PC Help Center

Answers to Personal Computing Questions

Hardware Questions

1. How do I play a CD/DVD without an optical drive?
2. Will adding more RAM make my computer faster?
3. How important is a backlit keyboard?
4. What is the safe operating temperature range for a computer?
5. What is the hidden SSID of my Wi-Fi router?
6. How do I play or burn a CD/DVD if my computer doesn't have a CD/DVD drive?
7. What is my router password?
8. Do I need a data plan for a tablet?
9. What is the difference between DVD and USB?
10. Can I upgrade my computer's CPU from an i3 to an i5 processor?
11. Where is the return key on my keyboard?
12. How can I tell if my modem has a built-in wireless router?
13. What is the difference between a switch and a router?
14. How close should I put two computer towers next to each other?
15. What key do I press to enter the BIOS at startup?
16. What is the difference between a router and a modem?
17. Why is my computer's USB connection slow?
18. Should I get the Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + Cellular iPad?
19. How do I know if my computer has a high-speed port?
20. What is the difference between an integrated and a non-integrated system board?
21. Can I use different keyboards with my computer?
22. What does POST mean in reference to a computer's boot process?
23. Can I change my computer's MAC address?
24. What is the difference between SDRAM and VRAM?
25. Why does my cable appear to be missing pins?
26. What are primary and secondary storage devices?
27. What do the terms Mk2 and Mk3 mean?
28. How do I check how much memory my computer has?
29. Why won't my computer boot up after I installed new memory?
30. What does it mean to "power cycle" a device?
31. How can I tell if my CD/DVD drive burns CDs or DVDs?
32. What is the difference between the DVD-R and DVD+R formats?
33. What is the difference between Firewire 1394a and 1394b?
34. How can I print to a printer connected to an Airport Base Station?
35. How can I tell if a memory module is ECC parity RAM or non-ECC non-parity RAM?
36. Can I replace non-ECC memory with ECC memory?
37. What are some examples of computer peripheral devices?
38. How do find out how much RAM my computer has and how much it is using?
39. How can I upgrade my computer to USB 2.0?
40. Can I use a generic v.92 modem from Wal-Mart in my Dell computer?
41. What is the difference between physical memory and available memory?
42. What is the difference between memory and hard disk space?
43. What do I need in order to burn my own CDs?
44. What is the difference between an AGP and a PCI graphics card?
45. Will a USB 1.0 or 1.1 device work with my computer that only has USB 2.0 ports?
46. What are the Alt (Option) and Control (Ctrl) keys for?
47. Can I fax a document without a fax machine?
48. What does it mean when a computer is "low on resources?"
49. What is the difference between burning and ripping?
50. Can I put my computer (tower) on its side, or does it need to stand up?
51. Why is my mouse jumpy?
52. Is it possible to increase the number of available PCI slots on my computer?
53. What is the difference between AGP and PCI graphics cards?
54. Why won't my scanner work?
55. Why do videos run slow on my computer?
56. What is the difference between the AMD Athlon and Intel Pentium processors?
57. What does scalable mean, in reference to a computer?