Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why does my comptuer beep ABNORMALLY when I start it up?

Hahaha well for one thing its normal for a computer to give a beep or two when starting itself up. That's like the beep of safety its the computers way of letting you know its good to go. BUT lets say one day your computer decides to beep a little differently or maybe even sound like its going to have a heart attack! What do ya do then?

BEEP CODES are the computers way are telling you whats wrong with it! carefully listen to the beeps and you will hear a series of beeps maybe a few long beeps and or short beeps and then it starts its beeping cycle over again...Basically each beep code represents a different problem the computer is having with one of its pieces of hardware.

I remember one day when my computer started beeping 8 short beeps in a row and freaked me out. Come to find out the computer was trying to tell me that my video card had come a little loose and was not in its proper place! So i popped it back in and problem solved...

Now your computer has TONS of hardware in it and the computer also has a beep code for most of those hardware pieces should something be wrong with it. I could tell you what the different beeps represent specifically however it really depends on the type of BIOS you have. A BIOS is like a mini "operating system" which you can access before windows launches for example. There are many different BIOS manufacturers and each one has built into the computer a different set of beep codes.
My advice to you is to find out what manufacturer and version your BIOS is and then type that into the Internet along with the words "beep code" and see what comes up. Finding out your BIOS brand is easy...You should see it the moment you first turn the power onto your computer. It might say "award bios" for example or IBM or phoenix etc. Should you nothing come up on your screen at all then what I suggest you do is to shut down your computer, touch the metal case(tower) of your computer for a moment and then unplug it from the wall... Then open up your tower(case) and look inside on the biggest circuit board you can find this is called the "mother board" and everything is basically plugged into it. Look around on there and try to find a manufacturer name. Once you got that type into the Internet "manufacturer name motherboard bios".

 In closing your computer will usually give you a friendly beep or two on start up and anything more than that means its telling you something is wrong!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Now this blog would be HUGE if I indeed posted everything that could be posted so instead I'll just talk about a little bit today and create a new post for the rest at a later date!


A virus is a program or code which makes your computer do something bad. That is something which hurts your computer that you don't want or that hurts some one Else's computer ect. Alot of times you can get viruses from websites that are less than reputable or from well known sites which have ads that contain malware code on them (Malware is just another name for bad code or programs) Malware includes things like spyware and viruses and trojans and stuff...

Now this post focuses on some quick actions to take should you suspect a virus is attacking your pc. HOPEFULLY you have some sort of anti virus running on your machine. But even still a virus can some times KILL your anti virus program... nothing is full proof and so that might be the case. If you find yourself browsing a website and your computer starts freaking out or things start shutting down and restarting, that is a tell tale tail sign of a virus or malware... During this time of the viruses initial attack, timing is vital and a quick response may save your computer. If you are not sure of whats going on or what to do but you suspect virus activity the best thing for you is to shut your computer down MANUALLY... that is you HOLD THE POWER BUTTON IN UNTIL THE COMPUTER SHUTS DOWN and you can no longer hear the fans spinning or the computer making noise... One thing is for sure if a virus is attempting to break into your computer, it cant do it if the computer is off =P Please note turning off the computer by holding the power button on your tower will take a few seconds to actually turn it off.

Where you go from here is tricky... one thing to keep in mind if you suspect a virus has taken over is that at any time the computer is on the virus is probably working.... so try to keep the computer off as much as possible and only turn it on to attempt to fix it. You may wish to restart your computer under safemode (windows operating systems only) safemode is a special way to start your computer which tells it to only start up the most basic programs your computer needs to function. Safemode can often times inhibit a viruses ability to function as well, although there is no guarantee of that. To start your computer in safemode, simply turn the power back on and continually press the "f8" key on your keyboard... NOT the "f" and the "8" keys, but the key that has both the letter "f" and "8" on it....Usually found at the top of the keyboard... after a while of pressing this key repeatedly you will see a black screen with white letters talking about how you would like to start up the windows operating system... Use the arrows on your keyboard to scroll to safemode and press enter. You may then be asked to choose which operating system you wish to start in safemode (most likely only one option in the list.. so select that and press enter). you will then see a list of files fly by pretty fast on the screen and then eventually windows with safemode will come up... You will be prompted to continue running in safemode or to attempt to preform a system restore... The one you want is continue running in safemode.

Safemode is a way to work on your computer relatively safe from risk of further infection. What you do after you are in safemode is entirely up to you. But if you have an anti virus program running you may want to preform a scan (most anti virus programs don't like scanning in safemode, but you don't exactly have a choice at this point....)

one other thing If you are familiar already with system restore, you may be tempted to try that from safemode. This is a realistic possibility but i warn you that alot of viruses attempt to infect system restore files as well. So there is a chance that when you preform a restoration you will restore the virus as well....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Regular Hardware Maintenance

Here we go folks! this post is about that thing we should do often but usually fail to do, ultimately resulting in the system failure of our machines!

