Computer repairs can involve hardware repair, software repair, a combination of both, and or probably some troubleshooting. It's not for the faint of heart; if you are pulling your hair out, you may want to consider doing something else about it like, call the Geek Squad. Basically what we are attempting to get our machine to load properly. When a PC starts up, first it tests all the connected hardware and then looks for the software that it needs to load in order to run properly. If the machine does not power up, or the machine powers up, but does not load, then we have a pretty good idea as to what the problem may be.
All of the parts of your computer that you can physically see and touch it is your hardware. It takes quite a bit of well engineering and design for all those components must work together well. Sometimes components can be damaged by external forces. To clarify external forces can mean a few things. Shock damage or the effect of being dropped can certainly cause damage to a component therefore rendering it inoperative. Also I would like to include a power surge, over voltage, over temperature, under temperature, water emersion, excessive moisture, acts of nature, etc external forces which can cause failure of a component.
Any code that the machine deals with in the form of data is the software. The operating system, the software, drivers, and all digital, is the code. Although code can be damaged by the result of external forces on a storage device, computer software code is susceptible to a whole different variety of potential means of damage. For instance if you install the wrong driver for the wrong component, the machine will not be able to communicate with the device correctly or at all. If in the case that the machine caught some type of virus, which damaged the code, or worse, compromised code that causes the hardware to have problems, it would be a great Idea to replace damaged code with correct code. Healthy software is crucial to the successful operation of a computer. Just to illustrate this fact, Let's format the hard drive and see what the computer does next.
The thing that you have to consider in computer repair is that if there is a change to some of the hardware, you are going to find that you will probably have to make some changes to the software which you have on it in order for it to work correctly. Type of changes that typically need to be made are installs and reinstalls. If there is some troubleshooting involved, I would start from the hardware and work through the software issues. When we start an IBM compatible machine, the unit does its POST. A POST is a Power On Self Test. The machine does this to check if all the components that are connected to the motherboard are functioning. If the machine fails this test, right off the bat you know you have a hardware problem. If this occurs, the machine usually beeps a couple of times and displays nothing on the screen.
Given that the machine successfully passes its POST, and it goes on to seek boot information from the hard drive, you are one step closer to a functioning machine. If in the case that the machine does not boot its operating system, there are a few questions that must be answered. Is there currently an operating system installed? Is the correct boot device called for in the BIOS screen? If you do have your operating system installed and it's not loading, Is your BIOS calling for the correct device to load the operating system software? Is there boot information on the drive? If there is no operating system, or if the operating system is not correctly installed, then you may want to consider possibly formatting the hard drive, doing a fresh clean install of the operating system and then trying again.
In order for a PC to load correctly, a few things must happen. First the computer must recognize all of the connected components. All the connected components must be compatible with the motherboard. When the computer does it's POST and passes to the next step, this signifies that all the components connected to the machine are compatible and in working condition for the most part. Secondly, the computer must have an operating system with all necessary drivers for all the components to be able to function at maximum potential capacity. When getting into a computer repair project, the main things to consider are, is this a hardware repair, software repair, or both.