What to Do if Your Hard Drive Fails
If your hard drive is going bad, chances are strange things are happening and you’re a little panicked. It’s where you put your digital memories, your household files and maybe that thesis you’ve been working on for months. As far as you’re concerned, that hard drive IS the computer and failure is not an option. Perhaps it was overheated, knocked around or came from the factory with a flaw.
Sorry to say, but eventually all hard drives will fail. So how do you know if it’s definitely the drive and what should you do?
Start by watching for these signs:
Computer slowing down: Because most hard drives contain moving parts, the slower it gets, the slower your computer gets. It’s a bit like a record player, with spinning plates and a needle whipping from side to side. Your hard drive may eventually take longer to spin up and longer to retrieve files, which will have an impact on everything from booting up to playing games.
Blue screen of death: A classic Windows error, this is when your computer locks up to only show a blue screen with an error code, which while
it does mean something specific has gone wrong, can always be translated loosely to ‘nope, not today’. The more often your computer does this, the more severe the problem is.
Not booting up: During the initial bootup stage, your computer is loading a program stored on the hard drive – it’s your operating system. If some of the files have a problem or can’t be found, Windows won’t boot. Errors vary, but the outcome is the same.
Corrupted files: Sometimes a file won’t open because the computer says it is corrupted. Some essential pieces of the file are missing, and unlike a book where a missing page is only inconvenient, it’s a deal breaker for computer files.
Noises: You’re familiar with the normal noises your computer makes, but as the hard drive fails the noises can change. You might hear clicking, grinding or even a sci-fi phaser noise. Noises will get louder or speed up during heavy file access.
Whenever something is clearly wrong, the key is to stop and turn your computer off. Continued use can result in more data loss. Even if you don’t have a
backup yet, turn it off now because the large task of backing up can cause extra strain on an already delicate hard drive. It’s tempting to hurry and try to get a quick copy of your files, but in these cases, it’s not about time – it’s about the extra spinning, scratching, warping and electrical charge, all dissolving your precious data with each access.
Bring it to us and we’ll do all we can to retrieve your data. Call us at 265-2051.
Is Your Home Wi-Fi Keeping Up?
Wi-Fi has forever changed the way we live, work and play. We can surf the internet on the couch or by the pool, look up a recipe in an instant, and even connect our lights to voice control. It’s no wonder it was accepted with open arms, but is your Wi-Fi as good as it needs to be?
10 years after Wi-Fi first made its way into homes with those mysterious rabbit-eared boxes, it’s evolved into a juggernaut of speed and accessibility that we can’t do without. Think about how many wireless devices your home has – the average home has at least 10 devices connected wirelessly to the internet, many have more.
While older devices are typically happy with a slice of slow internet, your newer devices like 4kTVs and media streaming simply can’t function without fast internet. Add in a game console, tablet, a few smartphones and a laptop or two, and your Wi-Fi is suddenly stretched beyond full capacity and struggling to keep up. Yet, most people don’t know how fast their Wi-Fi is, or if it’s working right– they only know how many bars they’ve got. Unfortunately, counting bars can add up to one big headache.
Here’s why relying on your Wi-Fi bar count might be ruining your internet experience:
Bars measure the wrong thing: While it’s great to know you’ve got a ‘strong’ signal, it would be even better if you could have a ‘fast and available’ signal. The internet could actually be down and you’d still have full bars because it’s
really only measuring how close to the Wi-Fi router you are. That proximity measure doesn’t take into account how many devices are fighting for the same bandwidth or whether there’s any left for you. We can ensure your Wi-Fi isn’t just available, it’s up to the task.
Wi-Fi goes sideways: While next-door’s Wi-Fi can reach the back of their property, it can also go a similar distance sideways into your house. This extra ‘noise’ can disrupt and slow down your own Wi-Fi. In dense areas, your Wi-Fi is basically getting lost in a swirling field of signals, all using the same channel and frequency. It’s a digital crowd which can seriously slow your speeds. We can fix this by changing your Wi-Fi channel to one with less cross-talk.
Everyone uses the default settings: Most home Wi-Fi uses a 2.4ghz frequency by default. While it makes a plug & play router easy to set up, it does mean you’re not getting the speeds you could be. Switching to the 5ghz frequency means your Wi-Fi is separated from the neighborhood cross-talk. 5ghz is also considerably faster, which is a bonus. We can help you upgrade to a 5Ghz-capable router or switch your existing frequency.
Priority isn’t set: While not Wi-Fi specific, we can also set up “Quality of Service” if your router supports it or supply you with one that does. This allows things like Netflix and Skype calls to always take priority and remain uninterrupted over less important tasks like downloads. You’ll be able to watch movies without those awful buffering jumps and video chat without freezing.
Is your home network not keeping up? Give us a call at 265-2051 and we can improve your internet experience.
Also – be sure to check out our Cyber Month special, from now until the close of business on December 22, 2017. If you are considering purchasing a new computer this holiday season, you will be glad you looked this up.
Go to www.cpromptcomputers.net and look for our recent articles on the front page – 2017 Cyber MONTH Special.
We can be found Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at 66 Salem Road in Kingfield, Maine.