Weekend Question: What's a weird quirk your PC has?

PCG Jody

Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
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I ask the PCG staff a regular Weekend Question and post the answers on the site. If you'd like to throw in an answer here, I'll squeeze the best into the finished article!

This week's question is: What's a weird quirk your PC has?

"I love the idea of PCs as distinct from consoles in the sense that they're like the Millennium Falcon," says Evan Lahti, PC Gamer's editor-in-chief. "Occasionally we have to kick them to keep them running." Relying on a different sci-fi series for his analogy, Charlie Brooker once said "PCs are the ramshackle computers of the people", explaining that "Sometimes you have to slap it to make it work properly, just like the Tardis". Especially if you built it yourself, your PC probably has the equivalent of a wonky hyperdrive motivator. It doesn't work exactly the way it's supposed to, but you've learned to live with it. Like aging cars, or indeed people, the less reliable they become the more personality they have.
 
Computers are great, if you own them you can throw them down a set of stairs. You would get in trouble trying that with people...

My keyboard rgb doesn't load right with windows every day, I do know the fix but I haven't taken plunge as requires resetting keyboard and I don't want to set up colors again.
 
Computers are great, if you own them you can throw them down a set of stairs
"Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window."
—Steve Wozniak
you've learned to live with it
Only minor quirks with mine—I use it for work as well as play, so I iron out anything major asap.

Sometimes Fences messes up on boot—icons all over the screen like a normal person's *shudder* Only happens maybe once a month, and restoring previous 'snapshot' sorts it out in 20 seconds, so… yeah, I live with it.

Reminders pop up on screen in the middle of gameplay, aargh! Can't complain tho, their job after all is to pull me out of the game to do something useful—altho I still think useless is seriously underrated :)
 
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I have a laptop with Windows 11. I don't know if this is a Win 11 issue or not, but I have a few programs on my taskbar, which instead of launching the program, they launch the installation file for the program. I have no idea why it works this way. Some programs do work correctly, but not all. Never had this issue with any other Windows version.
 
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programs on my taskbar, which instead of launching the program, they launch the installation file for the program
That's probably what's called 'install on demand', likely there by default when you got the machine, or came with Win11 if you upgraded to it.

I'm on Win10 and have stumbled across it a couple of times—not sure, but I think it was for some things in MS Office.

I believe the idea is to make functionality available if you might need it, but not take up disk space by installing it in case you don't need it.
 
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Its more likely that they came with laptop and he just needs to install app or right click remove from taskbar
Win 11 didn't install anything like that on my pc. From what I have noticed in a year.

"Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window."
—Steve Wozniak
Steve had to tell him to stop suggesting that to new customers, The old Apple ii may not have survived the fall.
 
It's the Plex Media Player. So no it didn't come with Windows. I put the shortcut(that worked fine before) on the taskbar, but instead of doing what it did as a shortcut, launching the program, it now launches the installation app.
 
The front two USB ports don't work. I don't remember why, either there's no way to connect them to the mother board or it won't work even when connected. It's quite inconvenient, especially one of the back USB ports is broken too, so I can't plug in all of my devices at the same time, and the back doesn't have the little cover around the USB ports so switching stuff around always makes me worried I'm going to break something else.

My friend recently had a far more interesting problem where his SSD would stop being recognized by Windows after playing Vermintide 2 for a bit since the last patch. It doesn't do this with any other games as far as I'm aware and the SSD always comes back after a bit.
 
The front two USB ports don't work. I don't remember why, either there's no way to connect them to the mother board or it won't work even when connected. It's quite inconvenient, especially one of the back USB ports is broken too, so I can't plug in all of my devices at the same time, and the back doesn't have the little cover around the USB ports so switching stuff around always makes me worried I'm going to break something else.
thats not a quirk, thats a fault. Now all you need to do is cover pc in clothing and no one will notice... realises this doesn't fix PC but would make it quirky :)

Was backplate the word you were looking for?

I haven't had any broken external parts to PC, 1 broken exhaust fan is all I remember. Must just be lucky.
 
Sure its not the installer that isn't linked?

I don't see anything similar.
It only happens with Plex. If I right-click the shortcut on the taskbar, and select "go to file location", it takes me to the correct file. I usually just use the Windows button and start typing the the app name to start programs, but the only thing that shows up in search is the installation file. It only works if I delete the installation file from my download folder.
 
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McStabStab

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Every once in a while when I boot up my PC it doesn't go past the mobo screen. I just hit the button again for a quick power down and then a third time for another boot up and everything's gravy from there. It doesn't happen often enough that I've tried troubleshooting it, but if anyone here thinks it may be a more serious problem let me know!
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
My monitor does a weird thing once every month or two: a vertical column of pixels won't display where it should. Instead, it shows up on the far right side of the screen! Depending on what wallpaper I've got (if any), it may not be easy to see until I start reading text. I can fix it just by turning the monitor off and back on again.
 
it takes me to the correct file
You know that installers can be EXE files?
Sure its not the installer that isn't linked?
I bet that's it, must be…

If you want to fix it, the longer way:
Image your system disk;
Uninstall Plex;
Clean Registry;
Reinstall Plex, noting install folder—probably C:\Program Files (x86) or C:\Program Files;
Find the EXE in that folder which starts Plex when you click it;
With Plex running, r-click Taskbar icon and pin it.

I can't plug in all of my devices at the same time … switching stuff around always makes me worried I'm going to break something
You can plug them all in if you get a *powered* switch, like this one I use. Plug that into a USB port on the back of your PC—fyi USB ports on the back of a PC are generally better than those on front or top, so if some device doesn't work in front, try it on a back port.
 
