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How to Test a Power Supply Unit

How to Test a Power Supply Unit

When it comes to the beating heart of your computer, the power supply unit (PSU) is the unsung hero. It is a critical component that provides stable power to the motherboard, CPU, drives, and other internal components. As the PSU ages, it can become less efficient and even fail, leading to crashes, data loss, or failure to boot. Testing a PSU thoroughly and regularly is important to ensure the health and stability of your system.

In this article, we will cover the basics of how to test a PSU to determine if it is still functioning properly or needs to be replaced. We will look at visual inspection, voltage testing with a multimeter, and stress testing under load. A step-by-step guide will show you how to safely test your PSU using commonly available tools. With the right information and tools, you can diagnose problems with your PSU before they lead to catastrophic failures. Read on to learn how to test your power supply unit.

What is PSU?

A Power Supply Unit (PSU) is a hardware component that provides electrical power to a computer or other electronic device. It converts AC power from the wall outlet into DC power that is suitable for the computer’s components to use. PSUs come in different wattage ratings and connector types to match the requirements of different computer systems. Some PSUs can also supply a standby voltage, allowing certain computer functions to remain powered even when the system is in hibernation or shutdown. Without a reliable PSU, your computer’s performance and stability could be compromised.

How to Know Your PSU Is Failing?

Your computer’s power supply unit (PSU) is a critical component that often goes unnoticed until problems arise. Understanding the signs of a failing PSU can help you address issues early, preventing potential hardware failures or data loss. Here are the key indicators to watch out for:

1.    Smoke or Burning Smells:

If you detect any smoke or notice a faint scent of burning plastic, it’s a red flag. These signs can indicate component failure or electrical arcing within the PSU. Address this promptly to prevent further damage.

2.    Electric Shocks:

Experiencing an electric shock when touching your computer case or peripherals is a clear sign of PSU trouble. The shielding and grounding in your system may have failed, posing a safety risk.

3.    Random Shutdowns or Blue Screens:

If your computer shuts down unexpectedly or displays blue screen errors without an apparent cause (such as software issues or new hardware), the PSU could be responsible. Voltage drops from a failing PSU can lead to system instability.

4.    Inconsistent Boot Stability:

If your computer behaves erratically during boot-up—such as frequent errors or crashes—it’s time to suspect the PSU. Inconsistent boot behavior often points to PSU issues.

5.    Unusual Noises:

Listen for abnormal sounds from the PSU. Fan grinding, high-pitched whining, or buzzing beyond the usual fan hum can indicate impending failure. Note that most PSU fans are not user-serviceable.

6.    Bloated Capacitors:

If you observe bloated or leaking capacitors on the power supply board when you open your computer or device, it’s a sign that the power supply is failing. Bloated capacitors can impede proper functioning of the power supply and may cause additional issues.

7.    Overheating

Overheating can lead to power supply failures. When a power supply overheats, it might not deliver sufficient power to all the components in your computer or device. Consequently, this can result in random system shutdowns, crashes, and potential damage to other hardware components.

NOTE: Don’t wait for a complete failure; test your PSU if you suspect power supply problems. It’s better to address issues early than risk hardware damage.

Tools Needed to Test a PSU

To test your Power Supply Unit (PSU), you’ll need a few tools and equipment. Here’s what you’ll require:

  1. Multimeter: A digital multimeter is essential for accurate voltage measurements. Make sure it’s set to DC voltage mode.
  2. Paperclip or Jumper Wire: For the basic paperclip test, you’ll need a straightened paperclip or a jumper wire.
  3. Load (Optional): If you want to perform a load test, connect a load (such as a case fan) to the PSU during testing.

How to Test your PSU

To test your Power supply unit (PSU), follow the steps below:

1.    Disconnect Everything:

  • Unplug your computer from the power source.
  • Disconnect all components (drives, GPU, RAM, etc.) from the motherboard.

2.    Paperclip Test (Basic Test):

  • Locate the 24-pin ATX connector that connects your PSU to the motherboard.
  • Straighten a paperclip and insert one end into the green wire (PS_ON) pin and the other end into any black wire (COM) pin on the same connector.
  • Plug the PSU back into the power source.
  • If the PSU fan spins up, it’s receiving power and likely functional. However, this test doesn’t guarantee its stability under load.

3.    Multimeter Test (Advanced Test):

  • Set your multimeter to DC voltage mode.
  • Connect the black probe to any black wire (COM) pin on the 24-pin ATX connector.
  • Connect the red probe to the yellow wire (12V) pin.
  • Turn on the PSU.
  • Read the voltage displayed on the multimeter:
  • +12V rail: Should be around 12V (within a small tolerance).
  • +5V rail: Should be around 5V.
  • +3.3V rail: Should be around 3.3V.
  • If the readings are significantly off, the PSU may be faulty.

4.    Load Test (Recommended):

  • Reconnect the PSU to the motherboard.
  • Connect a load (such as a case fan) to the PSU.
  • Turn on the computer.
  • Monitor stability during normal usage (e.g., gaming, running stress tests).
  • If the system remains stable, the PSU is likely fine. If it shuts down or exhibits issues, consider replacing it.

Safety Precautions:

  • Ensure you’re working in a safe environment.
  • Disconnect your computer from the power source before testing.
  • Handle the PSU carefully to avoid electrical shocks.

Remember, safety first! If you are not confident in carrying out the procedure yourself, consult a professional or use a dedicated PSU tester.

Conclusion

Testing a power supply unit is an important troubleshooting step to ensure your computer’s stability and longevity. As outlined in this article, there are visual inspections, multimeter voltage tests, and load testing under normal usage that can help you to determine if your PSU is still functioning properly or needs replacement. Remember to adhere to the safety precautions and guidelines when testing your PSU. With the right tools and step-by-step procedures, you can accurately test your computer’s PSU and catch issues before they lead to system failures. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns about the procedures.

How to Prevent PC Overheating

How to Prevent PC Overheating

Computers have become indispensable tools in our daily lives, serving us in various ways, from work to entertainment. However, when our PCs start to overheat, it can lead to performance issues, crashes, and even hardware damage. If you’ve noticed that your PC feels excessively hot to the touch or if your fans are running loudly and working overtime, these are clear signs that your computer might be grappling with overheating problems.

These issues tend to arise when your computer is pushed to its limits, especially during resource-intensive tasks like gaming or video editing. In this article, we’ll explore the common causes of PC overheating and provide you with effective strategies to prevent it from happening, ensuring your PC remains cool and performs optimally.

Common Reasons for PC Overheating

Here are some of the common reasons why your PC may be overheating:

  1. Excessive Processes and Applications: Running too many processes and applications simultaneously strains your PC’s resources, leading to increased heat generation.
  2. Unresponsive Applications: When apps become unresponsive or hang, they consume excessive CPU cycles, contributing to overheating.
  3. Multiple Browser Tabs Open: Each open browser tab consumes memory and processing power, straining your system.
  4. Defective Fans: Malfunctioning or damaged fans fail to dissipate heat effectively, causing temperature spikes.
  5. Blocked Air Vents: Dust accumulation in air vents restricts airflow, hindering proper cooling.
  6. Outdated Software: Using outdated operating systems or drivers may result in inefficient resource management and heat buildup.
  7. Malware and Viruses: Infected systems exhibit abnormal behavior, leading to increased CPU usage and heat.
  8. Overheated CPU or GPU: Intensive tasks or inadequate cooling can cause the central processing unit (CPU) or graphics processing unit (GPU) to overheat.
  9. Dust Buildup: Dust settling on fans and vents reduces their efficiency, impeding heat dissipation.

Effects of PC Overheating

PC overheating can have serious consequences for your computer. These effects include;

  1. The first consequence of PC overheating is being hot to touch. If your computer feels unusually hot, it’s a clear indicator of overheating.
  2. When your fans start running at full speed causing loud sounds, it’s often due to excessive heat.
  3. Unexpected shutdowns can occur when your PC reaches critical temperatures.
  4. Overheating can cause your screen to freeze or become unresponsive.
  5. Overheating can damage internal components, leading to potential data loss and irreparable harm.
  6. Excessive heat can cause blue screen errors, crashes, and other problems in both software and hardware.

How to Cool your Overheating PC

An overheating computer can cause performance issues, system crashes, and hardware damage. Thankfully, there are several ways to reduce your computer’s temperature.

1.    Clean your PC

Cleaning the inside of your computer regularly is an important way to keep it running fast and prevent overheating. Dust, pet hair, and other debris can build up inside the case and clog the fans and air vents that allow airflow to cool the components. It’s a good idea to open up your computer case and clean it out at least every 6 months, or more often if you have pets that shed hair. Use a can of compressed air to blow out dust from the fans, heatsinks, and other nooks and crannies inside the case.

2.    Improve airflow to PC

Proper airflow is crucial for keeping your computer from overheating. Laptops draw in cool air through vents on the bottom and expel warm air through side and rear vents. Using your laptop on soft surfaces like a bed or couch can block the bottom vents, restricting airflow and causing the inside to heat up. Instead, place your laptop on a hard, flat surface like a desk or lap desk to allow maximum airflow.

For desktop computers, airflow is also important. Avoid putting a desktop PC directly on thick carpet or enclosing it in a small, cramped space which doesn’t allow adequate air circulation. Instead, place it on a hard surface like a desk or table, with open space around and above it. Keep it away from walls and heat sources. Also make sure cables are neatly routed and not restricting fans or vents.

