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Top 8 Most Common Laptop Problems and How to Fix Them

Like any other piece of technology, laptops can fail, break down, and stop working without any warning. Luckily, some of the most common laptop problems are pretty easily repaired once you know what you’re looking for.

Take a look at the most common laptop problems and solutions and what to do when something goes wrong.

Top 8 Most Common Laptop Problems 

The common laptop problems are typically divided into two categories: software and hardware issues. Today, we’re covering both, along with best practices for laptop repair, and more.

Overheating

Overheating is probably the most common issue laptop owners face and there are many reasons to explain it. 

Problems

The likely culprit for an overheating laptop is the accumulation of dust and debris, especially in and around the cooling fan. 

Another reason your laptop is running too hot is having a blocked vent, which typically happens if you’re often placing your laptop on soft surfaces like beds, couches, or blankets. Your fans could also be malfunctioning due to dust clogging, wear, and tear, or electrical issues. 

Sometimes, running heavy applications, gaming, video editing, or doing intensive CPU/GPU tasks could be the cause. 

Solutions

Depending on which of these common laptop issues you’ve identified to be causing overheating, there are a lot of things you can do. The first step should always be to clean your vents and fans, preferably using a compressed air can and a small brush.

You can get a cooling pad with built-in fans to take off some of the immediate pressure. However, if it’s a software issue, you will likely need to update your drivers and BIOS, manage the background process, and adjust power settings. 

On the other hand, a hardware issue would require applying thermal paste and replacing faulty fans. Any of these fixes would require you to take the laptop to a qualified technician.

Preventive Measures

To avoid having these types of overheating problems in the future, make sure you’re doing regular maintenance. Clean the vents and fans regularly and remove dust and debris to prevent buildup. Also, avoid using it on soft surfaces like beds or couches that can block vents.

Quickly Draining Battery

Short or inconsistent battery life is probably one of the most common problems repair techs hear about. The reason this is such a regular issue is that there could be so many things causing your battery to go bad.

Problems

Keeping your screen brightness at maximum levels might be draining your battery too quickly. However, you could also be using power-hungry applications or intensive CPU programs that are consuming too much power.

Your outdated drivers and software could also be causing issues, as can wireless and Bluetooth connections. If you have too many external devices connected or are using high-performance graphics settings, you might be damaging your battery.

A common issue, especially with older laptops, is poor battery health. Over time, laptop batteries naturally degrade due to simple wear and tear. Finally, malware and viruses could be causing high CPU and disk usage, leading to a fast battery drain.

Solutions

The first and easiest quick fix is to reduce your screen brightness and close power-hungry applications to see if it makes a noticeable difference. You can also disable WiFi and Bluetooth when they’re not in use, limit background syncing, and disconnect external devices.

You should also monitor and reduce CPU usage, run a few antivirus scans, adjust your graphics settings, and reduce the frequency of sleep/wake cycles. If possible, use your laptop in a well-ventilated area and avoid extremely hot or cold environments.

If all of that fails and your battery is still draining too quickly, you might need to replace it altogether. Of course, that might not be available for all laptop models, i.e. ones with integrated batteries, so ask your laptop repair technician.

Preventive Measures

To ensure better battery health, do regular maintenance and clean your laptop to avoid overheating. Also, avoid full discharges and keep battery levels between 20% and 80% at all times.

Another way to ensure your battery works for a longer time is to install battery management software that can help optimize battery performance and longevity.

Slow Performance

Continuing on our list of the most common laptop problems and how to repair them, we have slow performance. Here’s how to troubleshoot your laptop and the different methods to use to speed it up.

Problems

Slow performance could signal a variety of software and hardware problems, starting with insufficient RAM. There might not be enough memory to handle multiple or intensive apps, causing your device to slow down.

Your hard drive might also be fragmented or full, slowing down file access and overall problems. You would have too many startup programs, malware, or viruses consuming resources and degrading performance.

Another common issue is old or failing hardware or aging components. The typical culprits for a slow laptop are an outdated hard drive, CPU, or motherboard. You could also have outdated drivers and software, causing conflicts and slow performance.

Solutions

The first and easiest solution is to clean up your hard drive and get rid of any unnecessary programs. Consider moving your files to an external drive or cloud storage, which will not only take care of the space problem but also keep your files more secure.

Another easy fix is closing unnecessary background processes that could be slowing down and overheating your laptop. Also, manage browser tabs and extensions by limiting the number of open tabs.

To ensure it’s not malware or a virus, run a few scans and remove any potential threats. You can also upgrade RAM, update drivers and software, and replace old hardware.

Preventive Measures

As always, it’s better to maintain than to have to fix your laptop. To ensure your laptop runs smoothly for a longer time, monitor your system health, install and maintain antivirus software, and use your power settings wisely.

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)

The infamous error Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) can be caused by either hardware or software issues.

Problems

The most likely cause for a BSOD is a driver issue. When a driver becomes outdated, corrupted, or incompatible, it can cause system instability and lead to a BSOD. You could also be experiencing software conflicts between applications or between software and hardware.

Another common cause for a BSOD is a corrupted or missing system file, which can lead to a crash. You could also have insufficient disk space, an overheating problem, or faulty hardware components. Your RAM, hard drive, motherboard, and graphics card can also trigger the blue screen.

