Troubleshooting, Installations & Cleanup
Computer Running Slow?
If your computer is running slow or if certain programs don't work any longer, I can help.
I provide the following maintenance and troubleshooting services:
- Ensuring your computer's operating system and programs are updated.
- Installations of new software and devices.
- Removing old or potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).
- Diagnosing computer crashes, failed programs and installations.
- Recommendations of hardware upgrades that will improve your experience.
Assessing the Problem
Troubleshooting services start with an assessment of the problem followed by recommendations and solutions that work.
Routine maintenance ensures that your computer is running as smoothly as possible with current versions of your software installed and older or dangerous software removed.
Onsite or In-shop
Onsite servicing is more convenient and is required for the setup or troubleshooting of most network-related issues.
Start by recording the information about your computer hardware and software. Here's how.
Backup Your Files
You can help speed the process by ensuring that you have a recent backup of your computer files, particularly:
- your documents, music, photos, videos and other data files;
- backups to your email program including email addresses;
- Firefox or Chrome bookmarks & Edge or IE favorites;
- critical system files; and
- any other files that are important to you.
Locating Your Data
Note that some older programs keep their data within the program folder and most recent programs keep it either within the Documents folder for the current user or within hidden folders inside your personal area (C:\Users for Vista or later).
Software & License Numbers
You should also have these items handy:
- operating system software*;
- software program disks as well as licensed downloaded software;
- operating system and software license keys;
- your ISP setup instructions; and
- any network or proprietary software and instructions.
* Windows 10 computers don't generally come with software. You can reinstall Windows from within Windows itself.
Discovering What Went Wrong
It helps to know what you were doing on your computer when your problem occurred as well as any error messages that were displayed.
Its Not About Blame!
This is not an issue of blame. However, it narrows the possible causes of your problems and helps speed up the process of recovery.
Sometimes the problem can be resolved with either a selective reinstall of the program or the hardware driver affected.
- Windows System Restore may recover your system.
- Other solutions may require looking for aberrant settings or corruption in the system files.
Is a Clean Install Needed?
In some cases I will recommend a "clean" install. This consists of formatting the hard drive followed by a complete reinstallation of the operating system. By removing all files you can eradicate problems that may not be corrected by a standard reinstallation.
Removes Corrupt/Unnecessary Files & Settings
This removes all corrupt and unneeded files from your computer including those infected by a virus or spyware and those remaining after programs or other software has been uninstalled.
Backups are Critical
Unfortunately this process will wipe all programs and data from your computer. It is essential that you have reliable backups of at least
- your data files (documents, photos, etc.); and
- your user files (email backups, email addresses and browser bookmarks or favorites).
The Restore Process
The operating system (Windows, macOS or Linux) will need to be reinstalled, then the drivers for all hardware including printers and accessories then all programs not installed with the operating system.