Can you guess the solution to common PC issues and symptoms?

By: Dyann Joyce
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Can you guess the solution to common PC issues and symptoms?
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Many people have PCs these days, but have you ever found yourself at a loss when technology isn't doing what you want it to? Take our quiz and test your knowledge of these common issues to see how simple some problems are to fix!
Why won't the computer turn on?
The power button is broken
It has no power
The computer is broken
The battery is dead
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Believe it or not, this is a very common issue - the computer won't turn on because it isn't plugged in. Plugs can become loose, sockets in the wall can be turned off or the power cord itself can fail. Check and make sure both ends of the cord are plugged in snugly and that the socket has power. You may need to use a different power cord or wall socket. If your computer turns on and turns right back off, this can be a different issue, related to a faulty power supply or bad motherboard. If in doubt, consult a specialist.

When you turn the computer on, why does it make a loud whirring noise, then stop?
The fans are broken
A fan may be clogged
That is the sound of technology
That is normal
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Many computers have one or more fans inside of them, to help cool the machine during use. However, these fans can become clogged with dust and dirt, which will reduce the rate at which they work. If a fan becomes too clogged, you will be able to hear it making a loud noise as it tries to spin. Or it may not even spin at all, but simply click when the motor is trying to spin it, if the fan is physically stuck. Cleaning the fans with compressed air can help resolve this issue.

Why does your Wi-Fi keep disconnecting?
The Wi-Fi signal is weak
Someone is stealing your Wi-Fi
You ran out of Wi-Fi
Your Wi-Fi is off
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Since Wi-Fi is a signal being broadcast that your device must receive, common interference issues such as signal strength and distance can affect it. If your Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting, try moving closer to your router or removing any items that broadcast a radio signal that could affect it. Also, make sure your drivers are up to date for your Wi-Fi reception device.


Why are all of your letters capitals?
You may be angry
The message is cool
The shift key is stuck
CAPS lock is on
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Typically, if every letter you are typing is coming out as a capital, it is due to the CAPS lock key being on. Look for an LED indicator on your keyboard that indicates this, and toggle it off to return to normal letters.

Why does your computer clock reset every time the machine is turned off?
It can't store that information
An internal battery is dead or dying
Clocks aren't meant to work like that
To mess with you
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

All computers have an internal battery, called a CMOS battery, located directly on the motherboard (computer brain) to provide power when the computer is off. This is how the computer can track stored information and have it ready when the computer is turned on. This battery can die, however, meaning the computer can't store - or provide - that stored information, such as the time.

What is the first "no-brainer" thing you should do if there are any problems with your computer?
Restart your computer
Pull the plug
Use it as a target
Use as a paperweight
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The first thing any tech person or help center will tell you to do is try a basic restart. Shut the computer down, wait a few minutes, then restart. With luck, your machine will reboot and the problems will be gone.


Why are the icons huge?
Big Icon mode is on
The resolution is wrong
The icons are zoomed
The screen is bad
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The most common reason that a desktop's icons have changed size, whether too large or too small, is due to a change in resolution. This can happen if the settings have been changed, or if another program changes the resolution and doesn't change it back. Simply right click on the desktop and then click on Display Settings to restore your desired resolution.

Why are the speakers making random bursts of static?
It's from a virus
It's your computer trying to talk to you
They have bad wiring
It's your cell phone
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Having your phone too close to your speakers can cause interference in them when you receive data from a cell tower. Turning mobile data off and using WiFi, or moving the phone further away from your speakers can help reduce this interference.

Why can't you save any files?
You do not have the power
You have no room to save them
The files can't be saved from that location
The computer doesn't know how to save them
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Every device will eventually run out of space, rendering it unable to save new items. The quickest way to free up space is to look for any multimedia (old videos, music or pictures) that can be deleted or moved to a different storage location. Certain programs can help free up space by clearing unnecessary files, but experts warn that you should only use those if you are sure that nothing essential will be deleted.


Why won't your printer print?
Drivers are not up-to-date
Not enough ink
No paper
All of the above
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

All of the above will stop a printer from printing successfully, but if you have checked the printer updates, the ink supply (both color and black) and the paper supply, then you should check the printer "print queue" status, or make sure that "Use Printer Offline" isn't checked. As a last resort, make sure everything is plugged in!