Solutions

First, you need to update your drivers by going to the Device Manager and clicking on each one. If you suspect a hardware issue, you can use Windows Memory Diagnostic to check for errors.

Try to resolve software conflicts by uninstalling recently installed software or updates. Also, repair and get rid of corrupted system files, freeing up disk space. If all else fails, you might need to restart the laptop and do a system restore to revert it to a previous stable state.

Preventive Measures

Avoiding the BSOD is all about regularly updating drivers and software and performing routine hardware maintenance. Also, ensure proper airflow, manage disk space, and monitor system health.

Keyboard Not Working

Without a working keyboard, the use of your laptop becomes extremely limited. Here’s what could be causing your keyboard problems.

Problems

One of the most common laptop problems for keyboards is physical damage to the keyboard, which includes spills, drops, or worn-out keys. There could also be a loose or disconnected internal cable or an outdated driver leading to keyboard malfunction.

Your laptop keyboard could also be disabled in the device manager or BIOS/UEFI settings. Accessibility settings like Sticky Keys or Filter Keys can cause your keyboard to act up as can many viruses.

Solutions

First, restart your laptop as it could resolve temporary issues. If that doesn’t work, check for any visible damage and update or reinstall keyboard drivers. You should also try disabling Sticky Keys and Filter Keys and checking your keyboard in BIOS/UEFI.

If you’re comfortable opening your laptop, you can check the internal keyboard cable connection. However, if you don’t know how to or don’t want to, you can always take your laptop to a service centre. In the meantime, you can connect an external USB keyboard and keep checking for any software updates that could be causing the issue.

Preventive Measures

To avoid damage, make sure you regularly clean your keyboard and avoid drinking and eating near your laptop. Update drivers and software regularly and consider a keyboard cover to protect against dust and spills.

The Laptop Won’t Start

If your laptop won’t turn on, appears dead, or doesn’t make a sound when you try to start it, there could be a few things wrong. Here’s what might have happened and how to fix one of the most common laptop problems.

Problems

The first thing to check is whether your laptop is fully charged and whether the AC adapter has failed. That would prevent it from receiving power and charging, leading to a failure to launch.

Your DC jack could have also failed, which means that the power can’t make it to the battery. You could also be experiencing motherboard issues, BIOS failure, software corruption, and more.

Solutions

Be completely certain that your power adapter is plugged into the laptop and the wall socket. Check whether the cable, adapter, or laptop has any visible damage and try a different outlet or charger if possible.

If you can have a removable battery, take it out and hold the power button for 20 seconds to drain any residual power. Then, reconnect the battery and try to start the laptop. Disconnect all peripherals, inspect for overheating, and check display issues. 

If all fails or you don’t have a removable battery, you might have to perform a hard reset. You might see an error message or beep code during startup, so make sure to write it down. You can refer to your laptop’s manual or manufacturer’s website to decode the message.

Preventive Measures

Many of these common laptop problems with startup can be avoided with a surge protector and regular maintenance. Monitor your battery health, avoid physical damage, and keep software updated.

Operating System Errors

A program freezing or crashing could be a sign you’re having operating system errors. Here’s what could be causing those.

Problems

The common culprits for an OS error are:

  • Corrupted system files
  • Software conflicts
  • Malware and viruses
  • Drivers
  • Hardware issues
  • Insufficient disk space
  • Registry errors
  • Power failures

Solutions

The first step toward fixing an operating system error is to run a system file checker to scan for and repair corrupted files. You can also run a deployment imaging service and management tool, use a system restore, and check for these errors.

Keep in mind that while this is one of the most common laptop problems, it can also be difficult to repair without proper knowledge and training. When in doubt, take it to a professional repair technician. 

Preventive Measures

To prevent OS errors, make sure you’re doing regular data backups and that your software and system are always updated. Only use reliable antivirus software and avoid installing any unnecessary or suspicious files and applications.

Connectivity Issues

If your WiFi suddenly gives out, there’s likely a simple error causing it and an easy fix to repair it.

Problems

You might be too far away from your router, have physical obstructions in the way, or are experiencing interference from other devices. Incorrect network configuration settings like DNS, proxy, or IP address settings could also be causing the issue.

The router or modem itself could be having firmware or hardware issues or they might be misconfigured. Problems with your Internet service provider, including outages or throttling, could also be causing the problems.

Solutions

The first step is to check WiFi signal strength by getting closer to the router, removing obstructions, and minimizing interference from other devices. You can also use an analyzer app to identify and resolve signal issues.

You should also restart your devices, including your laptop, router, and modem. When you unplug the router and modem, make sure they’re down for at least 30 seconds before plugging them back in.

Other fixes to try include checking and resetting network settings, flushing DNS caches, disabling and re-enabling network adapters, and updating router firmware. Also, check ISP status, run a network troubleshooter, and if all fails, use an ethernet cable.

Preventive Measures

Always make sure you’re using strong passwords and that your software and drivers are updated. Avoid interference, regularly restart your router, and monitor network usage.

Final Thoughts on Common Laptop Problems

When faced with any of these common laptop problems and unsure how to solve them – call Central Computer Technologies. We can help fix almost any issue, bug, or malfunction using cutting-edge tools and years of experience.

Call today or book your appointment and let us help get your laptop up and running as soon as possible!