In a world where everything is digital, laptops have become indispensable affecting the lives of billions of human beings on the planet. Laptops become even more critical when they start to behave erratically and malfunction; every day activities are drastically altered, or in some cases stopped altogether.
To help alleviate the fear associated with this concern, we have created a list of the most common laptop repair issues that every owner will eventually face, including a suggested fix for them.
4 Common Laptop Repair Issues
Viruses and Malware
At the very top of our list of laptop repair issues, we’ve chosen the two diabolical bugs everyone hates: viruses and malware. Nothing slows down your laptop more than this dreaded duo. They are nasty pieces of scripts running inside your operating system that cause damage to the overall condition of your laptop’s performance.
Before we even discuss how to address these horrible creatures, some explanation is needed.
Malware and Viruses – What’s the difference?
Malware is a general term referring to malicious software that may invade your computer. It includes what most of us call a virus. A virus is a subcategory of malware, or a more specific type of malware.
It’s worth noting that the word, “malware,” is comprised of the words, “malicious” and software.” Thus, malware is a piece of software written to harm and infect the host system that it latches onto. Malware includes viruses such as trojan horses, worms, spyware, and adware.
Trojan Horse – This virus is a type of malware that disguises itself as legitimate software. Its name is taken from the story of the Trojan War when the Trojans thought the huge, wooden horse was harmless. Once, the horse got inside Troy, the city fell.
Users are tricked into letting this nasty software into their operating system, and when it does, the damage starts to spread.
Worm Virus – This is a standalone malware type that self replicates. It spreads through a computer or network without human assistance. A Trojan Horse needs a user to click on it before it can get into a host. A worm, on the other hand, spreads by itself. Its purpose is to infect other computers.
Adware – Also known as advertising-supported software. Its primary purpose is to generate revenue for the author by flooding users with a ton of advertisements. If you’ve been to sites where every time you click on something, advertisements pop up like crazy, then you are confronting some form of adware. Not every adware has malicious intent, but it gets annoying and slows down your computer.
Spyware – Consider this virus like a hidden camera inside your home or office to track your internet activities. Hackers use spyware to gather information about their victim’s system without the victim knowing. Spywares are well hidden inside the host, and they are tough to detect.
Ransomware – This one is a very advanced piece of software built to extort money from its victim. Once it latches onto your system, it restricts access to your computer files or the operating system as a whole until you pay a certain fee. You may get a pop-up warning telling you that you have been locked out of your computer, and the only way you can re-access it is by paying the person who sent the malware virus.
If you want to know more detailed information about malware and viruses, check out hornet security and their article.
The Solution – Install Antivirus
As dangerous as malware may sound, the solution to all of them is a simple installation of the antivirus. Installing an antivirus is the easiest fix you can give your computer to avoid malware related problems.
Free Antivirus Softwares You Can Use
We have included antivirus programs in the list of laptop repair needed because we believe your laptop must be protected from malware. However, we understand that selection depends on your personal preference. Here are some programs worth considering.
For Windows users, you already have a built-in antivirus inside your computer, that is, if you are using Windows 8 or higher. They call it the Windows Defender. Windows Defender was known as Microsoft Security Essentials when only Windows 7 was on the market, and then it was only offered as a separate installation. With the advent of Windows 8, Microsoft built WD right into Windows by default. If you don’t have the budget for antivirus, you can always use your Windows Defender to protect your laptop from viruses and malware. It’s free and easy to use.
Xprotect for Mac OS
Xprotect is a built-in anti-malware program for Mac OS, much like Windows Defender is for Windows. Xprotec is built into the File Quarantine feature of Mac. It was added in 2009 when Apple released Mac OS X 10.6.
How does it work?
Let’s say you come across a neat program on the internet and you want to save it to your computer. So you proceed to download it to your laptop. At this point File Quarantine will run some tests on the downloaded file, and Xprotec compares possible matches with known forms of malware. Once a virus match is confirmed, you’ll receive a warning message saying that if you proceed with the installation, you run the risk of infecting your computer. Knowing it’s not worth the risk, you can delete it from your laptop.
Install Third-Party Antivirus
Another way to secure your laptop from viruses and malware is to install a third-party antivirus. Most of these cost money. Here is a list of the top choices on the market.
