The Top 5 Signs of a Computer Meltdown.

Most computer users 'drive their computers until they crash' and end up in an emergency situation. Your computer will often send you warnings that it's about to meltdown, and if you pay attention you can avoid the hassle of a complete computer crash, and the loss of valuable information.

  1.  Strange Noises emanating from the computer box (grinding, buzzing, clicking or whirring).
  2. Possible Causes: Possible Meltdowns:
    Failing Power Supply Cooling fan Power supply will overheat, causing a complete system failure and potentially damage to other components.
    Failing Processor Cooling fan Processor will overheat and cause a complete system failure and require the replacement of the CPU (pprocessor chip).
    Failing System Cooling fan(s) Your entire system will run at a higher operating temperature, which will reduce the overall life expectancy.
    Failing Hard Drive Partial or complete loss or corruption of some or all of your data, pictures, music, movies, etc.

    Suggestions: When your computer starts to make new or strange noises, don't ignore it. Locate the source of the noise(s) and repair or replace the item. If you are not comfortable working on your own computer, have a qualified technician determine the source of the noise so you can be pro-active about an impending meltdown.


  3.  Extremely slow or incomplete startup or forced "Safe Mode" startup.
  4. Possible Causes: Possible Meltdowns:
    Failing Hard Drive Partial or complete loss or corruption of some or all of your data, pictures, music, movies, etc.
    Spyware, Adware or Viruses Exposure to Identity Theft or the system becomes so bogged down with "malware" (malicious software) that it can't function properly.
    Windows has been corrupted Your computer is no longer capable of loading your Operating System (Windows) which renders it useless.
    Blown motherboard capacitors Intermittent failures or lockups that don't fit a pattern, which cause data loss from abnormal shutdowns.

    Suggestions: Determine how many processes are running on your Windows based system and clean up the excess processes. If you are not comfortable doing it yourslef, have your computer examined by a qualified technician for failing components. For Internet connected computers, have your computer examined for spyware, adware and viruses at least once a year to improve all around performance and protect yourself from Identity Theft.


  5.  Constant Hard Drive Access (the red lignt on the front is constantly on).
  6. Possible Causes: Possible Meltdowns:
    Failing Hard Drive Partial or complete loss or corruption of some or all of your data, pictures, music, movies, etc.
    Spyware, Adware or Viruses A remote user has access to your computer and is ussing it and your Internet connection as a "zombie" for malicious intent.
    Windows has been corrupted Your computer is no longer capable of loading your Operating System (Windows) properly and gets caught in a startup loop.
    Running out of hard drive space Windows may start to over-write critical data files because it has nowhere to store its temporary files.

    Suggestions: Determine the cause of the constant disk access or have a qualified technician determine the cause so you can pro-actively replace failing components or to make your computer perform at a much higher level.


  7.  The Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).
  8. Possible Causes: Possible Meltdowns:
    Windows has been corrupted Your computer is no longer capable of loading your Operating System (Windows) in a stable manner and halts all activity.
    Infected with Malware Malware that snuck its way into your computer destabilizes Windows because it is constantly running in the background.
    Conflicting programs Whenever you try to run an application that is conflicting with another, your system is halted and any open data files are lost.
    Invalid or old software drivers Windows becomes unstable and halts when you try to use certain hardware devices (scanners, printers, video cards, etc.).
    Blown motherboard capacitors Intermittent failures or lockups that don't fit a pattern, which cause data loss from abnormal shutdowns.

    Suggestions: Make sure that you don't mix old computers with new software or old software with new computers to avoid compatibility issues. The cause of a BSOD can vary from faulty hardware to software conflicts, so if you are not comfortable troubleshooting your entire system, have a qualified technician determine the cause and the best solution(s).


  9.  Your Hard Drive is getting full.
  10. Possible Causes: Possible Meltdowns:
    Excessive installation of software Windows may start to over-write critical data files because it has nowhere to store its temporary files.
    Infected with Malware A remote user is storing information on your computer without your knowledge and is sharing it with others on the Internet.
    Teenagers The lack of fear when downloading or installing new software, games, movies and music causes Windows ot over-write critical data.

    Suggestions: Limit what you allow to be installed in your computer and set guidelines with younger users about what is permissible. Uninstall unnecessary programs and monitor your free disk space on a monthly basis to ensure that at least 10% of the total drive space is available. If you can't free up enough space by cleaning it up, install a new hard drive that has at least twice the current capacity. If you are not comfortable maintaining your own computer, have a qualified technician determine the best course of action to avoid a major Windows meltdown from not enough free space.

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