Frequently Asked Questions (Part 5)

Q) My computer keeps shutting down like I pulled the power plug. Why?

A) Computers are designed to protect themselves from damage caused from overheating. In order to do this, computers will immediately shut off power whenever a certain temperature is reached (usually around 65 degrees celsius.) Another reason a computer could spontaneously lose power would be a hardware issue with the main power supply. A quick analysis you can do on your own computer if you’re having this issue would be to make sure that all the fans in the computer are spinning properly. Typically you can expect a desktop computer to have a fan in the main power supply, attached to the main processor, and one inside the main chassis. On a laptop there is usually just one attached to the main processor. If any of those aren’t working, that’s most likely causing the computer to shut down. Fortunately, it’s not hard to replace a bad fan, so it’s a fairly cost-effective repair. If you’re experiencing a situation like this, feel free to connect with us and we should be able to take care of it quickly and cheaply!

Q) My computer keeps rebooting randomly. Why?

A) This one could be caused by either hardware or software. The first question to try to answer is if there is a specific event that might be causing the reboot. Does it only happen when you try to play music or a video game? If you can pinpoint something specific that reproduces the issue, the first thing we would do is update the driver for whatever hardware component that would be affected by that event, then if that doesn’t help, there’s a good change the hardware component itself is malfunctioning. For example, if the PC reboots whenever you try to play a video game, that would most likely be caused by the video card because that’s one of the rare pieces of software that really stresses the video card. If you don’t know how to update the video driver, you can quickly do a google search and find an instructional video on YouTube. If you’d prefer to let a computer specialist like us do it for you, we actually offer to help determine the root cause at no cost, so that’s always an option 🙂

Q) What brand of computer should I buy? Are some computers really better than the rest?

A) The most valuable metric to use when choosing a brand of computer is their field failure rate. What that means is “what percentage of each manufacturer’s computers break in the first 2 to 3 years?” Based on this, some manufacturers are statistically better than others, and this is what we use to make recommendations. Here is a quick graph showing the actual numbers (lower numbers are better):
Field Failure Rate by Manufacturer

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