top of page
  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How Can I Tell If My Computer, Smartphone, or Tablet is Failing?

For many of you, your lives now depend on the longevity and health of your tech devices, especially your smartphones, tablets, and laptops. When you experience problems, it's a cause for panic because these devices are just supposed to work, right? You probably didn't know this, but your devices are designed to give you warning signs when they are in the process of failing. You don't have to be a tech expert to see these signs and it's helpful to recognize them to prevent data loss. Want to know when your devices are calling for help? Here are some easy and useful tips to help you know when your devices are in crisis.

Your device won't turn on or load the operating system. If you go to power up your device and the power light comes on, but nothing else happens, it can mean the storage device or the motherboard has failed. To troubleshoot, if possible remove power from the device and let it sit, and try to turn it on again. If it powers back up, it might be a good time to back up your information. If the device powers on but doesn't load the operating system, you can attempt to reload the operating system.

Your devices or apps lock up frequently. If you find yourself with locked devices that you have to reboot over and over again, it's a sign that there is a problem with the onboard storage, operating system, or motherboard. You can attempt to reinstall the operating system, but if it persists after a reinstall, it's time to replace the device.

Your device reboots without warning. There are many things that can cause a device to reboot such as an issue with overheating. If you have a Windows or Macintosh desktop or laptop computer, use can air to remove dust from inside the computer to see if this fixes the issue (you obviously can't do this with a smartphone or tablet). If it doesn't then it's time to backup your device and get a replacement.

You hear grinding or clicking sounds coming from the device. This issue will never happen on a smartphone or tablet as there are no moving parts in these devices. With laptops and desktops, it could be a failing cooling fan or an older hard drive. If dust particles get in the cooling or power supply fan, you can attempt to get rid of the noise by cleaning the fans or replacing them. If you discover it's the hard drive, you should backup and replace it immediately with a solid-state hard drive (SSD).

You're no longer able to access files, data, pictures, and music. It doesn't matter how old the storage devices are on your gadgets, they can fail at anytime which why you should always backup your data. When you're not able to access files you were once able to look at, it could be a good sign that your hard drive or onboard storage is failing. For computers, you can replace the hard drive, for smartphones and tablets, it's time for a replacement.

Your device is running slow time when opening or closing apps or starting and shutting down the device. A slow-running device can normally be traced to a bad hard drive or onboard storage. Again, if it's a desktop or laptop computer, replace the hard drive. If it's a smartphone or tablet, it's time to get a new device.

If you start paying attention to your devices and be on the lookout for these warning signs, you can reduce the downtime and the risk of losing your data.

Looking for More Useful Tips Tips?

My Tuesday Tech Tips Blog is released every Tuesday. If you like video tips, I LIVE STREAM new episodes of 'Computer and Tech Tips for Non-Tech People' every Wednesday at 6:00 pm CST on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Technology product reviews are posted every Thursday. You can view previous episodes on my YouTube channel.

Sign Up for My Newsletter! Click this link to sign-up and subscribe and you will receive every tip directly in your inbox each week.

Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone. 

Need computer or technology help? If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. Our team of friendly tech experts organization can help you with any IT needs you might have. Reach out to us a or phone at 888.256.0829. 

Please share this with your friends and family! If you found this post useful, would you mind helping me out by sharing it? Just click one of the handy social media sharing buttons below.

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page