Most people that live in Victoria only have to reload windows on their computer once every few years (unless they get a virus or have a major malfunction), but for some reason, you have to reload windows every few months. You may have experienced this with several computers or maybe only with certain ones. If you seem to be fighting a "ghost in the machine", you may very likely be dealing with power problems. Electrical components rely on steady power to have consistent results. When the power going into your computer is fluctuating, data being written to the hard drive can become corrupt and windows will be affected, becoming more and more buggy over time. Occasionally, this data corruption may even affect the FAT table which is essentially a map to the hard drive. If the FAT table becomes corrupt, the drive may think all your data is lost (we can usually get it back when this happens) and your computer will not boot up and you may see one of the following error messages:
Anyways, data corruption will happen to anyone, with the average person seeing major accumulation of this corruption over the course of a few years. However, certain areas of town - most notably the Fairfield area, certain areas in Esquimalt and Shawnigan Lake- are known to have power issues which dramatically increase the speed at which these errors accumulate. If you live in one of these areas, talk to your neighbours- they may already be aware of any problems in the area. If your power is suspect, you should definitely consider purchasing a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) for your computer, which is essentially a surge suppressor with a battery built in to fill in the gaps in the power. These UPS units start around $65 and go up from there. Here is a picture of a typical UPS:
If you don't live in one of these areas, but are experiencing similar problems, you should ask yourself the following questions to troubleshoot the problem:
Is the power outlet my computer is using grounded correctly? - Many older homes have been remodeled several times, but the wiring is not always completely redone, leading to areas where the wall outlets are three-pronged or grounded plugs, but the outlet is not actually grounded. This is potentially the most dangerous electrical situation to have in your home, not just for your electrical equipment but for your safety in general. Neither a surge suppressor nor an UPS unit will work without a properly grounded outlet, as they will have nowhere to dump any excess charge coming down the line. In a general sense, ungrounded lines are much more likely to cause electrical fires and accidental electrocution. If you suspect this is the case, call a licensed electrician to resolve the situation.
Is the outlet I am using on the same circuit as a device which creates a major electrical draw? - The major suspects are compressors in fridges, freezers and air conditioners, as well as large motors found in anything from power tools to bathroom fans. If you can use a different circuit, you can usually eliminate the problem, if not, consider using a UPS. A localized "brown-out" scenario within a home is often what leads to one computer in the home being buggy, while another similar unit is perfectly fine.
Remember, power problems tend to have a cumulative affect over time, so moving a computer that has already accumulated a bunch of corruption onto a different circuit or UPS will not instantly fix the situation, it will simply stop the accumulation of errors. Likewise, not all flakey machines are the result of power issues, some computers really are pieces of junk.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 February 2012 23:59|
Live in Fairfield? Have to reload windows way too often?
Written by Administrator
Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:09