Introduction to PC Hardware

Course Number: 
NACT-150
Credits: 
3

This course introduces the fundamental hardware concepts of Windows-based computers. The skills required to install, upgrade and maintain computers are presented. The course provides students with methodologies and hands-on activities related to the configuration, diagnosis, repair, upgrade, and preventive maintenance of computer hardware, input/output devices and data communications. Topics include the basic functions and use of test equipment, logical troubleshooting of internal system conflicts and faulty peripherals, and electrical safety.

Goals: 
  • To learn how the CPU has developed and the future direction of CPU development
  • To understand the functions and settings of all the components in a Windows-based PC and how they interact
  • To develop the skills to be able to assemble a PC from individual components
  • To learn how to install and configure a Windows operating system
  • To develop the skills to be able to perform common PC upgrades
  • To develop the critical thinking, logic, and technical skills needed to troubleshoot and repair PCs
  • To learn how to obtain technical information on hardware and/or configurations via on-line and digital resources
  • To develop the skills to be able to set up and troubleshoot peripherals
  • To learn computer-related preventive maintenance, safety, and environmental issues
  • To develop the reading skills needed to understand technical materials such as college textbooks, professional journals, and manuals provided by the computers manufacturer
  • To develop the technical writing skills needed to document PC problems and how they were resolved
Topics: 

1.0       Hardware components

2.0       Assemble a PC from components

3.0       Binary and Hexadecimal Number Systems

4.0       System Resources

4.1    IRQ

4.2    DMA Channels

4.3    I/O Address

4.4    Memory Address

5.0       Boot up configuration

6.0       Electricity  and Power Supplies

7.0       Preventive Maintenance & Care of PC

7.1       Protecting your computer against electricity static discharge

7.2       Electromagnetic interference

7.3       Surge Protection and UPS

8.0       The System Board

8.1       Configure and upgrade a PC

9.0       Supporting I/O devices

9.1       Installing and Configuring Peripheral Devices

9.2       Using Various Ports and Expansion Slots

10.0    Installing Storage Devices

11.0    System Upgrading and Optimizing

11.1    Motherboard, boot up system and memory

11.2    CPU, processor speed,  and compatibility

11.3    Power supply output capacity

11.4    Bus types and characteristics

12.0    Notebooks, mobile devices

13.0    Diagnosing and Troubleshooting

14.0    Disposing and recycling of computer component and peripherals

Learning Outcomes: 

Outcomes At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

Assessment Method

  1. Describe the history of CPU development and future direction of CPU development.

Assignments and exams

  1. Identify all the components in a computer, and explain the function of each, and how each component interacts with the motherboard and/or other components

Lab activities and exams

  1. Convert decimal numbers to binary and hexadecimal

Lab activities and exams

  1. Assemble a computer from individual components.

Lab activities and exams

  1. Install and configure a windows OS: Upgrade memory, divers and BIOS

Lab activities and exams

  1. Troubleshoot and repair hardware and OS issues

Lab activities and exams

  1. Obtain technical information on hardware and/or configurations using the Web or other digital resources.

Lab activities, assignments, and exams

  1. Set up peripherals and use software and hardware tools to troubleshoot and/or repair peripherals

Lab activities and exams

  1. Follow preventive maintenance and safety procedures for computers

Lab activities and exams

  1. Follow correct procedures for recycling and disposing of computer hardware and peripherals

Lab activities and exams

  1. Read and use technical material as a reference for troubleshooting, repairing, maintaining or upgrading a PC

Lab activities and exams

  1. Create lab reports that document the troubleshooting procedures and how the problems were resolved

Lab activities and exams

 

Textbooks: 

Required:

  • A+ Guide to Hardware: Managing, Maintaining and Troubleshooting, Jean Andrews. Thomson/Course Technology,  2005
  • Lab Manual for A+ Guide to Hardware: Managing, Maintaining and Troubleshooting, Jean Andrews. Thomson/Course Technology, 2005