Interesting Internet Finds
27th December 2021
Monthly Meeting December 2021
29th December 2021

Dan Douglas, President, Space Coast PCUG

This month I am updating the presentation highlights from the session I gave at the APCUG virtual Technology Conference held back in 2019. I spoke on “Most Common Issues that Need Repair from a PC/Mac Repair Shop Perspective.” Here are some of the highlights:

Failing or Failed Hard Disc Drives/HDD

Symptoms

  • Poor performance
  • Boot failure message
  • Hard drive failure prediction message issued by Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART)

Solution

  • Replace HDD with HDD (I no longer recommend doing this; you will be much better off with an SSD in almost every case)
  • Replace HDD with Solid State Disk (SSD) If old HDD is still bootable, clone to a new drive
  • If the old HDD is not bootable but is still readable, copy personal files off for later transfer to the new drive

Web Scammer Messages

Symptoms

  • Locked out from PC with message panel displayed with a number to call
  • Phone calls claiming to be Microsoft, Dell, etc.
  • Web page that states you are infected and must call

Solution

  • System Restore to last system checkpoint
  • Clean/reset browser start pages and/or search engine
  • Install Malwarebytes and perform a scan to remove any nasty programs

Poor Performance

Symptoms

  • Slower boot times than normal
  • Mouse/keyboard slow to respond
  • Browsers/apps slow to load/respond

Solution

  • Check for hard drive errors, and excessive usage in Task Manager – many hard drives with capacities of greater than 500GB are failing much sooner in my experience
  • Check for malware/spyware – run Malwarebytes
  • Check for obvious ‘junk’ programs in Programs & Features, especially programs that claim to maintain drivers
  • Check for missing Windows updates
  • Check Event Viewer logs for error messages

Lockout/Loops After Updates

Symptoms

  • Spinning circle with black screen
  • Loop constantly restarting
  • A message with automatic repair failure/attempts

Solution

  • Try using System Restore in Advanced tools
  • Sometimes just letting it run 15-30 minutes fixes it

If these do not work, back up personal files and try a reset of the OS. Sometimes, the HDD must be wiped and reloaded if Windows cannot be booted after all recovery actions fail.

Reproduced from the June 2021 issue of The SCPCUG Journal.

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