If you’ve ever used a computer before, then you’ve probably run into some sort of “error” at some point. Computer errors pop up even on the most advanced and expensive computers. Fortunately, many errors are usually not a sign of something more serious or permanent going wrong with your computer. Instead, these errors are almost always transient problems that can be fixed easily. If you have an average home computer and don’t use it for any kind of professional work, then the errors you encounter won’t be anything to worry about. However, if your job involves using your computer for extended periods every day (for example, as a graphic designer or video editor), these tips might come in handy if you are faced with persistent computer error messages.
What is an Error?
An error is basically a sign that something is wrong with the way your computer works. The error might be due to a minor problem—like a software glitch that prevents a program from running correctly—or it might point to a hardware problem—such as an incorrect setting in your computer’s BIOS or a broken hard drive. An error message is a short phrase that appears on your screen when the computer encounters a problem while executing a program. Error messages can vary in severity and often include a code indicating the nature of the error.
Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)
The “Blue Screen of Death” (also known as the “Blue Screen of Embarassment” or “Blue Screen of Sorrow”) is an error message that appears when something has gone wrong in your computer’s operating system. The Blue Screen of Death is a serious error that should always be brought to the attention of a computer technician as soon as possible. You may notice the software manufacturer is collecting information to attempt to flix the glitch. This is often followed by an automatic reboot. Whereas some computer errors can be fixed with a quick online search and a few minutes of troubleshooting, the Blue Screen of Death is a sign that your computer’s hardware has failed. The Blue Screen of Death often appears when your computer’s hard drive has crashed, when your computer has been infected with a virus and is trying to clean itself, or when the BIOS of your computer is corrupted.
Grey Screen of Death (GSOD)
The “Grey Screen of Death” is similar to the Blue Screen of Death, but unlike the Blue Screen, the cause is almost always a software error. A Grey Screen of Death almost always indicates a software glitch in your computer’s operating system, rather than a hardware problem. Because a Grey Screen of Death is a software glitch, it can be fixed through a soft reboot of your computer. This will bring your computer out of its current state and return it to a normal state. If you’ve experienced a Grey Screen of Death, the error might be due to a minor software glitch that can be fixed with a soft reboot. However, a GSOD indicates a larger problem and requires a complete shutdown of your computer.
A sticky key (or “sticky keystroke”) is a key on your computer’s keyboard that sticks when pressed, causing it to stay pressed down when it shouldn’t. Sticky keys can occur for many reasons, the most common of which is dirt or dust accumulating inside your computer’s keyboard. Sticky keys are a minor problem that can be fixed by cleaning the interior of your keyboard. You can do this by taking apart your computer’s keyboard and cleaning it with a dry cloth. Other keyboard errors often accompany sticky keys, like the “E” key not working or the Enter key not performing its function. Computer experts recommend cleaning your keyboard at least once a month to prevent these errors.
A networking error occurs when your computer is unable to access a network. A network can be anything from your home WiFi network to your workplace’s intranet. A networking error might be due to an error in your computer’s configuration settings for your network (such as incorrect WiFi network settings or incorrect login credentials for your intranet), or it might indicate a problem with the network itself—like a router malfunction. If you are experiencing network errors, the best thing you can do is contact the network administrator for your workplace (if you use an intranet) or the administrator of your WiFi network. If the error occurs with your home Wi-Fi network, reboot your router before rechecking your system credentials.
A disk error is a sign that something is wrong with your computer’s hard drive. The error might indicate the hard drive is failing or your computer is unable to access or read the drive. Disk errors are the most serious type of error you are likely to encounter, and indicate that it’s time to back up your files and get a new hard drive. If you are experiencing disk errors, you should definitely contact your computer technician as soon as possible. If you have a professional computer technician handle the error, they will likely reformat your hard drive and reinstall your operating system. This will likely lead to a loss of data, so be sure to back up your files. My personal experience is to make frequent backups of my files using Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive before a disaster occurs.
Video Card Errors
Unlike other computer errors mentioned above, video card errors are hardware errors that indicate a problem with your computer’s graphics card. Graphics cards are responsible for displaying images and video on your computer’s screen, and are used by all modern computers, no matter the operating system. If your graphics card is broken, you can still use your computer, but you might not be able to run graphics-heavy programs or watch videos in high definition.
Windows Registry Errors
Windows registry errors are the most serious errors you might encounter as a computer user. Windows registry errors occur when the Windows registry—which stores information about programs, settings, and other data on your computer—becomes corrupted. The Windows registry is a complex system, so fixing a Windows registry error requires a lot of computer knowledge and expertise. If you’re experiencing Windows registry errors, you should definitely leave the error fixing to a computer technician.
Errors Best left to a Professional
As you read above, some errors require a computer technician to fix. If you are experiencing these errors, you should call your computer technician to fix them. If you try to fix them yourself, you might end up worsening the problem and causing more damage to your computer.
Computer errors are common, but they usually aren’t a sign of a serious problem. Sometimes a computer error can be fixed by executing a hard reboot or following the onscreen recovery instructions of the software publisher. Most computer errors are due to minor problems that can be fixed with a quick Google search, some troubleshooting, and a little effort. If you encounter an error on your computer, be sure to troubleshoot the problem before panicking. More often than not, you’ll be able to fix the error with a quick Google search or by running some diagnostic software on your computer. If you have a problem that you can’t fix, don’t hesitate to call a computer technician. Computer errors are always better left in the hands of a professional who has experience diagnosing and fixing hardware problems.
Lacatang Enterprises Team