3.    Inspect the PC fans

Check that the fans in your computer are working right. Fans draw in cool air and blow out hot air to regulate the temperature inside your PC. If the computer is overheating but the fans are not spinning or are making loud rattling noises, there is likely an issue. The fans could be obstructed by dust, wires, or other debris causing them to stall. Or their bearings might be worn out causing extra noise and improper spinning. Try cleaning the computer to remove dust and improve airflow. Or you may need to replace damaged fans. Working fans help keep your computer cool.

4.    Re-apply thermal paste

Thermal paste is a specialized compound that enhances heat transfer between the CPU/GPU chips and their heatsinks inside a computer. It fills microscopic gaps in the surfaces to improve thermal conduction. Over time, thermal paste can dry out or become less effective, especially if the computer runs hot regularly.

Reapplying fresh thermal paste can improve cooling in older computers. However, it involves disassembling the computer to access the CPU and heatsinks. Unless you have specific experience doing this, it’s best to have an expert computer technician replace the thermal paste.

5.    Utilize external cooling systems

Laptops are designed to draw cool air in through vents on the bottom and expel warm air from the sides or rear. If your laptop frequently overheats, using an external cooling pad can help lower its temperature. These pads have fans that blow air upwards directly into the laptop’s air intake vents. This improves airflow and heat dissipation. Look for a sturdy, adjustable cooling pad that aligns properly with your laptop’s vents. Use it on a hard flat surface rather than on a bed or couch to allow maximum air intake through the bottom.

6.    Close Programs or Turn Off PC

One simple method to help cool down an overheated computer is to close any intensive programs that are taxing the CPU and GPU and generating excessive heat. Video editing, 3D rendering, and gaming software can drive components to 100% usage, creating substantial heat very quickly. Simply closing these programs can allow the computer to cool back down.

You can also try fully shutting down the computer for an extended period of time, such as a few hours. This allows the components like the CPU and GPU to cool completely to ambient room temperature. When powered back on, the computer will start much cooler rather than heating up again immediately.

How to Prevent in Computers

Overheating computers can lead to system crashes, laggy performance, and hardware damage. Luckily, there are several ways to keep your computer cool and prevent overheating issues.

1.    Monitor Resource-Intensive Applications

Applications that use a lot of system resources like CPU and RAM can cause overheating. Use Task Manager on Windows or Activity Monitor on Mac to see which apps are using the most resources. Close any unused resource-heavy applications to free up computing power and prevent overheating.

2.    Clean Out Background Apps and Temporary Files

Too many background apps and temporary files cluttering up your system can lead to overheating. Use a system optimizer like AVG TuneUp to automatically clear out junk files, bloatware, and unused apps running in the background. This frees up valuable system resources and storage space.

3.    Optimize GPU Settings

Graphically intense games and programs can overwork your GPU and cause overheating. Go into your system’s graphics settings and optimize the GPU performance for the app you’re using. Keep your GPU hardware clean and dust-free for maximum cooling.

4.    Improve Physical Usage Conditions

Direct sunlight, dust, pet hair, and poor ventilation can all contribute to an overheating computer. Keep your computer out of the sun in a dust-free space. Clean out vents and fans regularly to allow for proper airflow.

5.    Update Software

Outdated software tends to use more resources and run less efficiently. Keep your OS, drivers, browsers, and other software updated to the latest versions. Updates often include bug fixes and optimizations that allow software to run cooler.

6.    Scan for Malware

Viruses and malware can overwhelm your computer’s resources leading to overheating. Run antivirus scans regularly to detect and remove any malicious programs lurking in your system. Prevent future infections by using comprehensive antivirus software.

Conclusion

Preventing overheating is crucial for getting the most out of your computer. Monitor your PC temperature regularly and be proactive about maintaining your computer. With proper care and maintenance, your computer will run smoothly at safe temperatures for years to come. Implementing these overheating prevention tips will save you from instability issues, crashes, slowdowns, and expensive hardware repairs down the road. A cool computer is a happy computer.

Customer Retention Strategies For E-commerce Business In Nigeria

Customer Retention Strategies For E-commerce Business In Nigeria

The sole aim of every business is to attract new customers, which often requires money and time inputs to achieve such a goal. But while growing your customer base is important, keeping your current customers happy is even more important – which puts customer retention in the spotlight. Existing customers understand your business better with so much trust in what you do or offer. Hence giving you the leverage to use fewer resources to convince them than new customers.

Therefore, we will be exploring effective strategies to adopt in fostering customer retention for your business.

What Is Customer Retention?

Customer retention is the ability of a business to maintain a connection with customers after their initial purchase for a predetermined amount of time. A retained customer stays loyal to the business during this period, purchasing from it or interacting with it in other ways.

Benefits Of Customer Retention

1. Cost Effective

It is typically less expensive to keep current than to find new ones. Experts believe finding a new customer is five to six times more expensive than reactivating an existing one. This implies that spending money on customer retention strategies instead of new customer acquisition should yield a higher return on investment.

2. Enhanced Reputation

A business with a large number of returning customers is a testament to the excellent quality of products or services that it offers. This often influences the decision of new customers as they tend to trust the business – increasing their sales margin.

3. Strengthened Customer Loyalty

Retained customers are more loyal and can, in turn, evolve into your business brand ambassador. This is due to the prosperity of your customers to convince new customers about the excellent product or service delivery of your business. It can lead to more referrals to your business. Also, your retained customers will likely try new products and spend more than new customers.

Strategies For Customer Retention

1. Improve Product And Service Quality

Any business that wants to retain customers must provide them with top-notch goods or services. Why would you want your customers to come back if you don’t impress them the first time? This is according to the cliché “first impression lasts longer.” Therefore, you must identify the unique selling point (UPS) of your business and market it successfully.

2. Provide Excellent Customer Service

Customers should find it easy and hassle-free to contact your business if they have any questions or issues. Give your customers several ways to contact you – via phone, email, WhatsApp, or live chat. Companies can avoid having a high customer attrition rate by employing a well-trained customer service team that can turn a bad customer experience into a positive one by offering prompt and empathetic assistance. It should be noted that high emotional intelligence broadens the retention funnel of any business.

3. Provide A Seamless User Experience

Invest in an easy-to-use, convenient, consistent, engaging e-commerce platform. Customers may decide not to shop with you again if they have trouble finding what they’re looking for or if the checkout process is complicated or time-consuming. While this can increase the abandoned rate of your business, it may also reduce your customer retention power. So, make access to your products or services seamless, including simple payment options that your customers can use.

4. Adopt Competitive Pricing

It is always important for every business to have a feature that would give them a competitive advantage in getting more customers. As such, finding comparable goods or services elsewhere at a lower cost is one thing that can hamper your customer retention efforts. You must constantly do market research and ensure that your pricing strategy is competitive because customers want to feel like they are getting great value for their money.

5. Offer Discounts And Deals

An excellent way to encourage returning customers is to offer seasonal discounts, product bundles, and loyalty-based pricing. Feeling that they are getting a better deal makes customers more inclined to purchase. Offers with time limits or discounts restricted to members of your customer loyalty programme or those who have connected with your business on social media can instill a sense of urgency and value in the eyes of your customers.

6. Make Delivery, Returns, And Refund Transparent

Delivery, return, and refund policies are crucial in determining the customer experience, although they are frequently disregarded. Unexpected expenses, complicated return procedures, and delayed delivery times can all give customers a negative impression. Therefore, procedures for delivery, returns, and refunds should be transparent enough to foster repeat purchases and enhance customer trust.

7. Ask For Customer Feedback

It is imperative to request customer feedback to give you an insight into how to improve your product or service offering. This would also offer customers a sense of belonging that your business is customer-centric and not only out to make profits. Customer feedback can be achieved through a customer satisfaction survey or communication channels like phone calls, texts, emails, etc.

Conclusion

Customers play a vital role in establishing and sustaining any business, and it can be safe to infer that they are the unit of business. But as interesting as customer acquisition can be, customer retention is the chief driver of any business – which is why you must know customer retention strategies that could help your business growth.

How to Replace a Laptop Screen

How to Replace a Laptop Screen

Have you ever dropped your laptop and cracked the screen? Or maybe your screen has some dead pixels or displaying strange colours that make it hard to use. If you’re facing any of these problems, you might be wondering how to replace a laptop screen yourself. 

Replacing a laptop screen is not as difficult as it sounds. In fact, with some basic tools and a little DIY knowledge, you can repair it yourself and save cost. In this article, I will show you how to replace a laptop screen step by step, and what to look out for when dealing with a laptop screen. You will also learn the right tools to use when fixing a laptop, and how to avoid common mistakes that could damage your laptop.

How to check if your laptop screen needs replacement

Before you attempt to replace your laptop screen, you should make sure that the problem is not with the graphics card or the motherboard. A faulty graphics card or motherboard can also cause your screen to malfunction or display nothing at all. You should also inspect your laptop for any other signs of physical damage, especially if it has been dropped or hit recently.

To test if your graphics card is working, you can connect your laptop to an external monitor or TV using a VGA or HDMI cable. Most laptops have one or both of these ports. If the external display shows a normal picture, your graphics card is fine and your screen is the culprit. If the external display is blank, you may need to press a function key on your laptop to switch the output mode. If that still doesn’t work, your graphics card or motherboard is likely damaged and needs repair.

