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The 4 Main Components Of Your Apple Computer, And What Can Possibly Go Wrong?

There are 4 main components to your computer that dictate performance and can periodically require maintenance

  1. Hard Drive - The hard drive is where your personal data, plus OS and other software, is stored. Most drives are mechanical (HDD) but more modern drives are Solid State (SSD). HDDs are more likely to fail than SSDs but both can experience corruptions due to volume count and directory errors. A disk repair generally costs about $100 while a disk replacement runs from $250-$300. Don’t forget to buy an external hard drive as a Tme Machine backup.
  2. RAM - or Random Access Memory is independent of the hard drive, and is available, generally, to the software and applications as the computer is operating. The more you have, the faster your computer will run. To determine how much you have, look in the About This Mac dialogue in your Apple menu. 
  3. macbook pro logic boardLogic board - This contains the CPU and the GPU (graphics processing unit). Sometimes the graphics processor will fail due to too much heat or other factors. Often this can be replaced or repaired, usually at a cost of $300-$500. IF YOU SPILL WATER, WINE, COFFEE, OR ANY OTHER LIQUID IN YOUR COMPUTER, it can “possibly” be fixed depending on the amount and location of the corrosion and electrical shorting the liquid caused. It WILL be expensive, between $300-$500. The alternative to repairing either of these situations is to replace the logic board altogether, usually around $800-$1000.
  4. Software - I like to say that over the past 10-20 years, the hardware in your personal computer hasn’t changed that dramatically. However, the software that runs that hardware changes constantly. I regularly see operating systems from 2007 (Snow Leopard 10.6.8) and every variation in between, while the current one today is Sierra (10.12.3). In addition, the other native softwares in your machine, ie., Safari, iTunes, Photos, etc need regular updates, as do third party applications like Microsoft Word, Flash, and Java. Not every operating system is appropriate for every vintage of computer, even if it’s compatible according to Apple. 

Tags: RAM,, Hard Drive, Logic Board, Repairs, Software


  • Hi Dan,

    I picked up quite a few useful things in class even without a laptop, and enjoyed the course. Do please let me know if you decide to offer an intermediate level follow up. Thanks,


  • Hi Dan,What a difference!  My MacBook is working much faster now, and not getting hung up.  The newer OS and more memory really helped.Thank you.


  • Dan retrieved the iPhoto library I had deleted from my boyfriend's computer from a Time Machine backup I didn't even know we had. Thank you Dan, you saved my bacon!

  • Whoa .....fabulous ...wonderful ...fantastic ...beautiful......OMG ...thank you so much. I will look into the photos and see what I can do  ....touble is I don't actually know much about Marilyns life! I will make something up .....!!  wow Wonderful to what you have created...


  • Hi Dan,

    It was great to meet you and thanks for your help, I love the dual screen and upgrades. I seem to have forgotten how to access the iphoto shots from the original iphoto and can only find the few new ones, can you re direct me.


  • Hi Dan:

    Thank you so much for helping out with my urgent problem the other day, so promptly – and from the arena! I really did appreciate it (and was so impressed!).


  • Your expeditious replacement of my hard drive is very much appreciated. I had a little trouble restoring the system, but it's now working perfectly (and it seems to be a little faster).In my excitement I forgot to ask about warranty. What do I do?Thank You again

     Trevor W Jackson

  • Just a quick note to thank you again for coming by……this is working ever so much better. See you next month.
  • Just got home. plugged the router and computer in and its working!!!  Go figuure. You must have done something right.


    Al Z

  • Hi Dan, thanks for the January newsletter. I added my vote to you for "outstanding customer service".