Hardware or Software Problem: How to Tell?

Some computer users are having tough time to distinguish between a hardware or software problem. To help you on this, here are some of the points you need to know.

Signs of Hardware Related Problem:

  • Dead signs. You’ll notice there is no signs of activity such as lights, screen info and sounds, when the power is on.
  • Unusual machine noise is a sign there is a problem with your hardware.
  • When you can see physical signs like visibly cracked, broken or may have a loose-fitting part.
  • The problem occurs when a liquid is spilled on the machine.
  • Randomly, restarting itself and somehow the machine is getting very hot.

Signs of Software Related Problem:

  • The machine stops working through the start-up.
  • The programs are not working properly or giving error messages more often.
  • The PC is processing very slow.

If you think you have a hardware/software issue, you need to check these points and understand:

  • Is your PC under warranty? If your answer is yes, contact the supplier or manufacturer for advice for the repairs.
  • If you can access your files and documents, make sure you save everything for back-up copies. Often when there is a hardware problem, especially with the hard disk, the data may be affected when it is repaired.
  • Usually, if this is a software issue, troubleshooting requires removing the new program (or the programs installed/updated when the problem starts to manifest).  Some of  the possible ways to know if it is a hardware problem – the need to update drivers, reinstalling the OS (operating system) and installing older drivers.

Hardware Basic Troubleshooting

Before anything else, it is a rule of thumb to ground yourself (metal chassis of the PC). This will keep you safe before touching the internal components.

Note: You need to disconnect almost everything inside the CPU, so you need to remember the connection of every parts so you can put it back again.

  1. First, shut down the computer and unplug it. You can also set up the grounding the equipment safely.
  2. Start disconnecting all the storage drives, as well as the optical from the motherboard.
  3. Take out all of your add-in cards, the same as the video card.
  4. You also need to remove the RAM but don’t touch the primary slot (the DDR or the silkscreened, located on the board).
  5. Include to unplug all of the external and internal connected from your computer  such as power, keyboard, monitor cable, internal speakers, reset switches, mouse, and everything else.
  6. Next, clean everything. Pick with your hand, those with larger dust piles and you can use compressed air on those Heatsinks. Fans need to be cleaned with cotton buds/swabs or a toothpick, don’t use metal for this part.
  7. Put everything back together, double check the connection and power it on.
  8. If you still encounter the same error, take your PC to a reliable technician.


Software Basic Troubleshooting

Checking your OS for some troubleshooting is also related to your software issue. So, you need to go to the Operating Systems’ basic troubleshooting section and then click the Basic Troubleshooting section.

After you had gone with that, and you are having errors, contact your reliable technician for software support.