Almost everyone uses a computer daily, but many don't know how a computer works or all the different individual pieces that make it up. In fact, many people erroneously look at a computer and call it a CPU or a hard drive, when in fact these are just two parts of a computer. When these individual components are connected together they create a complete and working device with an all encompassing name of computer. As a computer user it is important that you have a basic understanding of the core components that make up your computer. This knowledge will prove invaluable if you decide to upgrade your computer or if a piece of hardware breaks and you need to purchase a replacement. The purpose of this tutorial is to discuss the basic pieces in every computer and their function.
This tutorial focuses on using GParted, or Gnome Partition Editor, a free and open source partition editor. To use GParted, you must first download the CD Image file (.iso file) of GParted Live for this program. Instructions on where to find and how to burn the GParted ISO file are covered in the Preparation step. In this tutorial we will be using Microsoft Windows XP for certain steps. If you use a different version of Windows, some of these steps and screens may be a bit different.
This tutorial is intended to explain what RAM is and give some background on different memory technologies in order to help you identify the RAM in your PC. It will also discuss RAM speed and timing parameters to help you understand the specifications often quoted on vendors' websites. Its final aim is to assist you in upgrading your system by suggesting some tools and strategies to help you choose new RAM. It is written from the standpoint of a desktop PC owner but most of the concepts apply to laptops and notebooks as well. Like all PC components, RAM has gone through a number of evolutionary changes (and some revolutionary changes) and only the RAM designed for your computer will work in your computer. There are literally hundreds of different RAM products on the market today so it is important to know the correct type for your system. I am attempting to write this for the non-technical user but the further I get the more I descend into techno-babble so you may need to learn a few terms along the way. I'll assume familiarity with common terms like Megabytes and Gigabytes etc. Finally I should say I'm not a memory expert, some of the information here I came across in the process of writing this tutorial, but I hope you will get as much out of this exploration of RAM as I have.
Most people think computers, being electronic devices, don't require any mechanical maintenance, but this is not so. Many computer faults are caused by components overheating due to poor airflow in the case because of a buildup of dirt and dust over time. It's worthwhile cleaning your computer annually or even more often if it is in a particularly dusty environment, on carpet or in a household with pets. This tutorial is designed to help you safely clean the interior of your tower or desktop PC so as to maximize its lifespan. No computer knowledge is assumed other than familiarity with component names. Cleaning the computer is not rocket-science and does not require any special skills or tools but you do need to know how to avoid possible damage to some of the more sensitive parts. That's what we will demonstrate here. Although the same principle applies to laptops and notebook PCs, because of the difficulty dismantling them these instructions do not apply to those types of computer.
In order to use a hard drive, or a portion of a hard drive, in Windows you need to first partition it and then format it. This process will then assign a drive letter to the partition allowing you to access it in order to use it to store and retrieve data.
When a hard drive is installed in a computer, it must be partitioned before you can format and use it. Partitioning a drive is when you divide the total storage of a drive into different pieces. These pieces are called partitions. Once a partition is created, it can then be formatted so that it can be used on a computer. When partitions are made, you specify the total amount of storage that you would like to allocate to that partition from the total size of the drive. For example, if you have an 80 GB drive, then it would be possible to make one partition consisting of the entire 80 GB of available storage. Alternatively,you could make two partitions consisting of a 20 GB partition that will be used for the operating system and programs and a 60 GB partition set aside for data, music, and images.
Almost all desktop computers have a hard drive inside them, but do you really know what they are? Many people when they hear the word hard drive, think that it refers to the computer as a whole. In reality, though, the hard drive is just one of many different pieces that comprise a computer. The hard drive is one of the most important parts of your computer because it is used as a long-term storage space for your data. What that means, is regardless of whether or not the computer is on, or you lose power, the data will still stay stored on this drive keeping it safe. On the other hand, it tells you how important backing up your data is, because if the hard drive malfunctions there is a good chance you will lose it all.
Modems can be noisy when they dial up and connect to a remote location. Maybe you work late at night and don't want to wake anyone up or maybe the modem sounds just drive you crazy! Whatever the reason is we will walk you through disabling the sounds of your modem.
Everyone knows what a floppy disk is, but a common question, is how do I clean out a floppy so that it can be used again? I have spoken to many people who have said that after they store information on a floppy they throw them out as they do not know how to erase the files on them so that it is an empty and clean disk. This tutorial will cover how to reformat a floppy disk so that you can reuse it as you wish. In this way you will not have to throw out your used floppies, but can instead keep using them over and over.
I am sure many of you have been told in the past to defrag your hard drives when you have noticed a slow down on your computer. You may have followed the advice and defragged your hard drive, and actually noticed a difference. Have you ever wondered why defragging helps though? This tutorial will discuss what Disk Fragmentation is and how you can optimize your hard drive's partitions by defragmenting them for better performance.