HWD101 - PC Hardware I

Outline info
Last revision date 2017-05-29 00:32:25.584
Last review date 2017-07-17 00:15:34.677

Subject Title
PC Hardware I

Subject Description

This subject is an introduction to computer functions and introductory networking concepts. Through activity-based learning students will examine the relationships between computer, operating system and networking components.  Students will examine the roles of computers and networking devices and demonstrate how to deploy this equipment to achieve computer functionality and network connectivity.  Students will gain hands-on knowledge and troubleshooting capabilities in this course.

Credit Status
1 credit in the CNS/CTY program.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Compare, contrast and recommend PC hardware components in order to build an appropriate computer for its intended use.

2. Describe the internal workings of a modern computer to aid in the diagnoses of a malfunctioning computer.

3. Describe the operation of current peripheral devices to determine how they interact with the computer.

4. Construct a working computer from parts to learn how to replace individual parts when required.

5. Describe basic networking terminology as it relates to PCs to troubleshoot PC connectivity.

6. Construct a working LAN model to observe networking devices functioning to provide connectivity

7. Perform diagnostics to troubleshoot faulty computers and network connections between devices.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

IOS110 or experience with PC operating systems 

Topic Outline
Number Systems 5%

Binary, octal, hex
Two's Complement

Hardware Component Identification 10%
The main components:
Device Controller & Devices
Input devices
Output devices
Storage devices
Power Supplies 5%
Types of power supplies
Different power supply form factors
Power connectors
Surge protection and battery backup
Power requirement calculations
Introduction to Processors 5%
Processor History
Introduction to cache memory
CPU specifics
Memory access
Comparison of Intel and AMD
Multi-core processors
PC Motherboards 10%
Basic Functions of a PCs Motherboard
Identification of Form Factors
Introduction to Chipsets
Examination of the North and South Bridge
Examination of the Hub Architecture
PC Databus Architecture 10%
Legacy architectures
Fire Wire
PCI Express
System Resources 5%
Hardware interrupts
I/O Ports
Memory Ranges
Basic Input/Output System 5%
Examine what a BIOS is
Identify different BIOS manufacturers and their ways of writing BIOS firmware
Memory 10%
Differences between RAM and ROM
Differences between DRAM and SRAM
DRAM classification
Flash memory
Magnetic Storage 10%
Data organization within a hard drive
High and Low Level Format
Hard Drive Partioning
Benchmark techiques
Master boot records, boot managers
File Systems
Magnetic Storage Mechanics
Raid Systems
Enterprise Storage
Legacy Devices
Optical and Removable Storage Devices 10%
Types of CD and DVD ROM drives
Comparison with Hard Drive data storage
Other types of removable storage devices
Sound, Video Cards, Monitors and Other Devices 10%
Sound card basics
Video card basics
Types of connectors
Types of monitors
Printers and Scanners
Mice and Keyboards
Other Devices
PC Networking Components 5%
What is a network?
Cables, Connectors, Network Adapters, Switches, Routers,
Peer-to-Peer versus Client-Server Networks

Mode of Instruction
Classroom lectures and discussions are supplemented by lab sessions with the instructor, reinforced by assigned readings and assignments between classes. 

It is the student's responsibility to save documents, articles and notes that the instructor has provided on BlackBoard or in class. Students will not be able to access BlackBoard as of the last day of the student’s class.

Prescribed Texts
A+ Guide to Managing & Maintaining Your PC   (custom textbook and lab manual bundle); Jean Andrews; Nelson Education Ltd; 2nd Custom Edition ISBN#0176592393

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Since this is a professional credit subject, marking standards reinforce professional practice by demanding legible, tidy work. Written materials should be well organized and grammatically correct, with proper spelling and punctuation.


  • Students must retain a duplicate of all assignments.
  • Computer assignments should be documented to the instructor's standards.
  • Assignments must be handed in on the scheduled due date. Late assignments are penalized.
  • For particulars, please obtain standards, dates, etc. from your instructor.
Absenteeism and Tests
  • Students should be aware that absenteeism will impact on their ability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • If you miss a test, you must provide the reason in writing to the instructor prior to the next scheduled class. If your reason is accepted, you will be permitted to write a make-up test. Otherwise, you will be given a zero for the test. You must submit an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time of expected absence and the specific reason for your absence, or other appropriate documentation.
Term Work and Final Exam
  • Students must attain a combined grade of at least 50% on term work and the final exam. Students must pass the final exam in order to pass the subject
  • For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see a copy of the Academic Policy available at Seneca registration offices.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:

Tests (minimum 2) 30%
Assignments (minimum 2) 20%
Lab Work 15%
Lab Exam 10%
Final Exam 25%

Approved by: Denis Gravelle