Top 4 Laptop Computer Hardware Problems

Laptop computers are the popular digital means in our technological world. They are small, folding, portable and performing basic and even more functions than desktops. However, as every item, they break, fail and malfunction. What are the most common laptop hardware problems that give the biggest headache to users? Here is the list:

1. The most frequent trouble with laptops is broken screen hinges with possible screen fracture. As we know laptop performs two functions. First, it processes the information, using the hard drive, RAM memory, processor and other units attached to the motherboard. Second, the whole information is displayed on the flat possibly LCD (or other) screen, which is connected with the main system through hinges, that might also hide all the wires. It is one of the most sensitive parts and cracks very often. Putting a laptop carelessly on a coffee table, with the wires all around, or letting your cat or dog or children walk or run around the wires is enough to attribute your computer to be the most likely to break. If it is not folded, when you are not working with it – the chances are even greater. Therefore, please be careful, when placing your laptop – you paid some money for it, after all.

2. Broken laptop DC jack socket. Laptop users could be very happy if their computers did not have wires at all. However, it is still a challenge for the future generations. So far we have to use DC adapters with wires and hence are limited referring to the energy source. If you don’t notice it while walking and pull it strongly, the jack could break. If your wire is not folded near the jack, the pulling out will not hurt, except for lost data, in case you don’t use battery. Otherwise – it could be broken.

3. Spilled liquid on a laptop keyboard is one of the most common problems. If you happened to spill some water or another quickly evaporating liquid – turn off your PC as quick as possible and try to absorb the spilled liquid with some kind of sponge or cloth. Do not try to tilt it, as you will only distribute the liquid across the motherboard. Try to remove a laptop keyboard and some cover to see how serious is the damage. Leave it to evaporate, you can use some heating source to quicken the process, just don’t apply it too close, or some parts will melt. If it is juice, tea or coffee with sugar – it might be more difficult to fix it. Sugar and other minerals do not melt; they stay inside the laptop or between the keyboard keys. In that case you might have to replace the whole laptop keyboard or even more parts. To avoid this kind of trouble – do keep your coffee cup at a distance from your computer.

4. Fallen keys from a keyboard. This kind of trouble is easy to fix. You can do it by yourself, just watch some YouTube videos on how to replace or nest the keys in your model. If you lost them – no problem, you could easily buy separate keys in the internet – eBay is of great help here.

Computer Hardware and Safety Redundancy in Aerospace Computer Systems Considered

When designing computer system for aerospace and aviation uses the technology must be very robust. Consider if you will lightning strikes to air traffic control radars, aircraft, and the freezing temperatures aircraft fly through at 36,000 feet. Okay so, let’s talk a little about the need for redundancy, back-up systems, and how to make such systems 100% reliable or Six Sigma + if you will meaning 99.999% safe and secure.

Not long ago, I was discussing all this with a fellow think tanker, Troy Laclaire from Northern Nevada. Specifically we were discussing the issue of upgrading and advancing the current air traffic control system, and all the aircraft automated systems to correspondence those upgrades, along with all the training which would be required. Troy stated; “unfortunately, you probably are not going to get 100% out of any one system, but instead need to have a layered system in place, and make sure that all pilots are familiar with all systems.” True enough and well said.

Well, I am all for “responsible redundancy” – but not just redundancy for the sake of the “Ramans” in Arthur C Clarke’s novels, triple redundancy can save your ass, but it can also make you more accepting of failure of your core systems or allow you to not try to seek Six Sigma level uptime. Troy laughed and said; “ah the Ramans, great engineers (or were they?) but a bit on the secretive side. Really should have been made into a movie. Well, there does reach a point where you can have too much redundancy yes, but you need to be sure to train and practice as if that redundancy was not there.”

He is right isn’t he, you know it is sometimes I think that is one of the problems with NASA, and why they are always over budget, and to safety conscience. After all, at some point there are some risks which are acceptable, and you have to take those risks. And really here is the problem with relying on redundancy as Troy so wisely notes;

You also need to insure that you have 100% uptime of all systems, regardless of what type of redundancy you may have in place, however there is the mentality some people have of “eh, if it fails, there’s 2 more”.

Yes, that’s true too isn’t it, and I think that’s the difference between the way the Russians think with their engineering and how the Americans have come to think over the years. It’s a totally different mindset, both ways work, and in certain instances, they work better, and in some instances they don’t work as well.

