For Your Information

Take a look at some of the more frequently asked questions (faq's), common problems and items you are likely to come across while working with your PC.

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My Computer

Just what is a computer made of? And what does it all mean? We wont blind you with techno babble and science, but we will try to make things a bit easier to understand.

A computer consists of 2 basic parts, hardware and software. The hardware is something phsyical, the keyboard or monitor for example, while the software is a programe that tells the hardware what to do. You are reading this page in a web browser, which is a piece of software that allows pages from the internet to be displayed.

The main parts of the computer are

  • Motherboard
  • Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
  • Memory (RAM)
  • Central Processing Unit (CPU)

In addition, your computer will require

  • an input device - mouse and keyboard
  • an output device - monitor
 

Motherboard
The motherboard connects all the parts of a computer together. The CPU, memory, hard drives (HDD), optical drives (CD-ROM/DVD/BLU-RAY), video (graphics) card, sound card all connect to the motherboard directly or via cables.

Hard Disk Drive
The hard disk drive (HDD) is the main storage device in your computer, it usually stores all your main data - the operating system (OS), software titles and most other files and folders. It is sometimes referred to as the C:Drive, computers running Microsoft operating systems, Windows XP or Windows 7 for example, assign the HDD the letter C:, as A: and B: are assigned to floppy disk drives

Additional hard drives can be added internally for more memory storage or external disk drive can be used via USB connection.

Memory (RAM)
Random Access Memory (RAM) is where information is stored that is currently being used by the computer, from the operating system to hardware devices. More RAM allows a computer to work with more information and run more programes at the same time and improve overall system performance.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)
Think the CPU as the brains of the computer system. It is responsible for all the instructions it receives from the hardware and software.