LeapFrog IT Services

16 Common Computer Problems: How To Tell If They’re Hardware or Software

You’re right in the middle of something and your computer starts acting up. Is it the app you’re working in or your device that’s the problem? How can you tell the difference between hardware and hacking?

Most problems are software problems. Some are definitely hardware problems. And some can be caused by one or the other. This chart lists 16 of the most common problems. Knowing where to start troubleshooting can save you lots of time. And if you need to call in the cavalry, you’ll know which customer service department to call.

Note: Of course, there are exceptions to the rule.

ProblemSOFTWAREHARDWARE
Computer is slowCould be malware, too many start-up items (Windows) or build up of temporary filesCould be hard drive is fragmented or starting to fail, not enough RAM or an old CPU
Computer keeps restartingCould be automatic OS update problem, adware, virus or other malwareCould be graphics card, motherboard or network card drivers
Keyboard, mouse, printer or other peripherals aren’t working properlyCould be driver issuesCould be computer port issues or peripheral component issues
Peripheral commands interpreted incorrectly
App command not workingSoftware if it’s happening in only one appHardware if it’s happening in more than one app
Internet is slowCould be an app in background is consuming the bandwidthCould be hard disk failing
Downloads take forever
Computer freezes
Attachments won’t open
PC blue screen of death (although it could be your drivers)
Pop-up ads
Corrupt files or long delays accessing files
Google performing oddly
Sudden shut off…or sudden anything weird
Graphical errors like your computer screen is jumbled
Unusual noises

 

If you’re lucky, your problem is a software problem that can be easily resolved by running a repair utility or uninstalling and reinstalling if it’s a desktop app or logging off and on again if it’s a cloud app. To keep problems away, keep your software updated. To keep your computer clean and in good shape, pay attention when things seem weird so you can start troubleshooting before it ruins your day. If you get a new computer and it’s having problems already — quick, trade it in while you still can.

If your company is a Leapfrog client, your first (and only) call should be to our super-smart and friendly Help Desk frogs at 404-870-2124 or 866-870-2124. They’ll figure everything out for you and even fix it remotely.

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