How to Fix Hardware Issues on a Windows PC

1 Basic Hardware Issues

PCs are great when they work as intended but they can also be frustrating when they don't. Most issues encountered on a PC are software related, however, once in a while they may have hardware related issues as well.

This guide will help you resolve some of the hardware issues you may encounter with your PC.
Hardware error.

? What type of issue are you having with your PC?

  1. PC not powering up
  2. Having video issues
  3. Having audio issues
  4. Network connectivity issues
  5. Peripheral not working with PC

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PCs are great when they work as intended but they can also be frustrating when they don't. Most issues encountered on a PC are software related, however, once in a while they may have hardware related issues as well.

This guide will help you resolve some of the hardware issues you may encounter with your PC.
Hardware error.

Please make sure the wall socket or power strip you are using is powering up other devices.

For a desktop PC:

  1. The power cable looks like below.
    Desktop PC power cable.
  2. Make sure one end is properly plugged into a working power socket.
  3. Make sure the other end is properly plugged into the power supply on the rear side of the PC.
    Backside of a desktop PC with power connector highlighted.
  4. Some power supplies have an I/O switch. Ensure this is set to the on position. If the I (1) is pressed in, it means the power supply is turned on. If the O (2) is pressed in, the power supply is not powered on.
    Power supply IO switch.

For a laptop PC:

  1. The power adapter looks like below:
    • One connector (1) plugs into the laptop
    • The other connector (2) plugs into the power socket
    • And sometimes, a third (3) connector plugs into the adapter itself
    Laptop PC power sypply with annotated connectors.
  2. Make sure all connectors are plugged in properly.
  1. If you have a desktop computer, unplug the tower from the power outlet. If it is a laptop computer, unplug its charger.
    Power cable unplugged from power outlet.
  2. If you have a laptop with a removable battery, remove the battery as well. Flip the lock switch then pull the battery out. Certain laptops may have a second lock switch that needs to be held while removing the battery.
    Battery being removed from laptop.
  3. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds then release it.
  4. If you removed the battery from a laptop, you can insert it back in it's place and lock it in.
  5. Plug the computer back into the power outlet and press the power button to turn it on.
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Before you restart or shut down your PC, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.
  1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Power Button
  2. Select Restart.
    Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.
  1. Remove the power cable from both your modem and router.
    Modem and router power cycle procedure.

  2. Verify all lights are off on the modem and router.
  3. After 30 seconds, plug in your modem and then your router.
  4. It may take a few minutes for the internet to reconnect.

Devices can be connected to a network in two ways:

Wired
EthernetWired, using an Ethernet cable.
Wireless
W-FiWirelessly, using Wi-Fi.
Ethernet connection with router being checked.

Make sure your device is properly connected to the router with the Ethernet cable by trying the following:

  • Unplug it and plug it back in firmly or plug it into another available numbered LAN port on the router.
  • Alternatively, you can replace the Ethernet cable, if you have a spare.
  1. Click or tap the Wi-Fi icon in the system tray area, at the bottom right corner of the screen.
    Wi-Fi menu on Windows 10 with steps highlighted to forget network.
  2. Right-click or tap and hold the name of the Wi-Fi network that you want to remove.
  3. Then choose Forget from the drop down menu.
  4. The Wi-Fi network is immediately removed from the list of known networks.
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If you haven't already, please try power cycling the device you're working with.

  1. Turn off your device.
    Power
  2. Wait ten seconds.
    Wait 10 seconds
  3. Turn your device on again.
    Power
Before you restart or shut down your PC, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.
  1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Power Button
  2. Select Restart.
    Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.
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Disconnect the USB device from your computer.
USB device being unplugged from USB port.
  1. Connect your USB device into the USB port.
    USB device being plugged into USB port.
  2. Windows will automatically recognize the device and set it up for you.
    Automatic device setup in Windows.

If Windows does not detect the device when plugged back in, plug the device into a different USB port to see if Windows is able to recognize it.

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