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Windows PC Trouble Shooting: 5 Ways to Kill a Personal Computer

written by: Ashwin Satyanarayana•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 8/28/2008

A computer is an important piece of equipment -- be it for your personal needs or for your business needs -- but many of us do exactly what's required to kill our Personal Computer in an instant. Perhaps knowing where you are likely to go wrong can help? Read on:

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    Have computer, will kill it? Even if you didn’t want to, you might really end up doing it. If only you paid attention to certain basic and easy points, you would not do this; but because easy things are often overlooked, you can kill the PC. Unless you are diligent, you have to pay up for the losses when your computer finally bites the dust. Here are a few reasons why a PC dies an early death:

    Too Much Power can kill

    One of most common reasons why Personal Computers are ruined is because of faulty power connections; lack of an appropriate and un-interrupted power supply, and buying unbranded computer/computer components -- all of which can’t stand any sudden power fluctuation or jolts. In cases of power voltage fluctuations, the components within the PC must be able to withstand the surges (they will if they have been made by good, reliable manufacturers like Antec, PC power and Cooling, Seasonic etc.. Simpler still, just buy a computer from original manufacturers who would never give you a computer with nameless parts in it.

    No one can take the Heat, not even your computer

    Have you ever checked to see what’s inside of a computer’s CPU (Central Processing Unit)? If you look at the motherboard and other parts of the computer, you will see these ugly aluminum fins and lots of vacant space. All of this arrangement isn’t to make your computer look pretty -- it is for a reason: cooling. Without cooling, the processors and other parts within the computer can melt into a nice liquid within minutes -- and most computers actually are ruined because of inadequate cooling. Processors release a tremendous amount of heat which needs to be sunk. Keep an eye on the fan (if it makes a lot of noise, it is on the deathbed) and feel for excessive heating.

    Why isn’t this where it must be?

    Another major cause of computer damage is the fact that rookies (and even the experienced IT Hardware Pros, sometimes), go wrong when assembling the components of the PC (as if dismantling was a smart option). When assembling, most of the PC parts cannot be put in any other way except one -- which is a rather neat touch that the PC manufacturers thought of. However, some of the parts like the Motherboard, (which needs to be screwed to the metal base), and some others need extreme care in handling. If not done right, it will be broken even before you press the start key.

    When Lightening Strikes, er…it Strikes

    Did you know that thunder and lightening could cause a major computer malfunction? The reason why this happens is that lightening causes a major surge in electric connections. If it were to happen anywhere near a computer, it could cause severe damage to it. The damage is even more common with telephone lines and modems, and if you have your modem within your computer, they could take a hit. The most simple and obvious thing to do is unplug your modem and telephone lines when you suspect that the weather is going to be bad, and do something else for a while.

    The UPS is here for a reason

    Uninterrupted power is extremely critical for proper functioning of a computer. Interruptions in power supply, power surges and a poor quality of power supply; voltage fluctuations and such like can wreak havoc with your computer. A UPS or an appropriate Power Surge Protector is much more than a mere investment for your PC’s protection -- it is god sent. Just use it.

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    Power Surge ProtectorHow to Kill Your PCCPU Heat Sink