Home Computer Nightmares

Home computer users suffer more than their fair share of nightmarish problems, largely due to a dearth of support from computer and software makers. Here are some common nightmares, and what you can do to banish them.

  • The Blue Screen Of Death, or The Sad Mac
    These are what we call the Windows and Mac "fatal system errors," fatal in that they prevent the computer from operating at all. The BSOD is that bright blue screen that appears when you try to start Windows. Similarly, Mac users may get The Sad Mac when the computer is too sick to start. Review any new hardware or software you may have installed, note the error number if available, and check online listings to determine the source of the problem.

  • The Deadly Freeze
    Computers can unexpectedly freeze, or lock up, in the middle of normal duties. Sometimes you can move the mouse, other times you can't even find the pointer. Your best bet is to hit the power button. Unfortunately you usually can't save work when the computer is frozen.

  • The Printer From Hell
    Ever had your printer pull a Linda Blair? Spewing blank sheets, printing weird characters, and other misbehavior can sometimes be solved through the printer's software control panel.

  • The Ghost Of Errors Past
    Do you reboot when you get an error? If not, you should. Once a computer runs into trouble, it tends to keep getting in trouble until its next reboot, when it refreshes its memory.
Do you have a home computer nightmare? Click Comments below this article and I'll help you solve it. Next month I'll warn you about Phony Web Pop-Ups. And be sure to sign up for the email version of Tech Tips for bonus tips and product reviews.

Posted byTriona Guidry at 12:49 PM  

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