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PC Mysteries: Answers to these tech questions

The PC world has grown into gigantic proportions. Computers have evolved at a lightning pace and have developed into super-fast and highly-intelligent machines. And yet, the average user is confounded and confused by so many things that keep happening on a daily basis with his/her PC. That is totally understandable given the fact that everyone making use of the PC is not a techie or a geek. However, the answers to these so-called techie mysteries are quite simple and straight-forward. Here is a brief compilation of the most sought-after mysteries and questions with their solutions.

1. Why does a PC making grinding sounds?

Ans: There are many reasons for this and all of them augur bad news! The simplest reason could be the fan in the CPU is spinning off the kilter. The most common reason is that your hard drive is about to die. It would be good to back-up your drives immediately when you hear these sounds.

2. Why are some programs already running when the PC is started?

Ans: When you boot up your computer, a list of programs called start-up programs start executing because they are beneficial and necessary for the proper running and good health of the system. eg. anti-virus utilities. However, many programs that you install manually also include the 'running at start-up' option that one often misses. This can be disabled and Windows speeded by running MSCONFIG and disabling start-up programs.

3. How come some files cannot be deleted by Windows?

Ans: If Windows says that it cannot delete a file or modify it in any manner, it only means that some application is accessing it in the background. Exit all applications and then delete or modify the file.

4. At times, Windows reboots without permission. Why?

Ans: This totally depends on what configuration settings you have applied when it comes to Windows Updates. You can manually change it to a setting such that updates are installed only after you permit at a time when you permit. Windows will need to restart after the updates are made.

5. What to do if the PC begins to behave erratically after updating hardware drivers?

Ans: It is usually an excellent practice to download the latest available drivers. However, at times, a few delivered drivers may be the beta version and have a few bugs. This is what causes the erratic behavior. Roll back to a previous version or locate and uninstall the problematic driver.

6. Where are my downloaded files?

Ans: By default, all downloaded files go to a folder named 'Downloads' in the primary hard drive. However, this location can be controlled from the browser.

7. Why are some files hidden from view in the system?

Ans: Critical system files without which the system will crash are kept hidden by Windows. This is to prevent the untrained and unwary user from modifying or deleting them. One should not tamper with these hidden files. However, by visiting the folder options in the tools tab of the explorer, these hidden files can be revealed.

8. A video plays on the PC but not on the laptop (or vice versa). Why?

Ans: each video format needs a specific decoder to work. If this is not present then that video will not play. Ensure that you have the correct decoder on your machine.

9. What is the meaning of the beeps heard when the system is turned on?

Ans: The beeps that are heard are made by the software built into the motherboard of the computer - BIOS. These beeps are actually codes which have meaning for the troubleshooter. So, if you hear anything other than the single, happy beep at the beginning, it is time to get the machine checked.

10. Why are some USB ports painted in blue?

Ans: The bright blue ports are USB 3.0 ports which are newer and thus, faster than the USB 2.0 ports. The actual color may vary depending on the manufacturer of the motherboard.

11. I have uninstalled a few programs but their folders still reside on the hard drive. What should I do?

Ans: The uninstallers that come along with many programs are ineffective. The programs concentrate only on the successful installation for that is where their interests lie. The solution would be to make use of some utility like the free IOBit Uninstaller to ensure that there is no residue.

12. Why cannot docx files be opened on a PC though Microsoft Word is installed?

Ans: If an old PC with Microsoft Word 2003 or any previous version is being used, the new Microsoft Office compatibility pack will have to be obtained. Another workaround would be to open the file in the browser, copy the contents and paste them manually into a new Word document that you have opened.

13. How should I get back the Recycle Bin that has disappeared?

Ans: In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, go to Start and type 'desktop icons'. The click 'Show' and check the box next to the Recycle Bin. In For older versions of Windows, Microsoft Support has released a troubleshooter called Fix-It which can be freely downloaded.

14. Is updating Windows essential?

It is definitely essential to remain secure and up-to-date. However, the settings can be changed so that Windows does not become nagging and forceful on a regular basis. The frequency of updating can be manually set.

15. What is the use of the 'sticky' keys?

Ans: Many functions in Windows require multiple keys to be pressed down - Ctrl + C, Ctrl + Alt + Del and so on. For various reasons when one is not able to simultaneously hold down multiple keys, the sticky keys option can be used. Now, the keys can be pressed one after another in quick succession i.e. they 'stick' for a while after pressing them.



The list of such 'mysteries' can go on. As Windows gets more and more advanced, it is natural that some aspects will confuse the users. However, this is not anything big to worry about. Solace can be found in the fact that solutions to most of these problems are simple. The best thing would be to type the problem via an online search. There will surely be many listed solutions.

About the author: Alia Haley is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and autos. Beside this she is fond of cars and fancy accessories. She is a nature lover and prefers to live a green lifestyle and loves to write on her sites ecofriend and bornrich.

This is a guest article by Alia Haley. To know more about guest post rules in this blog please follow the link below.

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