Overheating is one of the laptop repair issues you should not take lightly. When left unattended, it can cause serious damage. An overheated laptop will inevitably drag or slow down performance and often cause system failures. Overheating can also make your operating system freeze or crash.
All computers and laptops generate heat, but laptops are more prone to overheating because of their design; they are small and ventilation is a problem. Over time and with constant use dust can gather and eventually clog air vents blocking your system from letting cold air cool your laptop.
How Do I Know If My Laptop Is Overheating?
There are three symptoms that will help you easily detect if your laptop is overheating.
- Your CPU fan is always on maximum speed.
Just like cars have radiators, computers have fans to keep the processing system cool and running. However, having a fan run constantly at high speed means it is trying dissipate too much heat. Not good.
- Slow response
An overheating laptop will automatically drag your computer’s performance down. If you click on a feature and it takes forever to respond, it could be heat that is affecting your laptop’s ability to respond right away.
- Automatic shutdown
Every computer or laptop made today has a fail-safe mechanism that will trigger an automatic shutdown in case of overheating. If your laptop suddenly shuts down, chances are your computer prevented further damage by turning off its system.
How To Keep My Laptop From Overheating?
Keep Filter Dust From Clogging your vents
Make sure that the air vents of your laptop are performing correctly and free from dust and clogs. There are two vents on the top of your laptop: the inhalation vent and the exhaust vent. Check carefully that dust doesn’t enter the inhalation vent of your laptop. You can use a piece of clean cloth to remove any dust build-up at the entrance to an inhalation vent. Also, check your laptop’s exhaust vent. This is where the heat from your laptop flows out; it needs to expel heat to keep its system running. So never block this vent. Give it plenty of space to “breathe.”
Find A Flat Surface When Using A Laptop
How many of you like to use your device in bed? Are you also one of those who loves to use pillows, blankets, and related materials so that you are comfortable when using your laptop?
Well, I’ve got news for you. You are impairing the air vents of your laptop and contributing to the rise of heat inside. The easiest fix to this is never to use your laptop on an uneven surface. Get a unique laptop holder or a tray if you want to have your computing session on the bed.
Update Your Operating System’s BIOS
First, it is helpful to understand what an operating system or OS does in general. An operating system is system type software that controls the computer’s hardware and software functions providing the services for computer programs.
There are many operating systems for computers, but there are two widely used systems on the market today, Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS.
BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) comes into the picture because it controls your computer’s hardware, and one of these is for heat management. Most laptop manufacturers have an installation file for updating your BIOS automatically. So when your laptop’s BIOS is undated, your heat management feature is updated, keeping everything cool and running smoothly.
Get A Laptop Cooling Pad – Avoid Buying The Wrong One
Laptop coolers are devices meant to add additional cooling for your device, but you should be careful when buying one. Selecting the wrong cooler for your laptop can add more heat problems and less cooling. It’s one of those simple laptop repair issues that most people don’t get right.
As we’ve mentioned above, there are two vents you need to locate: the inhalation vent and the exhaust vent. You must be able to match the type of cooler with the design of your vents. If in doubt, ask an expert like those at Steve’s Computer Repair.
Laptop Keyboard Not Working
A laptop isn’t much of a laptop if it doesn’t have a functioning keyboard; the ability to access programs on your laptop would be greatly limited. Imagine creating a full company report on a laptop with a broken keyboard. Simply a headache. So we have taken the liberty of including this problem in the list of laptop repair issues owners have to deal with.
If you encounter problems with your laptop keyboard, here are a couple activities that you may try yourself. If these do not work, then you may need a professional’s help.
Checking Laptop Keyboard Driver
If you are using Windows as your operating system, try the following procedure:
Click the Start Button. Type Device Manager and Hit Enter.
Check if your keyboard driver has an exclamation mark.
Keyboard Hardware Issues
If your keyboard is not responding, then chances are some hardware is damaged. In this case I strongly recommend only one solution. Find an expert who knows how to fix it for you. Don’t experiment with it. You need someone like Steve and his computer repair shop to fix sensitive hardware issues like this.
