Why did my computer restart?

Did your computer restart all by itself? Don’t worry this has happened to most people at some point and typically is nothing to worry about. There are a couple of common things that could be the culprit. 

  1. One issue could be Dust. If a computer isn't properly cleaned on a regular basis, then the components, fans, etc. can become coated in dust keeping the computer from cooling properly. Most modern computers are set to shut down if they start to overheat. The solution would be to open the computer and, with a can of compressed air, gently blow the dust off of the components, fans, etc. 
  2. The culprit we always recommend investigating are Windows Updates. Whether it’s to save time or because the computer came preset this way, Windows may be updating automatically. When these updates are run the computer must restart to apply the changes. If this is the case, then go into the Control Panel > Systems and Security > Windows Update > Change Settings. Here the preferences can be set for if and when to update, to manually or automatically update, and even schedule the update. If the issues persist after making these changes, then it might be time to call a professional.
  3. Another issue could be that the Computer has a Virus. If this is the suspected issue, then run a virus program such as Kaspersky or Norton and the problem should be solved. 

A little more maintenance

I've been talking about computer maintenance here lately and now I've got a little more to share. This article has two basic tips that work hand in hand to help your computer perform at its best.   

Tip One: Watch What You Download. Not only is it important to know where the download is coming from, that it is safe and legitimate, but whether or not that program is downloading other programs. When downloading a new program, look to see if a box is checked for a new toolbar, trial version of an anti-virus, etc. Unless the program is something that is needed for the computer it will simply be taking up valuable space and computing power. 

Tip Two: Make sure to Create Restore Points. Before downloading a new program it’s always a good idea to create a restore point. Creating the restore point doesn't take much time and if something bad happens in the download, the computer can be back to normal with just a few clicks.

How's your computer's environment?

Recently, I wrote about how to clean up your computer to keep it running smoothly. Something I didn't write about was that your computer's environment can also affect its performance. The goal is to keep the environment clean, cool, and at the proper height. Here are some of our tips for a better computing environment.

Tip One: Keeping the environment clean of dust and dirt will help keep the inside of the computer from getting coated in dirt. This will help the computer to run at an optimal temperature and preserve the life of the internal components.

Tip Two: Keeping the computer in a cool if not cold area can be helpful. Even when the room is clean, if the temperature is too hot, the computer could start to overheat.

Tip Three: The final tip is to keep the computer at the proper height. Since heat rises, having some "head room" above the computer will give the heat generated by the computer a place to go. However, this does not mean that the floor is the optimal location for the computer. The computer's optimal location would be on a shelf to avoid both heat build up and potential water or flooding issues. If possible, place an external fan near the computer to create even better circulation.

Obviously, the weather can not always be controlled and often the computer has to go in the hot warehouse because there is no other room. However, implementing some of these techniques can help to reduce the day to day wear and tear on your server, thus saving time and money!

Could your computer stand to be a little faster?

People are sometimes told that once a computer slows down that it has reached capacity or that it's time for a replacement. This isn't necessarily true. Many times there are a few basic things that can be done to help in this situation. In the following article we have a couple of tips to help.

Note: Before trying any of these steps to improve your computer's speed, make sure to create a full backup of the computer.

Step One: The first option is to work on the Startup Process. Turning off programs that aren't necessary for the startup will help. If you have a newer computer with Windows 7 or 8, then you could install a Solid State Drive which will naturally have a faster startup time than a traditional hard drive.

Step Two: Cleaning out excess files is also a good thing to do when trying to speed up a computer. Once that is done, run the Windows program Disk Cleanup. This removes temporary files, empties the recycling bin, and removes a variety of system files and other items you no longer need.

Step Three: After cleaning out the files comes the Defragmenting process. On traditional disk drives, information gets scattered across the drive causing the computer to go and gather all the pieces of a file and assemble them once they are needed. This obviously isn't the most efficient way for the computer to gather information, so by running the defragging program built right into the computer, all this information can be collected, sorted, and organized making the computer run more efficiently and effectively. To do this: Open My Computer > Right Click on the Main Drive > Choose Properties > Select the Tools Tab > Choose Defragment Now. This process may take some time to complete, so make sure that the computer won't be needed during this process.

Step Four: Removing any Viruses also needs to be done on a regular basis. It's best to have a program that runs in Real Time to protect the computer from any major threats. We recommend having Malwarebytes, which can be set on a schedule and will run in the background without affecting productivity. This protects from malware like worms, trojans, and spyware. Also having Norton Anti Virus or Kaspersky will protect the computer from major virus attacks in real time and stop them before your computer is ever damaged.