Computer Hardware Repair

What is PC equipment? Equipment segments like the screen, console, CPU (Central Processing Unit), mouse, and other I/O (Input-Output) gadgets constitute a PC. The working of the screen, console, mouse, and I/O gadgets depends generally upon the CPU. Because of some minor causes, as free associations or tidy immersion, any of them can quit working.

Faults occurring in the CPU are most hazardous, as it has a very complicated structure. The CPU is an assembly of the motherboard, hard disk drive (HDD), random access memory (RAM), compact disc-read only memory (CD-ROM) drive, and the floppy drive. Unless you are well-acquainted with the CPU hardware, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint exactly where the fault has occurred. If any one of these components fail to perform, there are a few repair tips that can be followed. In order to view the circuitry inside the CPU, its casing has to be removed.

Motherboard
The entire functioning of the computer depends on this component. The processor chipset, that performs all the logical operations of the PC, is embedded in the motherboard. Ribbon cables, power supply, CPU, and RAM are the things to be checked first on the motherboard. Check if any of the ribbon cables or the power supply cord is loose. Check if the RAM chip has been misplaced from its slot. The CPU (chipset embedded in the board) will not show any marks on the outside if it is blown. The only way to check whether the CPU is working or not, is to test it by mounting it on the motherboard of another PC. The motherboard has a real-time clock, ROM BIOS, CMOS RAM, RAM sockets, CPU sockets or slots, cache RAM slots, keyboard controller, interrupts, internal connectors, and external connectors mounted on it. Do not tamper with these components, unless you know each and every one of it well. Do not touch the motherboard without turning off the power.

Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
Also known as hard drive, it is the long-term storage device of the system. If the hard drive cannot be detected, check the jumper setting. The jumper setting can change the mode of the hard disk from master to slave or vice-versa. Make sure the Windows version being used for partitioning is consistent. Check that each drive has been assigned a drive-type. Make sure the pin numbers of the plug are attached to the corresponding pin numbers of the socket. Do not force the plug into the socket with extra force, the pins may bend. If the plug is not fitting perfectly in the socket, try inserting it again by flipping it over. Do not attempt to open the hard drive without enough knowledge of its components.

Random Access Memory (RAM)
It is the temporary memory of the PC. The data in the RAM is erased when the computer is shut down. Check if the RAM is misplaced from its slot. While replacing the RAM in its slot, check the small niche at the center of the chip (the niche indicates how the RAM is supposed to be placed in the slot and may not be at the exact mid position of the chip-strip). Do not forget to secure the side clips that hold the chip in place. If you are unable to secure them, it means that the chip is not placed correctly in the slot.

Compact Disc-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) Drive
Data stored on external storage device like compact discs (CD) is read by inserting the CD in the CD drive. If the CD drive is not functioning, check if the CD is scratched. If the CD works fine in another PC, check if the power cable of the former drive is loose. Check if the plug and socket pin numbers match. If the tray of the drive is not opening, right click on CD-ROM icon and select eject option. If the tray does not open, insert a straight thin metal pin into the edge and try to pull it open. Do not apply too much of force while doing so. Avoid connecting the CD-ROM drive on the same controller cable as the primary hard drive, this will slow down its performance.

Floppy Drive
If the floppy disk is not opening, try opening it in the floppy drive of another PC. If the disk does not open, then it is probably corrupt. If the disk is stuck in the drive, hold down the eject button for sometime or right click on floppy drive icon and select eject option. If the disk is still stuck, wiggle it up and down till it can be ejected or use tweezers to pull it out. Do not apply too much of force while doing so.

In order to avoid any kind of faults, following maintenance tips can be followed:

  • Do not let dust saturate on the motherboard. Clean it with a vacuum cleaner or a hand broom once in 2 to 3 months.
  • The hard drive mostly does not need any external cleaning, though by performing de-fragmentation and disk clean, it can be prevented from crashing.
  • In the case of the CD-ROM, do not pull the tray forcibly. Make use of the insert/eject button rather than pulling and pushing the tray.
  • Clean the tray once in a while. Do not keep any heavy object on the tray. Avoid running scratched or damaged CDs in the CD-ROM.
  • If the CPU fan is making too much noise, unmount it and oil the bearings.
  • Do not attempt to start the PC if the fan is not in a working condition.
  • If the fault persists, contact professional services. Also make a note of what exactly is happening when you start the PC. It makes the diagnosis a lot easier for the professional.

The CPU is the brain of the computer. Proper maintenance of the CPU, as well as all other components, enhances the computer performance.

