How to Install a Primary Hard Drive

How to Install a Primary Hard DriveIn this tutorial we learn how to install a primary hard drive. The primary drive is your main drive, not a secondary drive. Installing a secondary drive is similar but you will have to configure your drive differently. Be sure to have your documentation handy at all times.

Learning how to install computer components like a hard drive is not hard, but proper preparation is the key to making it a smooth experience.

Before beginning you should completely shut down your computer. Also be sure to switch the power supply switch into the off position and pull the AC cord from the wall outlet.

1. Remove the Case and Set Your Drive Jumper

The first order of business is to open your computer case so that you can install the hard drive. The method of doing this varies, but most modern cases use a mini-tower design and have side panels that are screwed onto the chassis.

You will need to find the panel that sits above the motherboard and remove the screws in the back to slide the panel

Take Care Of You Laptop Battery Or Else

Take Care Of You Laptop Battery Or ElseLaptops are common now; most people have them to take to school or when they travel for work. They’re useful and easy to move with. What is also common is to see someone scrambling to find a place to charge a laptop battery. That report due tomorrow may suddenly be lost if you don’t find an outlet within thirty seconds… Or that slideshow you have created (but carelessly forgot to save) may disappear if your laptop battery is not recharged.

As common as laptops are now, it is just as common to see individuals forgetting that the machine needs a little bit of help to run. It does not magically power itself; the battery does not somehow manage to stay full as you work for hours at a time. Yet, many seem to think that their battery does just that. No matter how long they stay hunched over the machine, it will work.

A few times of having the laptop die will cure that fantasy.

The truth is: you must keep your

Building Your Own Computer

Building Your Own ComputerThe world of computers is constantly changing. It is one of the only industries that is different from month to month. If you’re in the market for a new PC, there are continually new options available. To get the best bang for your buck in computer technology, you may want to consider building your own PC.

Those with a little know how in the computer industry can save themselves tons of money by building their own computers. Companies such as Tiger Direct and offer components that can create a top of the line system for a fraction of the cost. These stores offer all of the necessary components that reside in the “case” or main unit of the computer.

These include the motherboard, processor, cooling fans, hard drive, memory, keyboard, mouse, video and sound cards. There are motherboards available with integrated video and sound but not all do.

When you are buying a motherboard, make sure to check whether you will need to buy a separate video and sound card. Also make sure that the

Maintaining and Troubleshooting Your Laptop Battery

The actual life of a laptop battery will vary with computer usage habits. For most users, it is not uncommon to experience differences in battery life, of anywhere from just under one hour to over two hours in each sitting. If you are experiencing shorter battery life cycles, say 10 to 15 minutes, it may not yet be time to order that new battery.

There are several factors to take into consideration when determining if the time has come to replace your battery. This information may also apply to that new battery that you have recently purchased, that has been giving you fits. The two primary things to consider when troubleshooting battery problems is Usage Habits and Battery Memory. We will cover both in their complexities in just a moment, but first, let us take a look at what you should expect from your battery’s life cycle.

NiMH batteries usually last 1.5 to 2.5 hours. LiION batteries usually last 2.0 to 3.0 hours.

These are average results and the results will vary greatly depending on your system’s conservation settings, the temperature of the room and the climate that you are operating your computer in. As

Do Computers Get Tired?

A Silver Bullet?

Until recently, I would have dismissed the notion that electronic gunk can accumulate in a machine and cause it to act erratically. But a few months ago my high-speed Internet connection, which is normally rock solid, started getting flaky. I unplugged my cable modem, plugged it back in and voila… things were back to normal.

And since then I’ve repeated the procedure a few times with good results, whenever I noticed a slowdown in my Internet speed. So I started thinking… maybe electronic devices and appliances really do get tired, clogged with electrons, or whatever. It turns out that there is some good science to support this layman’s observation.

Jerrold Foutz is a Scientist with a capital S. There aren’t many people alive who know more about how electronic gadgets (especially power supplies) are supposed to work. So you might be surprised to hear that when your computer, microwave, VCR or high-tech coffee pot isn’t behaving, his best advice is “just unplug it.”

