Five Common Mistakes People Make with PC Upgrades

Upgrading your PC is both a blessing and a curse. It can make life so much simpler but upgrading can also become a nightmare if you make one of these five common mistakes:

1. Wi-Fi Woes
Drivers are a huge pain when it comes to upgrades. Reinstalling or installing a new operating system will wipe out drivers that came with your machine pre-installed. One of the most common driver issues is with the Wi-Fi adapter. Without a backup or knowledge of where to look, you’ll run into problems. Do some research on your Wi-Fi adapter drivers prior to upgrading and have the drivers handy. It will save you a lot of time and a lot of headaches!

2. Video Card Issues
Video cards are another tricky piece of equipment when it comes to upgrades. Video cards need drivers and they may also have issues with a new BIOS configuration or motherboard. Configuration and compatibility are integral to a video card performing successfully and an upgrade can throw everything out of sync. Research how you want the video card to function and how it is functioning now. Making certain everything plays nicely with each other will save you some real pain.

3. BIOS BS
The BIOS configuration is something that may throw a few wrenches into your plan. If you’re upgrading, you’re going to want to make sure everything is solid with your BIOS. It can be reset during an OS upgrade or part switch. Always make sure that it is up-to-date when it comes to upgrades and, as always, research any changes on your upgrade. The BIOS settings can cause hang-ups in various areas, with both hardware and software. If the BIOS is not updated or has something configured incorrectly, it’s really more trouble than it’s worth. As an example, if your BIOS is not configured to boot to DVD drive first, you might find your machine booting up immediately instead of letting you go ahead with the reinstall. Check all your bases, especially your BIOS.

4. Backups, Backups, Backups!
One of the key rules of PC technicians is to keep backups. Keep them on a hard drive in pristine condition in separate room from your computer. Seem like overkill? When it comes to precious data, you really can never be too careful. If you aren’t keeping regular backups, make a backup before the upgrade and store it in at least three different places. This advice applies to any kind of upgrade, major or minor. With upgrades especially, be certain and play it as safe as possible.

5. Keep your Microsoft Windows License Number
Certain upgrades require reinstalling your operating system, which may very well mean you have to renew or re-verify your license. If you haven’t kept your license number or kept a backup with your installation built in, you might find yourself on a call to Microsoft’s automated line.

As with anything in IT, the key to a successful upgrade is being prepared and doing the research so you know what to expect when it comes to every aspect of your upgrade. If you’re ever unsure, don’t worry. There are lots of resources and advice right here!