Boy, those tech support guys sure now what they’re doing, right? I mean, there’s no way you could make that kind of computer magic that fast, at least not without spending a couple of years in your basement figuring it all out. Well, good news for those not so tech-savvy among us: before you decide to hand that 50 bucks over to the real geeks, there are some tips and tricks for troubleshooting your PC you might want to try yourself.

Now, before you do anything else, even before you read the rest of this article, restart your computer. It’s what the tech people are going to ask you to do first anyway. Most of the problems are truly just temporary glitches that can be solved by booting Windows again. So come on, I’ll wait for you here. Ok, you’re back. Last thing to do before we dig in the specifics- check if your Windows is up to date with Windows Update, just in case the glitch has been fixed by a newer version of the system features.

Now, specifics. Is the problem the fact that your computer is too slow? First thing you do-check if it’s really the PC causing the problem. Hey, some videos and websites literally just take way too long to load, and your machine isn’t to blame. But if it is, check your hard drive next. If you maxed out your HD, Windows has nowhere to create the files necessary for the system to run smoothly. So trim the files to speed things up. Lastly, go to System Configuration and trim some of the undeserving startup items as well. Too many apps just launch with the system, and you never even use them, so go to the Startup tab and cancel those apps that you know for sure what they’re for, and that are not made by Microsoft, in case it might be a system file.

Are your downloads taking too long? Go to Speedtest website and check your speed. It should at least be 50% of the speed your ISP advertised, with a ping below 100ms. Next, double check if something isn’t downloading or uploading by itself (many torrent clients do this without letting you know). Then, hardware check: there might be a new driver available for your network card, allowing for a smoother ride. And finally, restart the router. Hey, it’s the age old rule.

But what if the problem is exactly the fact that your PC keeps restarting? Try updating all of the critical system drivers, including the motherboard and the graphic card. Also, if the PC is making strange noises, it might just need a good cleaning, since there’s often a safeguard to shut the system down if a component is overheating.
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