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How a computer works from scratch?
Do you want to know how a computer works from the scratch? Do you want to find how the different parts of a computer works functions when the PC runs. This article has all the answers for your queries. In this article, you are going to learn what is a PC, programming, types of programming, functions of a computer, PC components and what happens when you start a PC?
What is a PC?
Everyone of you are aware of PC. It has a decent shiny monitor that displays text, pictures and videos and changes according to your action. When you type on the keyboard, click a mouse or twist a joystick, you see the output on the monitor screen. You can even listen sound through the speaker. Hence, a PC is a device that helps you to perform tasks, prepare documents, play games and check up the latest news on the internet.
What is a programming?
The most important and mandatory part of your PC is the programming. Programming are the commands that tell your computer what it needs to do to get done easily. The programs or the commands consist of the digits of ones and zeroes. The computer hardware understands only these commands to do any required activity. Hence, a computer is an analyzable interaction between the hardware, computer programming and you. Any information or data in the computers like the documents, emails etc are stored in ones and zeroes. It is the programs which translate these ones and zeroes so that you understand it properly.
Types of programming
Programming are divided into two types. They are applications and operating system. The programs that get the work done are known as applications. There are many examples of applications like web browsers and e-mail programs. Besides, the main program that helps you to start and stop different applications, respond to hardware and perform many other functions are called the operating system. There are many operating systems that used by you today like the Linux, Windows XP etc. These applications and operating system together combines to form software.
Functions of a computer
There are mainly four stages through which a computer functions. They are input stage, processing stage, output stage and processing stage. Each of these stages are as defined below:
- Input stage: The input stage is the stage when data is put into the computers through keyboards and mouse. The keyboards when get pressed by your finger the operating system translates them into codes so that the hardware can understand.
- Processing: In this stage, the processing of the data that you have put in the computer takes place. Processing takes place inside the computer with the help of hardware and operating system. This is something which you will never be able to watch.
- Output stage: This is the third stage where output takes place. After processing of the data the result we find in the monitor. Though a hardware device does the printing but it is the operating system that controls the printing process.
- Storage: You may need to store some data as a record which you would retrieve later. Hence, it is necessary to keep this data safe as permanent records. This vital fourth stage is known as the storage. Sometimes, these data can also be stored in external storage devices like a CD, DVD, pen drive etc.
Now, for your better understanding on how a PC works let us see how the following PC components that make up the complete PC works. The following are the components that are found in all PCs which are as given below:
- CPU Case: This is the system case that protects the internal components of your PC from the outside environment. The size of these cases vary according to the motherboard inside the case. All the cables are attached to the box. The front side of the case has the buttons that turn the system on/off and light glows to inform about the status of your system. It also has USB connections, audio connections and CD-Rom drives/DVD drives on it.
- Motherboard: The motherboard is like a heart of your PC where everything is connected. A motherboard is a thin, flat piece of board. It is the connection for various PC components. It also connects external devices like mouse, keyboards, printer etc.
- Power Supply: The power needed to run your PC is supplied by the power supply of your PC. It takes AC power and converts into DC power. It is mounted inside the case and some of its wires go into the motherboard of your PC.
- Ram: Ram stands for random access memory and it is the primary memory of your computer. The currently used data and programs by the CPU is stored by the ram. The data and programs that a ram can store is measured in bytes. Each piece of ram is called a stick.
- CPU: CPU stands for central processing unit and is also called microprocessor. It main function is to perform all the calculations that take place inside the PC. It is available in various shapes and sizes. Since they generate a lot of heat, a heat sink and a cooling fan is required to avoid overheating.
- Plug, Ports, Jacks and Connectors
In a PC, there are different types of connectors which can fix into DIN, USB, Fire-wire, DB, RJ and audio. A plug goes into a port or a jack. You need to place a port into a Jack. They connect one device to another with wires and cables.
What happens when you start a PC?
As soon as you power on the PC, the motherboard and other components receive the power. The PC then performs the POST or power on self test function to check for any hardware failure. This is known as the boot process of the PC. After the post has finished, the control gets passed to the last bios function, that is, the bootstrap loader. The bootstrap loader contains the BIOS code which reads the CMOS information. Then the PC displays the information of the boot process on your monitor. Once the boot process is complete it starts loading the operating system. Finally, you can use your PC for your work.
Now go through the process in detail and find out what actually happens when you start your computer. It has been described in detail below for your better and simple understanding:
- As soon as you power on the PC, it boots up regularly with no problems and starts the operating system and then finds the hardware and software constituents which work together to provide you with great surfing experience. But did you ever thought what happens between the time when you start your PC and the desktop icons that appears on your desktop? For a computer to boot up successfully, the BIOS, the operating system and the hardware parts should work in the right way. If a failure occurs in any of these, that is, the BIOS, the operating system and the hardware parts, then it will result in a boot sequence failure.
- For the first time, when the computer's power is turned on, the CPU initializes itself to look to the ROM BIOS for the first instruction. This first instruction is stores is stored in the ROM BIOS and it is an instruction to run the POST or power on self test in a memory address. POST starts up and checks the BIOS chips and tests the CMOS RAM. The POST initializes the CPU, checks the hardware devices, secondary storage devices and other hardware devices of find out if they are working properly. As soon as the POST makes it sure that all the components are working properly including the CPU then the BIOS looks for the operating system to load.
- Then the BIOS queries the CMOS chips to find the operating system. The operating system is found in the C drive of hard disk in most PCs. The CMOS looks looks in order of the drives to find the operating system and this very process is known as boot sequence. The BIOS finding the right boot drive will first interact with boot recorder which informs it where to find the operating system and the related program files which will start the operating system.
- As the operating system starts, the BIOS files get copied into the memory and now the operating system takes control of the boot process. Then the operating system checks the memory availability and loads the drivers that it needs to control all the other devices like printer, keyboard etc. This is the last stage and after this you find the system accessible to you for your usage
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