Common Computer Problems and How To Fix Them

     I have been using computers for years. I will be the first to admit that I missed the whole computer thing as it was getting started when I was younger. When I was in school it always seemed like the grade just below me was being introduced to the new computer stuff. I have had to go it alone and muddle through all the frustrations and quirks that computers have caused.
     Times sure have changed from those days back in the early 1980’s. Today, I’m pretty good on a computer, but I have paid my dues and my share of computer technicians to get my computer back up and running over the years. For me, having to pay a computer technician got expensive and embarrassing as so many of the problems they found were so easy to fix. I do not have much need today with technicians for my computer as I have learned many of the simple things to check to get my computer going again. With the rest of the article, I’ll share some of the common computer problems and remedies to get your computer and you up and running again.

My Computer Will Not Start – Check Your Power Cables
     “Is your computer turned on? Are the cables plugged in?” I never thought of these things since no one was using my computer but me. However, I used to hate having people ask me these questions because often that was all it took to get my computer going again. This sounds pretty obvious but I do not know how many times that I had turned my power strip off and forgotten about it or had it knocked out of the wall for some reason or another.
     After spending hours trying to diagnose a problem that could have been easily cured with a flick of a switch will make anyone feel stupid. Make sure that the cables that connect to your computer have not been jarred lose. Many times I have inadvertently hit a cable and made it loose without even knowing it. You would be surprised at how many times this happens. Fortunately this is an easy fix.
     If a device does not work at all, it may be time to replace a USB cable. Believe it or not, they do go bad from time to time. In fact just yesterday I could not get my Garmin Nuvi GPS unit to connect to my desktop. It was a simple fix, I just used a different USB cable and it worked fine. I will admit that I spent nearly an hour online and a call to Garmin to figure this out. Embarrassingly it was the Garmin representative that told me to try a different cable. I will admit that I can still be slow about things.

My Computer Froze Up – Restart Your Computer
     Often times, 9 times out of 10, just turning a computer off and on will fix the problem. I do not understand why but just a simple restart will have you off and running. It is incredible how many people I have helped just by looking at their computer screen, moving their mouse, looking at a few of their settings, and then restarting the computer…only to have the computer start back up and work perfectly.
     If your computer is stuck and you cannot get the mouse to move you will have to do a hard shutdown. How you do this is to hold your power button down for probably at least 5-10 seconds until your computer shuts down. It is not the best way to shut down your computer, but sometimes it takes drastic measures to get things unstuck. As long as you do not do this method of shutting down your computer very often you shouldn’t hurt it.

My Printer is not Printing, What Do I Do?
     Does the computer have ink or toner or paper. This is usually the biggest culprit. Sometimes your printer will tell you that it is out of ink when it is not. Sometimes these lights come on and there is still 20% of the ink left in it.
     Another issue I have had with my printer is one of the doors isn’t shut all the way. For example, I have replaced the paper in the paper drawer and failed to push the tray all the way into place. I think this little mistake cost me $30 and 30 minutes of time. Needless to say, I haven’t had that be a problem again.
     You may also want to remove the printer driver and reinstall it. The driver is the computer program that connects your printer to the computer. I have had a printer driver get corrupted from time to time. They also sometimes need to be updated.
     If you know what you are doing, this is an easy step and will often solve the problem. If you do not know what you are doing, you could get even more frustrated trying to figure out what you are doing to fix it, versus continuing on with whatever you were doing before the problem. is perfectly set up to handler walking you through updating and reinstalling printer drivers.
     I hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions do not ask me. You will want to find someone who knows more about computers than I do and you will be up and running in no time.
     One solution that I have come across that one of my real estate agent clients uses is a company called These folks have a very reasonable (believe me I know) way to make sure that you have technical support round the clock to help you keep things running smoothly.