Really this is just engineering philosophy, which is something they probably should be teaching when they teach new aerospace engineers, but I don’t know if they do or not. It’s definitely something I used to think about what we design new equipment for our mobile car washing rigs (before retirement I franchised mobile car wash units). There were always ways to ‘duct tape and bailing wire engineer” something to get you through the day until you could fix a piece of equipment which had broken on the job.

Sometimes knowing how to bypass things and work around other issues help a lot, but to do so you have to understand the system quite well to. And many of these systems on these airliners are so complicated that the pilots don’t understand the systems as well as they should. Although they do go through lots of training so they understand the systems, it’s important that they pay attention.

In fact, I can remember my dad used to post entire control panels made out of paper on the wall, and read potential problems and go through checklists so he knew them by heart, without having to look. He took his job very seriously, and I don’t think a lot of other pilots did. But I know most of the military pilots do as they’ve been in severe situations, in-flight emergencies, and they know that should happen.

Troy is right, redundancy is wise, but each redundant system must also be fool-proof when it comes to aerospace software and hardware solutions. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this.

Computer Hardware – Building a Computer

When building a computer, there are a number of different pieces of hardware you will need. I will first list all the required items.

– Computer Case
– Motherboard
– CPU & Fan
– Hard Drive
– CD Drive

Computer Case
This one is pretty easy to choose, just go for one you like the look of and make sure there is enough room for your motherboard. They usually always give you the dimensions of the case and motherboard, so just make sure they fit.

The motherboard is probably the main part of your computer as it connects everything together and allows them to communicate. Everything plugs into the motherboard.

CPU & Fan
The CPU or central processing unit is the brain of the system, it is where all the calculations take place. One of the hottest components of a computer is the CPU so it requires its own fan.

Hard Drive
The hard drive is where all your information is stored. So the bigger the hard drive the more documents, music, videos etc you can have.

CD Drive
You don’t really have to have a CD drive, however this is the easiest way to install your operating system. You can also install your operating system through USB pen.

The RAM or random access memory is where any running programs are stored, so if you were using a word processor such as Microsoft Word, whilst this is being used it would be running in RAM, so the more RAM you have the more programs you can run without affecting your systems performance too much and slowing down your computer.

How to Make the Most of Your Computer Hardware

Once you have unpacked your Personal Computer and set up the different hardware elements, it’s worth taking the time to get to know exactly what each part does. All personal computers have the same basic elements. Knowing how they fit together and operate as a unit, and understanding where you fit into the picture will help you and your family to get the most out of home computing.

Your computer is simply a tool that, given the correct instructions and data, will make your day to day life easier and more enjoyable. You enter instructions and information into the computer via the mouse and keyboard. The results can be seen on your monitor’s screen and printed out on your printer.

The most important part of the computer, the system unit, links all these elements together. Whatever make of computer you have, it will have these same key components that allow you to use it. Although most computers look similar, there are variations between models, so always check instructions in the computer manual to make sure you’re using your computer correctly. Here is how you can get the most out of your PC by understanding the purpose of each part:

– Monitor. Your monitor is home to the computer screen, which shows you what your computer is doing. The screen comes in different sizes and, in the interest of preventing eyestrain, the bigger the better. Screens are measured in inches, diagonally. A 15 inch screen or larger is the ideal choice. Your monitor do have their own power switch.

– Mouse. Your mouse is use to select items on screen and move the text cursor. A text cursor is a flashing line that identifies where new text appears. Basically you move the mouse around with your hand and a mouse pointer moves around on the screen, allowing you to select menus and click on commands.

– Keyboard. You use the keyboard for typing in data and commands and has the familiar typewriter keys. On the right is a separate numeric keypad, plus navigation keys with arrows that help you to move around the screen. There is also a series of function keys along the top that allow you to give special commands.

– Printer. You need a printer to put your work on paper. The two main types are laser and inkjet. Laser printers produce better quality print-outs and have the fastest printing speeds. However, they tend to be more expensive, especially color models. Inkjet printers are cheaper and most can print in color. Unless you are printing hundreds of pages a week, an inkjet printer will almost certainly meet you needs.

