20+ Common Computer Problems and Solutions (a Third Grader Can Do)

I received a lot of requests for copies of a document I published a year ago, Troubleshooting Common Computer Problems. At the suggestion of Edtech Sandy (aka Sandy Kendell), I tried to upload it through Google Docs to no avail (though it kind of worked in my WordPress.org site) so I’m guessing WordPress.com doesn’t allow Google Docs. Please feel free to disabuse me of that conclusion.


problem solving

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, a contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Categories: 8th grade, classroom management, Computer hardware, fifth grade, first grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, K-5 Tech training, Kindergarten, Parent resources, social networks, teacher resources, Tech Tips | Tags: , , , | 122 Comments

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122 thoughts on “20+ Common Computer Problems and Solutions (a Third Grader Can Do)

  1. Gee thanks for this wonderful post! You always give us great information. I personally find this interesting and really clears me off from my questions.

    I’m, beginning to know that I really learn lesser than I knew..


    thanks mate!

    • I’m always surprised how many parents of my students don’t know these simple solutions. They think I’m brilliant when their children come home with these fixes. Hehe.

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  3. Nicolene Esperanza Menezes

    Hi, I’m Nicolene Esperanza Menezes and I am from Cape Town, South Africa. I have a problem; When i turn my p.c on It powers up and makes one beep which is good but my monitor doesn’t go on even though my monitor goes on when any other p.c is connected to it. What is the problem and how do i solve it. Thank you.

    • Hi Nicole, I’m sure you wiggled the plugs–that’s always a good starting point. Then unplug, count to ten and replug. Sometimes (more times than you’d believe) that fixes it.

      If there’s no joy, it sounds like either the software for the video card in the computer box–the CPU–or the hardware itself. Is it still under warranty? Or, can you have someone check that?

      Good luck! This is definitely a problem a third grader can’t solve!

  4. arjun

    i double click on the icon then a circle actually rotates near da curser and in another ten second it goes off …. tats it the applications are not working …it happens for fifa 10 and fifa 12
    but not with all
    in starting wen i tried fifa 12 it showed some dl_dx is missing and i used da dxl fixer and after tat i didnt get a mesage but instead am getting da circle rotates near da curser and goes …the app is not working.. .wat am i supposed to do

  5. Irechukwu Confidence

    pls I need a solution to my problem.
    My del laptop can not detect any external accessories or peripheral if I insert in my laptop port hub.

    • Check your drivers for the port. They may need an update. I have a similar problem right now with my HDMI port.

    • there is two possible solution for this kind of problem.
      1. either your usb driver is not updated or
      2. your usb port may be disabled in the computer.

      Solve: right click on My computer->Manage->Device manager->now if your external accessories are for USB port the right click on the Universal Serial Bus and click on the update driver.



        You can also check your local group policy editor..

        go to run
        type gpedit.msc
        under local computer policy
        select administrative template
        choose all settings
        look and find all removable disk. be sure that the all the configuration there is “not configured”

        Please comment if it works! Thanks

  6. anita

    why cpu makes a beep sound.

  7. abs

    i see a green line left side of my screen. it is present even in the time of booting. will you tell me a solution ? pls…….

  8. Mark Pako

    Hi I’m Mark and I have a problem with my PC. It beginning to run slow. I have a licensed antivirus and it say’s that my PC doesn’t have any virus. I want to know what is the possible cause why it turns slow.(i don’t have many files saved)

    • Good you don’t have a virus. There are a lot of reasons why it could run slowly. Try Adaware and Spybot. They’ll help clean things out also. Also, run a defrag.

      Good luck!

      • wasaphi

        Mark, first check whether the Antivirus you have is still obsolete, if its licensing period has expired or not. Also make sure that you do not have multiple anti-viruses programs by going to control panel, programs. if so remove others. About the machine being slow; this could be as a result of low hard disk space. Some antivirus or malware programs may be too heavy for your PC. solution is for you to execute a disk cleanup: “Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.”

        Defragment your hard drive: “Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.”
        Alternatively you may remove programs that you rarely use and clear temp folder. do this by running a reg. editor. good luck.

  9. Al

    Why is my computer not being able to download resumes and won’t open them to see them?

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  12. my computer dell processor fan produces a racing sound and does not display on the screen what could be the problem

    • Art

      You could have malware, or a virus that is causing your fan to run hard. Your processor could also be over loaded with too many programs running at the same time. Try to find out how old is your computer. You may need to have either the CPU upgraded, or you can have a more robust cooling fan installed in your Hard drive.

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  14. rob

    hi, im having a annoying problem ,my pc when turned on it wont beep and process info to the monitor. what may b the prob? pls help

    • Hi Rob

      I always start with the basics–is the monitor plugged in, turned on? If you attach a different monitor to your CPU, does it work?

