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Are you “that guy”? You know, the one who everyone comes to for help when their Internet goes down, their laptop fails to boot, or they get weird error messages? It’s always nice to help someone in need, but it can be a frustrating process when you don’t know the proper solutions.

Here are some of the most common issues that the average PC user will run into and some tools and tricks to help deal with those issues. Your friends and family might see you as a computer guru now, but after reading this article, you’ll be seen as a computer wizard.

Fix Broken File Type Associations

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File associations can break for a number of reasons. An installed program may have stealthily overwritten some of them. An uninstalled program may not have cleaned up after itself properly. Regardless of how it’s done, there’s no denying that file extensions do get messed up from time to time. How do you fix them?

Tina not only walks you through the process of fixing broken file type associations How To Change & Fix Broken File Type Associations In Windows 7 How To Change & Fix Broken File Type Associations In Windows 7 This article will discuss what file type associations are, how you can change them in general, and why so many people have issues with .lnk file associations in Windows. If you have been running into... Read More , but also explains how to manually set certain file types to open with specific programs. It’s a neat trick to know that can drastically improve anyone’s day-to-day computer routine.

Fix High CPU Usage

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High CPU usage can be a serious problem. It means your computer is constantly working at peak capacity, which will slow down overall performance and can cause long-term damage to hardware. Not only can the CPU itself get fried, but the computer fans may also wear out from overwork.

Fortunately, this issue is often easy to diagnose and easy to fix. Check out Matt’s article on diagnosing and fixing high CPU usage How To Fix High CPU Usage In Windows How To Fix High CPU Usage In Windows If your computer fans frequently hit top speeds, it's a sign that your CPU is fully loaded. Simultaneously, your computer may slow down. That's annoying, especially if you're not actually doing anything. Read More to reclaim speed and longevity of your PC.

Fix Overheating Laptops

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High internal temperatures are always a danger for modern electronic devices. Heat is generated by various components (e.g., CPU, GPU etc.) and dispersed through heatsinks and ventilation. When heat gets trapped inside, the high temperatures can cause permanent damage and laptops are the most susceptible to this problem.

In most cases, overheating is incredibly easy to fix. Tina has a walkthrough for spotting and fixing an overheating laptop How To Fix An Overheating Laptop How To Fix An Overheating Laptop Read More and it won’t take you more than a few minutes. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take care of it.

Fix Dead Hard Drives

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Did you know that there are warning signs for impending hard drive failure 5 Signs Your Hard Drive Lifetime Is Ending (And What to Do) 5 Signs Your Hard Drive Lifetime Is Ending (And What to Do) Since a majority of people today own laptops and external hard drives, which get dragged around quite a bit, a realistic hard drive lifetime is probably around 3 - 5 years. This is an extremely... Read More ? When data starts to get corrupted and your computer starts to crash a lot, it’s time to make backups for everything 6 Safest Ways to Backup & Restore Your Files in Windows 7 & 8 6 Safest Ways to Backup & Restore Your Files in Windows 7 & 8 By now, we're sure you've read the advice over and over: Everyone needs to back up their files. But deciding to back up your files is only part of the process. There are so many... Read More and find a fast replacement. But what happens when you’re too late and the hard drive is already dead?

First, run some hard drive diagnostics How to Diagnose and Fix a Dead Hard Drive to Recover Data How to Diagnose and Fix a Dead Hard Drive to Recover Data Several years ago, I experienced a hard drive failure. I was at work when my laptop suddenly started to act particularly strange. About half an hour later, the hard drive failed audibly and the laptop... Read More to make sure the hard drive is caput.  Next, try running a data recovery program like Pandora Recover Lost Data For Free With Pandora Recovery [Windows] Recover Lost Data For Free With Pandora Recovery [Windows] Last night I inadvertently deleted 17GB of data with a mis-press of Shift+Del, causing a classic "oh sh*t!!" moment. I’d chosen to "permanently delete" the folder, skipping the Recycle Bin and instantly freeing up some... Read More . Unfortunately, a truly dead hard drive will likely require the aid of a professional service.

