These days, our jobs rely on technology. No matter what position you hold, when your computer or other devices are not working properly, it can make it extremely difficult to get work done. For this reason, most managed IT support providers, including us, want to be proactive about resolving issues before they even start. We prevent failures by monitoring the devices to watch for warning signs that a failure is imminent.
Unfortunately, we can’t be everywhere at once, and some devices don’t have the type of reporting necessary to let us know a failure will happen soon, or the failures aren’t detected through monitoring software. So, it is important for our end users to know the warning signs, so they can let us know to check it out. Our main goal is to keep your business up and running smoothly at all times!
When a piece of hardware, whether it is a PC or a wireless router or a printer, starts to error a reboot will fix the problem a lot of the time. Once the reboot is complete, the device goes back to functioning properly again. From time to time this can happen when the hardware is perfectly fine. When a piece of hardware starts to fail, however, the need to reboot becomes more frequent. If you are needing to reboot the device on a regular basis (once a week or fewer), then the device should be looked at in more detail. Sometimes a simple firmware update can resolve the problem, but these frequent reboots generally point to a more serious underlying hardware problem.
Once we were looking into issues with a wireless router. The router worked fine with some specific devices, but would not work with others, even though it had worked with those devices in the past. A reboot would not resolve the problem either. After digging into the hardware a bit more, it was clear that one of the signals being transmitted from the router had failed. It was only a matter of time until the problem expanded to the rest of the device causing a total failure. Once the router had been replaced, everything was up and running perfectly again. We were able to prevent the entire network from going down by diagnosing the hardware failures early.
Sometimes the issue doesn’t appear to be related to the hardware, as the previous example shows. The hardware appeared fine since other devices were able to connect and function properly. We have seen this with keyboard malfunctions, printer problems, and more. When odd issues like this arise, that doesn’t seem to point to any specific culprit, it’s a good idea to see if the hardware itself is at fault.
Your managed IT support provider is generally not onsite on a daily basis. They often are not around to hear odd noises coming from your hardware that can indicate an imminent failure. Anything that sounds out of the ordinary should be reported. Clicking, clunking, beeping, buzzing, and more can all be indications that the hardware is working too hard to overcompensate for something that is wrong. It can also be an indication of internal damage that has already occurred. The damage should be assessed as quickly as possible to prevent other parts from failing as well.
Another noise that should be noted is excessive fan noises. If your computer seems to be running its fan at a high RPM for the majority of the day, the computer is getting too hot. Also, if your device is hot to the touch, there could be some serious problems inside. Pay really close attention if the device is hot, and the fan (if it has one) is not kicking on. Heat is kryptonite for technology, and too much heat will cause the rest of the components inside the device to fail much more quickly.
Keeping an eye, ear or hand out for these warning signs can help us prevent downtime for your business! Make sure any of these signs are reported to our helpdesk immediately so we can resolve them as quickly as possible.