You’re in a bit of a bind. Your computer’s either stopped working, or it’s not working particularly well. But Google’s come to your rescue and you’re pretty sure you know what the problem is. With the instructions in hand, you immediately set out to make things right and … you make them worse. Somehow, in the act of ‘fixing’ your system, you’ve borked things even more.
See, even in light of all the instructional videos and informational content online, there are certain things you should never do. Computers are incredibly complicated devices. Many people who study them for years, people who build, program, and design computers for a living still don’t know everything there is to know about them.
Plus, not everyone on the Internet actually knows what they’re talking about.
Here’s a few things you should never do without prior experience, or at the very least, an expert opinion.
Muck About in the System Registry: Your registry is basically an instruction manual that your computer uses so that it knows how to run. At its core, it’s what makes your computer work. It should go without saying then that if you gleefully start traipsing through it, deleting or modifying everything you see, there’s a good chance your computer’s going to respond by blowing up its own software with an equivalent amount of cheer.
Delete Stuff from the Windows Folder: The Windows Operating System itself informs you when you’re browsing through your system folders that you’re treading on dangerous ground and you should probably heed the warning. See, Windows stores all its most vital programs and files within the Windows folder. Deleting, moving, or otherwise modifying files here is, well, it’s akin to running through a dilapidated oil refinery with a lit match. Sure, there’s a chance you’ll make it out relatively unscathed. But it’s equally likely everything’s going to just blow up in your face.
Fiddle with Your Hardware: I’m not talking about simple tasks like replacing the RAM or graphics card. There are quite a few excellent guides out there that you can turn to and so long as you follow them, you should be just fine. I’m talking about stuff like trying to repair your motherboard or replace a heat sink. Computers are fickle, fragile things, and one wrong move could result in everything going up in smoke.
Play Around in the BIOS: The BIOS runs everything in your system not directly tied to your operating system. Your processors, your fans, your disc drive…you get the idea. Modifying any settings in here is dangerous indeed if you’ve no idea what you’re doing. It’s something you want to avoid if at all possible.
Engage in Command Line Shenanigans: As I’ve said before, the Command Line is actually incredibly powerful, if you know how to use it. If you’re going to go in and start plopping down commands, be absolutely certain that you know what they do, first- otherwise, you might end up with a clean slate. That’s not a good thing.
Image Credits: Fox Future Media
The PCMech.com weekly newsletter has been running strong for over 8 years. Sign up to get tech news, updates and exclusive content - right in your inbox. Also get (several) free gifts.