Tips and Tricks for Problematic PCs

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When your computer won’t boot up, cycles in a bootloop, or continuously flashes the dreaded BSOD (blue or black screen of death), the most common response is to shut it down and ship the whole thing to a PC repair shop. While this is a sensible solution, there are other simple and effective tricks you can try that might solve the problem. Here are some of them:
Tips and Tricks for Problematic PCs
Resetting

Reseating means disconnecting cords, removing cards and other hardware and putting them all back together. Often times than not, reseating alone fixes minor PC errors that could cause bootloops and BSODs. Think of it as stretching after long hours of sitting in front of the computer or lying in one spot on the bed—it takes out the kinks that causes aches and pains in your muscles and joints, making you ready to face the new day!

Cleaning

Dust and other particles can still build up inside your CPU. Aside from possibly overheating your CPU due to insulation, dust bunnies could also build up between the connectors that could cause problems. Cleaning, coupled with reseating, can sometimes cure PCs that went from being fine to suddenly being problematic.

DIY Repair

A lot of people opt to self-diagnose and treat their machines, and it’s understandable why! PC repair can be costly, not to mention that it could take a bit of time, too. Doing it yourself could prove to be fruitful, and it would take less time and even lesser expenses.

The good thing about this is you can get a lot of help online. There are hundreds of forums and communities dedicated to DIY troubleshooting and repair, and a lot more of websites that offer tips and tricks as well as repair how-tos. You can Google your PC’s symptoms or join a forum and post about your machine’s problems. Either way, you’re bound to come across helpful answers.

When All Else Fails

Of course, when worse comes to worst, your best bet will still be to take your CPU to a repair shop. This is especially true if the problematic unit is not your personal machine, but of a company’s. Tinkering with a company unit might not be the best option.

When choosing IT services, however, make sure to choose one that operates within the vicinity. Sure, it’s good to get the best in the world, but what good would that be if they’re located at the other side of the planet? You can still get top-notch service if you choose a local company. For example, if you’re based in the London area, there are many services there offering companies IT support. While they might not be universally known, they can still get the job done on time.

Try these simple tricks and see if they solve your computer’s problem!

Shortcuts to Optimize Your Window Management

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If there’s one thing that all gadgets can agree upon, it’s that bigger screen size is always better. Bigger screens allow for greater viewing pleasure, so while handhelds are becoming thinner and lighter, their screens are still getting wider and more powerful.

It’s not so different with computers. Higher screen resolutions are gaining more favor, not only for a greater visual experience, but also for better work efficiency. If you have a large display with a high resolution, you can open several windows at once, allowing you to keep track of various data you might need from several programs without having to keep coming back and forth different tabs.

For the sake of better efficiency, here are handy keyboard shortcuts to optimize your window management.

Designating Windows to an Area

One of the main purposes of all that extra workspace is to enable you to have multiple windows open and visible all at once. To do this, you can resize windows and manually position them around your workspace until all your necessary tabs fit into your screen.

There’s an easier and faster way to do that, though. Pressing the Windows key + the left or right arrow key will automatically snap your active window to the left or right of the screen. This is extremely useful if you’re prone to using two programs at once, say, Microsoft Excel and Word. Digital artists can make use of this, too, especially if they need a photo reference open side by side with their program of choice, like Photoshop or Painter.

Alternatively, after snapping windows to either the left or right, you can press the Windows key + the up or down arrow key to assign the windows to various quadrants. Pressing Windows key + up on an active window snapped to the left side of the screen will snap it to the upper left quadrant of your screen, for instance. This is useful for users who need multiple windows open at once, as this can fit up to four open tabs.

Cycling Through Open Tabs

But what if you want just one program in your current workspace, but still need several programs or tabs open? Some graphic artists prefer having their art program take up the entire screen. After all, they need all the visual space they can get, especially for large or meticulously paintings and designs. But they still might need other programs open, such as a photo viewer or an internet browser.

For people like them, the keyboard shortcut Alt + Tab is a staple. Pressing these keys will let you switch to and from the last active windows. If you press and hold the alt + tabs keys, a popup window will display all your active tabs, and you can switch through them by holding alt and pressing tab.

Alternatively, you can also try pressing the Windows key + tab. Unlike the Alt + tab shortcut, which switches just to and from the two most recently active tabs unless you press and hold, the Windows key + tab will display all your active tabs in succession, and you can easily cycle through them until you find the exact tab or window that you need.
keyboard shortcuts
Efficient and Effective Window Management

If you want to maximize your efficiency and effectiveness, try using these keyboard shortcuts. They’re quick and easy solutions to setting up your workspace so you can spend less time fiddling with the open tabs and windows and more time to getting things done.

Clean Up Your Disk Space in a Jiff

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Having too many files in your hard drive can not only clutter up your workspace, but can also bog down your machine’s performance. Digital files still take up digital space, and if you cut it too close, your computer or laptop’s speed and overall performance can slow down enough to cause a migraine.

Unfortunately, like regular clutter in your room, they multiply in numbers is left on their own. Regular activities on and offline can add little traces of residue files that, when added up, still take a sizable chunk of your computer’s resources.

So, how do you clean up your cluttered computer? You can do the usual general spring cleaning—deleting obsolete files, sorting unimportant data, and trimming out your media collection. All these can effectively free up space, but what about those hidden memory-hoggers that you can’t seem to find?

Get a Statistics Tool
To find space-hungry files swept under the rug, you can use a tool that will analyze and break down your computer’s partitions and folders according to used up space. There’s a tool called Windows Directory Statistics (WinDirStat) that you can download online for free. It’s a nifty little tool that does exactly the process mentioned. The best part? It doesn’t take up much space itself!

Make sure your computer keeps running smoothly through regular spring cleaning. If you’ve already cleaned up your closet and your machine’s still responding a bit slow, try to run WinDirStat to see if hidden system files like temporary and cache folders have began to pile up. Take out the garbage and your computer will have more room to breathe.

How to Use Windows’ Built-In Security Camera

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PC problems crop up from time to time. They’re pesky, but ultimately inevitable. Most computer problems can be solved with general troubleshooting, but there’s one or two annoying problem that manages to stump beginner and veteran PC owners alike.

Of course, online troubleshooting and help is easy to find. You can easily find active forum groups anywhere. You can even find local communities dedicated to helping other owners with the PC troubles. The tricky part is getting the exact nature of your problem across the virtual miles. How will you able to relay the exact symptoms of your PC to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment?

PSR: Windows’ Built-in Security Camera

If you want to give tech support the blow by blow, try using Windows’ Problem Steps Recorder. PSR is a built-in tool that takes screenshots, records mouse clicks, and compiles everything neatly for your perusal. You can run the program (type “psr” in the Start Menu search bar; alternatively, you can hit the Windows + R keys and typing “psr”) then go through the problem you’ve encountered or have been encountering. Once you have the entire process captured and compiled, you can send the most accurate replication of the problem to tech support. This will give them the information they need to correctly diagnose and treat your problem.

PSR isn’t only useful in documenting issues. On the other side of the fence, you can also use this tool to teach. If you’re the tech support helping others in need, you can use PSR as a step-by-step demo of the procedures.