– The system unit. This is where all the cables plug in. Whether your system unit is on its side like a desktop unit or its end like a tower unit, it acts in the same way. The system unit also contains disk drives like a floppy disk drive and a CD Rom drive.

In summary, your hardware is the actual body of the computer system, comprising the system unit and all the elements that you can plug into it. It also determines which type of operating system you can use.

An Introduction to Computers: Computer Hardware Basics

Computers run our society these days. And as they become faster and more useful in nearly every aspect of our lives, it is imperative to learn about them. Having a basic understanding of their make-up and what each of their parts does will allow you to use the machines more effectively for your daily needs.The main part of a computer is the system unit or tower. This plastic and metal case houses the integral parts of a system. The main, and most important, part in the tower is the motherboard. This device is the figurative backbone of a computer. All other devices connect to it in some way, usually by an opening called a port.

Internal Components

The devices connected to a motherboard include the hard drive where data is stored, and RAM, which is the memory that allows programs to run. You also have video cards that allow your monitor to display graphics, sound cards that process data to output sound from speakers, and network cards that provide you access to other computers or networks, such as the internet.

Also located inside the tower are other disk drives, such as CD players, DVD players, and Blu-Ray players. Most computers today come with DVD or Blu-Ray players that are backwards-compatible, meaning they can play older CD’s. Internal fans or liquid cooling systems are used to decrease the temperature of running components, protecting them from malfunction due to excessive heat. Finally, the power supply accepts electricity from an outlet and converts it to a current that can be used by a computer.

External Components

A traditional desktop computer usually has several other main components. These include the monitor, mouse, and keyboard. Of course, nowadays, with tablet PCs and laptops, this does not apply to all computers.

There have been several types of monitors in the last 30 years or so. The first of these was the old CRT model, like older televisions. These had limited resolution and color output compared to newer screens. Today, most monitors are either LCD or LED screens that have much higher resolution and color output. Some of these monitors on the market have resolutions of 2550 pixels x 1440 pixels, a considerable difference from the current 1920 pixel x 1080 pixel hi-definition televisions.

As for input devices, a mouse and keyboard are still the standard of today. A mouse is used to control programs through a point-and-click interface. This works well with visually focused programs where you can click buttons and navigate the screen with ease. Mice can be either wired or wireless and usually have one or more buttons for selecting and a track ball for easily scrolling up and down pages.

A keyboard contains many keys, or buttons, that are used to interact with programs. They are best used for text-based programs but are also used with video games or hybrid programs like word processors, where you select buttons with a mouse and then type with a keyboard. There are many types of keyboards. Like mice, there are wired and wireless kinds. There are ergonomically designed ones for comfort. Some are foldable and even soft and bendable.

Those are the major internal and external components of computers today. Having a basic understanding of these complex machines, as well as how to properly use them, will help you stay ahead in an ever-changing, technological world.

How to Dress for a Computer Hardware Job

How to Dress for a Computer Hardware Job. Dressing for a computer hardware job is driven by your specific duties, but following a few basic guidelines will keep you safe and not embarrassed. Whether a technician or an engineer, a computer hardware job can require certain activities that need the appropriate dress. Crawling under desks, reaching, bending, bending over to look behind the hardware, stooping and many other minor office acrobatics may be required and if not dressed appropriately, wardrobe malfunctions could be workplace fodder for many days.

Follow the company’s dress code closely until you have a better idea of the culture and how folks interpret the rules. Casual days can mean different things at different companies, from shorts and flip flops to jeans and short sleeved collared shirts with casual shoes. Use the example of your co-workers and bosses when deciding on your wardrobe. Start at the conservative end and loosen up as you understand the culture.

Avoid jewelry that can get caught, or worse, cause a short to you or the hardware when bending over pieces and parts of computers. If you can’t lose the necklace, at least tuck it in your shirt when troubleshooting. Neckties are also a danger for getting caught where you don’t want them to, tuck them into the middle of your shirt or don’t wear them if not required. Don’t forget to un-tuck them if you are meeting customers or vendors.

Keep the skirt length long enough to not distract your co-workers while bending or stooping. Even if your skirt meets the dress code length requirement, make sure that if you are on your hands and knees plugging something in that people are still focused on their own duties, not your backside. Granted, the attention might be fun, but it’s not the best approach to making sure you are known for your skills.