Totally Cosmic, Dude.In a fascinating article on electronics trouble shooting, Foutz talks about something called a Single Event Upset (SEU) that can cause electronic circuitry to malfunction. An

How To Find Tech Support For Your Computer Printers

Computers are becoming commonplace in homes and offices around the world. The problem is that most people know so very little about their computers, that when something goes wrong, they do not know how to begin the troubleshooting process.

The ugly truth is that we could opt to call the technical support phone number that came with the computer, but you never really know what you are going to get at the other end of the phone. You could literally spend several hours just waiting to get to a technician, and then once you have the human on the line, there is just as good of a chance that they will not have a clue, as there is that they will find your solution.

I know this because I used to work in a computer technical support call center. You would be amazed who can pass as a technician! For most new hires, the only pre-qualifying knowledge that is necessary is being able to navigate the current Windows Operating System.

Management feels that if you can navigate Windows, then you can navigate the database to dig up a solution. The problem with this kind of

How to Install a CPU and Heatsink

The most critical part of building your own computer is knowing how to install a CPU and how to install a heatsink. The CPU is the brain of your computer and is the most delicate part. It’s easy to damage, although most CPUs are designed so that they’re nearly impossible to install incorrectly.

Installing a CPU is one of the most important steps in building a PC

The heatsink cools the CPU and keeps it from frying. Heatsinks are fastened to the top of the CPU and sometimes come with an additional substance called “thermal paste.” This is a thin gel that adds an additional layer of cooling. Let’s look at the basic steps for installing the CPU and heatsink.

1. Locate the Processor Socket

Before you can install a CPU you should find the processor socket on the motherboard. This is the square socket with numerous pinholes in it. Lift the lever to the side of this socket so that you can install a CPU into it.

Look closely at the pin pattern on your CPU socket. Notice that there is a diagonal corner where it appears some pinholes are missing. It

How Does the CPU Cache Work?

The cache on your CPU has become a very important part of today’s computing. The cache is a very high speed and very expensive piece of memory, which is used to speed up the memory retrieval process. Due to its expensive CPU’s come with a relatively small amount of cache compared with the main system memory. Budget CPU’s have even less cache, this is the main way that the top processor manufacturers take the cost out of their budget CPU’s.

How does the CPU Cache work?

Without the cache memory every time the CPU requested data it would send a request to the main memory which would then be sent back across the memory bus to the CPU. This is a slow process in computing terms. The idea of the cache is that this extremely fast memory would store and data that is frequently accessed and also if possible the data that is around it. This is to achieve the quickest possible response time to the CPU. Its based on playing the percentages. If a certain piece of data has been requested 5 times before, its likely that this specific piece of data will be required

Important Facts To Know About Computer Maintenance

Read on and find out more about computer maintenance and support. We list down 5 facts to know so that you won’t be at a loss the next time you call for support.

Computer breakdowns are pretty much unavoidable

1. The Original Manufacturer

One of the first things to do when you get a computer breakdown is to call the original manufacturer of your hardware. They will offer service and support through a phone line. Some of them are notoriously difficult to deal with – so be prepared to weather some bad service sometimes.

2. Repair It Yourself

If you’re feeling adventurous and you have the know-how, you can try repairing the PC yourself. In fact, many vendors now give you a choice to repair yourself according to their instructions.

If you really want to learn how to upgrade, maintain or troubleshoot computers, then click here to learn about a great resource.

3. Outsourcing

This point is more relevant to companies. If you own a business, you can consider outsourcing your computer repairs to a vendor or third-party company. Just be careful in dealing with them – make sure that

Basics Of A Router

A router is a computer device that receives or forwards data packets to and from the Internet towards a destination in the process called routing. A router is the essential component of the computer networking that enables any sent data to arrive at the right destination.

As an illustration, imagine that the Internet is the world and one computer is one household. Other computers connected through the Internet are households around the world. Say one household will send a letter to another household in any part of the world. The letter has an address right? And that address would determine the destination of the letter. But without one reading the address, the letter would not arrive to the right receiver. The letter also would not be able to reach the intended receiver if there is not medium. This medium would be the courier. And the courier of the computer data is the router.

A router (broadband router) is also a device that enables two or more computer to receive data packets from the Internet under one IP address at the same time.

Remember that to be able to connect to the Internet, a computer must

Tips on How to Build a Quiet PC

If you’re a computer enthusiast who’s ready to mod your current computer with the latest and greatest computer hardware, or if you’re someone who just can’t stand the noise your computer is constantly making, you’re in luck. Below are the top five tips on building a quiet pc.

