Skip to Content

Microcomputer Hardware & Troubleshooting

Course Number: CIS 145
Transcript Title: Micro Computer Hardware
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: September 25, 2013
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 30
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 30
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Fee: $12

Course Description

Students will learn to identify, remove, and install standard components of a PC style microcomputer, including motherboards, CPUs, RAM, hard drives, removable media drives and power supplies. Additional topics include: BIOS, CMOS, the boot process, video displays, printers, and home networking. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to remove and replace component parts of an x86 microcomputer, and to troubleshoot and repair common problems with these computers.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

  • Identify the basic components of a microcomputer.
  • Remove and replace the basic components of a microcomputer.
  • Describe the function of the CPU, RAM, motherboard, power supply, chipset, BIOS, and CMOS.
  • Describe how hard drives, floppy drives, and optical drives work.
  • Describe prevailing technologies and specifications of monitors and printers.
  • Troubleshoot and repair simple problem conditions effecting microcomputers.
  • Describe how to install home networking using different methods for obtaining Internet service.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  1. Identify the basic components of a microcomputer
    • CPU
    • RAM
    • Power supply and cables
    • Hard drive
    • Removable media drives
    • Adapter cards
    • Motherboard
  2. Remove and replace the basic components of a microcomputer
    • CPU
    • RAM
    • Power supply and cables
    • Hard drive
    • Removable media drives
    • Adapter cards
    • Motherboard
  3. Describe the function of:
    • CPU
    • RAM
    • Motherboard
    • Power supply
    • Chipset
    • BIOS
    • CMOS
  4. Program instruction storage
    • CPU packages
    • CPU manufacturers
    • CPU speeds
    • RAM physical forms
    • RAM technologies
    • Motherboard form factors
    • Power supply plug types
    • Northbridge and Southbridge
    • Boot process
  5. Describe how hard drives, floppy drives, and optical drives work
    • Tracks and sectors
    • CHS, LBA, and Large
    • Formatting and partitioning
    • DET, FAT, and MFT
    • Pits and lands
    • CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW
    • DVD-RAM; DVD-R, -RW; DVD+R, +RW
  6. Describe prevailing technologies and specifications of monitors and printers
    • CRT
    • LCD
    • OLED
    • Plasma
    • Display resolution
    • Dot pitch
    • Refresh rate
    • Response time
    • Dot matrix printers
    • Ink jet printers
    • Laser printers
    • Thermal printers
    • Photo printers
  7. Troubleshoot and repair simple problem conditions effecting microcomputers
    • Loose or improperly installed CPU
    • Loose or improperly installed RAM
    • Loose or improperly installed controller cables
    • Loose power supply cables
    • Master, Slave, and Cable Select settings on IDE devices
    • Defragment the hard drive
    • Check and repair hard drive integrity
    • Adjust video display settings
  8. Describe how to install home networking using different methods for obtaining Internet service
    • Nodes
    • Media
    • Protocols
    • NIC
    • UTP
    • TCP/IP
    • 802.11b, g, and a
    • Physical topologies
    • Logical topologies
    • Dial-up Internet service
    • Cable Internet service
    • DSL Internet service
    • NAT routers