Computer Hardware

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How to List Your Laptop’s Hardware in the Device Manager

The Device Manager is a window listing all the hardware in your laptop, and it's extremely useful for troubleshooting. In fact, a quick glance at the Device Manager window is all it takes to determine [more…]

Computer Processing

Between receiving input and providing output, your computer processes. In other words, the computer processes input and produces output. Without processing, the computer's output would be the same as its [more…]

Your PC’s Keyboard and Mouse Ports

The PS/2 keyboard-and-mouse ports are designed to connect your keyboard and mouse. This figure illustrates the plug that fits in the keyboard and mouse ports. The keyboard and mouse use the same kind of [more…]

Where to Put Your Graphics Card on Your Motherboard

Although today’s video cards look like any other typical adapter cards, most recently created video cards fit in either of two types of motherboard slots: [more…]

The I/O Panel of Your PC

The back panel of your PC’s tower that you plug peripherals into is called the I/O panel (see the following figure). The items you find on your PC’s I/O panel may be labeled with text, or they may be denoted [more…]

How to Add a USB Hub to Your PC

There never seem to be enough USB ports when you need them. Fortunately, when you need more USB ports, you can quickly add them by plugging a USB hub into your computer system. A USB hub allows you to [more…]

Unconventional Netbook Carrying Cases

A surprising number of cases and containers on the market can fit netbooks like a charm, even though they weren’t designed specifically for the little laptops. You can usually score one of these unconventional [more…]

Buy Computer Parts via Mail Order to Save Money

After you’ve researched what computer part you want to buy from the Internet, head to Amazon.com or NewEgg.com to buy it. The part will cost less than it does at your local computer store; plus, they’ll [more…]

Network Cabling for the CCENT Certification Exam

The CCENT certification tests you on the different types of cabling that are used in different scenarios. The following are some key points to remember about network cabling. [more…]

How to Upgrade a Computer Game Controller

Many computer games perform just fine with the keyboard and mouse. But for advanced gaming, many people prefer dedicated game controllers. All modern game controllers insist upon a USB port. [more…]

Troubleshoot with Boot and Windows Error Recovery Menus

As your PC boots up, you may encounter one of a multitude of start-up menus and options. Some are for troubleshooting purposes, and others may present options for starting the computer, selecting an operating [more…]

Recover a BIOS Password on Your PC

If you are troubleshooting your PC and need to take action at the BIOS level, you will need the BIOS password. If you have forgotten the BIOS password, check with the motherboard manufacturer [more…]

Change the Boot Order on Your PC

When your PC is first starting up — also known as booting up — it looks for the operating system. Should you need to troubleshoot, it is helpful to know where it looks and in what order. Depending on the [more…]

Remove the Boot Loader when Troubleshooting Your PC

If you are troubleshooting a PC that will not start up properly, the problem might be a corrupt boot loader. It would keep it from starting from the hard drive, though you could still boot the computer [more…]

Use the F8 Menu to Troubleshoot Your PC

As your PC boots up, you may encounter one of a multitude of start-up menus and options. Some are for troubleshooting purposes, and others may present options for starting the computer, selecting an operating [more…]

Use the F5 Menu to Troubleshoot Your PC

As your PC boots up, you may encounter one of a multitude of start-up menus and options. Some are for troubleshooting purposes, and others may present options for starting the computer, selecting an operating [more…]

What Happens When You Shut Down a PC

Sometimes things go wrong when you shut down your PC. If you have to troubleshoot a shutdown issue, it is helpful to understand the shutdown process.

A long time ago, you actually turned a computer off. [more…]

Windows Shut Down Options

The Windows Shut Down Menu provides several options for stopping your computer. Understanding what each of them do will help you to choose the best option. [more…]

Where are Windows Shutdown Options?

Choosing a shutdown option involves finding where that option dwells in Windows and that depends on whether you are using Windows 7, Vista, or XP. The location varies, but generally speaking, you need [more…]

Update Peripheral Drivers Using Windows Device Manager

One thing you can do to avoid PC problems is to ensure that your hardware always has up-to-date software. For many of the computer’s devices, that means doing a software update. Here’s how: [more…]

Diagnose Problems with Peripherals in Windows 7

Windows 7 features many troubleshooting and diagnostic tools, all carefully hidden in the Control Panel. You can use those tools to quickly determine what’s wrong with your PC and, hopefully, fix it. Most [more…]

Make the Mouse Track Faster or Slower

You can adjust the speed of your computer’s mouse to be faster or slower by using the Mouse Properties dialog box in Windows. Here’s how: [more…]

Make the Mouse Pointer More Visible in Windows PCs

Having trouble seeing the mouse pointer on your PC’s screen? The Pointer Options tab in the Mouse Properties dialog box in Windows contains a host of options to help you make the mouse pointer more visible [more…]

Make Your Mouse Left-handed

If you’re one of the 10 percent of humanity who prefers using your left hand, there’s hope: Manufacturers make left-handed computer mice. You can also direct Windows to reverse the role of the main mouse [more…]

Set Your Keyboard’s Repeat Delay and Repeat Rate

You can control a few things about how your computer’s keyboard works. Two of them that are most crucial — especially if you are a touch-typist — are the repeat delay and the repeat rate: [more…]

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