Common Issues with Laptop Screens

Some of the common laptop screen problems include:

  1. Dead Pixels

Dead pixels are tiny dots on the screen that do not change color or brightness. They are usually caused by manufacturing defects, physical damage, or aging of the screen. Dead pixels can be annoying and reduce the quality of the display. There are some software tools and methods that claim to fix dead pixels, but they are not always effective or reliable. The best way to avoid dead pixels is to buy a laptop with a high-quality screen and a warranty that covers pixel defects.

  1. Backlight Bleeding

Backlight bleeding is a phenomenon where the edges or corners of the screen appear brighter than the rest of the display. This is because the backlight that illuminates the screen is not evenly distributed or blocked by the bezel. Backlight bleeding can affect the contrast, color accuracy, and viewing angles of the screen. It is more noticeable in dark or black scenes. Backlight bleeding is a common issue with LCD screens, especially those that use edge-lit technology. There is no easy way to fix backlight bleeding, except by replacing the screen or adjusting the brightness sett

  1. Flickering Screen

Flickering is a rapid and visible change in the brightness or color of the screen. It can be caused by various factors, such as faulty hardware, incompatible drivers, loose connections, power supply issues, or refresh rate settings. Flickering can strain the eyes, cause headaches, and affect the performance of the laptop. Flickering can be resolved by updating the drivers, checking the cables, changing the power options, or adjusting the refresh rate and resolution of the screen.

  1. Screen Burn-In

Screen burn-in is a permanent discoloration or ghosting of the screen that occurs when a static image is displayed for a long time. It is caused by the degradation of the pixels or the phosphors that emit light. Screen burn-in can affect the clarity, color accuracy, and uniformity of the screen. It is more common with older technologies, such as CRT and plasma screens, but it can also occur with OLED and LCD screens. Screen burn-in can be prevented by using a screensaver, turning off the screen when not in use, or changing the wallpaper and icons frequently.

  1. Cracked Screen

Cracked screen is a physical damage to the screen that results from impact, pressure, or bending. It can cause the screen to shatter, crack, or break into pieces. Cracked screen can affect the functionality, safety, and aesthetics of the laptop. It can also expose the internal components and wires to dust, moisture, and electric shocks. Cracked screen can be repaired by replacing the screen or the entire laptop, depending on the extent of the damage and the cost of the repair.

  1. Ghosting

Ghosting is a visual artifact that occurs when the screen fails to update or refresh fast enough. It causes a trail or a blur behind the moving objects on the screen. It is caused by the slow response time or the low refresh rate of the screen. Ghosting can affect the quality, smoothness, and realism of the display. It is more noticeable in fast-paced games, videos, or animations. Ghosting can be reduced by using a screen with a higher response time and refresh rate, or by enabling features such as overdrive or motion blur reduction.

  1. Vertical or Horizontal Screen Lines

Vertical or horizontal lines are thin or thick lines that appear across the screen. They can be of different colors, such as white, black, red, green, or blue. They are caused by various factors, such as faulty hardware, loose connections, corrupted drivers, or software glitches. Vertical or horizontal lines can interfere with the visibility, readability, and functionality of the screen. They can be fixed by updating the drivers, reconnecting the cables, resetting the BIOS, or running a diagnostic test.

How to Prevent Screen Damage 

Your screen can get damaged by many things, like hitting, water, heat, or blue light. To keep your screen safe, follow these tips:

  1. Put a screen protector or a case on your screen to stop it from getting scratched, cracked, or broken.
  2. Do not put your screen close to hot things, like heaters, stoves, or the sun.
  3. Make sure your screen is clean and dry, and do not touch it with wet or dirty hands.
  4. Change the brightness, contrast, and color of your screen to make it comfortable for your eyes.
  5. Use a blue light filter or night mode to make your screen less blue, especially at night.
  6. Update your drivers and software often to make your screen work well and fit with your device.

Essential Tools for Laptop Screen Repair 

Laptop screens are delicate and prone to damage, so repairing or replacing them requires some care and precision. Before you start, make sure you have the following tools ready:

  1. A clean, flat surface: You’ll need a spacious and tidy area to work on your laptop, such as a table or a desk. Avoid working on carpets, beds, or couches, as they can generate static electricity and attract dust.
  2. A magnetic screwdriver: You’ll need a small-head Phillips or Torx screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the laptop casing and the screen assembly. A magnetic screwdriver will help you keep track of the screws and prevent them from falling or getting lost.
  3. A prying tool: You’ll need a thin and flat object, such as a plastic putty knife to gently pry apart the plastic bezel around the screen. Be careful not to damage or scratch the bezel or the screen.
  4. A needle or a pin: You’ll need this to remove the stickers or rubber pads that cover some of the screws on the bezel. Don’t lose or damage the stickers, because you’ll need to put them back later.
  5. A small container: You’ll need this to store the screws and the stickers you remove from the laptop. You can use a small bowl, a cup, or a plastic bag. 
  6. A replacement screen: If you’re replacing a broken or faulty screen, you’ll need to buy a new one that matches the specifications of your laptop model. You can find the model number on the back of your laptop or on the manufacturer’s website. Make sure the new screen has the same size, resolution, connector type, and backlight type as the old one.
  7. A microfiber cloth: You’ll need this to clean the screen and remove any dust or fingerprints before and after installation. Don’t use paper towels, tissues, or other abrasive materials, as they can scratch the screen or leave lint behind.
  8. A light source: You’ll need a bright and steady light source, such as a lamp or a flashlight, to see the small components and connections inside the laptop. Avoid working in dim or flickering light, as it can strain your eyes and cause mistakes.

These are the essential tools you’ll need for laptop screen repair. You may also need some optional tools, such as an anti-static wrist strap, a screen adhesive, or a pair of tweezers, depending on the type and condition of your laptop. Visit Hardware Village to buy all your DIY repair tools. 

How to Replace a Broken or Cracked Laptop Screen

If your laptop screen is broken or cracked, you can fix it by getting a new screen and replacing it. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Get the tools and parts you need

You will need a new screen that works with your laptop model. You can buy one online or at a computer shop. Check the size, quality, and plug of the screen before you buy it. You will also need a small screwdriver, a plastic tool or a thin knife, and a cloth or a towel to keep your laptop safe.

  1. Turn off your laptop and take out the battery and power cord

You need to turn off your laptop and unplug it. Then, take out the battery from the back of the laptop. This will stop any electricity or damage to the laptop parts. You can usually move or push a button to take out the battery, but look at your laptop manual if you are not sure. After taking out the battery, press and hold the power button for a few seconds to use up any power left.

  1. Take off the bezel and screws

The next step is to take off the bezel, which is the plastic part around the screen. You need to use the plastic tool or the knife to gently lift the bezel from the sides of the screen. Be careful not to break any clips or tabs that keep the bezel in place. You may also need to take off some stickers or rubber pads that hide the screws on the bezel. When you have taken off the bezel, you will see the screws that hold the screen to the hinges and the metal part. Use the screwdriver to take off these screws and put them somewhere safe.

  1. Unplug the cable and take off the screen

The last step is to unplug the cable that connects the screen to the laptop. You will see a plug at the back of the screen, usually covered by some tape or plastic. Gently take off the tape or plastic and pull the plug out. Do not pull on the cable itself, as it may break or damage the pins. When you have unplugged the cable, you can lift the screen out of the part and put it away.

  1. Put in the new screen and put the laptop back together

To put in the new screen, you need to do the steps above in reverse. First, line up the new screen with the part and plug the cable to the laptop. Make sure the plug is tight and cover it with some tape or plastic. Then, put the screen in the part and screw it to the hinges and the metal part. Next, put the bezel back on the screen and put back any stickers or rubber pads that hide the screws. Finally, put in the battery and plug in the power cord. Turn on your laptop and enjoy your new screen.

Conclusion 

In this guide, we explained how to change a laptop screens. Ensure you assess your laptop first to determine the cause of the problem before fixing it. Remember that not all cases may require a new screen, a simple repair may be enough. If replacing the laptop screen seem too difficult for you, we advise you contact a repair expert or visit a repair store to change your screen. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or require further assistance. 

How to Upgrade your PC’s RAM

How to Upgrade your PC’s RAM

If your PC feels slower than it should, you might be in need of more RAM. Whether it’s an old laptop that feels sluggish or a newer system that starts to bog down when too many tabs are open, adding more RAM could solve the problem.  A RAM upgrade is one good way to make your PC more powerful, particularly when you don’t have enough of it. 

If you find your computer constantly accessing the hard drive for “virtual” memory or struggling when you have multiple programs open, it may be time to upgrade your RAM. The good news is that upgrading memory on a desktop PC is a straightforward process that usually only requires a screwdriver, the new RAM modules, and just a few minutes of your time. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of installing a RAM upgrade to enhance your PC’s performance.

Why upgrade your RAM? 

Upgrading your computer’s RAM can make it run faster. RAM is like your computer’s short-term memory. It stores information that the computer needs right away. More RAM means your computer can access more information quickly instead of searching slower parts like the hard drive. 

With more RAM, programs can run smoother. Your computer will start up faster. You can have more browser tabs open without slowing down. Games will run at higher speeds. And you can multitask between different apps easily. Overall, more RAM makes your computer feel snappier and more responsive. It’s an easy way to improve performance.

Why should you upgrade your RAM? 

Upgrading RAM boosts your computer’s ability to handle tasks by providing vital resources to quickly move data between the hard disk and the CPU for processing. Even the fastest solid-state drives (SSD) can’t match the speed of RAM in delivering information to your computer. Without enough RAM, your computer can slow down significantly or may not even work. Upgrading RAM gives it more “brainpower” to shuffle things quickly between storage and the CPU.

