10 hardware problems and their solutions

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hardwareIn an ideal world, hardware always works as intended. In reality that is usually the case but sometimes something suddenly goes wrong without there being a reason for it. We explain common hardware problems for you.

Tip 01: Keyboard does weird

This problem is common and is blood-irritant. You are typing and suddenly the special characters no longer work. Instead of an e with a Trembles, you suddenly type quotes with an e next to it (“e) it is not surprising that at such moments you think something is wrong with your keyboard. That this is not the case with your keyboard everything is fine. What happened in this case is that the language setting of the keyboard in Windows for whatever reason has changed. Inversions, prior to Windows 10 this happened regularly by pressing a key combination.

Since Windows 10 it happens slightly less spontaneously but that does not mean that it does not occur anymore. If you find that your special characters are no longer working this is fairly easy to solve. Hold down the Windows key and then press the spacebar. A list of possible keyboard layouts will now appear on the right-hand side of the screen, between which you can switch directly. You will find that your special characters will work as usual again. In versions before Windows 10 you switch between languages with Alt + Shift.

Tip 02: Printer not recognized

Installing printers within Windows is child’s play: you connect the printer to your computer via USB and it will probably be found automatically immediately. With wireless printers that sometimes is just a bit more complicated. Depending on the network settings. Windows may not see the printer at all even if you have installed the printer software properly. This often has to do with the fact that the network configuration of the printer is different from that on your PC so that the two can not speak to each other.

Adjusting the network configuration of the printer is usually the answer. But that can be difficult when you can not approach the printer. The solution is usually as simple as old school connects the printer to your PC with a USB cable. Once connected the printer will be found quickly, after which you can, via the web interface. A configuration assistant of the manufacturer ensures that the printer can communicate with your wireless network. Once this is settled you can remove the cable again and everything should run like a sun.

A printer that prints empty pages is probably not broken

Tip 03: Printer does not print anything

This is a problem that we recently had to deal with. A printer can indicate for several reasons that printing does not work. Often there is not much going on and simply the paper or ink must be replenished and the printer does not give a clear error message. It is more annoying, however, when the printer makes all known sounds but only spits out empty sheets of paper. The message here is ominous and indicates that something is wrong with the ink configuration in the printer (the exact wording varies per manufacturer).

You are advised to contact the manufacturer, but in reality, the problem is (usually) a lot less serious: the nozzles of your ink cartridges are clogged. Fortunately, the solution is very simple: cleaning the print heads ensures that the ink flows as it should. How you clean the print heads differs of course per manufacturer and model printer but in most cases. You simply open the software of the manufacturer and you find the relevant option under the heading Maintenance or Troubleshooting.

Do not panic

We discuss a lot of hardware problems in this article that you can run into. There are of course many more problems that you can encounter. But the solution always starts with the same step: do not panic. Problems are often not as bad as they seem, but often can be made a lot worse when the wrong steps are taken in panic.

A good example of this is the recent problems with Windows 10. After an update, Windows 10 ended up in a restart loop for many people and that could well have been the hardware. Googling quickly, however, showed that it was a software problem and that after a number of reboots this was automatically repaired. If you had dived into your system cabinet in a blind panic at such a time. It would not have helped. Panic never contributes anything: take a breath.

Tip 04: Slow internet

You have just paid a lot for a fiber optic subscription and are fully ready to flash with 500 Mbit / s over the internet. You have everything neatly connected as it should but you notice quite little of that speed.  When this happens, we (logically) often first grumble on the internet provider. Why do not we get the promised speed? Is the connection not good? Is the model broken? That is of course, all possible but if the speed remains around 100 Mbit / s. Your network card is probably the ‘culprit’.

If you have an older network card in your system, the chance is very high that it supports a speed of 10 or 100 Mbit / s. Then your modem and your connection can still be so fast if your card is not faster than 100 Mbit / s, then everything will be inhibited. The only solution, in this case, is replacing the Ethernet card for a gigabit variant. The good news is that this is not a huge investment. For less than three bucks you already have a great card and you still rage like Max Overstepped over the web.

Tip 05: PC continues to restart

The computer runs into a problem and is forced to restart to correct the problem although that is possible one time that should not happen regularly. If that is the case or even more annoying: the PC will hang in a restart loop. It may be an indication that something is wrong with the hardware. The first step is to start up in Safe Mode. In versions before Windows 10. You do that by pressing F8 during startup in Windows 10.

