PC Doctor March 11, 2019

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Dear PC Doctor:

I recently dropped off my computer for repair. The technician listened to what I said was going on and thought it might be either the logic board or the hard drive. She said that, if it’s the logic board, I shouldn’t spend the money to repair it. If it’s the hard drive, I could get a new solid state drive and then the computer would be fine, and maybe even faster. Can you tell me, briefly, what’s a logic board? What’s a solid state drive?

Thank you,

Dear Jim:

A logic board is a printed circuit board that contains logic circuits. “Logic board” is what Apple calls the computer’s motherboard. The computer only works if it has a functioning logic board. Every hardware peripheral in your computer connects to the logic board. One local repair shop indicated that replacing the logic board can cost somewhere around $600. That’s likely why your technician advised you against it.

It sounds like your old drive is an HDD - “Hard Disk Drive.” The hard drive is what stores all your data. It houses the hard disk, where all your files and folders are physically located. A typical hard drive is only slightly larger than your hand, yet can hold over 100 GB of data. The data is stored on a stack of disks that spin extremely fast so that data can be accessed immediately from anywhere on the drive. The data is stored on the hard drive magnetically, so it stays on the drive even after the power supply is turned off.

A solid state drive (SSD) is called “solid” because it doesn’t have moving parts. The only thing that moves in a solid state drive is the electrical patterns. An SSD does basically the same job as an HDD. The difference is that an SSD is not magnetic. Instead, your data is stored on flash memory chips. SSDs access your data faster than HDDs. SSDs are also lighter, quieter, and use less power than hard drives, and you don’t have to defragment them. Because they’re not magnetic, SSDs are also not susceptible to damage from magnetic disturbance. Solid state drives are typically faster than older style hard drives, which is why they are so popular. Folks with SSD computers can usually tell the difference in speed right away.

I hope this helps!
Until next time,
Happy Computing!

PC Doctor

Editor's Note: Questions should be directed to PC Doctor, care of the Athol Public Library, info@athollibrary.org or Athol Public Library, 568 Main St., Athol, Mass. 01331, or dropped off at the library.