Has Your Computer Got A System Error? Don't Give Up Without Trying These Tips

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Flickr Image: tobiasbischoff

The sun's shining, the birds are singing, and you're merrily typing away on your laptop collecting data, checking figures or editing images when, all of a sudden, the screen goes black.You try again and although it powers up normally the screen's now showing lines of encrypted text, a bright blue screen or, in the case of old Macs, a sad face.

Did You Back Up?

First of all don't panic! Computers are highly complex machines which require a number of systems, processes, and codes to work. On occasion they do stop responding, freeze or shutdown to prevent system damage and normally restarts fix the problem, sending an automatic report, in the case of Macs, to the operating servers that then help other users who encounter similar issues. However, if you've tried and failed to get your machine working again you need to ask yourself a simple question. Have you backed up? Whether you've saved items onto an external drive, USB or a data hosting service or a private server from
qb online if the worst happens your music, pictures and work files are safely stored in a digital archive.

Have You Tried Safe Mode?

Sometimes it is possible to gain access to a machine's system by booting it up again in safe mode. However, this is more for windows operating systems as Apple products are designed differently and their coding only allows for basic modifications. Safe mode means that only certain files and drivers can be accessed, you can also roll back a driver, or the entire system to the point where it last worked properly. Safe mode also allows you to check the computer’s directories for rogue files without them being able to execute. By identifying anything out of the ordinary and deleting it while in safe mode you have a higher chance of the problem being fixed instead of during a normal boot up. However, be aware searching registries, drives and core files incorrectly can lead to more issues so be certain you know what you're doing before altering lines of code.

Flickr Image: Yuri Samoilov

Run A Quick Virus Check

These days cybercrime has moved beyond simply ‘phising’ and trojans and instead focuses on malware, or keystroke loggers that give criminals sensitive user data at the touch of a button. Malware tends to install itself through seemingly innocuous programs like games, movie files and even emails supposedly sent from work colleagues. Keystroke loggers are incredibly dangerous pieces of code as they stalk your online life. If your computer has been behaving strangely then it’s best to run a virus check, a good certified virus program will soon flag up any weird sounding files or dangerous software and take appropriate action.

Take It To An It Expert

Not everyone is Steve Jobs or Bill Gates and in fact very few of us know much about our machines beyond tooling the internet, using a few basic programs and sending emails, file transfers and pictures. If you know you don't have the skills don't chance it just to 'see what happens' please take your computer to a repair shop or contact the manufacturer.

Flickr Image: Francois Schnell

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