    • aravindan

      your cpu ,mother board 20 pin power connecion,12 volt 4 pin connection are not in good service, take out the connectors and replace it, remove memory card clean the connecting edges,replace it

  15. Beruk makuriya

    Pleace am junioer computer maintainance. Pleace can u send me document by my address computer problem & solution. Pleace & 10q!

  16. hi my problem is about desktop icons many times it changes different many files shape and not open y?

  17. Elijah Patti

    when i turn on my computer power supply(socket) the cpu turns itself on and the monitor displays a yellow light instead of a blue light on the power button.Neither does the mouse nor the keyboard turn on.its a dell vostro.

  18. if any problem is encountered that seems unsolvable do visit the following site:

    • I do get questions about hardware which I can’t answer. I’m more of a software/widget gal.

      BTW, the link doesn’t work. Can you update?

  19. sudarshan

    my system is running very slow at the booting time

    • Always start with a virus check and a defrag.

    • wasaphi

      enter BIOS setup and access ‘power on self test’, ‘start up diagnostics’ ( disable this) . select/ look for an option called fast boot or quick boot and enable this. you can also change the boot priority by selecting the hard drive as the first boot option. save changes and reboot.
      Alternatively, if your PC is more than one year old call an expert to flash/ update your BIOS to a later version.
      your PC should be able to boot faster now. Good luck.

  20. ron thompson

    when I bring up internet explorer msn homepage I get a warning box message form webpage -object error – then I can’t do anything

    • Hi Ron

      My first solution when browsers act up is to change browsers. There are so many add-ons and widgets, I don’t think any one browser can keep up. I keep FireFox, Chrome and IE open at all times so I can copy-paste an address from one to the other to get it to work correctly. I teach my students to do that, also.

    • Nankumba Joanna

      What operating system are you using, some OS do not work with internet explorer, pliz try the latest browsers

  21. xd

    hi mam
    my computer problem
    computer start and some minutes Before computer Turnoff Automatically
    next time i will try open the computer but computer don’t open

    but open next Day computer open & Turnoff Automatically

    • That’s happening to several of my lab computers. I’ll let you know if my IT guys come up with a solution.

      • Sniper

        Hi XD..if you are windows user try this solutions below:

        possible solutions:
        1.Restart F8 – then choose last known good confguration. does it work?

        2. you can restore your system from last configuration of your windows. you can type system into search bar then it automatically showing up..then choose latest updates then click restore. does it work?

        3. try to remove all your memory, clean it and then replaced both memory in your slots. does it work?

      • Thanks, Sniper. I’m going to try that.

      • Sniper

        your page was very helpful for us..thanks ^_^

      • Thanks, Sniper.

  22. Dennis

    My Toshiba satellite Laptop takes too long to start up, i even get bored sometimes switch it off before going on

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  24. Reblogged this on Solving Problems, with fun and commented:
    Great guide for common computer challenges. MUST READ

  25. why cpu’s green globs continuously and seems not display on monitor?

  26. David Milmine

    blue sound bar pops up on my screen at various times freezing my keyboard. I replaced keyboard but problem still exists. Can you help ?

    • I’m not sure what a ‘blue sound bar’ is. Can you send a screen shot to askatechteacher at gmail dot com?

      • David Milmine

        blue sound bar is a blue bar shown on my screen created by using the top right keys on a standard keyboard to increase ,decrease, or mute sound . shoud only appear whenkey is depressed to adjust sound butthe bar pops up at different times on its own and freezes my keyboard

      • I’m afraid I’m useless on this. When I depress those keys, they accomplish their purpose without bringing up a blue bar. Twere me (in your shoes), if it happens every time, I’d unprogram those buttons and use the volume control in the systray until I figured out the answer.

        I suspect you tried reboot already?

  27. Tahsin Ridwan

    I have a Asus DVD weiter. It’s not ejecting. I had this problem before. But now it’s not ejecting for about a month. Plz, give me solution……..

    • There’s a small hole under most DVD drives that allows for emergency eject. Slip a straightened paper clip into that hole, wiggle around until you feel it catch on something and then slowly remove. It should pop the drive out.

  28. Ravi

    Hi Mam,

    Am using acer laptop .. In this via touch pad not able to click any ico.. i need click the i.e left and right hand what ever we have in laptop.. via touch pad i can able move cozer but not able click or select..Please help me out this

  29. Hi Ravi

    I’m sorry I don’t think I understand your question? Will the laptop not allow mouse clicks or finger clicks?

  30. Ravi

    Dear Jacqui

    Finger click not working

  31. Ravi, hook up a mouse through the USB drive and see if that works. That will narrow down the problem

  32. Ravi

    in mouse no problem.. only in touch laptop touch this problem..

    • It could be a driver issue. Go to the Acer website. Search your laptop and see if there are fixes they offer. If it’s still under warranty, have the seller swap it for you.

