Most of us own at least one computer, which might take the form of a desktop PC, a laptop or even a tablet, and much like everything else in this world, computers can and do malfunction. This applies to both hardware and software and this article is more focused on computer hardware (Look at this article “how can computer recycling help the environment” to get rid of your old PC).
Essential Computer Hardware
Fortunately, there are online suppliers of computer hardware and once you have diagnosed which component is faulty, all it takes to find a replacement is a Google search, and as most components are plug & play, you simply affix the new component and the computer recognises it and installs the software automatically.
Here is a list of key computer hardware components:
- Mainboard – This is the foundation for the many various computers to sit into, and each has its own plug that is different to the others, which means you cannot install the component in the wrong location.
- Central Processing Unit (CPU) – This is the very core of your computer, as the CPU processes all the data and sends it to the correct path, while this component is also one of the most expensive computer hardware items, depending on the specifications.
- Solid State Drives (SSD) – If your computer is a few years old, it might not have solid state drives, but the old spinning hard drive and if a drive malfunctions, it cannot usually be repaired and you might need a specialist to recover the data. Newer computers have solid state drives’ typically two for each computer, one for the OS and one for data storage.
- VGA Card – The video card is responsible for sending the data to the monitor and if you are planning to play games on your computer, you will need a VGA card with enough power to refresh at high rates. If the video card malfunctions, you will likely see a pixelated screen, which tells you the card is not responding, and sometimes reseating the card into the slot cures the problem.
- Random Access Memory – These chips slot into the mainboard and should one malfunction, the operating system would notify you and you can look in systems to determine whether the RAM chips are all working as they should be. Xmas is just around the corner and here are a few great tech gift ideas for those who love gadgets.
- Power Supply – In the event you turn on the computer and there are no power lights that come on, this means your power supply unit is defective. This is not an expensive piece of kit and you can order one from the online computer hardware supplier.
Troubleshooting Computer Issues
If the computer boots up normally, then you can look in systems settings, specifically the device manager, which will inform you of the status of each component. Windows, in particular has great fault-finding systems that will scan each component to check if it is working as it should.