Synopses & Reviews
Most computer users think that fiddling with the insides of their PC is taboo. They fear that by removing the screws that hold the case on, they're crossing into forbidden territory. And even for those who know they can open the box and fix or upgrade their PC, analysis paralysis often stops them in their tracks:
Which upgrades offer the best bang for the buck? How do you pinpoint the faulty component that's making your system freeze? What about compatibility issues?
Get ready to get unstuck and get your PC running fast and running right. Repairing and Upgrading Your PC delivers start-to-finish instructions, simple enough for even the most inexperienced PC owner, for troubleshooting, repairing, and upgrading your computer. Written by hardware experts Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson, this book covers it all: how to troubleshoot a troublesome PC, how to identify which components make sense for an upgrade, and how to tear it all down and put it back together. This book shows how to repair and upgrade all of your PC's essential components:
- Motherboard, CPU, and Memory. Choose the optimal match of these core components to keep your PC running at top speed
- Hard Drive, Optical Drive, and Removable Storage
- Give your computer what it needs for long-term and short-term storage
- Audio and Video. Enhance your computing experience with the right sound and graphics devices for your needs
- Input Devices. Pick the best keyboard and mouse to keep your hands happy and healthy
- Networking. Set up secure wireless networking to keep the bits flowing between your computers and the outside world
- Cases and Power Supplies. Keep everything running cool and reliably
With its straightforward language, clear instructions, and extensive illustrations, this book makes it a breeze for PC owners of any skill level to work on their computer.
The focus of this do-it-yourself book is on hardware, but it also devotes attention to various software issues related to troubleshooting and testing, upgrading and maintaining systems, drivers, installing security patches, and defragging. Repairing and Upgrading Your PC is organized in a way that's accessible to casual users, with plenty of full-color screen shots to illustrate the discussions. Handy charts summarize the different upgrades a user might consider, whether it's to add features, increase reliability, improve performance, reduce noise level, make the system more convenient to use, enhance safety and security, or some combination of these factors. For users who want to upgrade their current systems, but are a little wary of poking around unfamiliar territory, this guide offers a friendly and dependable step-by-step approach for doing the job with confidence.
About the Author
Robert Bruce Thompson is a coauthor of O'Reilly's Building the Perfect PC and PC Hardware in a Nutshell. A born geek, he built his first computer in 1976 with 256 bytes of memory, toggle switches, and no operating system. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. Robert spends most clear, moonless nights outdoors with his 10-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope, hunting down faint fuzzies, and is currently designing a larger truss-tube Dobsonian (computerized, of course) that he plans to build.
Barbara Fritchman Thompson, the coauthor of Building the Perfect PC and PC Hardware in a Nutshell, worked for 20 years as a librarian before starting her own home-based consulting practice, Research Solutions. She's also a researcher for the law firm Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge, & Rice, PLLC. During her leisure hours, Barbara reads, works out, plays golf, and, like Robert, is an avid amateur astronomer.
Table of Contents
Dedication; Foreword; Preface; Organization of This Book; Acknowledgments; We'd Like to Hear from You; Chapter 1: Getting Started; 1.1 Upgrading or Repairing Versus Buying New; 1.2 Popular Upgrades; 1.3 Choosing Components; 1.4 Buying Components; 1.5 Troubleshooting; Chapter 2: Working on PCs; 2.1 Rules to Upgrade and Repair By; 2.2 Hand Tools; 2.3 Software Tools; 2.4 General Procedures; Chapter 3: System Maintenance; 3.1 System Cleaning; 3.2 Preventative Maintenance; Chapter 4: Motherboards; 4.1 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Motherboards; 4.2 A Motherboard Tour; 4.3 Identifying a Motherboard; 4.4 Replacing a Motherboard; 4.5 Troubleshooting and Maintaining Motherboards; Chapter 5: Processors; 5.1 The Truth About Processor Performance; 5.2 Processor Characteristics; 5.3 Processor Types; 5.4 CPU Coolers; 5.5 Processor Upgrade Considerations; 5.6 Replacing the Processor; 5.7 Troubleshooting Processors; Chapter 6: Memory; 6.1 Understanding Memory; 6.2 Memory Performance; 6.3 Other Memory Issues; 6.4 Choosing Memory; 6.5 Installing Memory; 6.6 Troubleshooting Memory Installation and Operation; Chapter 7: Hard Disk Drives; 7.1 Hard Disk Drive Interfaces; 7.2 Choosing a Hard Disk Drive; 7.3 Installing a Hard Disk Drive; 7.4 Enabling DMA Mode Transfers (PATA Only); 7.5 Troubleshooting Hard Drive Problems; Chapter 8: Optical Drives; 8.1 Optical Drive Types; 8.2 Optical Drive Performance; 8.3 Optical Disc Types; 8.4 Installing and Configuring an Optical Drive; 8.5 Troubleshooting Optical Drives; Chapter 9: External and Removable Storage Devices; 9.1 Uses for External and Removable Storage; 9.2 External Hard Drives; 9.3 External Drive Enclosures; 9.4 Removable Hard Drive Enclosures; 9.5 USB Flash Memory Drives; 9.6 Tape Drives; Chapter 10: Video Adapters; 10.1 Video Adapter Interfaces; 10.2 Choosing a Video Adapter; 10.3 TV Tuner/Capture Cards; 10.4 Installing a Video Card; 10.5 Configuring Windows Video; 10.6 Troubleshooting Video Adapters Problems; Chapter 11: Displays; 11.1 CRT Displays; 11.2 LCD Displays; 11.3 Troubleshooting Display Problems; Chapter 12: Audio; 12.1 Audio Adapters; 12.2 Audio Adapter Characteristics; 12.3 Choosing an Audio Adapter; 12.4 Installing a Sound Card; 12.5 Configuring an Audio Adapter Card Under Windows; 12.6 Speakers and Headphones; 12.7 Choosing Speakers and Headphones; 12.8 Troubleshooting Audio Problems; Chapter 13: Input Devices; 13.1 Keyboards; 13.2 Mice and Trackballs; 13.3 Game Controllers; Chapter 14: Wireless Networking; 14.1 Wireless Networking Standards; 14.2 Wireless Components; Chapter 15: Cases; 15.1 Case Characteristics; 15.2 Tweaking Your Current Case; Chapter 16: Power Supplies and Power Protection; 16.1 Power Supplies; 16.2 Choosing a Power Supply; 16.3 Power Protection; Colophon;