How To Clean Your Laptop Keyboard
Regular cleaning of your Laptop Keyboard should be a maintenance priority. What’s nice is that in the list of laptop repair issues we’ve made, this one doesn’t cost you a dime. Also, it is easy to do.
Unfortunately because of our busy schedules, we often forget that an essential part of laptop keyboard maintenance is periodic cleaning. Oils from our fingers, dust, crumbs, residues and foreign materials can all pile up in the cavities of our keyboard. These must removed as much as possible. So here are some steps to follow.
- Turn off or unplug your device.
Before attempting to do any cleaning spree, make sure that you have turned off or disconnected your computer from its power source. Any moisture involved in your cleaning procedure can short the circuit of your computer if you are not careful.
- Tilt, Turn It Upside Down and Gently Shake.
Gently tapping or shaking your laptop will force some of the piled up dirt and other residues to fall out. Don’t forget to turn it upside down so that even some of the recessed debris may find its way out.
- Use Compressed Air or Any Blower.
Tapping or gently shaking your device won’t remove much of the debris stuck in the crevices of your keyboard. Using a blower or any compressed air can help you extract more of that debris.
- Wipe With a Damp Cloth – No Water.
This procedure should come at the end of your cleaning regime. Be mindful that water should not be your liquid of choice. There are liquids designed to clean your keyboard, and they evaporate faster than regular water. Use a soft cloth or any of the special clothes specifically designed for cleaning keyboards. Alternatively, you can also use a cotton ball dampened with alcohol and gently wipe it over your keyboard. Just remember that no moisture should be left that might short out a circuit.
Laptop Battery Draining Quickly
A scenario that we are all too familiar with is finding ourselves without power and having to plug in our laptop while using it. Battery issues! This is an annoying concern we can never ignore, ranking among the laptop repair issues we will all eventually have to face.
How Long Can A Laptop Battery Last After Being Fully Charged?
This depends on many factors, the first being the manufacturer. Each producer of laptops makes specific types of batteries with different sets of features. Durability and storage capacity will largely depend on what purpose the battery serves in the device.
MAH – Laptop Battery Storage Capacity
One of the features to consider is mAh, or milli Amp per hour. This will tell you the storage capacity of your battery and how long it will last over time. The bigger the mAh is, the longer the battery can perform. Typical battery life ranges from 2 to 5 years. Some batteries can last up to seven years; however, this is rare. With the ever-expanding range of lithium-ion batteries, batteries are lasting longer than ever. In the future, different technology will take over lithium-ion, and battery life will extend past ten years.
Battery Drains Quickly
Among the laptop repair issues, battery drain tends to be the less harmful, but the most annoying of all. Battery life between charges is about one to eight hours, depending on usage. Newer laptops draw much less power from the battery, so these batteries last much longer.
What may cause fast drains? Intensive use can cause a quick drain of a laptop’s battery. If you’re an avid gamer or a heavy user of the computer, then the battery will not hold a charge as long. If you have your screen set on full brightness, then the battery will also not last as long. It is essential to dim your screen if you are running on battery power alone.
What to do when the battery doesn’t charge?
If your laptop battery is not charging at all, or not charging fully, it may be caused by a failed motherboard circuit. A way to check this is to enter the BIOS of the laptop. Check the BIOS of the computer to view the battery’s status.
A battery is made of various cells and over time these will wear out, just like every battery in a car. If you notice your laptop’s battery life quickly lowering between charges, this could be due to a failing battery.
Also a failing battery can swell and cause your mouse trackpad to raise slightly and pop out. If you notice that your keyboard or mouse trackpad is popping out, it could be caused by the swelling of a failing battery. Replace a swelling battery immediately because this expansion can cause your laptop to explode in a high heat environment.
Final Thoughts On Laptop Repair Issues
As owners of these devices, we will ultimately have to face the inevitable — fixing issues ourselves or finding an expert to do it. Hopefully, the laptop repairs issues mentioned in this article will come in handy for you when the time comes. And if the need arises for professional service, remember Steve’s Computer Repair is always there to help you.
Until next time, have a great day!
What are some laptop repair issues that you would you like us to include in this list? Shoot us a message or comment below so we can give you more insights as to how to address them.