  • People usually add more RAM to:
  • Speed up their computers.
  • Have faster web browsing.
  • Improve gaming performance.
  • Avoid crashes during photo or video editing.
  • Revitalize an old PC.

All these reasons aim to make your PC faster and more efficient, which is the main purpose of upgrading RAM.

Factors to Consider when Upgrading RAM

When upgrading the RAM in your computer, there are a few things to think about:

  1. How much RAM do you currently have installed? Check your computer’s settings to find out.
  2. How much additional RAM does your computer need? More RAM helps run bigger programs and more programs at once.
  3. What is the maximum amount of RAM your computer motherboard can handle? There is usually a limit.
  4. Should you get DDR3 or DDR4 RAM chips? Newer computers take the newer DDR4 chips.

Knowing the answers to these questions will help you pick the right type and amount of new RAM when you upgrade. This will ensure it works properly in your computer.

How much RAM can your computer handle? 

Each computer has a limit on how much RAM it can use. Before adding more memory to your PC, make sure it can handle the extra capacity. Here’s how to find out:

  1. Press and hold the Windows key + R to open the Run window.
  2. Type “msinfo32” into the box and press OK to see a summary of your System Information.
  3. Look for your motherboard details under BaseBoard Manufacturer, BaseBoard Product, and BaseBoard Version.
  4. Use this information to search online for your motherboard’s specifications and find its maximum RAM capacity and configuration.
  5. Once you know your system’s limits, you can decide how to optimize the available RAM slots on your motherboard based on your needs and budget.

How to upgrade RAM on a Desktop Computer 

If you’ve gotten the appropriate amount of RAM for your desktop computer, then you’re ready to perform the RAM upgrade. Here’s how to upgrade the RAM: 

  1. First, shut down your computer and let it cool down completely.
  2. Disconnect all cords, cables, and accessories.
  3. Open up your computer’s casing, following the instructions in your owner’s manual. You’ll probably need to unscrew it, so keep track of which screws go where since they may vary in type and size.
  4. Touch a metal surface inside your computer to discharge any static electricity from your body, which helps protect the internal components.
  5. Locate your RAM with the help of your owner’s manual.
  6. Remove your current RAM modules gently, using any clips to release them if needed.
  7. Carefully insert your new RAM modules into the slots, making sure the gold connectors align correctly and pushing the module into place.
  8. Close your computer case.
  9. Reconnect all cables and accessories.

How to Upgrade RAM on a Laptop

You can add more RAM to your laptop as long as it supports more memory. First, check if your laptop’s RAM is removable or soldered in place. If removable, here’s how to upgrade:   

  1. Turn off and unplug your laptop. Let it cool down.
  2. Carefully open the bottom case. If you need to unscrew it, remember which screw goes where.  
  3. Touch the bare metal inside to discharge static electricity. This protects the parts.
  4. Gently push the clips on the sides of the RAM module to release it. Then pull it out.
  5. Pick up the new RAM module by the edges. Don’t touch the gold pins.
  6. Line up the notch on the RAM with the slot. Push straight down until it clicks.
  7. Press down on the RAM so it lies flat. The clips will lock it in.  
  8. Put the case back on, turn over laptop, and plug everything back in.

That’s it! You’ve successfully upgraded your laptop’s RAM! 

How to Check your RAM Upgrade

After physically installing new RAM modules, it’s important to verify that your computer recognizes the full capacity. Follow these procedures to check your RAM upgrade:

  1. Turn on your computer and allow it to fully boot into the operating system. 
  2. Open the Task Manager by right-clicking the taskbar and selecting it. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+Shift+Esc on your keyboard.
  3. Click on the Performance tab and look at the memory section. It should display the total installed RAM that matches what you upgraded to. For example, if you installed 2x 8GB DDR4 sticks, it would display 16GB as the total.
  4. You can also right click on This PC and select Properties to see full system information including RAM capacity. Compare this to your upgraded amount. 
  5. Consider running a memory test like Windows Memory Diagnostic tool to check for errors. Let the test complete one full pass at least.
  6. Stress test your RAM upgrade by using demanding applications, games, content creation software and observe system stability. Any application crashes or shutdowns could indicate issues.

Following physical installation, verifying accurate capacity recognition in software and stability testing is crucial to ensure your RAM upgrade was successful. Monitoring system performance for a few days under your normal workload is recommended as well.

Conclusion

Upgrading your PC’s RAM is an easy and affordable way to give your computer a performance boost. With more RAM, your system can handle more applications and data without slowing down. Carefully consider your computer’s specifications and needs before purchasing new modules. When you’re ready, simply follow the instructions in this article to upgrade the RAM. 

After completing the physical RAM installation, remember to verify that your operating system detects the full capacity. Additionally, spend some time testing system stability under heavy workloads. We hope this guide gave has given you the key information you need to successfully upgrade your computer’s memory. If you have any other questions or run into any issues during installation, please leave a comment below. We’re happy to help troubleshoot or provide more PC upgrade advice.

How to Clean your Keyboard and Mouse

Your keyboard and mouse are essential devices that allow you to interact with your computer. However, they can also accumulate dirt, dust, crumbs, and germs over time, which can affect their performance and lifespan. Dust particles don’t just make our devices look dirty—it can potentially damage or even destroy parts of your computer.

Cleaning your keyboard and mouse regularly can help you keep them in good shape and prevent potential health risks. In this article, we will show you how to clean your keyboard and mouse using simple tools and methods that you can find at home. Follow these steps to make your keyboard and mouse look and feel like new.

Why You Need to Clean Your Keyboard & Mouse

You need to clean your keyboard and mouse regularly because they can harbor dust, dirt, crumbs, food particles, and germs that can affect your health and the performance of your devices. Here are some reasons why you should clean your keyboard and mouse:

  1. Performance

Keeping your keyboard and mouse clean is important for making sure they work well and last longer. Dirt and dust can get into your keyboard or mouse and make it not work as well. For example, if there’s dust around the sensor, it might not move smoothly, or if there’s gunk under the buttons, they might not click properly.

These problems can be really annoying, especially if you’re trying to do something precise like drawing in design software or playing fast-paced games where every movement counts. Cleaning your keyboard and mouse helps them work better, so you can be more accurate and efficient, whether you’re typing, designing or gaming.

  1. Hygiene

Cleaning your keyboard and mouse can prevent the spread of diseases, especially if you share them with others. Some studies have found that keyboards and mice can have more bacteria than toilet seats. Disinfecting them with alcohol or bleach-free wipes can kill harmful microbes and reduce the risk of infections. Proper sanitation helps prevent the spread of disease, especially if you share your computer with another person.

  1. Aesthetics

Cleaning your keyboard and mouse regularly can make them look and feel better. The oils from your hands can make surfaces sticky, greasy, or discolored. A simple wipe with a microfiber cloth and soap can effectively remove stains, making them more comfortable to use.

Keyboard & Mouse Cleaning Supplies 

You can easily clean your keyboard and mouse using items you already have at home, so there’s no need to buy special cleaning supplies. Here are a few options to consider and some common household alternatives you probably already have.

  1. Compressed air or a keyboard brush to blow out dust and crumbs
  2. Microfiber cloth or disinfecting wipes to wipe down the surfaces
  3. Isopropyl alcohol or soap and water to remove stains and grease
  4. Cotton swabs or toothpicks to clean the gaps and crevices
  5. Keycap puller to remove the keycaps (for mechanical keyboards only)
  6. Screwdriver (optional)

You can also check for some of the best keyboard cleaners available on Hardware Village for faster cleaning. 

How to Clean a Mouse (DIY)

Cleaning your mouse is easy and can be done with most mouse types and brands, including wired, wireless, and vertical models from Logitech, Microsoft, SteelSeries, and Razer.

Step 1: Disconnect and Remove the Battery

  1. If you have a wired mouse, unplug it from your computer.
  2. For wireless mice, either turn it off or unplug the USB dongle.
  3. Open the battery compartment and take out the battery.

Step 2: Clean the Mouse Body

  1. Use cleaning wipes or apply a cleaning solution to a microfiber cloth to gently wipe dirt off the mouse.
  2. Use a toothpick or brush along seams to remove stubborn grime.
  3. Use compressed air to blow dust from seams and crevices.

Step 3: Clean Under Mouse Buttons

  1. Some mice have removable shells for cleaning under the buttons.
  2. For those without, gently lift the buttons with a fingernail and blow compressed air underneath.
  3. Use a small amount of solution on a cotton swab to wipe away any sticky residue.

Step 4: Clean the Mouse Scroll Wheel

  1. Turn the mouse upside down and roll the wheel to dislodge hidden debris.
  2. Blow compressed air around the scroll wheel seams.
  3. Wipe the wheel with a cloth as you roll it to remove remaining dirt.

Step 5: Clean the Mouse Sensor

  1. Apply cleaning solution to a cotton swab and clean around the optical or laser sensor.
  2. Gently sweep the lens with a dry cotton swab.
  3. Use compressed air to remove any lingering dust.

Usually, these steps should suffice to get your mouse clean. If you want a more thorough cleaning, you might need to disassemble your mouse. Be aware that disassembling some mouse could void the warranty, so check your manufacturer’s guide first.