You automatically switch to the repair mode when the PC is restarted several times in a row. Make sure you remove all peripherals. If Windows continues to restart after repair or in Safe Mode, there is a chance that something is wrong with your hardware. What this exactly is can be quite different, but your graphics card and internal memory are well-known culprits. The only way to really find out is by replacing the components. But in that case, it is useful if you have spare parts or for example can borrow a graphics card or memory module. Before you buy a new part and it appears somewhere otherwise to lie.

If your PC can not remember the date, the battery on your motherboard is empty.

Tip 06: Wrong date

Sometimes computers do things that make you suddenly start to doubt yourself. For example, when Windows suddenly shows a wrong date and time and you have adjusted it. To see next time that the time is wrong again. When this happens, then the problem is almost certain that the battery on your motherboard has become empty (this usually takes a few years, unless something else is going on). Officially, Windows should not be bothered by the fact that the date and time cannot be stored in your motherboard memory.

Were it not that Windows does not synchronize with the time server when the time deviates too much from the time server’s values. And if you use your browser while time and date are extremely different. This can lead to violent error messages in your browser (because all kinds of security certificates no longer match the date). Fortunately, the solution is very simple. Unscrew your computer and look for the battery on your motherboard (a large silver button cell). Flip it out and replace it with a battery of the same type (usually type CR2032). When your computer starts, you will now have to select the correct date and time after which it will be saved.

Tip 07: Image looks weird

Although it is a logical idea to doubt your screen when strange things happen on the screen (windows that look weird,\ strange faults in images, etc.). It almost never has anything to do with your screen. With graphical problems, the problem is usually in the graphics card or built-in graphics chip, in other words, the hardware that tells your screen what it should show. And that there is a problem with your graphics card does not immediately mean that your graphics card is broke. In many cases, the problem is caused by incorrect or outdated drivers.

So the card is simply not properly control. Before you run to the store to buy a new graphics card. We recommend you to see what kind of graphics card you have (you can easily discover this by googling to the PC model. If you do not have the card installed yourself) and then download the correct drivers on the site of the manufacturer. Many manufacturers now offer the possibility to detect what kind of card you have on your computer. During the installation, the image will jump a little and then the problem could be solved.

Tip 08: Laptop quickly empty

The advantage of a laptop is that you can work on your computer anywhere and anytime. This freedom is of course severely limit when the battery is empty in record time. The bad news is that despite all sorts of useful tips on the internet there is not much you can do to revive a lazy battery. Lying in the freezer, emptying and charging 10 times, these are all artifacts that will yield a difference of at most a few minutes.

The only thing you can do in this case is to contact the manufacturer to request a new battery (and hope this is within the warranty, but usually there is a shorter warranty on batteries than on the rest of the laptop). Until then, however, there is something that you can do with software. Windows 10 includes a number of useful options for saving energy. Settings and then Battery saving. In the menu that appears you activate the Battery saving function. With this mode enabled, unnecessary applications will be turned off in the background and the brightness of your screen will be reduced. This saves valuable minutes until your battery is replaced.

Tip 09: Files do not open

You try to open a Word file but are constantly notified that it can not be open. You try to unzip a zip file but once again you get an error message and at other times it seems to work. When this happens with files on a local disk. This may be an indication that the storage is corrupt (or that it is hitting). If you have a hard disk instead of an SSD, you may also hear the disk tapping. If you feel that something is wrong with your drive.

Then it is important to take immediate action before the problem escalates. Download immediately a (free) program that can test the operation of your hard drive, such as Sea gate Tools. Most manufacturers have tools specifically for their products. If there is really something going on with your drive by a new one (and also consider switching to SSD. Which are faster) and transfer the files as quickly as possible. Then it is important to replace the disk in the system and install Windows on it. This is easy with the Windows 10 installation disc.

Tip 10: Beeps

When a computer starts, it will first perform a number of diagnostic tests. This is called the Power of Self Test (or POST). If something is wrong during that test, this will be shown on the screen and/or indicate by a series of beeps (those beeps come from your system cabinet, not from your speaker). By combining the length and number of beeps.

It is possible to indicate exactly whether there is a problem with the memory, with the bios, the cooling and so on. Unfortunately, it is not the case that there is one universal guideline for the meaning of these beeps. A page that indicates per brand what exactly what beeps mean it? If your computer makes unusual beeps during startup, visit (on another system or with your tablet or smartphone) a visit to this page to map out exactly what is going on. By the way, unfortunately, beeps mean that a component will have to be replaced.

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