If your computer is malfunctioning, you may not know if it is due to a hardware issue or a software issue. It may be running slow, programs may be crashing, and your head may be spinning. Software problems you can usually fix on your own. Hardware problems, on the other hand can be a bit trickier. Here are some common issues: • The computer is running slow – Sometimes too much software running at startup can slow a computer down or the computer may be full of malware. In this case, the person usually comes to the conclusion that their computer needs replaced, but that’s not usually the case. The issue is that fewer programs need to be starting up or running simultaneously, period. A valuable program at controlling what does or doesn’t start upon startup is Ccleaner. This program utilizes simple checkboxes that you can use to choose what runs at startup and what doesn’t so that you don’t have to go to each program’s settings. This saves time. • Blue screens of death – The newer versions of Windows are much more stable than they used to be. When the drivers are well-programmed and the hardware is reliable, you shouldn’t be seeing the blue screen at all. If you are encountering blue screens of death, there is a chance that it is the computer hardware that is failing. Badly programmed hardware drivers can also be the culprit. However, there is a way to tell the difference: If you are seeing blue screens after you have installed or upgraded hardware drivers, then uninstall those drivers or use your system restore function. There may be something up with the drivers, thus causing you to experience a phenomenon that you should not be experiencing at all. If you haven’t done a thing with your drivers lately and the blue screens start rearing their ugly heads, there is a good chance you have a hardware issue. • Computer won’t boot – If your computer won’t boot up at all, you could have a software or hardware issues. If Windows is trying to boot and failing part of the way into the process, or the computer suddenly has amnesia and it doesn’t recognize its hard drive or power on at all, you just might have a hardware issue. However, there are ways to troubleshoot a boot issue. See our question on “How to Troubleshoot Boot Issues” if that is your problem.