Category Archives: Hardware

computer hardware

Impossible computer repairs

Both laptop and desktop computers are assembled from components, allowing them to be disassembled for troubleshooting and repair. However, there are some components and sub-assemblies inside components that are impossible or impractical to repair. These components should never be repaired … Continue reading

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Motor Bearings; Good, Better, Best

Every computer, laptop or desktop, has a number of fans and motors inside. These fans and motors wear out as they run, and eventually fail. Since motors are a mechanical and spinning component, they must have a bearing to allow … Continue reading

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Choosing the Best Laptop

We are frequently asked which laptop we recommend and what our opinion is on the best laptop. Since all laptops use similar components, the real difference in laptops is how the manufacturer handles warranty replacement of parts. When purchasing a … Continue reading

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How Long Does a Computer Last?

A previous post described how to determine the real age of a computer by looking at the power-on time instead of the date of manufacture. A related question that is frequently asked is how long will a computer last? Based … Continue reading

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Ten different causes for lock-ups

When a computer encounters a hardware problem, it will try to display an error and warn the user that a component has failed. This response works well with peripherals and minor components like a keyboard, mouse or printer. For more … Continue reading

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How Old is Your Computer?

We frequently hear people say “my computer is old” and then they try to remember when they bought the computer to determine its age. Describing a computer by its age is only part of the story, and it can lead … Continue reading

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Are you still defragmenting?

Microsoft Windows has always included a feature to defragment hard drives, and defragmenting is widely recommended as a necessary maintenance activity. But does it make a difference? When DOS and early versions of Windows 95/98/ME were released, they used a … Continue reading

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Understanding laptop batteries

Laptop batteries display a puzzling behavior: when they are new, a laptop may run for hours on a full charge, but as time passes, the battery doesn’t last as long. Checking the battery charge in Windows may show 100% charged … Continue reading

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Determining the right RAM size

Computers rely on RAM memory to run programs, and RAM memory has a significant effect on performance. Determining the correct amount of RAM for a computer does not need to be guesswork; it can be accurately checked using a simple … Continue reading

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FAQ: Routers and Firewalls

What is a router or¬†firewall? Which do I need? The short answer: All routers are firewalls. A router is a device that allows an Internet connection to be shared by more than one computer. Without a router, a cable modem … Continue reading

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