hardware failure - Computer Definition. A malfunction within the electronic circuits or electromechanical components (disks, tapes) of a computer system. Recovery from a hardware failure requires repair or replacement of the offending part. Contrast with software failure.
When their computer fails due to a hardware issue, many users will ask the same logical question: What caused the hardware issue to begin with? Hardware can go bad due to a huge number of different factors, but here we'll take a look at some of the most common ones.
Several components of a computer system contain moving parts that can fail. In most cases, these moving parts are in traditional hard disk drives, the buttons in keyboards and mice, or the fans present in the case or in graphics card and processor coolers. As these components age and get used, the mechanical components wear out and begin to fail. If not addressed quickly, these component failures can actually result in damage to other components in the system.
Sometimes, the electrical components of a computer system will fail. This usually happens because of a bad capacitor or similar electrical component present on either the motherboard, the power supply, or a laptop AC adapter. Capacitors control the power going into a system, and over time they begin to fail. On some older capacitors, the failure results in a visible leakage of the chemicals inside the capacitor. When these fail, the component needs to be replaced.
Heat and dust
Heat and dust are both problems that are present in almost any environment. While there are plenty of things that can be done to mitigate the potentially damaging effects of these issues, they'll always be present to some extent. Dust build up can reduce the efficiency of your system's cooling, which makes it heat up more quickly. Over time, this heat can damage your components. Many computer components operate at temperatures over 50 degrees Celsius, or 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Without proper cooling or with too much dust accumulation, these temperatures can get much higher and cause damage to the heat sensitive components of your computer.
Computer components are produced on a massive scale, and while quality control has improved over the last several years, it still isn't perfect. Every once in a while, a component is manufactures that either just doesn't work or is on the brink of failure before it's even been unpacked. Fortunately, these kinds of situations are almost always covered by some kind of warranty and you can go through the manufacturer's RMA process to get the part replaced
Wear and tear
Even for those of us that are very careful with our things, accidents happen and damage from ordinary use is impossible to prevent. This is especially true for laptop users, who will often need to move their computers around, increasing the risk of dropping it or causing damage by packing or unpacking it. This damage accumulates slowly over time, and it might eventually get to a point where something breaks.
Regardless of the cause
If your computer has a hardware failure, we can help you by diagnosing the issue and replacing the part that went bad. Most failed hardware can be fixed or replaced for significantly less than the cost of a new computer, so it's at least worth your time to come in and have us look at it!