Theory
Task 1: Be familiar with the computer system & its hardware componentslike motherboard,smps, ram, fdd, hard disk drive, cd, dvd and add on cards.

1. Motherboard:


A motherboard is an integral and one of the essential parts of the computer system.

It connect, and allows communication between, many of the crucial electronic components of a system, such as the central processing unit (cpu) and memory, and provides connectors for other peripherals. Unlike a backplane, a motherboard usually contains significant sub-systems such as the central processor, the chipset's input/output and memory controllers, interface connectors, and other components integrated for general purpose use and applications.

Motherboard specifically refers to a pcb with expansion capabilities as the name suggests, this board is often referred to as the "mother" of all components attached to it, which often include peripherals, interface cards, andsound cards, video cards, network cards, hard drives, or other forms of persistent storage; tv tuner cards, cards providing extra usb or firewire slots and a variety of other custom components.



2. SMPS : Switched Mode Power Supply


A switched-mode power supply (smps) is an electronic circuit that converts power using switching devices that are turned on and off at high frequencies, and storage components such as inductors or capacitors to supply power when the switching device is in its non-conduction state.

Function of smps : the main function of smps in a computer is to convert the ac current to dc and then supply it to the motherboard. Smps regulate and provide reliable output irrespective of variation in input voltage for proper functioning of your computer.

Functional block diagram of smps



3. RAM: Random Access Memory


Ram(random access memory) is a part of computer’s main memory which is directly accessible by cpu. Random-access memory is a form of computer memory that can be read and changed in any order, typically used to store working data and machine code. A random-access memory device allows data items to be read or written in almost the same amount of time irrespective of the physical location of data inside the memory.

Integrated ram chips are available in two form:
  • Sram(static ram)
  • Dram(dynamic ram)
Function of ram

A computer's random access memory stores data for short-term use. Ram works in conjunction with the hard drive, which takes care of long-term storage, to provide quick access to files that the computer is actively reading or writing.

Unlike hard drive memory, however, program data stored in ram is erased when you reboot the computer or when another program needs the space for its own use.

The more ram your cpu has access to, the easier its job becomes, which enables a faster computer.

If you do not have a sufficient amount of ram than your cpu has to work much, much harder to transfer data, which severally damages the computer's performance.

Ram also helps your system support software.

Block diagram of RAM:

4. HDD: Hard Disk Drive


A computer hard disk drive (hdd) is a non-volatile memory hardware device that controls the positioning, reading and writing of the hard disk, which furnishes data storage. Hard disk drives are commonly used as the main storage device in a computer. Hdds often store operating system, software programs and other files, and can be found in desktop computers, mobile devices, consumer electronics and enterprise storage arrays in data centers.

How hard disk drive work

In computer's hard drive, there a large shiny, circular "plate" of magnetic material called a platter, divided into billions of tiny areas.

Each one of those areas can be independently magnetized (to store a 1) or demagnetized (to store a 0). Magnetism is used in computer storage because it goes on storing information even when the power is switched off. If you magnetize a nail, it stays magnetized until you demagnetize it. In much the same way, the computerized information (or data) stored in your pc hard drive or ipod stays there even when you switch the power off.



  1. head actuator that moves the read-write arm. In older hard drives, the actuators were stepper motors. In most modern hard drives, voice coils are used instead. As their name suggests, these are simple electromagnets, working rather like the moving coils that make sounds in loudspeakers. They position the read-write arm more quickly, precisely, and reliably than stepper motors and are less sensitive to problems such as temperature variations.
  2. Read-write arm swings read-write head back and forth across platter.
  3. Central spindle allows platter to rotate at high speed.
  4. Magnetic platter stores information in binary form.
  5. Plug connections link hard drive to circuit board in personal computer.
  6. Read-write head is a tiny magnet on the end of the read-write arm.
  7. Circuit board on underside controls the flow of data to and from the platter.
  8. Flexible connector carries data from circuit board to read-write head and platter.
  9. Small spindle allows read-write arm to swing across platter.


5. CD/DVD Disk Drive


An optical disc drive that reads and writes all common cd and dvd formats. All modern optical drives that come with personal computers are cd/dvd drives.

The cd writer/dvd writer is a multipurpose rewriteable drive that can read audio, data, and video files and can record, or write, in both cd and dvd formats.

This dvd writer/cd writer drive enables you to: create custom audio, data, and video files that can be recorded onto cds or dvds.

How cd/dvd disk drive work?

The cd drive shines a laser at the surface of the cd and can detect the reflective areas and the bumps by the amount of laser light they reflect.

The drive converts the reflections into 1s and 0s to read digital data from the disc. A cd-r disc needs to allow the drive to write data onto the disc.



This Lab is Developed by @ Virtuality