How to Clean a Keyboard (DIY)

It’s easy to clean up your keyboard yourself. First, turn off and unplug your computer. Clear some workspace and gather supplies like compressed air, small brushes, and microfiber cloths. 

For light cleaning:

  1. Gently shake and tilt your keyboard to dislodge debris
  2. Use a brush to sweep away dust and dirt  
  3. Blast compressed air into cracks to uncover hidden gunk
  4. Vacuum up anything loose

For Stubborn Grime:

  1. Use a slightly damp cloth or cotton swabs to wipe down keys  
  2. Try isopropyl alcohol if water doesn’t cut through grease (use sparingly)
  3. Rub gently with an eraser or magic sponge to scrub off marks
  4. Carefully pick at stuck-on gunk with a toothpick 

For Deep Clean (Mechanical Keyboards only):

  1. Remove keycaps and soak in warm soapy water
  2. Scrub with a soft brush and rinse  
  3. Use rubbing alcohol on stubborn stains
  4. Ensure parts are completely dry before reassembly

Remember to check your keyboard’s guide before taking it apart. Stop if you can’t fully reassemble it.

Simple Tips for Keeping Your Keyboard & Mouse Clean

You can keep your keyboard and mouse clean with these easy steps:

  1. Avoid eating or drinking at your desk to prevent crumbs and spills.
  2. Keep pets away to minimize hair and dandruff around your mouse.
  3. Keep a microfiber cloth handy to clean spills and crumbs before they become a problem.
  4. Clean your keyboard and mouse regularly: do a quick clean weekly and a deeper clean monthly.

A clean mouse improves performance, keeps germs away, and makes your desk look better. Cleaning takes just a few minutes, and regular maintenance prevents productivity or gaming issues due to build-ups.

Conclusion

Keeping your keyboard and mouse clean is an important part of device maintenance. Allowing dust, dirt, and debris to build up can negatively impact performance, spread germs, and make your desk area look unkempt. Fortunately, you can easily clean both devices using common household items like compressed air, isopropyl alcohol, microfiber cloths, and cotton swabs. 

Set aside a few minutes each week to use compressed air and a small brush to dislodge particles from your keyboard and mouse. Every month or so, you can carry out a deeper clean by wiping down all surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth or disinfecting wipe. Sticking to this simple cleaning routine will extend the lifespan of your devices and provide a better user experience. Remember to be gentle when cleaning to avoid any damage. 

How to Clean your Keyboard and Mouse

How to Clean your Keyboard and Mouse

Your keyboard and mouse are essential devices that allow you to interact with your computer. However, they can also accumulate dirt, dust, crumbs, and germs over time, which can affect their performance and lifespan. Dust particles don’t just make our devices look dirty—it can potentially damage or even destroy parts of your computer.

Cleaning your keyboard and mouse regularly can help you keep them in good shape and prevent potential health risks. In this article, we will show you how to clean your keyboard and mouse using simple tools and methods that you can find at home. Follow these steps to make your keyboard and mouse look and feel like new.

Why You Need to Clean Your Keyboard & Mouse

You need to clean your keyboard and mouse regularly because they can harbor dust, dirt, crumbs, food particles, and germs that can affect your health and the performance of your devices. Here are some reasons why you should clean your keyboard and mouse:

  1. Performance

Keeping your keyboard and mouse clean is important for making sure they work well and last longer. Dirt and dust can get into your keyboard or mouse and make it not work as well. For example, if there’s dust around the sensor, it might not move smoothly, or if there’s gunk under the buttons, they might not click properly.

These problems can be really annoying, especially if you’re trying to do something precise like drawing in design software or playing fast-paced games where every movement counts. Cleaning your keyboard and mouse helps them work better, so you can be more accurate and efficient, whether you’re typing, designing or gaming.

  1. Hygiene

Cleaning your keyboard and mouse can prevent the spread of diseases, especially if you share them with others. Some studies have found that keyboards and mice can have more bacteria than toilet seats. Disinfecting them with alcohol or bleach-free wipes can kill harmful microbes and reduce the risk of infections. Proper sanitation helps prevent the spread of disease, especially if you share your computer with another person.

  1. Aesthetics

Cleaning your keyboard and mouse regularly can make them look and feel better. The oils from your hands can make surfaces sticky, greasy, or discolored. A simple wipe with a microfiber cloth and soap can effectively remove stains, making them more comfortable to use.

Keyboard & Mouse Cleaning Supplies 

You can easily clean your keyboard and mouse using items you already have at home, so there’s no need to buy special cleaning supplies. Here are a few options to consider and some common household alternatives you probably already have.

  1. Compressed air or a keyboard brush to blow out dust and crumbs
  2. Microfiber cloth or disinfecting wipes to wipe down the surfaces
  3. Isopropyl alcohol or soap and water to remove stains and grease
  4. Cotton swabs or toothpicks to clean the gaps and crevices
  5. Keycap puller to remove the keycaps (for mechanical keyboards only)
  6. Screwdriver (optional)

You can also check for some of the best keyboard cleaners available on Hardware Village for faster cleaning. 

How to Clean a Mouse (DIY)

Cleaning your mouse is easy and can be done with most mouse types and brands, including wired, wireless, and vertical models from Logitech, Microsoft, SteelSeries, and Razer.

Step 1: Disconnect and Remove the Battery

  1. If you have a wired mouse, unplug it from your computer.
  2. For wireless mice, either turn it off or unplug the USB dongle.
  3. Open the battery compartment and take out the battery.

Step 2: Clean the Mouse Body

  1. Use cleaning wipes or apply a cleaning solution to a microfiber cloth to gently wipe dirt off the mouse.
  2. Use a toothpick or brush along seams to remove stubborn grime.
  3. Use compressed air to blow dust from seams and crevices.

Step 3: Clean Under Mouse Buttons

  1. Some mice have removable shells for cleaning under the buttons.
  2. For those without, gently lift the buttons with a fingernail and blow compressed air underneath.
  3. Use a small amount of solution on a cotton swab to wipe away any sticky residue.

Step 4: Clean the Mouse Scroll Wheel

  1. Turn the mouse upside down and roll the wheel to dislodge hidden debris.
  2. Blow compressed air around the scroll wheel seams.
  3. Wipe the wheel with a cloth as you roll it to remove remaining dirt.

Step 5: Clean the Mouse Sensor

  1. Apply cleaning solution to a cotton swab and clean around the optical or laser sensor.
  2. Gently sweep the lens with a dry cotton swab.
  3. Use compressed air to remove any lingering dust.

Usually, these steps should suffice to get your mouse clean. If you want a more thorough cleaning, you might need to disassemble your mouse. Be aware that disassembling some mouse could void the warranty, so check your manufacturer’s guide first.

How to Clean a Keyboard (DIY)

It’s easy to clean up your keyboard yourself. First, turn off and unplug your computer. Clear some workspace and gather supplies like compressed air, small brushes, and microfiber cloths. 

For light cleaning:

  1. Gently shake and tilt your keyboard to dislodge debris
  2. Use a brush to sweep away dust and dirt  
  3. Blast compressed air into cracks to uncover hidden gunk
  4. Vacuum up anything loose

For Stubborn Grime:

  1. Use a slightly damp cloth or cotton swabs to wipe down keys  
  2. Try isopropyl alcohol if water doesn’t cut through grease (use sparingly)
  3. Rub gently with an eraser or magic sponge to scrub off marks
  4. Carefully pick at stuck-on gunk with a toothpick 

For Deep Clean (Mechanical Keyboards only):

  1. Remove keycaps and soak in warm soapy water
  2. Scrub with a soft brush and rinse  
  3. Use rubbing alcohol on stubborn stains
  4. Ensure parts are completely dry before reassembly

Remember to check your keyboard’s guide before taking it apart. Stop if you can’t fully reassemble it.

Simple Tips for Keeping Your Keyboard & Mouse Clean

You can keep your keyboard and mouse clean with these easy steps:

  1. Avoid eating or drinking at your desk to prevent crumbs and spills.
  2. Keep pets away to minimize hair and dandruff around your mouse.
  3. Keep a microfiber cloth handy to clean spills and crumbs before they become a problem.
  4. Clean your keyboard and mouse regularly: do a quick clean weekly and a deeper clean monthly.

A clean mouse improves performance, keeps germs away, and makes your desk look better. Cleaning takes just a few minutes, and regular maintenance prevents productivity or gaming issues due to build-ups.

Conclusion

Keeping your keyboard and mouse clean is an important part of device maintenance. Allowing dust, dirt, and debris to build up can negatively impact performance, spread germs, and make your desk area look unkempt. Fortunately, you can easily clean both devices using common household items like compressed air, isopropyl alcohol, microfiber cloths, and cotton swabs. 

Set aside a few minutes each week to use compressed air and a small brush to dislodge particles from your keyboard and mouse. Every month or so, you can carry out a deeper clean by wiping down all surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth or disinfecting wipe. Sticking to this simple cleaning routine will extend the lifespan of your devices and provide a better user experience. Remember to be gentle when cleaning to avoid any damage. 

How to Install a New Hard Drive

How to Install a New Hard Drive

If you want to upgrade your computer’s storage capacity, speed, or performance, installing a new hard drive is a simple and effective solution. A hard drive is a device that stores and retrieves data on a spinning disk. There are two main types of hard drives: HDD (hard disk drive) and SSD (solid state drive). HDDs use a mechanical arm to read and write data on a magnetic platter, while SSDs use flash memory chips to store data electronically. SSDs are faster, quieter, and more durable than HDDs, but they are also more expensive and have a limited lifespan.

