Realizing your PC or laptop might be infected with a virus or malware is worrying, but with careful and decisive action, removing a virus is quicker and easier than you might think.
How do I detect a virus?
It’s not always obvious that your computer is infected. Some of the warning signs your PC or laptop might have a virus are:
A very slow running computer ;
Pop-up messages that appear out of nowhere and are hard to get rid of ;
Computer programs starting that you don’t recognize or didn’t start up yourself ;
You can hear the sound of the hard drive in constant action.
Any one of these symptoms might be caused by a virus. If you’re experiencing two or three of them at the same time, that’s a strong indication that you’ve got a virus. If you haven't already, download an antivirus program now.
If the monitor is on, and you do not see a power LED (blue, green, or orange light) on the front of the monitor, press the power button until it comes on. If no light comes on after several attempts, make sure the connections are properly connected.
If your computer monitor was on and you stepped away from the computer, then upon returning, it was black, it is likely that the computer is asleep. Try moving your mouse, clicking the mouse buttons, or pressing any key (eg, spacebar) on the keyboard to wake it up.
If the data cable is plugged in, make sure the monitor is getting power by verifying there is a light (blue, green, or orange) on the front of the monitor.
If you see no lights on the monitor, make sure it is connected to a working wall outlet. If the power cord is removable from the back of the monitor, try replacing it with another power cable. If you still cannot power on the monitor after trying another wall outlet and cable, the monitor is bad and should be replaced.
If the monitor has a light on the front, but that status light is orange or flashing, make sure the monitor is not in a suspend mode by moving the mouse or pressing a key on the keyboard. If this does not help, turn the computer and monitor off and reconnect the data cable on the back of the computer and, if removable, on the back of the monitor, turn the computer and monitor back on.
There are many reasons why a computer display may go blank or black. Most often than not, this issue is related to some piece of hardware, whether it's the video card, cables, monitor, RAM or motherboard.
Occasionally, it can be software related issue also. The worst case scenario is having to get a piece of hardware replaced on your computer.
Check the power. Check to make sure the monitor is turned on, which is usually indicated by some kind of light on the power button itself. If the light is on, the monitor is on and you should see some message.
If the monitor is on, but nothing is showing up, try to press the menu button to bring up the built in monitor controls. If you still have a blank screen, then this could mean there is a problem with your monitor.
Check the cables. Whether you are using VGA, DVI, HDMI OR DisplayPort to connect your computer to your monitor, cables can sometimes become detached. This is especially true for cables that don't screw into the back of a monitor.
Make sure you check the connection at the PC and on the monitor. For those of you who have more than one video card, you need to be careful how you connect the monitors.
Check the BIOS and Recovery Options. If you can see the initial boot screen when you turn on your computer, but it goes blank once Windows starts to load, then you know it's an issue with Windows.
If Windows is corrupt, then your only option is to boot into safe mode and then try to repair Windows either using System Restore/ Automatic Repair or using the Reset or Refresh My PC feature.
If system restore or automatic repair do not work, then try resetting your PC. Resetting your PC will preserve all your programs and data, but reinstall the Windows system files.
Finally, the last step is to check the hardware. Before you do anything else, you should try disconnecting all devices and peripherals from the computer like the keyboard, mouse, external hard drive, speakers, printers, etc.
Sometimes a problem with another piece of hardware can cause the display to go blank. If that doesn't work, then you need to check the actual port connectors on the computer and on the monitor for damage.
There are times when someone doesn't properly take out a cable and it ends up bending the video port on the computer.
Sometimes, people try to stick a cable into a connection that doesn't match and that can end up damaging the gold or silver connectors that you see inside the port.
When you start your Windows PC in Safe Mode, you can solve all kinds of problems, especially those involving device drivers and DLL files. You may also be able to troubleshoot some Blue Screen of Death errors and other similar problems that interrupt or prevent Windows from starting normally.
To launch Safe Mode in Windows 10, open the Settings window by pressing the Win + I. From the Update and Security section, select the Recovery option along the left-side menu, then click the grey "Restart now" box in the Advanced Startup section of the Recovery screen.
When your PC restarts, you'll see a screen titled "Choose an option," from which you should follow the menu options of Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. The PC will restart again; when it does, select Safe Mode (or press F4) or Safe Mode with Networking (or press F5) if you need the networking drivers activated as well.
Short-cut the Settings window by just restarting your PC. Hold the shift key while you select Power from the login window. When you restart, you'll be directed to the "Choose an option screen."
Starting Windows in Safe Mode on older PCs is fairly simple but the exact method differs a little depending on the age of your operating system—whether you're using Windows 8 or Windows 7. You'll need to verify what version of Windows you have, if you're not sure which of those several versions of Windows is installed on your computer.
Starting Windows in Safe Mode does not, in itself, solve, prevent or cause any kind of Windows problem. Safe Mode is simply a way of starting Windows with a minimum set of drivers and services in the theory that the operating system will run correctly enough to let you fix the problem with whatever driver or service interferes with normal startup.
If you can access Windows normally, you also have the option of configuring Windows to start in Safe Mode automatically the next time your computer starts by using the System Configuration utility.
A Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), also called a STOP Error, will appear when an issue is so serious that Windows must stop completely.
A Blue Screen of Death is usually hardware or driver related. Most BSODs show a STOP code that can be used to help figure out the root cause of the Blue Screen of Death.
The most important BSOD troubleshooting step you can take is to ask yourself what you just did!
Did you install a new program or a piece of hardware, update a driver, install a Windows update, etc.? If so, there's a very good chance that the change you made caused the BSOD.
