How to Diagnose Your Computer Problems FREE


Viruses aren't the only things that can slow down your computer or bring it to a screeching halt. Registry issues, hard drive errors and other software or problems occur frequently as people work on their PCs. Computer tech support companies can help you fix these problems but they usually charge a fee. Before paying money to get your computer healthy again, install a program that can do the job for free.

Microsoft Fix It

  • Navigate to the Microsoft Fix It website (link in Resources) and review the buttons under "Select a problem area." These buttons are Top Solutions, Windows, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player.

  • Click one of the buttons and review the categories in section two. For example, if you click the "Internet Explorer" button in section one, section two displays a list of issues related to Internet Explorer. Click one of the issues, such as "Fix Performance, Page display, Errors or Crashes" and then review the solutions that appear in section three. Each solution will fix a specific problem depending upon the one you select in section two.

  • Click the "Run Now" button next to the solution that addresses the problem you would like to troubleshoot. Click "Save File" to open the window that enables you to save a troubleshooting file and then click "Save File" to save the file to your hard drive. Double-click that file after it downloads to launch the troubleshooting program.

  • Click "Accept" and wait for the program to download additional software that it needs. Click "Detect problems and let me select prefixes to apply" and wait for the program to scan your computer. If the program finds no problems, it displays a message saying that it found no issues. If the program discovers problems, it displays them in a list. Check boxes appear next to the problems.

  • Remove check marks from the check boxes next to those problems you don't wish the program to fix. Click "Next" to repair the problems.

PC Mechanic

  • Visit the Iolo website (link in Resources) and click the "Download Free Version" link. Double-click the file after it downloads to launch an installation wizard. Follow the instructions in the wizard provides and click "Finish" to launch the program when the wizard ends. The application’s main window opens.

  • Click "Analyze Now" and then click "Perform Quick Analysis" if you would like the program to perform a quick scan that takes one to two minutes. Otherwise, click "Form Deep Analysis." This option tells the program to check for all types of problems. The "Perform Quick Analysis" option checks with the most common types of problems. Wait for the program to scan your computer. A progress bar shows the application's progress.

  • Review the results that appear when the scan completes. The main application window displays your system status in the Overview section. For example, if System Mechanic discovered a few minor problems, it may tell you that your system status is "Fair." The section also lists the number of problems the scan found.

  • Click "View Problems" to view those problems and review the program's recommendations. Find the drop-down button next to a problem you would like to fix. This drop-down button's label may read "Repair" or "Remove depending on the type of problem the program found. For instance, if it's a registry problem, the button's label will be "Repair."

  • Click the drop-down button next to the problem you wish to fix and select one of the options that appear in the drop-down menu. If you click a "Repair" drop-down button, for example, menu options might include "Repair Registry Problems Now" and "Start Repair Registry Problems Wizard."

  • Click the desired option and follow the steps as the program helps you fix your problem. Repeat this process for each problem that you would like to repair.

PC Matic

  • Navigate to the PC Matic website (link in Resources) and click "Start Free Scan Now." Click "Save File" and wait as Windows saves the installation file to your computer.

  • Double-click the file after it downloads and follow the instructions that the setup wizard provides. Click finish when the Wizard ends to launch the PC Matic program.

  • Click "Free Scan" and then click "Continue" to scan your computer for problems. A list of problems appears when the scan completes.

  • Click "Fix All" if you would like PC Matic to fix all problems automatically.

Tips & Warnings

  • The Windows Fix It troubleshooting window may have an option that reads, "Detect problems an apply the fixes for me apply the fixes for me (Recommended)." Select that option if you would like Windows to repair your problem automatically.

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  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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