In this article, we will show you how to install a new hard drive in your desktop or laptop computer, whether you want to replace your old drive or add a second one. We will also explain how to format and partition your new drive, and how to clone or transfer your data from your old drive to your new one. Follow these steps to install a new hard drive and enjoy the benefits of increased storage and performance.

What is a Hard Drive?

A hard drive is a data storage device that stores digital information on rapidly spinning disks known as splatters. It serves as the central data warehouse  of the computer. Its high-capacity storage platters rotate rapidly while read/write heads float just above, allowing large amounts of data and software programs to be saved as digital bits. 

Unlike random access memory, the hard drive maintains all information even when power is turned off. This non-volatile nature ensures data persists safely over long periods, while supporting quick access when the computer reboots. The computer’s hard drive houses both the installed data and software applications.

Tools You Need to Install a New Hard Drive 

To install a new hard drive in your computer, you’ll need the following tools:

  1. Screwdriver: You’ll need this to open your computer case and secure the hard drive.
  2. SATA Cable: This cable connects the hard drive to your motherboard.
  3. Mounting Brackets or Cage: These are used to secure the hard drive inside the case.
  4. Anti-static Wrist Wrap: To ground yourself and prevent static electricity damage to the components.
  5. Anti-static Bag: Optional, but useful for storing the old hard drive safely.
  6. New hard drive: Ensure you select the appropriate hard drive for your computer. You can explore Hardware Village to discover a compatible hard drive or SSD.

Remember to shut down your computer before starting the installation process. 

How to Install a New Hard Drive (DIY)

Installing a new hard drive is an easy way to add more storage or improve performance on your computer. Follow these steps to upgrade your PC with a new HDD or SSD:

Choose Your New Drive:

First, decide between a traditional hard drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD). SSDs offer faster performance but can be more expensive per gigabyte. HDDs provide larger storage capacities at a more affordable price. Consider the type, size, shape, and connection that best suits your needs and is compatible with your computer. If you’re adding another internal drive, don’t forget to get a hard drive enclosure.

Installation Process:

  1. Start by turning off your computer and unplugging all cables connected to it.
  2. Open your computer case and locate an empty drive bay. If you’re replacing an existing drive, make sure to remove it first.
  3. Insert your new hard drive into the drive bay, secure it with mounting screws, and connect the SATA cable.
  4. Close your computer case and reconnect all cables.
  5. Connect data and power cables. SATA data cables connect to the motherboard SATA port. Connect the 4-pin Molex or SATA power cable from the PSU to the drive.
  6. Turn on your computer and enter your BIOS setup. Make sure that your new hard drive is detected.
  7. Partition and format the new drive via Disk Management in Windows or Disk Utility in macOS. This prepares it to store files.
  8. Install the operating system, if applicable. For a secondary drive, you can manually move files or install/relocate programs.
  9. Run any diagnostics software from the hard drive manufacturer to verify it is functioning properly.
  10. Once configured and working, mount the computer case side panel back into place.

How to Backup Your Old Hard Drive

Backing up your old hard drive is essential for preserving your data. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Decide where you want to back up the data. You can back up to an external hard drive, cloud storage, or another computer on your network. Make sure the backup location has enough space for all the data on the old drive.
  2. Navigate to settings option on your computer and click on “Update & Security”
  3. Click on “Backup” 
  4. Connect the external storage drive to the computer and click “Add a drive”. Use a SATA-to-USB adapter if it’s an internal drive. 
  5. Once you plug in the drive, the backup will start automatically.
  6. If the drive is failing or has bad sectors, consider using disk imaging software like Acronis True Image to make a full sector-by-sector backup of the drive. This helps ensure you can recover all readable data.
  7. Verify the backup was successful by viewing files in the backup folder and opening them. 

How to Transfer data to your Computer 

To transfer all your photos, contacts, passwords, apps, and other vital files to your PC, simply link your external storage device to your laptop and proceed with the following steps:

For Windows 10:

  1. Click on File Explorer from your taskbar.
  2. In the left sidebar, select “This PC”.
  3. Locate your external drive and double-click its icon.
  4. Find the folder where your files are saved and double-click it.
  5. To select all files in this folder, click the Home tab (top left) and then choose “Select All”. To copy a single file, click it once.
  6. Click the Home tab again, select “Copy to”, and choose the destination folder (e.g., Documents, Pictures, Videos).
  7. Your transfer will begin. Be patient if you have many files or large files.
  8. After copying, check the new location to ensure the transfer worked.

For Windows 11:

  1. Click on “File Explorer” from your taskbar.
  2. In the left sidebar, click “This PC”.
  3. Find your external drive and double-click its icon.
  4. Locate the folder with your files and double-click it.
  5. To select all files in this folder, click “See more” in the top-left corner and then choose “Select All”.
  6. To copy a single file, click it once.
  7. Select either to cut or copy the file.
  8. Go to the destination where you want to move the file and select “Paste”.
  9. Your transfer will start. Be patient if you have many files or large files.
  10. After copying, verify that the files are in their new location.

If you’ve tried these steps and still need a little help, schedule a repair at the nearest repair store or visit Hardware village.

How to Format & Partition your New Hard Drive 

Depending on your operating system, the process may vary slightly, so we’ll provide instructions for both Windows 10 and Windows 11. 

Windows 10:

  1. Connect the hard drive to your computer (via SATA, USB, or other applicable connections).
  2. Press Windows + X and select Disk Management from the menu.
  3. Alternatively, search for “Create and format hard disk partitions” in the Start menu and open it.
  4. Look for the new drive in the list of disks. It will likely be labeled as “Unallocated” or “Raw.”
  5. Right-click on the unallocated space and choose New Simple Volume.
  6. Follow the wizard to create a new partition, specify the size (or use the default maximum size).
  7. Assign a drive letter to the partition.
  8. Right-click on the newly created partition and select Format.
  9. Choose the file system (usually NTFS), and click OK to start the formatting process.

That’s it! Your new hard drive is now formatted and ready to use.

Windows 11:

  1. Connect your new hard drive to your computer.
  2. Press Windows + X and select Disk Management.
  3. Alternatively, search for “Create and format hard disk partitions” in the Start menu and open it.
  4. Locate the new drive (usually labeled as “Unallocated” or “Raw”).
  5. Right-click on the unallocated space and choose New Simple Volume.
  6. Create a new partition. 
  7. Specify the size, and assign a drive letter to the partition.
  8. Right-click on the newly created partition and select Format.
  9. Choose the file system (usually NTFS), and click OK to begin formatting.

That’s it! Your new hard drive is now formatted and ready for use.

Conclusion 

Installing a new hard drive can seem daunting, but it’s actually a straightforward process that anyone can complete with some basic tools and patience. The key steps include choosing the right drive for your needs, opening up your computer case, connecting the SATA and power cables, partitioning and formatting the drive, and then transferring your data over. Back up your old hard drive first before replacing it to avoid data loss. Also be sure to take anti-static precautions when handling internal components. With the right preparations, installing a new hard drive can take as little as 30 minutes.

How to Troubleshoot Common PC Hardware Problems

How to Troubleshoot Common PC Hardware Problems

In the fast-paced world we live in, computer problems can be a significant roadblock to our productivity and daily routines. Whether it’s a minor glitch or a complete system crash, these issues can strike at any time, leaving us scrambling for solutions. Before seeking professional help, it’s worth exploring the DIY approach to troubleshooting.

In this article, we’ll guide you through common PC hardware problems, providing insights on how to diagnose and potentially fix issues on your own. From understanding Windows glitches to addressing battery or hard drive concerns, this list aims to empower you to tackle the most common computer woes and, in some cases, spare you the need for frantic support searches.

What does PC Hardware Troubleshooting Mean?

PC hardware troubleshooting involves identifying and resolving issues with the physical components of a computer system. This can include problems with the motherboard, CPU, RAM, graphics card, storage devices, and other hardware components. The goal is to diagnose and fix issues that may be causing malfunctions, errors, or failures in the computer’s hardware, ensuring proper functionality.

Importance of PC hardware troubleshooting

PC hardware troubleshooting is crucial for several reasons:

Diagnose Issues:

Identify and understand hardware problems that may be causing malfunctions or performance issues.

Save Costs:

Resolving hardware issues early can prevent the need for costly repairs or component replacements.

Optimize Performance:

By addressing hardware problems, you can ensure that the computer operates at its best, enhancing overall system performance.

Minimize Downtime:

Timely troubleshooting reduces the downtime caused by hardware failures, ensuring a more reliable and efficient computing experience.

Prevent Data Loss:

Some hardware issues can lead to data loss. Effective troubleshooting helps safeguard important files and information.

Extend Hardware Lifespan:

Regular maintenance and prompt troubleshooting can extend the lifespan of hardware components, saving you from premature replacements.

Common PC Hardware Problems And Their Fixes

Here are some of the common PC hardware problems and their fixes:

PC Overheating

Excessive heat in your PC can lead to sluggish performance and frequent crashes, potentially causing permanent damage to components. Two primary causes include a malfunctioning cooling system or the PC generating heat beyond the cooling system’s capacity.