Undo the change you made and test again for the STOP error. Depending on what it was that changed, some solutions might include :
Starting up using Last Known Good Configuration to undo recent registry and driver changes.
Using System Restore to undo recent system changes.
Rolling Back the device driver to a version prior to your driver update.
Check that there's enough free space left on the drive Windows is installed on. BSOD and other serious issues, like data corruption, can occur if there's not enough free space on your primary partition used for the Windows operating system.
Microsoft recommends that you maintain at least 100 MB of free space. I usually advise Windows users to keep at least 15% of a drive's capacity free at all times.
Scan your computer for viruses. Some viruses can cause a BSOD, especially ones that infect the Master Boot Record (MBR) or boot sector.
Make sure your virus scanning software is completely up to date and that it's configured to scan the MBR and boot sector.
Update drivers for your hardware. Most BSOD are hardware or driver related, so updated drivers could fix the cause of the STOP error.
Check the System and Application logs in Event Viewer for errors or warnings that might provide more clues on the cause of the BSOD. See how to start Event Viewer if you need help.
Return BIOS settings to their default levels. An overclocked or misconfigured BIOS can cause all sorts of random issues, including BSODs.
Sometimes your computer may actually turn on but an error message during the Power On Self Test (POST) will stop the boot process.
Other times your PC may simply freeze during the POST with no error at all. Sometimes all you will see is your computer maker's logo.
There are a number of BIOS error messages that can display on your monitor and several reasons why a PC might freeze during the POST so it's important that
you step through a logical process.
Troubleshoot the cause of the BIOS error message you see on the monitor. These errors during the POST are usually very specific so if you receive one, your best course of action is to troubleshoot to the specific error you see.
Disconnect any USB storage devices and remove any discs in any optical drives. If your computer is trying to boot from a location that does not have actually have bootable data on it, your computer could freeze somewhere during the POST.
Clear the CMOS. Clearing the BIOS memory on your motherboard will reset the BIOS settings to their factory default levels. A misconfigured BIOS is a common cause of a computer locking up during the POST.
If clearing the CMOS does fix your problem, make any future settings change in BIOS one at a time so if the problem returns, you will know which change caused your issue.
The most common way that a computer "won't turn on" is when the PC actually does power on but does not display anything on the monitor.
You see lights on the computer case, probably hear fans running from inside, and may even hear sounds, but nothing at all shows up on your screen.
Test your monitor. Before you begin more complicated and time consuming troubleshooting with the rest of your computer, make sure your monitor is working properly.
It is possible that your computer is working fine and your monitor is your only problem.
Verify that your PC has fully power cycled. In other words, make sure your computer has completely restarted - ensure that it is coming on from a completely powered off state.
Often times a computer will appear to "not be on" when actually it is having problems resuming from either Standby/Sleep or Hibernate power saving mode in Windows.
You can power off your computer completely while in a power saving mode by holding the power button down for 3 to 5 seconds. After the power is completely off, turn on your PC and test to see if it will boot normally.
There are several reasons why a desktop, laptop, or tablet computer might not power on, so it's very important that you troubleshoot this problem in the correct way!
If it appears that your computer is, in fact, receiving power (lights on the computer turn on, fans are running), even if just for a moment, make sure that you've turned on every power switch and power button involved in your computer system.
Check for disconnected computer power cable connections. A loose or unplugged power cable is one of the top reasons why a computer won't turn on!
Even though your computer runs on a battery, you should make sure that the AC adapter is plugged in properly, at least during troubleshooting. If you regularly keep your computer plugged in, but it has wiggled loose and now the battery is empty, your computer may not be getting power for this reason!
Plug your tablet, laptop, or desktop directly into the wall if it's not already. In other words, remove any power strips, battery backups, or other power distribution devices between your PC and the wall outlet.
If your computer starts getting power after doing this, it means that something that you removed from the equation is the cause of the problem. Even if nothing improves, continue troubleshooting with the computer plugged into the wall to keep things simple,
Perform a "lamp test" to verify power is being provided from the wall. Your computer isn't going to turn on if it's not getting power, so you need to make sure that the power source is working properly.
Is your computer turning off by itself immediately or at some point before the operating system loads? If so, you may be facing anything from an electrical short to a serious hardware issue.
Since there are several reasons that your PC might be shutting off by itself during the boot process, it's important that you step through a logical troubleshooting process!
This process could take anywhere from minutes to hours to solve depending on why the computer turns off so quickly after being turned on.
A beep code, if you are lucky enough to hear one, will give you a very good idea of exactly where to look for the cause of your computer turning off.
Chances are that your computer would not power on at all if the power supply voltage switch is wrong, but an incorrect power supply voltage might also cause your computer to turn off by itself.
Check for causes of electrical shorts inside your computer. This is very often the cause of the problem when the computer powers on for a second or two but then power off completely.
If you do not take the time to troubleshoot the possibility thoroughly you may end up missing a simple electrical short and instead perform costly hardware replacements later on for no good reason!
The power supply tends to cause more problems than any other piece of hardware and is very often the cause of a computer turning off by itself!
It is a really awful way to start the day! You press the power button on your computer and nothing happens. There is nothing more frustrating then when your computer will not boot!
There are many reasons why a computer won't turn on, the only symptom is usually the simple fact that nothing works, which is not much to go on!
Add this to the fact that whatever is causing your computer not to start could be an expensive part of your desktop or laptop to replace, like the motherboard or CPU!
Whenever the motherboard does needs to be replaced, it is always better to buy a new laptop because it is cheaper than buying a new motherboard which will always be more expensive!