Generally dealing with hardware is easier to find the issue than software. The fact something usually doesn’t spin, makes noise, doesn’t make noise clicks, does spin but not properly, beeps or just operate properly in general.
The more difficult hardware problems are video issues because there are three culprits the video card if one exists, RAM, or the mother board itself.
This, is of course, after you have determined the monitor and cables you are using is working properly. But if you haven’t tested the processor, or if your processor also has video integrated, it can also be a issue with video display.
To resolve a issue like this new or spare (positively working) parts are necessary for trial and error attempts to find what part or parts are bad. Once that is the determined, the resolution is a no brainer.
The most common hardware issue we come across is HDD or hard disk drive replacement. Most every computer needs one to operate, newer ones may have them integrated or have a SSD. Most computers have a HDD and the thing is about HDDs is they have many many parts, and moving parts as well.
There’s a platter which holds the data and is constantly spinning. A motorized arm comes down and up on the platter which reads and writes data to it, kinda like the old record players do to a record. If any part of the HDD becomes inoperable the whole HDD is bad.
Also on the HDD platter, it is made of many many sectors. At times these sectors become bad or unusable, and when there are many bad sectors, the HDD is considered to be bad as well. Even though all the mechanics are working properly, sectors that are on the platter become unreadable make the HDD bad too.
Generally when a hard drive has reached 20 bad sectors, it is considered bad. Some consider a HDD bad if there are any bad sectors. It is possible to get a brand new HDD straight from the factory with some bad sectors. So this decision of considering a HDD is bad, is at some discretion of the technician.
To test if a HDD is good or bad, we use on track software, which tests every sector on the HDD we have found that this software is very reliable with testing whether or not a hard drive has enough bad sectors to merit it a bad HDD.
Also sometimes identifying if a HDD is good or bad is easier than going through all this testing. If the HDD is connected as a secondary and doesn’t show up but is plugged in, then that’s a good chance is bad.
Also if it is connected and you hear any type of clicking coming from it, it is definitely bad.
Another common hardware issue that happens is random access memory or RAM. Most memory chips out now a days have a lifetime warranty. If it’s a custom built system, there’s a good chance you can get a replacement for free.
Symptoms of bad RAM are distortion of items on the screen or the whole screen itself. Or no video at all. This is easily tested using a program called MEMtest.