Tips for Hardware Fixes and Upgrades

Computers have become a very significant part of our lives, but how many of us truly know how one works and, especially, how to fix it when it doesn’t? In this post we talk about some of the skills a truly tech-savvy person has to have, mainly by focusing on what tasks such an individual can be expected to perform.

10. How to properly win the Macbook power cable

MacBooks, like everything else from Apple, are regarded as masterpieces of elegance and minimalist design, however their power chords seem to be an exception to that rule. The power brick has a couple of hooks you can use to coil the cord around, but if you don’t do this properly, you can put too much stress on the cord and break it.

To avoid wrapping the cord too tightly, create a loop with it first where it comes out of the brick, and then wind the cable around winders (see the video for exactly how to do that).

9. Quiet a noisy hard drive

Most of us are probably used to the gentle hum of the PC by now, but sometimes the sound of all those moving parts can turn into a noise that can get quite annoying. The main culprit is the hard disk vibrating against the metal desktop case, but thankfully there are ways to fix this.

One thing you could do is place some tiny rubber inserts around the hard drive, which will absorb the vibration. For even better results, you can suspend the entire drive from elastic straps.

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8. Install your own RAM

Buying your own hardware will almost always be more cost-effective than going with whatever your computer manufacturer gives you, but choosing the right component and then installing it can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. This isn’t the case with RAM, however.

Not only is it easy to go online and find out what kind of memory your computer needs, but placing the stick of RAM in your PC is as easy as opening the case and slotting the RAM in the appropriate socket (which shouldn’t be hard to do, since there’s only one way the Ram fits in the socket and there aren’t any screws or anything like that involved).

7. Practice soldering

Soldering is a skill that will come in handy in almost every DIY project involving gadgets, so it’s best you starting getting good at it as soon as possible!

If fusing parts and circuits are completely new ideas to you, there are plenty of online tutorials (like this one) that can help you get started.

6. Build a “hackintosh” computer

Putting together an Apple computer with parts which didn’t originally come from the Cupertino company is one of the things most of us probably never even thought of, but which sounds really interesting after you think about it. Not only is this entirely possible, it doesn’t take a lot of skill to do it, either!

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If you’re already comfortable building your own PC and the thought of having an Apple computer fost less than $1000 appeals to you, you can create a “hackintosh” (which is any non-Apple system hacked to Mac OS X) by following this guide.

5. Install a new hard drive

Hard drives are always getting bigger, and every time you get a new PC you think the one which came with it is the last one you’ll ever need – only to be proven wrong after a few months of downloading. That’s when you turn to the market for an even bigger hard drive, but before you can use it, you have to learn how to actually install it.

This isn’t too difficult to do, simply find en empty space inside the space to mount the drive, plug in the appropriate cables, and install the drivers if you need to.

4. Replace your power supply

For obvious reasons, the power supply is a crucial component of your computer, definitely one you don’t want to save money on or keep after its time has passed. So it’s definitely a good idea to understand the basics of power supplies, how to recognize the right one for your system, and how to replace one which, for whatever reason, needs replacing.

3. Replace a broken laptop LCD

As any laptop user knows, a serious problem with your display usually means you have to look for a replacement and hope you can use the old one for parts. However this doesn’t always have to be the case, especially if your laptop is fairly new and you can find the right LCD model to replace the broken one.

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And if that doesn’t work, consider turning your laptop into a so-called “headless” system, which allows you to use the device by connecting it to a different display (basically like a PC).

2. Upgrade to a new motherboard and CPU

While most moderately tech-competent people would attempt to add a new RAM stick or replace their hard drive, only the most confident would try to actually put in a new motherboard or CPU. That’s because this is, in a sense, the “central nervous system” of the computer, and if you mess something up here you could ruin your entire PC.

That being said, working with these components isn’t exactly rocket science, as you can see by going through the following guide.

1. Build your own computer from scratch

If you’re comfortable with everything else we’ve talked about in this post, than you certainly have what it takes to build your own PC. You’ll need to do a lot of research online to find out which components work best with each other, then order them individually from websites like Newegg or Amazon.

By putting your computer together yourself, gain a whole lot of flexibility, not to mention the fact that you’ll be saving a ton of money.

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