      I’ve heard of others with this problem. It’s not as unusual as you’d hope with laptops.

  33. Ravi

    k Mam Thks Lot .. One more doubt.. Am using data cardin my laptop.. shall i connect in my mobile via bluetooth using same data card.. if possible how can do that

    • Now you’re outside my expertise. When I get stuck on a problem, I google it and YouTube it. Often, you’ll find help. Good luck! Tech surely stretches the brain, doesn’t it?

  34. These are very frustrating issues!! visit yourpcproblems.com for professional technical support or any questions or email me at colin@yourpcproblems.com

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  37. mercury

    my computer having a green in the screen and i can’t read anymore the words in the screen because my screen is dancing …please can you help me

  38. Vaibhav Pate

    My PC sound system did not work well..
    i think i deleted some software by mistically…
    so, what i do now..

  39. Joshua A-Engtara

    My laptop does not shutdown. When you click shutdown, it rather restarts unless I use the power button to shut it. What is the problem and how can I resolve it?

    • Something in the shutdown routine is hanging it up. Ctrl+Alt+Del and see if you can identify it.

      • Joshua A-Engtara

        Your advice has not offered real solution to my problem. Are there other steps that I can take?

      • Twere me, I’d probably do a reformat (after running virus/malware checks, defragging, and cleaning out the computer of old files. If you download a lot (don’t know if you do), expect to reformat every 6-12 months. It’s a pain.

  40. Scott Wedgley

    I was charging my laptop when l noticed the laptop and the battery were extremely hot.now it won’t come on what do?

  41. rubatsiro

    I was using my computer and it shut suddenly.

  42. A very interesting blog you have got here, I personally am very comfortable with computers but its good to know that people actually respond and look over the web for such info. Highly appreciated.
    As a matter of fact, I also run my blog, http://www.technosomes.com | A Technology Blog..
    I wish you can take a look and maybe we can share some ideas on how to take it forward. Though the outlook is not entirely different.You being a veteran, it would be easy for you to assess my blog, and my writing style, provide some valuable feedback. Please write back to me..Appreciate your work here.
    Cheers !!

  43. prasanna

    hii mam, my computer back button is not working. So i am closing every application which is opened, What is the solution to make it work?

    • I’d reboot. If you don’t want to close everything down, do a right-click on the internet page. The drop down list provides the ‘back’ option.

  44. Pingback: What’s Trending on Ask a Tech Teacher « Jacqui Murray

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  46. Neelesh

    I use acer aspire 5755 laptop windows 7 ultimate os ….now my system turn on every time config.ini notepad comming….i try several times delete it startup folder & msconfig startup item config.ini disable it but nothing again and again its problem come…kindly help me

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  48. I want you to please help to list 20 problems of computers and solutions to them.

  49. The solutions provided above are very helpful. But for some computer problem such as BSOD’s, slow PC etc., one has to contact the expert to resolve the issue. I always prefer to call on the toll-free number of AskPCTechies to resolve the issue completely.

  50. aditya

    Hi i am adi from india. When i connect a LAN through a lan cord my pc dont show anything. Then i want to try update the driver but its not happening and saying windows cant update. Please help me to fix this problem. Thanks in advance

  51. Sayan Biswas

    sir, i have connected my pc to an android tab via a data cable. But after that my pc’s display changed, became greyish. tell me the solution of the problem.

  52. prince payeng

    my problem is that i have not any icon saw in my compter

  53. my laptop inspiron n4050 is making noise when i use internet it heats up and battery timing is decreasing day by day what should i done plz rply…

  54. tyla

    help me..i need it as soon as possible.what are the types of online computer problem and trousblehoot?? give me an example o..i dont understand much..i’m doing my assignment.

  55. mulugeta

    thank you! i need more on computer hardware problem and solution

  56. asutosh singh

    i started my computer after nearly 2 months and as soon as i started my pc a black screen appeared and it said error…disk failure or system not booted…..it also said media test failure and check ur cable…..pls help me..

  57. aniket

    i want a chart on the topic common computer problems

  58. Abdullah

    When I switch on the computer and turn on the cup the moniter doeanot turns on on the moniter it is written that “in power safe mode move your mouse or press any key of the keyboard and when I move the mouse nothing happens and my keyboard is new bit still there is no light flowing on it. Please help me.

  59. Prem

    Hi.. I m using samsung lap.. Last 2days i m switch on d lap bt display was not on.. I tried to press on button 60sec nd i removed my battery again i fixed.. Then also display was not on.. I checked ram also..pls gve me a solution…

  60. Sanjeev

    hi my hp loptop is not working properly when i open firefox it takes time too and sometime i get a message from my antivirus tat your computer might be at risk what to do?

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  62. grace

    what is the best anti virus that you use

  63. Bentone Basil

    thank u very much u’ve just made my work easy.

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