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Plex - it could have been windows indexing being wrong too.

Maybe its the fact the oldest part on my PC is only 3 years old at most that I currently don't have anything to add. Apart from rgb problems. And Nvidia driver problems... but thats windows.
 
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thats not a quirk, thats a fault. Now all you need to do is cover pc in clothing and no one will notice... realises this doesn't fix PC but would make it quirky :)
Aren't pretty much all quirks also faults? So what makes a fault quirky?

Was backplate the word you were looking for?
Maybe? Backplate seems to refer to multiple parts in a computer. I meant one of these:

 
faults/quirks
Its a fine line, I think faults are things that are broken, quirks are little things it does but the parts still work. Like my keyboard works some days and others I have to mess with it. And mine is more laziness on my behalf.
Backplate
that is what I meant.
 
Aug 31, 2022
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My computer does not have any noticeable quirks yet (its still quite new so maybe soon) but I do have some funny quirks with my internet browser sometimes.
I’m using Opera and many many tabs at once and I‘ve realized that my browser decides depending on his mood whether to show me the layout of a page correctly or in freestyle.
People around me keep telling me to use Firefox instead… But honestly? I like these quirks. After all, when I‘m feeling stressed, I am also tending to squirl some of the phrases I‘m saying.
Also, the strange layout even made me curious to ask how the communication between a browser and a website does work. :) And being curious is one of the most important things to me.
When it comes to work though, I have started to use another browser for some parts to get my work done correctly. However, I know I will never feel as comfortable as with my own browser.
 
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When it comes to work though, I have started to use another browser for some parts to get my work done correctly
For what it's worth, I used Opera for years up to a few months ago—always worked fine for me. I still use Opera GX as my entertainment browser, mainly due to it being aimed at gamers with gaming-oriented features—very happy with it.

My default general browser is Vivaldi, which was launched by one of the founders of Opera—the aim was/is to get back many of the features which made Opera special in its earlier days. If browsing is a significant part of your work, then check out its features—it's aimed at advanced or tech users, and has loads of useful features.

Fyi when a site won't launch correctly in Opera/GX or Vivaldi, I've found it will launch in Edge. That's my secure browser for online financials, business operations etc, with a minimum of extensions installed. I don't know if it's the browser itself or the absence of most extensions which makes those rare sites function correctly.

many many tabs at once
I have found things seem to go better if I open a new browser window once I have 15-20 tabs open. I haven't researched it tho, so maybe it's just my perception or wishful thinking :)

being curious is one of the most important things to me
This is the place for you! We have many curious members ;)
 
You know that installers can be EXE files?
Yes, of course. I am not new to Windows. Been using computers since MS Dos 6.0.


I bet that's it, must be…
Nope, that's not it. It shouldn't be. Why does Windows link a shortcut to another file if I pin an app to the taskbar? It shouldn't happen. It doesn't happen with anything else. Of course, something does happen to make Win11. Maybe it is a Plex issue?

If it was linked to the installation file, it would have opened the installation file the first time, but it opens the program correctly at first. After a while, probably after a reboot, it opens the installation file. It only happens when I pin Plex to the taskbar, pin a shortcut to the or use the search function to start the app. Other shortcuts work fine.

If you want to fix it, the longer way:
Image your system disk;
Uninstall Plex;
Clean Registry;
Reinstall Plex, noting install folder—probably C:\Program Files (x86) or C:\Program Files;
Find the EXE in that folder which starts Plex when you click it;
With Plex running, r-click Taskbar icon and pin it.
Yeah, I've tried this once a long time ago. Didn't help.

It hasn't been a huge problem, as I hardly ever use Plex on my laptop(I use it on my Shield TV), but I've just found it annoying, as I usually just open apps by hitting the windows button and start typing the app name. Of course, that didn't work with Plex, as it just started the installation program. That's why I figured I'd just pin it to the taskbar(I'm all for using the least amount of clicks to open an app, yup lazy), but that didn't work either.

I did fix it yesterday by just deleting the installation file from my downloads folder. I figured, if the file doesn't exist, Windows 11 won't try to start it, and that worked. It's not a big deal, just annoying. Mostly annoying because I don't know why it happened.
 
I have this keyboard with 2 usb cables , the second one acts as a pass through for items plugged in it.

CORSAIR STRAFE Mechanical Gaming Keyboard - Red LED Backlit - USB Passthrough - Tactile and Quiet - Cherry MX Brown Switch (Renewed) : Amazon.co.uk

I dont use 2 cables or suppled software .

I have put the usb cable to the front of my pc so its easy to unplug , this is because i get up to use the pc and sometimes the red lights on the keyboard are doing the ripple pattern , if i start up the pc i know the keyboard wont let me type or click anything.

If this happens i unplug the keyboard , start the pc , wait a minute or so then plug it in , corsair dont know the answer to this.

ignore refurbished comments on site link i bought it new 6 years ago and its always been the same.
 
I am not new to Windows. Been using computers since MS Dos 6.0
Good to know :)
I pin an app to the taskbar
Okay, so you launched the app, and while running, located it's icon on Taskbar and pinned it. That's different to what I understood earlier.

deleting the installation file from my downloads folder
Am I reading correctly that you've done this more than once?
If yes, how/why does it reappear?

Unpin from Taskbar;
Delete install file;
Run Plex;
Pin that icon.

If that doesn't fix it, I'm missing something—or as you say, maybe Flex is doing something odd. Have you looked in their forums?

PS I'm on Win10, I have a faint memory of reading Win11 has reduced Taskbar functionality—maybe there's something there I don't know about.
 
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