Why is my screen upside down?
The computer is in Australia
You are upside down
The screen was flipped
Your monitor is upside down
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A Windows screen can be inverted, or moved to the sides, by hitting a specific sequence of keys. To flip the screen, the Ctrl and Alt and Up _Arrow keys need to be hit at the same time. Hitting these keys will revert the change and resolve the issue.

Help! The entire screen is one internet page! What happened?
Press F6!
Press F12!
Press F11!
Press F5!
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

F11 is the default button to make an internet page full screen, or to shrink it back down after. Sometimes it can accidentally be hit, causing the page to be expanded with no quick way of shrinking it back. Simply pressing the key again will fix the issue, and you will look like a wizard.


What can be done to close an unresponsive program?
Kill it!
Close it!
Refresh it!
Reboot it!
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If a program is truly stuck, the normal methods of closing it - such as clicking X on it or trying to right-click and close won't work. It's so stuck, it doesn't know that you're telling it to shut off. in cases like these, the program must be "killed" by bringing up the Task Manager, locating the program, and choosing to end its process. This tells your computer to close it, regardless of its status.

What can be the cause of programs running slow?
It's a bad program
Too many processes running
Your computer is too old
It's a virus
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

One of the most common issues behind a program or webpage loading slowly is that your computer is trying to do too much. If you have too many processes open, your computer will not have enough processing power to actually run another program well. Simply close some of the programs you already have open and try again. The same is true for a webpage - If you have 30 different browser windows open, the 31st is going to be crawling.

Why does the computer keep having pop-ups?
It needs more parts
You won a prize!
It wants your attention
It likely has a virus
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The most common reason people see unwanted pop-ups is that they have acquired one or more adware viruses, which can be gotten just by going to websites that are infected. Even common websites can be infected at times. Simply run an anti-virus tool to remove these, after researching that the tool you are using is itself secure.


Where did the taskbar go?
A Windows update removed it.
It is hidden.
It was turned off.
Your computer can work without it.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It is very easy to lose a Windows taskbar without realizing it, if you aren't careful, as there are two very quick ways to hide it. Right-clicking on the bar and unchecking the box beside "Lock the Taskbar" will allow you to drag it anywhere - which can cause confusion. The second is to set the Taskbar to hide, which can be done by right-clicking and choosing the properties menu.

Why is the computer randomly shutting off?
The computer is broken
It knew you were done
It ran out of power
It may be overheating
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Computers can become clogged with dirt and hair, leading to excess heat being generated during use. Computers that get too hot may shut down unexpectedly; this is designed to occur, to prevent further damage to the machine. If your computer is randomly shutting down, check to see if the fans are stuck or if the case is unusually warm to the touch. Considering blowing out the case with compressed air or having a repair shop clean it out for you.

Why do your internet searches go to different websites?
Keywords were used to cause this
The first website didn't have an answer
It's trying to help
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There is a special type of malware, referred to as a "browser hijack," which will cause your internet browser to do things that you did not ask it to do. The most common action is to redirect any searches to other malicious sites. This is designed to steal your personal information. A simple malware scan should help, or a specialist may be able to help remove it.


Why are the colors on the screen weird?
The computer is set to High Contrast Mode
The computer is set to Rainbow Mode
The computer is set to Artist Mode
The computer is set to Inverted Mode
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

High Contrast Mode is a feature on Windows-based machines to help with reading text inside many Microsoft applications. It can be turned with the keyboard accidentally and does not require any other programs to function. Simply press Alt plus the Left_Shift plus the Print_Screen keys at the same time to toggle the mode.

Why won't your new accessory work?
You were ripped off
You have an incompatible device
You are missing drivers.
You are missing a cable.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Ruling out that it isn't plugged in, the most common factor behind a new keyboard or mouse not working is that the correct driver has not been installed. A driver is basically a set of instructions that tell your computer how to correctly handle the new device. Check the box for an installation disc, or check the manufacturer's website for the correct drivers and install them on your computer.

Why is the screen too dark or too bright?
The monitor has gone bad
The monitor isn't plugged in correctly
The screen is working fine
The screen has a bad contrast setting
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Contrast on a screen is how bright or dark it displays images and text, and the setting can be changed using the buttons on the monitor. It's much the same as adjusting the contrast on your television.