Do not show your cleavage or underpants. None of these are appropriate for your co-workers. Get a belt and save the party clothes for the nightlife. Be judged for your and work not your sex appeal (or lack of).

Make sure to test your work wardrobe before buying by bending over, stooping, sitting and crossing your legs in the dressing room. If you cannot comfortably do these things without flashing or binding yourself, keep trying.

Wearing closed toed shoes may be required if you spend time on factory floors. Find out about this before investing in lots of shoes. As well, know how much time you will be on your feet and if it’s carpet or hard surfaces. Having comfortable feet will make your happier through the day.

Uses of Computer Hardware Components

In computing, hardware refers to all the physical, tangible components that take up space. Unlike software, which are programs necessary for the computer to run, hardware can be seen and touched. All computers, whether desktop or laptop, have some common hardware components, the only difference being the size and capabilities of the individual components. In a desktop computer, the tower casing houses internal components such as the hard disk, RAM, motherboard and optical drives, while the peripheral devices such as the monitor, keyboard and mouse are external components.

Hard Disk
The hard disk drive is a rectangular, metallic box found inside a desktop computer’s tower casing. All the information in a computer, including the OS (operating system), installed applications and programs and user documents are stored in the hard disk. At any given time, a computer operator only works on a small portion of all the data stored in a computer’s hard disk. For example, when you are working on a word processor, other applications such as the Web browser and DVD player are not being used, but they are still stored in the hard disk. When you download a file, or install a software, you record the information on the computer’s hard disk.

RAM & Processor
Like the hard disk, a computer’s RAM (random-access memory) and processor are also internal components. RAM modules fit into predefined slots on the motherboard, and the total RAM of a computer depends on the capacities of the individual modules. When a user opens a program, the computer loads it on RAM from the hard disk, because the RAM is much faster, and the processor can manipulate RAM data more efficiently. When the program is closed, all data associated with the program is unloaded. In essence, the RAM is the computer’s work bench, where only information needed at the time is temporarily stored for the processor to work on.

Input & Output Devices
A computer uses input devices to take instructions from the operator. Common input devices include the keyboard, mouse, scanner, microphone and webcam. Without an input device, a user would not be able to feed information to, or interact with a computer; when you click on the Web browser icon and type in a URL, you are using the mouse and keyboard to instruct the computer to execute certain processes. Output devices such as the display monitor, speakers and printer enable the computer to give information back to the user after executing tasks. When the computer displays a Web page, it has already taken an input from the user (the typed-in URL), and processed the information before giving feedback through its monitor.

Removable Media
Optical drives such as CD-ROM and DVD-ROM and the now obsolete floppy-disk drive, are examples of removable media, which are usually held inside the tower casing. Removable media allow a computer to access information that is not stored inside the hard disk. When you insert a DVD to watch a movie, the computer is able to play the content because the DVD-ROM is able to access the data on the disc and forward it to the computer. Another type of removable media is flash drives, which are small USB-based devices used to store and transfer data between computers.

What Is Computer Hardware Servicing?

Computer hardware servicing is a blanket term applied to the act of supporting and maintaining computer hardware. This includes diagnosing computer hardware issues, upgrading hardware on a computer and repairing computer hardware.

Required Education and Training
To find employment in computer hardware servicing, a prospective employee should have one of the following:

Professional Certification. CompTIA’s A+ certification is a standard in the industry.

An associate’s degree in a related field, such as Management Information Systems (MIS).

A bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as MIS or Computer Science.
Typical Responsibilities
A professional in charge of computer hardware maintenance must be able to perform the following tasks:

Install PC hardware.

Install and update hardware drivers.

Diagnose computer hardware problems.

Maintain computer hardware.
Employment Opportunities
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with expertise in computer hardware servicing can expect to see the field increase by 30 percent by 2018. Much of this increase will be seen in the field of network engineering, the field size of which is projected to increase by 50 percent

How to Diagnose General Computer Hardware Problems

Mr. Turtledove was, for years, a computer support manager. Over those years he developed a simple and effective way to determine the basic problem with computer hardware malfunctions.

So, your computer is not working at all. How do you know what to do next? Calling in service can get expensive, and who wants all the hassle of unplugging everything and dragging the computer to a service shop?
Print this out and use it as a checklist. At the end of this process you should be able to make a decision about what to do with your computer.