Computer Hardware Troubleshooting Tips

It’s surely disappointing to experience some equipment issues when are you amidst some critical work on the PC. The article beneath gives you some convenient PC equipment investigating tips and devices.

The computer hardware includes devices, such as the mouse, keyboard, monitor, printer, scanner, etc. All are machines and are bound to face technical issues at some point or the other. However, you can perform some basic computer troubleshooting tips to make them functional. If they don’t seem to work with the troubleshooting tools, you need to send them for hardware repair. The paragraphs below offer some quick tips for the various hardware devices.

Monitor

  • If the monitor is not working, the first thing you need to do is to ensure that it has been turned on by pressing the on/off button.
  • Next, check if the cable, which connects the computer monitor and the CPU is connected properly. If not, connect it in a proper manner, or remove and plug it in again.
  • Also, make sure that the cord, which is used to power the monitor is plugged in the UPS the right way.
  • If these tactics do not work, you need to check both the cables on a different monitor, which is in a working condition.
  • If the other monitor doesn’t work with any one of the cords, that cable needs to be replaced. If the other monitor works with both cords, there is possibly a problem in your monitor.
  • You may also restart your computer and then check whether the monitor is working or not.
  • If none of these tips work out, you may have to consult a professional technician.

Keyboard

  • The keyboard is an important part of the computer, without which you cannot perform several tasks. It should be kept away from dust and dirt to ensure proper functioning.
  • If it doesn’t work, you first need to check its connection with the CPU. If the connection is fine and it still does not work, simply try to connect it to another PS/2 socket or USB port (in case of a USB keyboard).
  • In case of wireless keyboards, special drivers are needed to be installed in the computer for proper functioning. Ensure that such drivers are installed.
  • Also, make a point to check whether the drivers are updated. Hold the keyboard in an inverted manner and remove the dust or debris, which is hampering the proper working of a key or a set of keys. You can also remove dust with the help of a vacuum cleaner or an air compressor.

Mouse

  • If the cursor on the screen is not moving in a smooth manner, you need to check for dust or any residue on the trackball rollers, which enable the computer to accurately identify the movement of the mouse.
  • Remove the rear mouse cover, which will let the ball come out, clean the trackball if needed, remove the dust or residue, put the ball in again, and finally put the cover back. Check whether this works.
  • If the cursor doesn’t move at all, check whether the mouse is correctly connected to the CPU.
  • If it’s a USB mouse, try to use a different USB port.
  • There could also be the potential threat of a virus if the mouse pointer doesn’t work in an acceptable manner. If so, run an updated anti-virus software and delete the virus as soon as possible.
  • Check if the mouse drivers are corrupted, if yes, reinstall them.

Printer

  • If the printer doesn’t work, there is a possibility of a paper jam, which normally occurs if the papers are not placed in the tray in a right manner.
  • In case of bigger printers, you may need to open various printer parts to get to the place where there is a paper jam. This exclusively has to be done by a professional printer technician.
  • Don’t use tools to remove the paper jam, as some components may get damaged during the process.
  • If the printer doesn’t turn on, the power cord may be loose, and needs to be plugged in properly. The cord which connects the printer to the computer also needs to be checked.

These are some of the very common computer hardware troubleshooting steps, which can be followed before taking the PC to a professional hardware repair shop.

Careers in Computer Hardware Engineering

In straightforward words, PC equipment architects are individuals, who deal with all PC equipment upkeep, they are alloted to. To enter this field, one compulsorily needs solid specialized information of PCs. A product PC architect may not know much about PC equipment, but rather a PC equipment designer is very much aware of how programming functions. This learning helps him take care of equipment issues all the more proficiently and responsively.

Professionals in this field are responsible for carrying out research, contriving, participating in the development, and examining the installation, troubleshooting, and maintenance of all computer hardware. They are directly related to the care and maintenance of computer chips, motherboards, network components and devices, servers, databases, keyboards, modems, printers, scanners, and many more computer peripherals. The speedy advancements in information technology are predominately the outcomes of hardworking efforts made by these professionals.

Due to a rapid change in several technologies, computer hardware engineers are required to update their knowledge base accordingly, so that they can provide every possible service to their clients and customers. In this regards, they are offered technical trainings by companies which they work in. Companies also allow continuing technical education to upgrade their knowledge and skills. This all is done because the company needs their engineers to use their skills and provide maximum services, which may in turn have a good effect on other employees’ performance in the company.

