Just like a car, our computers need periodic maintenance. Programs take longer to open, startup takes a few seconds longer, which is natural. After all, we have more programs installed, we accumulate more files, and so on. At other times, however, a deeper change is needed when we start to receive some alerts that something is wrong.
In some cases it can be a virus. In others, a physical component that is beginning to have problems. Or even some relatively “new” problems, like web pages that contain cryptocurrency mining codes. Thinking about it, we created a list with the 5 most common signs that show the need for maintenance on the computer. Come on?
Slowness and overheating
Our machines start to get progressively slower over time. Sometimes, however, the performance drop happens abruptly. How to investigate? The first step is to open the Task Manager on Windows (or Activity Monitor on macOS) and find the programs that are demanding considerable processing power from the machine’s CPU .
There are a good number of active processes, and we don’t necessarily recognize all of them. In this second case, a quick Google search is enough to see what a particular process is doing. It may be a malicious program or a malfunction.
Sometimes a program uses a lot of resources naturally. When it is excessive, it is necessary to investigate.
In both cases, we can choose to uninstall it. In the case of a program that shows signs of being malicious, it is best to pass an antivirus on the machine, or even more specialized tools, such as Malwarebytes or Safety Scanner, specialized in finding malware.
When consuming a lot of resources, these processes are very demanding on the machine’s hardware, which can overheat the components. However, if the machine is still “working hot”, it may be time for preventive maintenance on the components. Especially on older machines, which may require cleaning or changing the thermal paste of the CPU.
Error and BSoD messages
Occasional error messages are common. However, when they become frequent, it is time to investigate. In the case of a specific program, reinstalling it may solve the problem. In other cases, the machine may be infected with malicious code.
The error message itself helps to investigate what is happening.
The first step is to search the error message on Google, looking for possible solutions in specialized forums. In the event of a more persistent error, you may need to back up all files and reinstall the system, be it Windows or macOS.
However, we cannot ignore the possibility of hardware failures, especially when they result in the ” Blue Screen of Death ” ( Blue Screen of Death – BSoD). The error message itself helps to identify the problem, perhaps requiring replacement of the component in question.
Although it is not strictly restricted to older machines, frequent noises on any computer can indicate a problem and even that you will probably have to replace some parts soon.
Coolers have a good life expectancy, and are easy to replace in case of problems.
In this case, we must initially focus our attention on mobile components: hard drives, fans and coolers. The good news is that it is relatively simple to replace them, requiring file backup in the case of HD.
Here is a red alert that the machine may be infected. When a configuration is changed without your permission, it’s time to look for malware. Or even when the system’s permissions control requests access to sensitive areas without justification.
One of the simplest cases is changing the browser home page without the user’s permission
In some cases, strange icons appear on the desktop, just as the browser’s default search tool is changed. This second case can be a program installed along with what you wanted (those “joint offers” that nobody wanted). But it can also be indicative of malware.
Sometimes, just uninstall the “accessory” program in question. In other cases, a more specialized procedure, commonly available on the internet, is needed. Anyway, it is always important to note that permissions are being required, which is also valid when installing a program.
Computer turns itself off or does not turn on
We have to divide here into hardware problems and software problems. In the first case, if the machine does not even reach the boot screen, or hangs up without giving a blue screen, it is time to take it to the technical assistance.