Before you start this initial functionality test, UNPLUG YOUR COMPUTER and the other attached devices. Make sure NO ELECTRICITY is coming into your system. On a positive side, oftentimes an unplugged system is the root of all the dysfunction. Best practices in computer repair demands that you start with the most obvious, thus the simplest, problems. This saves time and expense.
By doing this you may discover the cause right off the bat. Now, how did it get unplugged? I’m afraid I can’t help you with that one! By the way, ALWAYS complete Step 2 before plugging the computer in, if you discover this is the issue.

As weird as it sounds, inspect and SMELL YOUR COMPUTER BOX. If it smells like burning metal or plastic, or something looks melted or darkened, go no further. Do not attempt to start your system as there may be a fire hazard inside of it. Do the same with your monitor.

Check to see if your computer components are CONNECTED CORRECTLY. Again, start simple. You never know when someone has accidentally and inadvertently moved a wire. If you have your computer’s instruction booklet (you did keep that, didn’t you?), get it out now. Make sure even small things, like your mouse, are correctly installed. Yes, something small like that could hang your system.

Assuming all parts are correctly plugged in, and there is no smell of burning, now PLUG YOUR COMPUTER INTO AN ELECTRICAL SOURCE. Again, do not do this if you suspect something is burning.

Before you start your computer, please get ready to listen for sounds. Your computer technician may ask you about the nature of any sounds at startup. Get a small piece of paper and a pen – be prepared to write down a description of sounds. Now, START YOUR COMPUTER.

WRITE DOWN SOUNDS. I know that seems weird, but use such words as “whirring” and “scratching” or “high pitched,” whatever describes the sound best.

TURN OFF THE COMPUTER at the first detection of a burning smell, or of a high pitched sound that irritates your ears. If you notice one of these things, shut the computer down, unplug it and call your technician. If this is the case, you will not be able to repair this problem.

If your computer boots normally and there are no strange sounds, your system may not have major hardware issues. Over time, however, LISTEN to make sure the SYSTEM FAN COMES ON. As the computer heats up this should kick in. A burned out fan can age a system rapidly. Run a large program, such as a web browser. If the fan makes strange sounds, shut your computer down immediately.
If the fan does not come on after about ten minutes, it may not be functional.
If your hardware starts failing over time, be prepared to tell the technician about this fact.

LISTEN for any kind of SOUNDS as the DISK DRIVE LIGHT flashes. There should be a “normal” hum as the disk drive spins and searches for data. Again, if you hear a strange sound, shut your computer immediately down (if necessary, disconnect power).

MAKE A LIST of any HARDWARE CHANGES you made in the last month or two. Your technician may want to know about anything you added.

If everything is working properly, consider having a technician do a “once-over” check and a CLEANING OF THE CASE. Sometimes burning smells come from dust inside your box. You should get a qualified computer technician to inspect your computer once a year or so.

If you are still having problems, CALL YOUR TECHNICIAN and make sure you have a list of sounds, computer changes, and your computer model and specifications available. Be able to describe what is going on. Any information on sounds, changes and hardware that you can give that person will be helpful.

Keep your TECHNICIAN’S PHONE NUMBER on your computer. Use a sticker on the side. On that sticker make sure you describe your computer’s model number, manufacturer’s name, what operating system you use, and how much memory is in your computer.

How to Check the Hardware Components of a PC

Whether it’s to properly install and run a graphically intensive software program or to troubleshoot your PC, you need to know the hardware components that your computer is using. Windows 8.1 retains the Device Manager tool found in previous versions of Windows, letting you view all installed hardware components — including your graphics card, monitor and hard drive. If you’re looking for advanced information such as the amount of RAM and the CPU speed, find that information in the System panel.

Device Manager
Click the “Settings” icon from the Charms bar.

Select “Control Panel” from the Settings menu.

Click “Device Manager” from the All Control Panel Items window to open the Device Manager.

Click the arrow to the left of a hardware category to view the hardware correlating to it. For example, clicking the arrow to the left of Network Adapters will show your installed network components.

Right-click any hardware component and click “Properties” to view additional information about that component.

System Panel
Open the Control Panel.

Click “System” in the All Control Panel Items window.

View your system’s information, such as the CPU and RAM, in the System section of the System window.