It’s the worse case scenario: your computer, which contains the product of all your academic blood, sweat and tears, is teetering on the edge of oblivion and threatening to take all that hard work with it. Before you completely consign it to the scrap heap, here are some useful fixes that might help you salvage work or even get back on track completely.
1. Have you turned it off and on again?
It’s a classic IT joke but restarting your computer could be all you need to do to get things up and running again. A restart wipes temporary files in the RAM and the operating system basically starts again. If you’re not getting anywhere with a restart you could try a system restore to 24-48 hours earlier when the computer was functioning fine.
2. Look to the Clouds
Even if your computer simply won’t turn on, if you’re using cloud storage such as Dropbox or Google Drive then you can still access your documents. All data is stored externally of your machine so you can access everything no matter where you are and no matter what happens to your computer. If you’re working on something critical then saving it in the cloud is a great back up in case anything does go wrong.
3. Compatibility issues
If you’re a MAC user then you may well run into the issue that your systems are not compatible with the PC systems that are being used in your teaching. However, don’t throw the Macbook out the window just yet as you can use virtualisation apps like VirtualBox to run Windows 7 or 8 on a MAC.
4. Wait for the boot
If your computer is taking far too long to start up in the mornings then it’s not necessarily a sign of imminent failure but could be something as simple as too many startup programmes running at the same time. You can deal with this on a PC by clicking ‘Windows’ key + R then typing ‘misconfig’ into the text bar. Choose the ‘startup’ tab in the window that pops up and you’ll then be able to deal with the startup programs that are slowing your machine down. Just remember not to disable programs that are necessary for essential PC functions.
5. Quick fix
If you’ve got a MAC that stubbornly refuses to complete even the most basic of processes then there is a quick fix. Find the ‘Utilities’ folder and select ‘Disk Utility’ and then click on ‘Repair Disk Permissions’ and your MAC should be able to heal itself.
6. Follow the digital breadcrumbs
If there comes a point where you need to retrace your recent steps for any reason, whether that’s because you’ve lost a train of thought or you want to try and identify where a problem may have arisen this is relatively easy to do. PC users can press the ‘Windows’ key +R, and type ‘psr’ into the search bar. This will then enable you to compile relevant information on your browsing history.
7. The beauty of ‘.exe.’
Sometimes you may not even know that your PC has been infected but you may find that some programs won’t run with the .exe extension. You can fix this very quickly by simply changing .exe to .com and the programs should run perfectly.
There you have it- no need to kick your computer into touch using your feet (it happens); follow the above steps and stop IT woes slowing you down for good.