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Check Fan Functionality: Ensure your PC’s fan is operational. If it malfunctions, leading to inadequate ventilation, seek professional repair.
  2. Avoid Blocking the Ventilation: Avoid placing your PC on soft surfaces like beds or blankets, which obstruct airflow. Opt for a hard surface, such as a wooden table or laptop tray, to maintain proper ventilation.
  3. Regular Cleaning: Remove accumulated dirt to prevent overheating. Desktop users can clean their PCs easily, while laptop users may prefer professional servicing.
  4. Reapply Thermal Paste: Reapply thermal paste between CPU/GPU and heatsinks to facilitate efficient heat dissipation. Aging thermal paste can compromise the cooling system’s effectiveness. If issues persist, consider this step.

Dysfunctional USB Port

If your USB port appears to be malfunctioning, it may not necessarily be broken. Explore the following solutions to address this issue:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Restart the PC: Often, a simple PC restart can resolve various issues, including problems with USB ports.
  2. Uninstall USB Port Driver: To uninstall the USB port driver, follow these steps;
  3. Press Windows + R, enter `devmgmt.msc` in the Run dialog to open Device Manager.
  4. Expand “Universal Serial Bus controllers.”
  5. Right-click on the USB Host Controller entry, select Uninstall.
  6. Repeat for all USB Host Controller entries to uninstall drivers.
  7. After deletion, restart the PC for automatic driver reinstallation, fixing any driver-related issues.
  8. Disable USB Selective Suspend: Follow these steps to disable the USB selective suspend;
  9. Press Windows + R, type `powercfg.cpl` to open Windows Power options.
  10. Click “Change plan settings,” then “Change advanced power settings.”
  11. Expand USB settings and disable USB selective suspend.
  12. Restart the PC to check if this resolves the USB port issue.
  13. Re-enable USB selective suspend if the problem persists, especially if battery power conservation is crucial.

PC keeps disconnecting from WiFi

If your PC frequently disconnects from WiFi despite a functional network, the network card might not be receiving sufficient power due to a built-in power-saving feature. Follow these steps to disable the feature:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  • Navigate to “Advanced settings” in the Power Options.
  • Expand “Wireless Adaptor Settings” and then “Power Saving Mode.”
  • Set Power Saving Mode to “Maximum Performance.”

PC Beeps

When your PC beeps, it’s a communication from the motherboard about potential issues. While difficult cases may require professional help, here are two common problems with possible DIY solutions:

Troubleshooting Tips:

Problem 1: Out of Place RAM

If your PC beeps 2-3 times and refuses to boot, it may indicate loose or misplaced RAM. Here’s how to fix it;

  • Remove the RAM, clean the slot with a cotton bud, and reinsert the RAM.
  • Apply equal pressure on both ends to ensure a secure fit.
  • Close the clips tightly; even a slightly loose RAM won’t function properly.

Problem 2: Recently Added Hardware

Newly added hardware can cause beeping; incorrect installation or damage might be the culprit. Here’s how to fix it;

  • Remove any recently added hardware and check if the issue persists.
  • If the PC functions correctly afterward, reinstall the hardware correctly or seek professional assistance.

PC Fans Not Working

When one or more fans in your PC aren’t working, consider the following steps:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Clear Dirt Accumulation:
  2. Open the PC and inspect for dirt accumulation on the fans and other components.
  3. Use a compressed air can or a leaf blower to clean the fans and ensure optimal airflow.
  4. SpeedFan App (If Dirt Isn’t the Issue):
  5. If cleaning doesn’t resolve the problem, you can use the SpeedFan app to diagnose and control fan functionality.
  6. Ensure that your PC motherboard supports fan control for the app to be effective.

PC Not Using A Portion Of Ram

If your PC isn’t utilizing the full amount of installed RAM, follow these steps to address the issue:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. System Configuration Adjustment:
  2. Press Windows + R, type `msconfig` in the Run dialog, and hit Enter to open System Configuration.
  3. Move to the “Boot” tab and click on “Advanced options.”
  4. Check the checkbox next to “Maximum memory” and enter the total amount of RAM installed (in MBs).
  5. Click OK and restart the PC to apply the changes.
  6. CPU Core Utilization Check:
  7. While in System Configuration, also check the checkbox next to “Number of processors.”
  8. Ensure your PC is utilizing all available CPU cores by setting it to the maximum number.
  9. Reinstall RAM (if the problem persists):
  10. If the issue persists, there might be a chance that one of the RAM modules isn’t installed properly.
  11. Try reinstalling the RAM modules securely to ensure proper connections.

Overworking PC Fan

If your PC fan is running at full speed despite normal temperatures, you can manually control it using the SpeedFan app. Follow these steps:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Temperature Check:
  2. Use HWMonitor to check your PC’s temperature. Ensure it is within normal range.
  3. Use SpeedFan App:
  4. Download and install the SpeedFan app.
  5. Open SpeedFan to view the running speed of all fans inside your PC.
  6. Control Fan Manually:
  7. Utilize SpeedFan to manually control the fan speed.
  8. Adjust the fan speed settings to an appropriate level.

Note: Ensure your motherboard supports fan control for SpeedFan to be effective.

PC Crashes Before OS Load

If your PC crashes just before loading the operating system, it could be attributed to issues with the RAM or the hard disk. Here’s a step-by-step approach to identify and address the problem:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. RAM Troubleshooting:
  2. If you have multiple RAM slots, remove each RAM module one by one and attempt to start the PC after each removal.
  3. Identify the specific RAM module causing the issue by testing each one individually.
  4. Replace the corrupted RAM module to resolve the problem.
  5. Hard Disk Check:
  6. If RAM isn’t the issue, consider problems with the hard disk.
  7. You may use diagnostic tools or check the hard drive’s health using software like CrystalDiskInfo.
  8. If the hard drive is damaged, consider replacing it with a functional one.

PC Isn’t Powering On

If your PC is not powering on at all, follow these steps to identify and potentially resolve the issue:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. For Desktop Users:
  2. Check power connections, including the extension cord, power outlet, and other connections.
  3. If the power cable is suspected, swap it with the monitor’s power cable to test. Replace the cable if this resolves the problem.
  4. Ensure all external devices are disconnected during troubleshooting, as a malfunctioning device might be causing the issue.
  5. For Laptop Users:
  6. Remove and reinsert the laptop battery before attempting to start.
  7. If the issue persists, try starting the laptop without the battery, using only the charging cable.
  8. If the laptop powers on without the battery, consider replacing the battery if this solves the problem.

Note: In both cases, eliminating external devices during troubleshooting can help identify any malfunctioning components. If these steps don’t resolve the issue, professional assistance may be needed.

Dealing with a Noisy PC

If your PC is making excessive noise, consider the following steps to address the issue:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Clean Dust Buildup: Excessive noise may be a sign of accumulated dust. Clean the PC using a can of compressed air or a leaf blower to remove dust from components.
  2. Check Overclocking: If you’ve overclocked your PC’s GPU or CPU, they could be generating additional noise. Adjust clock speeds or cooling solutions if necessary.
  3. Inspect DVD ROM: Examine the DVD ROM for any discs that might be causing noise. Ensure the drive is functioning properly.

Noisy Hard Drive

If you hear clicking or grinding sounds from your hard drive, it may indicate an imminent failure. Follow these steps to assess and address the issue:

  1. Use CrystalDiskInfo:
  2. Utilize CrystalDiskInfo, a hard drive monitoring tool, to check the health of your hard drive.
  3. The tool will provide information on the current health status, indicating if it’s “Good,” “Caution,” or “Bad.”
  4. Backup Data Immediately:
  5. If the hard drive shows signs of deterioration, back up all your data immediately.
  6. Consider using an external storage device or cloud services for data backup.
  7. Replace Hard Drive:
  8. Plan to replace the hard drive as soon as possible to prevent data loss.
  9. Acquire a new hard disk and transfer your data to the new drive.

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)

Encountering the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is a significant issue that requires prompt attention. Use the following steps to diagnose and resolve common causes of BSOD:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Use BlueScreenView Utility:
  2. Use Nirsoft’s BlueScreenView utility to gather crucial information about recent BSOD occurrences.
  3. Analyze the details provided by BlueScreenView to identify the specific problem.
  4. Corrupted Drivers:
  5. Open Device Manager by typing `devmgmt.msc` in the Run dialog.
  6. Look for a yellow triangle icon next to any driver in each menu.
  7. Right-click on the driver with issues and select “Update Driver Software” to resolve corrupted driver problems.
  8. Alternatively, use third-party tools like IObit Driver Booster to automatically find and fix driver issues.
  9. RAM Pressure:
  10. Too much pressure on the RAM can cause BSOD. Avoid opening an excessive number of programs that the RAM can’t handle.
  11. Consider upgrading your RAM if frequent BSOD occurrences persist.
  12. Faulty Hard Disk:
  13. A dying hard disk can lead to BSOD. Follow instructions related to hard disk problems to identify and address issues.
  14. Excessive heat in your PC can also cause BSOD. Refer to instructions related to a heating PC to resolve this issue.

Blank Monitor

If your monitor displays nothing, follow these steps to identify and address the issue:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Check Monitor and Graphics Card: Connect the monitor to another PC to determine if the issue lies with the PC or the monitor. If the monitor works with another PC, the problem might be with your graphics card or PC settings.
  2. Monitor Power Issues: If the monitor isn’t powering on, replace the power cable with a working one to test if the issue is related to power. Ensure the monitor is receiving power and turned on.