1.) Power Supply – This is the device that produces the power for your computer. Unfortunately, this is almost always the noisiest part your computer includes. It usually contains one or two fans which are used to cool the device down. Fortunately, with today’s technology, you can now buy power supplies which only use their fans when the temperature reaches a set point. This will both reduce noise, and save energy.

2.) Case Fans – The reasons for having case fans are obvious, to create proper airflow. Unfortunately, for some computers, they’re only there to create obnoxious noise. If your computer is mainly used for documents, internet, and e-mail, chances are you don’t need more than one case fan. A system used for the latest computer games on the other hand, will need proper airflow to bring internal temperatures down to a safe operating level.

3.) Disk

Batteries Are Not Created Equal

Once in the air of a long flight, the attendant informs the passengers that the “use of electronic devices is no longer prohibited”. To pass the time, I decide to pull out my laptop to finish off some work. Normally, I like to use flights for catching up on some sleep, but today I wasn’t feeling very tired. Relying on my laptop battery, that was fully charged the night before, I proceed to catch up on some overdue business. In this midst of one of my many thoughts, something far more tragic than an oxygen mask falling down happens… or at least more tragic at that moment… my laptop battery dies.

My first reaction was to look around for the nearest outlet, only to remember that I am on an airplane and airplanes do not have outlets. I try to reboot, hoping that it was simply a glitch of some sort, but no such luck. Now what? I am left staring at a blank screen with a powerless laptop. As I browse about the cabin, I notice that there are many other businessmen continuing to work on their laptops. One man in particular is using a similar

When is Professional Computer Repair Advisable?

There are many computer repairs that the average person can perform without much problem. Things like installing CD-ROM drives, sound cards and other expansion cards don’t take much computer knowledge. How can you know though when you are over your head and need professional computer help?

Some computer repairs are difficult for the average person to do without causing damage to their computer or a peripheral. There are some repairs I’d classify as beginner level, some as intermediate and others as advanced. I’ve already mentioned some repairs I would call beginner level. Some intermediate repairs include replacing your hard drive and installing an operating system. There was a time when something like this was advanced but with modern Microsoft operating systems like Windows XP and Windows Vista, operating system installations are not as advanced as they used to be.

So what repairs should a beginner not attempt? I would suggest some things like replacing your motherboard. The need to replace your motherboard can come either when you are ready to upgrade your motherboard to something newer or when your computer case power supply kicks the bucket.

Another repair I would caution against is based in

Hard Disks: FireWire Vs. USB

These two technologies are competing to be the best way to connect electronics together. They both began as a connection to your PC or Mac, but they have grown to be a form of data transfer between almost any electrical data storage device. See who is the winner in one of the biggest technological races of this century.

USB first showed up on the map to solve the problem of Plug N’ Play devices. Most devices were, at that time, connected to a computer via a serial port. Serial ports were not intended for such a wide application of uses and it is a relatively slow port. What USB set out to do was to create a standardized plug that can be duplicated easily with adapters and hubs. The result was the same standard port you see today. It is much faster now than its original version, but it has remained as unchanged as a wall socket. When it was introduced, you actually create 144 USB ports from just one source by duplicating it with hubs. Of course, the PC needs to able to handle the software load. USB started popping up on all types of devices

When Should you Give up on that Old Computer?

Computers last only so long. Sooner or later you’ll either have to do some computer repair on that old computer of yours or simply decide to abandon it. In this article I’ll give you tips to help you decide when you need to send your computer out to pasture.

How much will the computer repair cost you? What kind of repair you need to have performed on your computer and the relative cost of that repair can help you make the choice to walk away from fixing that computer. Most computer repair shops will offer you a free estimate before they perform the repair. Smaller computer shops are more likely to offer free estimates that larger shops. If the computer shop you usually go to won’t give you a free estimate, consider finding one that will.