Now what exactly is involved in regular hardware maintenance you ask? HO HO HO glad you asked...

The particulars of the routine are more or less the same no matter what kind of computer you have so I have compiled a short and ordered list that you may follow to spruce things up a bit!

1. Turn off your computer

2. Flip the switch in the back of your computer on the power supply to turn off ALL power to the computer
    Or simply unplug it from the wall and wait about 30 seconds(for full power supply capacitor discharge).

3.Open up your computer tower(case) and set it aside.

4. Get some tissues and or Q-Tips.

5. Remove all card pieces. Such as video graphics cards or sound cards or memory cards. Handle them carefully and set them aside on a wood table or something. (Note if you are not comfortable handling your computers removable "plug and play" pieces then you can skip this step and move on).

6. Now this is where the cleaning begins... Chances are if you haven't cleaned your system in a while its going to be FULL of dust. Dust can cause functional problems some times so its best to get rid of it. All of it every where you can find/reach. Likewise do the same for your removed card devices if you did that step.

7. You wont be able to remove every spec of dust in your system so don't worry about that. Mainly the places you want to focus on are the parts known as "heat sinks" these are the big "grooved" metal pieces that are on top of vital circuits to keep them cool. They are also usually underneath some sort of fan. If you have finesse then you may attempt to remove the fan from the heat-sink to better clean it. But if you cant remove the fan then simply do the best you can.

8. Speaking of fans...Clean them. fans hate dust inside of them and on their blades so get it with the tissue or Q-tip.

9. Take a air compressor to it! Haha if you have one then it can be ideal simply to blow the whole thing out with an air compressor however not every one has access to one... You may be asking yourself why this is step 9 and not for instance 3 or so...And that's because if your computer is chalked FULL of dust n don't want to blow it up all over the place... get some of the major areas first with a tissue or what you will then finish the job with an air compressor. That's what I recommend... But of course for those of you who like dirt all over the place then go ahead and have at...

10. You're done make sure to put all of your removable pieces back together as carefully as possible. Any cards that are not put back precisely and securely as they were before will freak your computer out and may cause it to start beeping when it starts up. If it does then open it up again and try making your pieces more secure. Place your tower cover back on your computer and make sure you flip the switch on the back of the computer power supply back on =P Then you can turn it on again!

It is a wise practice before you work on a computers inner parts, to ground yourself out... and all that means is while the computer is plugged into the wall, touch the metal part of your computer case for a moment or too to get rid of any static electricity you may have on you.
Also don't worry about the air compressor (should you decide to use one), damaging any electrical components, it wont.
Do not, I repeat do not use any type of chemical cleaner! NONE whatsoever. Only remove the dust with tissue and Q-tip and make sure there are no pieces of it left.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My first blog... EVER

Alright I'd like to start things off by saying that the purpose of these blogs is for the "do-it-yourselfer" type of folks who prefer looking up relative computer repair information on their own and getting the job done. I'd also like to note that these blogs will contain a series of computer related issues and problems for which an easy do-it-yourself solution will be presented with the least amount of technical terms and jargon as possible hehe.

I have over 10  years experience in the field of computer repair and teching and have experience with operating systems dating back to windows 95.

Well let's get down to the brass tacks of it then...

If you're some what of a computer gamer like myself, or have a system that runs alot of 3d applications. You may find that your video card (be it top of the line or other) just cant cut the mustard and burns out. Yes I did say BURNS OUT. That's right folks for some reason or another video cards can overheat and die! Some tail tale tell signs that this is happening might be frequent freezes or crashes during 3d rendering. A simple fix might be to just try updating the video card drivers from the manufacturers website. Updated drivers are certainly a nice thing to have. but more often than not upping the driver alone isn't gonna fix your stuff. One easy thing to try is to open up your tower(That's the computers case) and expose all the little circuits inside. Once you've got that then you're going to take a house fan, you know one of those medium sized fans you plug into the wall usually comes with 3 speed settings, and you're going to put that directly in front of the opening of your computer tower and angle the thing so it faces down into it.

And that's it! Turn on the juice to the fan and your all set! In my experience a good house fan blowing air down on the internal workings of the computer is a good way of keeping overheating video cards temperatures down! Another thing you might wanna do is keep track of your air temperature by getting yourself one of those cheap little thermometers and placing it some where in the tower(away from most of the components) OR if you have a top air vent on your tower you can place it next to that... The idea is to place the thermometer some where where it can get a good sense of what the temp is inside your computer...In my experience also computers generally don't like the temp to be above 80 some odd degrees (varies by location).

So with a thermometer and a 3 speed fan you can up your fan speed as you notice the temperature increase!
For me that would be keeping the fan blowing on the thing at level 1 up until about 75 degrees then I kick it up a notch to speed 2...Anything over say... 78 I put it on the 3rd and highest setting.

Its the simple solutions to big problems that can be the most rewarding some times! And can enable you to avoid having to call up the computer repair guy!

Stay tuned for my next blog