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My Computer is Dead, Now What?

Posted on July 8, 2013 by Michael Rosario  |  Comments

As a computer troubleshooter, I’ve seen a handful of different issues that arise on a day to day basis.  We must always look at the worst case scenario that your computer might be really broken.  However, do not despair as in most cases, as long as your hard drive is intact, your precious pictures of your dog or grandma is still there, you just can’t get to it, yet.

Here is a checklist:

  1. Does it turn on?
    If it does, your PC and MAC will load the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) before it runs the OS (Operating System - Windows XP/7/8/X or MAC OS…).  The BIOS has built in diagnostics that will enable you to look at all the hardwares connected to your machine.  Your computer might even spit out an error code that would provide a clue to what is really wrong with itself.  Most of these issues that I’ve encountered with are all attributed to heat issues because dust have accumulated.  Some have bad memory chips, broken power supplies, or even failed hard drives.  In these cases, it’s a hardware issue and the parts need to be replaced.
  2. It turns on but…
    Does it freeze?  One of the solutions that I use the most is to first unplug everything and turn on the computer with just the basic setup – just with the mouse, keyboard, monitor. Remove your fancy printers out, gigantic external hard drives, flash drives, webcams, printers, scanners, etc.  If that starts up then you can slowly plug-in those peripherals to find the culprit.
  3. Still nothing…
    Seriously?  If this is the case your worst case scenario has arrived.  I would open your computer and just salvage your hard drive using an enclosure.  Whether you preform a reinstall or buy a new computer, at least you have your old files.
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