Why is this web page showing a 404 error?
It doesn't exist
You do not have an internet connection.
You are blocked from that web page.
The web page is not worth visiting.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A 404 error means that the webpage you are trying to go to can't be found and may not exist. It may have been taken down or moved, or the address may have been entered incorrectly. A 404 error is not an issue with your machine, but with the website you are attempting to go.

What does "No Boot Device Found" mean when you start my computer?
The memory is faulty
The computer has gone bad
The computer is wrong
The hard drive has gone bad
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This error message means that the storage media used to boot the machine, most commonly the hard drive, is either not working or is unplugged. Check the connections to the media, then if possible test the drive with another machine to see if data can be found or the drive health tested. You may need to contact a repair technician to retrieve or save the data from the drive.

Why doesn't the computer play sounds?
The computer is sleeping
The wrong device is plugged in
The sound may be muted
There may not be sound to play
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Commonly, the root cause of a computer not playing sounds is that the sound has been muted - whether in the program, the speaker icon, the device that is playing your sound. Check that all devices are set to the appropriate volume levels - and verify that everything is plugged in.


Why is the keyboard beeping?
It is trying to speak to you
It is broken
It is a diagnostic message
It needs to be plugged in
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If too many keys are pressed at the same time, or if an improper set of keys is pressed while the computer is booted, the keyboard may make a beeping noise. Beeping can also be caused by something pressing down on a key or by a key that is stuck due to damage or dirt.

What is a BSOD?
Blue Suede on Dean
Blue Screen of Death
Black Screen of Death
Built Solely on Dreams
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Blue Screen of Death, known as a BSOD, is a problem almost all Windows users will encounter in their lives. It is a screen that lays out what issue occurred and where, using a semi-cryptic error message. Using this error message, you will need to troubleshoot the cause accordingly.

What does a missing DLL file mean?
It is a file related to milk cartons
The program is obsolete
The program is broken
A component is missing from the program
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A DLL file, or Dynamic-Link Library, is a set of instructions that can be shared by different programs. If a DLL is missing, a portion of the program is not present. The DLL file needs to be replaced or located and moved into the correct spot.


Why is my cursor gone?
It has been turned off
It is invisible
It is off-screen
The mouse is broken
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Sometimes, the cursor can leave the screen by being moved off-screen onto another monitor - even if this monitor is no longer physically present. Adjust the display settings to deselect the dual monitor setting.

Why is your keyboard not working?
It is broken
You are not allowed to type there
It is working, just not correctly
There may be an issue with it
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The most common way to repair a non-functioning keyboard is to test what is wrong with it. Try the keyboard with a different machine, or try another keyboard in the same port on your machine - which could be the problem to begin with. Sometimes, simply unplugging the keyboard and plugging it back in will make it work.

Why can't you open an email attachment?
It needs a password
You aren't allowed to see it
You have the wrong email
You do not have the necessary software
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If you have an attachment that you cannot open, you may not have the right software installed to view the file. By the way, never open email attachments from strangers or unreliable sources.


What should you do if Google looks weird?
Anti-virus quickly
Free-ware quickly
Pop-ups quickly
Restart quickly
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If Google looks weird or distorted, you may have been the victim of a browser hijacker, with some malware hidden in your computer. Quickly run a trusted real-time antivirus utility to clean your computer and save your personal information.

What does adware cause?
Pop-up ads
Free coupons
Advertising profiling
Free texting
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If you are getting slammed with pop-ups and you do not know where they are coming from, you most likely downloaded adware of some kind. Adware is a program that displays unwanted - and often unstoppable - ads that shoot up in front of anything you are looking at.

What test should you use for connectivity problems?
Connection test
Speed test
PC test
Update test
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If you are experiencing connectivity problems, your new best friend can be a speed test to check on the speeds of your uploads and downloads. You want to ensure that the results are in the normal range for your computer and your provider.


Why do you need free hard drive space?
So your operating system can perform optimally
You don't, really
That is a myth
For downloads
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You need free space on your hard drive so your operating system can have room to run. Temporary files are often installed on the hard drive while programs run, and space must be available to hold such files. If you notice sluggish or lagging performance from any programs or when you start your computer, check your hard drive for available space.

Who is considered to be the "father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence"?
Alan Turing
Alan Ladd
Enigma Jones
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Sadly committing suicide after forced chemical castration, Alan Turing is considered the "father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence." He is responsible for solving the riddle of the enigma machine. The movie "The Imitation Game" sheds some light on his story.

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