Inside A Pc Computer

Inside a pc computer and other details how you can recognise various components inside a PC.

If you're not a computer professional, you're probably afraid to open your PC to find out what makes it tick. It makes sense not to tamper with it. In some cases there is a seal on the PC which, if broken, will terminate the warranty. However, there are several reasons that you might want to open the PC. Typical examples would be when you want (or need) to change the hard disk or add a PC card or a DVD drive. Another reason might be to check whether there is an accumulation of dust. This can be very common in certain environments and it can interfere with your computer's performance.

Take the first step.

Okay, let's assume that you've plucked up the courage to open the PC. Let's also assume that you had the good sense to plug it out first! Otherwise you are very likely to damage the PC and maybe electrocute yourself in the process.

If you are lucky, there will be no screws to take out. Some more modern PC's have a simple unlock mechanism to allow you to open them easily. Less expensive ones often have 3 to 6 screws to take out before you can get started. It's not very difficult if you have the right size screwdriver. However, if this is your first time, you might end up unscrewing the power supply screws instead of the holding screws! Don't panic. Just re-seat any screws that are not holding the chassis together. Be careful once you get the lid off. Don't touch anything unless you know what you are doing.

What's inside

Looking into a PC for the first time is rather like opening the bonnet on a car. You know there is an engine there, but you can't isolate the various components. If you take some time to look around, you may notice small writing on several components. This will usually give the country of origin for that component. Most PC's have components from several different countries and finding the country of origin is one easy way of isolating some components.

Another simple trick is to look at the various interfaces at the back of the PC. On most modern PC's, these will be attached directly to the motherboard. The motherboard is the big flat board which all the other components slot into in some way. You should now be able to see how your mouse and keyboard connect to the motherboard. It might not be so easy to spot the way other devices are connected.

The CD and the diskette drive

Have a look at the front of the PC now. Look at where you normally insert a CD or a diskette. Just behind this, inside the PC, you will see the CD and diskette drives. At the back of these drives, you will notice several small electric cables, which are connected to the power supply. You should also see a larger grey cable, which connects the drive to the motherboard. The CD and diskette drives are easy enough to remove if you want to replace them. One or two screws are all that holds them inside. The grey cables are also easy to disconnect. You can simply pull them out.

The hard disk

The hard disk is usually situated near the diskette drive. Modern disks are about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. They are connected to the motherboard by a grey cable which is very similar to the cables used to connect the diskette drive and the CD drives. The hard disk is where your applications and documents are stored. They can be quite sensitive while the PC is in use, which is why you should never try to move the PC while it is switched on.

Memory chips

These are typically about 5 inches long and appear to stand up in the PC. They slot into a special receiver slot on the motherboard. It is often necessary to push the memory chips straight down into the slot and then gently push the top of it backwards, so that it lies at about a 70 degree angle to the motherboard. When you are removing memory chips, you often have to start by opening small clips on either side of the chip.

The extra bits

The motherboard is full of various types of small electronic devices. The largest of these is usually the central processor. You should look for a large, usually flat, square-shaped object that appears to be stuck to the motherboard. This microchip will usually have Intel or perhaps AMD written on it. This is probably the most important part of the PC, the "╦ťbrain' that dictates the speed of actions and the overall processing power of the PC.

A word of caution

You should only investigate the PC if you are sure about what you are doing. If possible, get assistance from someone who has done it before. There are several pitfalls which can arise when you open the PC, not least of which is the risk of electrostatic shock. If you are not careful you could damage some of the components. Don't be afraid. Just be careful. Practice (preferably with tuition) makes perfect.

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