Unit 2: Computer Technology - Computers

This unit will introduce you to computers, related components, and troubleshooting.

Course Units and Descriptions

Use this table for an overview and navigate to each of the course unit pages.

Unit Description
Review course outline for more details
1 Careers & Safety- Intro, computers, organization, safety, and research careers
2 Computers- organization, hardware, design, software, maintenance, building, repair, and troubleshooting
3 Circuits- Electrical characteristics, calculations, components, digital logic design, project build, and troubleshooting
4 Tetrix-Bot- micro controllers, electronics, robot builds, circuit building, programming, robot navigation, testing, and troubleshooting
5 Web Portfolio- Showcase course work, projects, and understanding with web portfolio and presentation


Unit Content Activity Quick Links, Click to Jump to Specific Activity!

  1. Unit 2, Act. 1: Computer Rebuild and Troubleshooting
    1. Ideas, Process, Steps, Eval

- TOP - Unit 1, Act. 1: Computer Rebuild and Troubleshooting



A class of students interested in the field of Computer Technology, Engineering and Robotics have taken a course to find out what it is all about. One of the major principals of this course/field is the "Design Process". Coming up efficiently with solutions and answers is one of the things Engineers do on a daily bases.


Your challenge as part of a design process model, SPICE is to use this process in a variety of hands-on-practical projects throughout this course. The first being a computer tear down and rebuild. Some of the steps you will be doing are:

    Rebuild computer the right way!
  1. Familiarize your self with the room we will be working in and working with computer hardware for safety and awareness
  2. Review the steps to take apart, cleaning/maintenance, and put back together your assigned computer
  3. Filling out a Task Report Tracking sheet properly with key steps approved by instructor
  4. Sketching a layout of your computer components with major components labeled, taking a picture, and documenting your specs
  5. Setting up a station, checking condition, prior to tear-down/re-build
  6. Creating and presenting a 4 minute presentation of a specific computer component
  7. Trouble-shooting and report tracking for computer service repair and maintenance

- TOP - Investigation/Ideas:


Ultimate Computer build

Here are some points to think about during the computer tear down that you will need to consider:

  • Review room, resources, basic tools, cleaning process, working with electronics, and handling a computer
  • Familiarizing with a guide/tracking sheet, main steps/process required
  • Researching computer information that will benefit your knowledge, skills and experience with this activity
  • Document work, observations, and steps taken as you test, teardown, clean, rebuild, and re-test your rebuilt system


A great way to learn about computer hardware is through a teardown, maintenance, and rebuild process. To get started with this process, there are several preliminary things to be aware of such as your working location and resources, basic tools, cleaning process, working with electrical and electronics, and computer handling. Looking at all of these areas related to safety are key to keeping the person, hardware, the system, and others safe during this process.

air reg pres

- TOP - Design Process and Troubleshooting links

There are many design process models out there, although we will use a simple one. Using this process model we can apply it to many things such as troubleshooting, building a computer for a specific need, etc. We will look at a simple process model called SPICE to show how the technical design process works. The design process can be applied to just about anything. In this case , we can use it for design & builds, troubleshooting, and computer maintenance. Below are some links showing what this process is all about.

Computer Hardware/Software
comp check

Computer Hardware/Software Restore, Upgrade, and Customize

How about taking an old, really old computer and not just restoring it, but upgrade and customize it to max out its capabilities and look great for cheap. Here are some videos showing just that with similar past computers we have used in our computer labs, here at the school.

dell optiplex780

- TOP - Create/Construct:


The following is a list of major steps to guide you though this project. After you get familiar with the room we will be working in, you will review safety aspects of working with computers, related tools, and air cleaning. You will use the Task Report Tracking sheet as a guide to track your computer hardware hands-on-work:

  1. Students will get familiar with PDF Electrical Shop, PDF safety with computers, tools, air cleaning and computer station set-up/testing process
  2. Tear-down/Rebuild Steps Tracking handout - you are required to get each step checked/approved with the instructor before moving on to the next step, to ensure each step is done correctly, before moving on to the next step, as it documents, improve safety, reduce mistakes, maximizes learning, and marks
  3. Computer Component Presentation handout - students will select a computer component from a list of related computer components for their presentation. Students will research 4 related topics including Hardware Parts, Operation, How it technically Works, and Variations or similar components, to share as in-depth explanation and understanding of your computer component. A rough research report will be required to complete first to show your research. The Power Point presentation sample can be used as a guide and/or template to use as your Google Slides. Presentation to include title and description, an overview, your required topics, a summary, and your resource links. Power Point Sample All slides to have a related picture/illustrations (illustrations may be better to support your explanations of how it works) with a text ratio of 50/50 and ensure you have excellent contrast with your easy-to-read key points (4-6 per slide) on your topics. You will have between 3-4 minutes or 22-30 seconds to present your computer component. Ensure that you hand-in your completed self/peer evaluation sheet the same day after you have presented.
  4. Task Process Report handout - will be used to report on possible maintenance and troubleshooting with further individual/group related project tasks that you may be assigned.

- TOP - Evaluation:


You will be evaluated based on your documentation, accurate log and tracking of your steps, and completion of your computer back together and working as it was when you initially received it. Your presentation will be evaluated on your content, PPT layout, communication.

Evaluation Breakdown - Tear-down Process Marks
Always double check that you have completed all components for full marks.
Room - Familiarize with room and safety 10
Safety - Tools, cleaning, air pressure, electrical, handling 10
Steps 1-3 - Tagged, specs, sketch, power-up test for current state, document 20
Step 4-5 - Air cleaned, complete dis-assemble, and all parts laid out neat & organized 15
Step 6-7 - Complete re-assemble, cable organization, & power-up with teacher 25
Presentation Marks
Rough Report - Description, 4 main topics, and resources 21
PPT Content - Key topic information 15
PPT Layout - Organized, visual appealing, and easy to read 15
PPT Presented - Content, communications, Knowledge & time 20

Emergency Supply Teacher Instructions

In case of emergency, this Computer Hardware review and questions is to be used if supply teacher asks you to do it. Copy the review questions to a Google doc, then use the computer hardware article to answer questions 1-25. Answer in point form in your own words. For further advanced work, copy the Discussion Questions to a Google doc and answer questions 1-12. Marks will be based on 1/2 mark for quick/short answers, 1 mark for long/detailed answers. Pay close attention to question wording to answer each question fully.