Most software repair problems will cost you under $100 and won’t usually be a reason to ditch your computer. Keep in mind that a newer computer in and of itself, won’t stop you from getting a virus, or some nasty spyware and such. You still need to have anti-virus software installed and up to date. One exception to this advice

Laptop and Notebook Computer AC Power Adapters

An AC Power Adapter is an electronic device which produces a specific direct current from the mains with an Alternating Current (AC). Although actually a power supply it is popularly known as an AC Power Adapter or AC Adapter. Laptops along with most other portable devices use Direct Current (DC), this also applies to rechargeable batteries which power laptops. Direct Current has a constant flow of electric charge in one direction and flows from low to high potential. Connecting a laptop to AC is unsuitable and dangerous due to the varying magnitude and direction of the current, which can cause an internal component to fail and even result in fire.

The AC Adapter carries out the following steps to produce the correct current and voltage to power your laptop or charge your laptop battery:

o Converts the mains voltage to a lower voltage level

o Converts the AC voltage to a DC voltage by a process called rectification

o Smooths out any voltage ripple

o Converts the voltage to the required voltage to power the laptop

The other well-known name for an AC Power Adapter is battery charger or laptop battery charger.

Cooling Problems: A Five Step Approach

Is your computer a monster? Is it a fire-breathing dragon that can go howling through the latest games, the most intense video, and the heaviest of heavy duty number crunching?

If so, the analogy of fire-breathing dragon to computer may be particularly apt, because the inside of its case can run as hot as blazes. To prevent this, I favor a five step approach.

The first step is perhaps the easiest to deal with. Answer this: what is the room temperature where your computer is located? Cool, perhaps uncomfortably cool for some people, is best. This brings to mind a friend, a skinny, aesthetic fellow, who spends hours running a demanding 3-D animation program on his PC.

He liked a room temperature near 80 degrees, while his computer would have preferred something in the range of 68 or so. Actually, he was shortening the life of his machine by running it under these conditions. Finally, he was persuaded to wear a pullover, and turn the thermostat down. My friend is reasonably content with the compromise, and his computer lives on.

Now, the second step: have you noticed the design of computer desks? How there’s

Uses for an External Hard Drive

An external hard drive is a hard disk drive (much like the one in your computer) that is placed externally, outside of the case. You can buy them pre-made, or purchase a hard drive and an enclosure, and make your own. They came in many sizes, are relatively inexpensive, and are well suited to perform various functions. In this article, I will detail 3 specific uses for your external hard drive.

For one reason or another, you may have chosen a computer whose storage capacity you’ve outgrown. It may be full to capacity with files and programs, and you need room to expand. So the first example is to use your external hard drive to add expandability to your computer. This is true in case all of your PC’s hard drive bays are full, and especially if you have a laptop which has only one hard drive bay.

A second example is to use your external hard drive as a shared storage drive. You can attach it to a PC, set permissions and share-ability, and start saving, and sharing various files. For example, you can share and save pictures, MP3s, and video files. By using it

What Power Supply Do I Need?

In our world today, the quality of a personal computer is often measured only by its processor speed, memory capacity, and hard drive space and for gamers, the quality of the video card. Sometimes, the computer monitor will grab some attention, especially if it has an LCD screen. Seldom, however, do we think of a computer by its power supply. And seldom do we give them an upgrade, even if we have upgraded each and every other computer component.

But when the power supply is damaged or stops working, we have to think about it, or we have no computer period. The only solution is a power supply replacement.

There are a lot of computer power supplies available in computer shops, so finding one should not be difficult. Replacing your power supply with a new unit should also be easy. The hard part is selecting the power supply that your computer needs. There are different kinds of power supplies and each has different specs. For your computer to work properly, it must be equipped with the right one.

There are two basic things to consider whenever you are buying a new power supply for your

How To Properly Install A New DVD Drive With Ease

When you are ready to begin installing your new DVD Drive,have plenty of room on your desk or table to work.Allow enough space to move around and to be able to move the system unit as well.

Check to see if you have ample light.You may want to have a container to place small screws in.The system unit cover may have small screws and you don’t want to lose them.

After you have plenty of work space and ample lighting, prepare your mind as well.Make this and every other adventure of working on your computer educational and fun.

Now go over to to familarize yourself with all components inside the PC. Take the time to study the actual components inside your computer.You’ll be glad you did should something go wrong.Follow these steps to install your drive.



Turn off your computer and unplug all peripherals. Take notice of how you unplug or disconnect any devices.


Remove the side panel of the tower system or the cover if you have a desktop.Place the panel in a safe place well out of the way.