I encounter many people who try to fix their computer problems before they call me.
Quite often they tell me what they did to “fix” the problem, and many times, their remedy verges on superstitious actions, performed out of sheer ignorance.
Examples of computer repairs made out of false beliefs:
- Internet is slow, so deleting Favorites/Bookmarks will speed up the internet
- Related to the slow internet: switch off the modem will let it rest, and it will be faster after a few hours.
- Computer is slow, so deleting desktop icons will speed it up
- Related: deleting documents will make it faster (this is dangerous, as you might delete important data)
- Computer takes a long time to start, so allowing it to “rest” overnight means the PC is faster in the morning
- Hitting/tapping the screen / keyboard / Mouse to get the computer to work “faster”
- Yelling at it (I don’t get this much… by the time I get to a computer, people have usually had time to calm down & their hope are high that I will fix things).
- If double-clicking doesn’t start a program, then try again, and again. I admit I’m guilty of this one, although I kinda have a reason: I sometimes get problems with faulty mouse buttons, such that some clicks don’t actually register.
- Backups: this is where people can cause many problems: I often hear: I once lost a whole stack of photos/documents on my old computer, so now I transfer them to an external USB drive… After I ask a few questions I usually discover that the photos / documents really are transferred to the external USB, with no local copy on the PC… sometimes just a hard bump of the external drive, and they will (once again) loose all their important data… scary!
- There was a thunderstorm yesterday, and now my PC will not start: Many times, I find the problem has nothing to do with lightning (eg viruses, faulty RAM, broken power switch, etc)