The public in 2022 is far more computer literate and generally tech-capable than they were back in the 1980s and 1990s. Computers are no longer strangers to us, and nor are many of their workings. There remains, however, a kind of line that can be crossed where our everyday knowledge of how to keep our computers in order is no good and we need more professional IT repair services.
When do we reach that point? What are some signs that you are actually in need of professional IT services? For this list, we’re assuming a basic working knowledge of one’s computer, but no real detailed technical knowledge, and that one may have tried simple remedies to each of these problems already.
1. Computer is Running Slowly
Are you noticing that your computer is running slow to the point where you think it’s ground to a halt but it’s actually just trying to complete a very ordinary and mundane task? When your computer is struggling to even open a basic everyday program like Microsoft Word without severely lagging or freezing up, then something is definitely wrong.
Other signs might include a lot of “thinking” noise from the computer as it seems to be processing things, even when you’re not doing anything particular. Alternatively, the mouse cursor might lag as you drag it, making it hard to maintain precision. In these circumstances, there’s likely something seriously wrong with the hard disk or CPU.
2. Frequent and Serious Crashing
You might not get the classic “blue screen of death” any more on modern systems, but the same kinds of crashes do seem to happen. Microsoft even tried to make their new crash screen seem a bit less scary with a frown emoji face and some text explanation. Be it the old scary gibberish blue screen or the new one, it means one serious thing: you’ve had a serious crash.
This happening once in a blue moon isn’t a big deal, but when it’s happening to you not just daily, but multiple times a day, then something else is going very wrong indeed. The most likely culprit behind these crashes is seriously malfunctioning hardware, including problems in your power supply, memory, serious incompatibility issues and more. It’s definitely a problem for the professionals to solve.
3. Your Computer is Overheating
In both desktops and laptops, overheating is a common-enough problem, but when it happens to a very strong degree, or there is a sudden spike in heat generation, then it’s a problem better solved by professional IT services. The most likely culprit is a buildup of dust around the fan or in the air vents. However, the fan itself might not be working properly, which would cause a rapid and potentially damaging buildup of heat.
4. You’re Plagued with Inexplicable Error Messages
Windows PC systems in particular are well-known for their sometimes bizarre error messages. Who can forget just working away at their English Literature essay on the home computer before being suddenly told that you are now a criminal because “This program has performed an illegal operation and must be shut down”?
Regardless of your operating system, a continuous barrage of error messages is indicative of something far deeper going wrong. An isolated error message when a program goes wrong is normal, and not a problem. Sudden and unexpected messages in sequence, however, is something else. Call IT!
5. You Believe You’re Under Malware Attack
If you have reason to believe that your computer has taken on a harmful piece of malware, be it a virus, trojan, or something more sophisticated like a piece of ransomware, then it’s best to call in an IT pro before taking any other steps. Any other operation you do on the computer might compromise it further.