Fix Windows 8 Boot Issues

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In many ways, Windows 8 is an experimental step forward for Microsoft. It introduces a lot of new changes but those changes aren’t exactly perfect, which means you may run into some hiccups. For example, the new “hybrid boot” in Windows 8 can cause problems and there’s nothing more annoying than boot issues.

Fortunately, Chris can help you resolve Windows 8 boot issues How To Resolve Windows 8 Boot Issues How To Resolve Windows 8 Boot Issues Windows 8 uses a new "hybrid boot" feature to improve boot times. When you shut down, your computer doesn't actually shut down normally - it performs a sort of limited "hibernate" that stores a state... Read More and get you back onto your computer.

Fix Windows 8.1 Upgrade Issues

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The issues with Windows 8 extend past boot up phase. Many people have reported a wide range of trouble when upgrading from 8 to 8.1 and if there’s anything more annoying than boot issues, upgrade issues might be it. Bad drivers, hardware incompatibility, errors, what have you. There’s a good chance you’ll run into one issue or another.

Did you know that there are some important preparations for upgrading Windows 8 to 8.1 Upgrading Your PC for Windows 8.1? Prep It First! Upgrading Your PC for Windows 8.1? Prep It First! Windows 8.1 makes significant changes to Windows 8 and it's a worthy upgrade on any device. How you'll upgrade depends on which version of Windows you're upgrading from. This article has all the details. Read More ? Don’t skip over them unless you want to deal with a headache later. If the upgrade still proves troublesome, check out Danny’s post on fixing Windows 8 upgrade problems 7 Windows 8.1 Upgrade Issues & How To Fix Them 7 Windows 8.1 Upgrade Issues & How To Fix Them Windows 8.1 is more than a Service Pack. The significant Windows 8.1 upgrade has been reported to cause several issues during and after the update. We show you how to fix the most common ones. Read More . We have also compiled a complete summary of how to upgrade safely How To Safely Upgrade To Windows 8.1 How To Safely Upgrade To Windows 8.1 Are horror stories of how Windows 8.1 upgrades went horribly wrong keeping you from upgrading yourself? If you are longing to try Windows 8.1, you can now learn from other people's lessons and upgrade safely! Read More , including a way to downgrade to Windows 8 How To Upgrade To Windows 8.1 & How To Downgrade Back To Windows 8 How To Upgrade To Windows 8.1 & How To Downgrade Back To Windows 8 The Windows 8.1 update is free, easy, and gives you access to new and improved features. It is, however, impossible to simply downgrade to Windows 8, unless you plan to before updating. Let us show... Read More , in case the upgrade fails terribly.

USB Tool: Windows System Control Center

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If you deal frequently with computer repairs, it makes sense that you would have a digital toolbox. If you don’t have one yet, you should start building one and there’s no better tool to start with than Windows System Control Center. It’s actually a free suite of tools that can perform a lot of useful operations for fixing and optimizing.

Best of all, it’s portable and can neatly fit on a USB drive. Want to know more about it? Check out Guy’s Windows System Control Center review Get a Head Start On Your USB Toolkit With Windows System Control Center Get a Head Start On Your USB Toolkit With Windows System Control Center I often joke about being the only IT guy with a 36-inch pipe wrench in his toolbox. Funny, but also probably true. But I do carry one IT tool in my kit that is just... Read More .

Do you find yourself being the computer repairman for your friends and family? What are the most common issues you run into and how do you fix them? Know of any awesome tools that might prove helpful? Share with us in the comments!

Image Credits: CPU Via Shutterstock, Burning Laptop Via Shutterstock, Hard Drive Wrench Via Shutterstock

  1. Anonymous
    April 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Foolishit's D7 is the best tool for fixing any software problem, use with caution! @hasamba

  2. Rishi Raj
    April 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I use EBCD to recover user files and clear administrator password for non-booting Windows systems. I use linux distros installed on bootable USB devices to hack into non-booting systems for good - no matter they are win boxes or lin boxes.

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