A Guide to Troubleshooting and Fixing a PC

Some of the most common PC problems have quick fixes if you know where to go to get the answers to solve them. This article identifies 10 common PC problems and links to other articles that can help you troubleshoot and fix them.

10 Common PC Problems

1. Start Up a Dell Desktop in Windows Safe Mode. Windows Safe Mode was designed to give you the ability to startup a malfunctioning computer and fix the problem. By using safe mode, most of the drivers that load up during a regular startup do not load giving you the opportunity to find and fix the error. Sometimes, however, the window of opportunity to press F8 and enter Safe Mode on a Dell desktop is too short. It is possible to learn an alternative method of starting up a Dell desktop computer with Safe Mode to get around this problem.

2. Power Supply is Making a High-Pitched Noise. Power supply units (PSU) are notorious for making strange noises as they get older. Often, your only solution is to replace the PSU. Learn how to diagnose and isolate the problem when you PSU starts making funny noises.

3. Blank Screen at Startup. Sometimes a video card error can cause a blank screen when Windows starts up. However, without video, it can be impossible to troubleshoot this error. Learn how to troubleshoot and fix a black screen when Windows loads.

4. Keyboard Not Working at Startup. Like a blank screen at startup, you need a working keyboard to fix most errors in Windows. Learn how to get around this catch-22 and fix a non-working keyboard at startup.

5. Monitoring a Laptop’s Internal Temperature. Because of their small space and cramped conditions, laptop components are often subject to much higher temperature than those in a desktop computer. Learn how to monitor your laptop’s internal temperatures to avoid overheating and damage to sensitive components.

6. Diagnosing Why a Computer Restarts at Startup. Sometimes Windows gets caught in a loop. The computer starts up and then just before it finishes loading, it restarts and the process starts again. Learn how to diagnose and fix a computer that continually restarts itself at startup.

7. Diagnose an Overheating Desktop. One of the reasons why a computer continually restarts is because the CPU is overheating and shuts down to protect itself from damage. Learn how to troubleshoot and fix an overheating desktop.

8. Non-Functioning Hard Drive. Like all mechanical devices, hard drives do not last forever. Learn how to diagnose and fix a hard drive that is not functioning properly. Also, learn how and when to backup your data to protect yourself against a hard drive that is about to fail.

9. No Power to Motherboard. Power supplies are strange components. Some last a few months and others last for many years. Learn how to diagnose and fix when your motherboard is receiving no power from the PSU.

10. Reduce Computer Maintenance Costs. Computers cost more than just the purchase price; they cost money to maintain. Learn how buying the right computer, paying close attention to warranties, and learning to fix your own computer can significantly lower your total computer maintenance costs.


The issues discussed in this article represent some of the most common PC problems. By having some knowledge of these issues in advance, you are more likely to avoid them and be ready for them when they happen to you. In addition, being able to fix your own computer problems can save you money and time by reducing trips to a computer lab or repair shop. Be prepared and know how to maintain your own PC without relying on others.