The number of these engineers working at present is lower in comparison to other professionals in the IT field. According to a survey conducted in 2002, they collectively hold approximately 74,000 positions. Out of them, 40% engineers were operating in computer and electronics facilities, whereas 1/4th were providing their services in ‘scientific’ and ‘technical service’ companies that were associated to the IT industry. Others were catering to technical needs of several telecommunication giants. Nowadays, computer hardware engineers might have to pass through tough competition, as the number of degrees granted in the information technology sector has increased enormously. The job advancements principally depend on the years of experience in the same field along with required qualifications. If you desire to get into a computer hardware career, you are required to at least own a bachelor’s degree in the engineering field.

A prospective hardware engineer should also have a liking towards work and learning new technologies. Computer hardware engineers should have the capability of troubleshooting and finding potential problems as soon as possible to preclude severe loss in deliverables. Their working time is never fixed and may change according to the requirements of their services. They may be called upon by their respective employers in case of a technical problem in the server or database, which would be causing a problem to the company employees in carrying out their duties. Hardware engineers are required to have perceivable oral and acceptable written communication skills, to communicate with affected users, so as to interpret what issues they actually face. The main attraction in this profession is the pay scale. Referring to the salary survey stats of 2006, these engineers earned a handsome salary which was around $70,000 to $110,000 per annum.

With a rapid increase in the use of information technology among several industries around the globe, there is certainly a high possibility of an increase in the job opportunities of computer hardware engineers.

Tips to Computer Software and Hardware Installation

In today’s day and age, PCs have turned into an a vital part of our lives. We can discover them wherever around us. They have an assortment of huge and imperative applications in a few distinct fields, including enterprises, horticulture, inquire about, drug, and so forth.

For most of us however, the term computer signifies the PCs that we use at our homes and offices. We use them to watch movies, listen to songs, play games, make work-related documents, etc. It is really impossible to carry on our daily lives, both at our homes and our workplaces, without computers.

Since we use computers so extensively, it is necessary that we have some understanding about at least the installation of its basic components, namely the hardware and software. This knowledge can prove to be vital, especially when we wish to upgrade our PCs.

In the very basic sense, computer software constitutes the programs that run in it, while hardware constitutes the monitor, keyboard, and all the other peripheral devices that are connected to it. Both these components are essential for the working of any computer system.

In the following sections, we give you an overview of the generic procedure for the installation of both, the software and the hardware in your computer.

Computer Software Installation

The operating system of your computer is an important factor to be considered when you install any software. It is the base program, which is designed to manage the hardware and software resources in your computer.

Before you install a software, the first important step is to check the configuration of your computer, and the system requirements of the software. The configuration of your computer must match the requirements of the software to be installed.

Sometimes, the software to be installed is compressed in a .RAR or .ZIP file. In these cases, before installation, you have to uncompress these files and folders. For doing this it is essential that you have a decompression software application installed on your computer.

Every computer software comes with a ‘Read me’ file. This ‘Read me’ file contains all the instructions that are required for running the installation procedure. Sometimes, when you install a software, it may ask you to install another program that is required for the proper execution of the software. The computer may even prompt you to install the supporting software after you complete the installation.

Before you install any software program, it is advisable to close all other programs and utilities. Some Antivirus software applications may require you to turn off the firewall and disable the Antivirus in order to install it. Especially when installing software applications related to computer networking or web browsing, it is recommended that you disable the Antivirus and the firewall before proceeding. Finally, to complete the installation, you may require to restart your system.

Computer Hardware Installation

With advancing technology, the computer peripherals are frequently upgraded, and many newer and better ones are made available each day. To install one or more of them to your existing system, you need to first unplug all the power cords of your computer that are connected to the mains, before moving on to connecting the hardware.

The hardware package may include an accompanying CD that contains the software which will help your computer’s OS in recognizing the new hardware. Install this software before you connect the hardware to the computer, which must be restarted after a CD installation is complete. There are two different types of computer hardware. They are as follows:

External Hardware
The external hardware involves all the peripherals that are connected to the desktop computer externally, via various ports. These are the USB, serial and parallel port, Firewire, Bluetooth, PS/2 and PC card. The external hardware installation can be done by a lay user, even without much knowledge of computers. They can be connected to the computer directly once it is switched off.

Internal Hardware
The internal hardware is a bit complicated and requires some basic knowledge about the computer internals. The CPU cabinet has to be opened by removing the side panels. Then you are required to identify the slot in which you have to plug your hardware. After that, you have to plug in the hardware that is to be installed and ensure that it has fit properly into its slot.

Once the hardware is installed, the side panel and the screws need to be replaced into their original places, and all the wires have to be connected to their respective slots. The power cord can then be plugged back into the mains and the computer can be switched on.

Most computer software and hardware installation can easily be carried out with the help of some basic knowledge of computers. If an installation procedure seems too complicated, you should ask a professional to install or help you with it.