization. Technology management puts the concerns we discussed here in the hands of experts who have the time and know-how to keep operations running smoothly.

At Elevity, we provide fully managed services and co-managed services depending on your needs. Either way, we work with you using our 4S approach: Strategy, Security, Solutions and Support. More than just fixing computer problems that pop up, these elements go hand in hand to ensure your technology is fully aligned with your business goals and setting you up for success.

Want to learn more about the new ways technology management can work for you? We invite you to download our free infographic, Traditional IT vs Technology Management, for a side-by-side comparison breaking down the most critical technology components. Simply click the link below to access your copy today.

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