What is Computer Hardware Maintenance?

When looking to improve your computer’s performance, a commonly overlooked factor is computer hardware maintenance. Most people purchase new parts or even buy a brand-new device whenever they encounter computer errors and faulty computer hardware components. There are basic actions you can take to improve your computer’s performance immediately. 

PC hardware maintenance is the process of auditing, upgrading, and maintaining a computer’s physical parts to ensure the components perform optimally. IT hardware maintenance involves caring for components such as the keyboard, CD drives, hard disk, battery, and other peripherals. 

Computers typically last between five to eight years with basic maintenance but can last even longer by conducting regular hardware preventive maintenance. Before we answer the fundamental question of what is the hardware in a computer. We explore the importance of IT hardware maintenance, let’s look at what entails a computer’s hardware and what needs hardware preventative maintenance.

What is Computer Hardware?

So, what are the hardware components that need to be maintained? Computer hardware comprises all the physical elements of a PC. These components include:

  • Monitor
  • Keyboard
  • Central Processing Unit (CPU)
  • Motherboard
  • Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
  • Optical drive (CD & DVD)
  • Mouse
  • Random Access Memory (RAM)
  • Speakers
  • Graphics card
  • Sound card
  • Fans
  • Printer

The parts listed above require regular maintenance to prevent breakdowns and replacement. Although the hardware design and manufacture may differ, these parts perform the same function. The key differentiation is performance quality and speed.

For example, all hard disk drives store data, but their capacity determines your computer’s performance. If you’re operating a low-capacity HDD, you may not efficiently run large programs that require enough storage space to perform optimally. 

What is Computer Hardware Maintenance?

PC hardware maintenance primarily involves cleaning, repairing, testing, and upgrading the physical components of your computer. These are the components that require inspection during IT hardware maintenance procedures:

  • CPU fan and heatsink – ensure the fan spins freely without hiccups and rotates when you switch the power on. Ensure any buildups of lint or dust are removed.
  • RAM components – check that RAM memory modules are seated securely on the motherboard and the retaining clips are in place (if fitted).
  • Storage components – ensure that both internal and external devices connect properly to the computer and are discoverable. For example, sometimes, when you cannot discover a hard drive on your computer’s settings, it can be due to loose cables. 
  • Screws – ensure all parts are screwed in firmly with no loose nuts and bolts.
  • Power supply – Inspect the AC power unit and ensure your computer’s cord sits firmly on the output socket. Also, examine the DC power connectors and see that they connect as expected. 

Perform an output voltage test with a digital multimeter to check power tolerance ranges. 

  • Keyboard and mouse – use compressed air dusters to blast off debris from your keyboard and mouse. Ensure the mouse works consistently and make replacements where necessary.   
  • Expansion cards – ensure your computer’s expansion card (also known as adapter card) is placed firmly and securely with the retainer screws.  
  • Cabling – analyze all cables to check for proper connectivity. Utilize ties to gather and route lines to prevent accidents. Also, label your cables for easier identification, especially if multiple devices connect to one port.