Monitor Going Black After Few Seconds

If your monitor goes black after a short display duration, consider these steps to troubleshoot and resolve the issue:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Auto-Adjust on Monitor: Press the auto-adjust button on your monitor to see if it corrects the problem. This button helps the monitor automatically adjust settings for optimal display.
  2. Change Display Color Quality: If the issue persists, try changing the display color quality from 32-bit to 16-bit. Adjust color settings through your graphics card settings or display properties.
  3. Connect to Another Monitor: Connect your PC to another monitor to adjust colors from your graphics card settings. While pressing auto-adjust, use the brief display time to make necessary color adjustments.

Keyboard Issues

If your keyboard is making noise and not typing repeated words properly, it might be due to enabled toggle keys and filter keys in Windows settings. Follow these steps to disable them:

Troubleshooting Tips:

  1. Open the Control Panel and click on “Ease of Access.”
  2. Click on the “Change how your keyboard works” button.
  3. Uncheck the checkboxes next to “Toggle keys” and “Filter Keys” to resolve the issue.

Conclusion

Many of the above mentioned hardware issues can be sorted out by adjusting settings or using software. But, for some tricky ones, you might need to head to the computer repair shop. It’s handy to have an idea of what’s up with your PC, so you can tackle things the right way. Share your experiences or questions about PC hardware problems in the comments. If you have any questions or enquiry, feel free to drop a comment below and we’ll give you a prompt response.

How to Fix a Broken USB Port

How to Fix a Broken USB Port

A broken or malfunctioning USB port can be incredibly frustrating. Whether it’s issues charging devices, connecting peripherals like mice and keyboards, or transferring files from external drives, a dead USB port stops you in your tracks. Before taking the drastic step of replacing the entire motherboard or buying a new computer, there are several troubleshooting tips you can try to revive your USB connectivity.

This article will walk you through the most common reasons for USB port failure and guide you step-by-step through the easiest DIY fixes. We’ll show you how to carefully clean lint, dust and debris from your ports, update drivers, tweak settings to enable USB ports selectively, and use USB debugging tools to test port functionality and narrow down problems. While complex motherboard-level issues will still require professional repair, many external or software-related USB problems can be resolved with basic tools and this easy tutorial.

Causes of Faulty or Broken USB ports

Here are some reasons why your USB port might not be working:

  1. Your device might be disabled.
  2. The driver could be outdated, corrupt, or not compatible.
  3. The USB Selective Suspend feature might be turned on.
  4. Your USB peripheral could be faulty.
  5. There could be dirt or dust in the USB port.
  6. The USB port itself might be damaged.

How to Fix a Faulty or Broken USB Port

If your USB ports stop working, the issue can be attributed to either hardware or software failures. Here are steps to troubleshoot and fix faulty or broken USB ports:

1.    Identify the Problem

If your computer has multiple USB ports, try connecting your device to a different port. This helps determine if the problem lies with a specific port or affects all of them. Also, test with another cable to ensure the current one isn’t damaged. Consider switching devices as well. For example, if a mouse isn’t working, try connecting a keyboard or printer instead to check if the issue is with the device itself. Alternatively, try connecting the device to another computer if available.

2.    Check Port Compatibility

Ensure you’re using the correct port, especially if you’re attempting to charge your laptop via a USB Type-C port. Certain manufacturers designate specific ports solely for data transfer, prohibiting power delivery. Inspect your USB ports for any labeling, such as a charger plug icon, indicating their intended use. If you’re trying to charge through a port designated for data transfer only, switching to a dedicated charging port should resolve the problem.

3.    Switch USB cables

Before taking more extreme measures, swap in a brand new USB cable if you have an extra one. Cables can wear out or get damaged over time. If a new cable fixes your connectivity problem, then you know the old cable was faulty and needed to be replaced. Always good to rule out easy fixes first!

4.    Clean Out Debris

Take a close look at your USB ports. Food crumbs or dirt can get stuck in there and stop your device from connecting properly. If your cable doesn’t plug all the way in, something is probably blocked. Use a flashlight to peek into the port and see if you spot any gunk. If you do, turn off your computer first. Then, carefully use a toothpick to loosen the debris so it comes out. Canned air can work too to blow out any dust bunnies. Just don’t stick the nozzle down into the port, or you might cause water damage. If your device connects only when you wiggle the cable, the port itself is likely bent. You’ll need to open up the computer case and see if you can fix it or take it somewhere to get professional help.

5.    Restart and Update

Sometimes a USB port stops working properly because of a small computer error. Restarting your computer can fix these kinds of issues. On a Windows computer, click the Start menu, select the Power button, then click Restart. On a Mac, click the Apple menu and select Restart.

Updating your computer’s software can also help get a USB port working again. Software updates include improved drivers – the programs that let all your devices connect. To update Windows 10, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. Click Check for updates and install any that are available. For Windows 11, go to Settings > Windows Update and click Install now. 

On older Macs, go to System Preferences > Software Updates to check for updates. If you have a newer Mac with macOS Ventura, open System Settings > General and click Software Update.

6.    Manage USB Controllers

Your computer uses special drivers to control the USB ports. If those drivers have problems, it can stop your USB ports from working. To manage your USB controllers, follow these steps:

For Windows:

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and select “Device Manager.”
  2. Scroll down to “Universal Serial Bus controllers” and expand the list.
  3. Look for entries containing “USB Host Controller” in their names.
  4. Right-click on each entry and choose “Uninstall device.” Repeat this for all relevant entries.
  5. After uninstalling, restart your computer. The USB Host Controllers will reinstall automatically upon reboot, potentially resolving any issues.

For Mac:

  1. On Macs, the System Management Controller (SMC) oversees many hardware functions.
  2. If a USB port isn’t working, resetting the SMC might help.
  3. The method varies based on factors like whether it’s an Apple silicon or Intel-based Mac, presence of a removable battery, or inclusion of the T2 security chip.
  4. Apple provides specific instructions for resetting the SMC on your particular device. You can find these instructions on Apple’s support website.

7.    Disable USB Selective Suspend

Your computer tries to save battery by cutting power to USB ports when they’re not being used. This feature is called USB Selective Suspend. Sometimes it can make your USB ports stop working when you actually need them. You can turn off this setting and stop your computer from messing with your USB ports by following these steps:

  1. Type “Power Plan” into the Windows search bar and select “Edit Power Plan.”
  2. Click “Change advanced power settings.”
  3. Locate “USB Settings” and expand it.
  4. Find the “USB selective suspend setting” and disable the options next to “On battery” and “Plugged in.”
  5. Click “Apply” to save the changes.
  6. Restart your PC to prevent the USB ports from turning off unnecessarily.

8.    Check for loose or broken internal connections

The issue could be a loose or broken connector inside your computer. Try plugging in a USB device and gently wiggling the cable. If it briefly connects then disconnects, there’s something physically wrong.

If the USB port moves a lot when you wiggle the cable, the port might be bent or broken off the circuit board inside your computer. Sometimes you can fix this type of damage yourself. But if it seems too complicated, it’s best to take your computer to a repair shop instead of risking further harm.

 

9.    Try different USB ports

Most computers have several USB ports – there’s usually some in the front and back. Unplug your device and plug it into a few different ports to see if it starts working. If it doesn’t work in any port, the device itself likely has an issue and may need repair or replacement. But if it does work properly in a different port, then the original port is probably damaged in some way. You may be able to gently bend the port back into position or you might need to get the port replaced by a repair shop.

10. Test on another computer

If possible, take your USB device and plug it into another computer or laptop you have access to. If it works fine when connected to a different machine, then that confirms your original computer’s USB port is malfunctioning in some way. It will likely need repair by a professional service shop. This quick check saves you time and effort in troubleshooting. Next steps would be inspecting the port, reinstalling drivers, or replacing the physical USB port hardware itself if no other solutions get your USB device working again.

How to Fix an Unreadable USB Drive

If you can’t access your USB drive, the issue might be its drive letter. Here’s how to easily change it:

  1. Press the Windows key + X key combination.
  2. Click on “Disk Management” from the menu.
  3. Locate your USB drive in the Disk Management window.
  4. Right-click on the USB drive entry.
  5. Select “Change Drive Letter and Paths.”
  6. Click “Add.”
  7. From the drop-down menu, choose the desired drive letter.
  8. Click “OK” to save the changes.

How to Fix a USB Drive Infected With Malware

If your USB drive has malware, it can start acting weird or stop working. Even worse, it could spread viruses to your computer or other devices. Here’s how to scan and clean it:

  1. Open the Windows Start menu and search for “Windows Security”. Open the app.
  2. Click on “Virus & threat protection”. 
  3. Select “Scan options” then click “Custom scan”.
  4. Click “Scan now”. 
  5. Choose your USB drive under “Select specific folders”.
  6. Wait for the scan to finish.
  7. Remove any threats the security app finds.

You should also format the USB drive to really wipe out stubborn malware. This will delete all data but give you a fresh, clean drive. Be very careful plugging in a drive you think has viruses – malware spreads fast! Run a security scan as soon as possible.

Conclusion

Despite the many possible causes for a USB port failure, there are numerous ways you can likely fix your USB connectivity issues on your own without needing professional repair or computer replacement. Carefully go through the step-by-step troubleshooting tips outlined in this article to troubleshoot and fix your faulty USB port. Of course, there are still situations where you’ll need to rely on a repair shop for USB port replacements or solder work beyond the average user’s technical comfort zone. But before taking that step, work through this article’s troubleshooting checklist. In many cases, getting USB functionality restored is a matter of basic maintenance and tweaking configurations—no advanced technical skills required.

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