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Introduction to Hardware and Operating Systems

IBM via Coursera


If you're ready to enter the world of Information Technology (IT), you need job-ready skills. This course enables you to develop the skills to work with computer hardware and operating systems, and is your first step to prepare for all types of tech related careers that require IT Fundamental skills.

First, learn about the essential software brain of a computer—its operating system software when you explore Microsoft Windows. Next, discover internal key hardware computer components, including motherboard components, central processing unit (CPU) memory, hard drives, expansion slots, and more. Become skilled at identifying the various hardware connections, including categories of ports, add-on peripherals such as mice, and other hardware components. Learn the essentials of basic workstation setup, commonly used operating system settings, screen capture commands, and job-essential good troubleshooting practices.

Now you're ready to combine your hardware and operating systems knowledge to set up and troubleshoot malfunctioning computer systems.

This course is for anyone new to IT and computer hardware or who wants to start an IT support-related profession as a Help Desk Support Specialist, IT Support Specialist, Virtual Customer Service Agent, or Technical Support Representative. Showcase your analytical and evaluation skills via online labs to be job-ready with real-world skills.


  • Operating System Fundamentals 
    • Did you know that computers have been around for centuries? Some of the earliest computers include a stone wheel calculator used in ancient Greece to track solar and lunar eclipses, Jacquard fabric looms from 1803 that used punch card technology and even a 20-digit manual calculator that was invented in the early 1800s. But we’re going to fast forward to 20th and 21st century computing and provide you with an easy and informative introduction to the fundamentals of computing and operating systems operating systems.

      When you complete this module, you'll be able to classify computing devices based on size and usage. You’ll become knowledgeable about operating system history, operating system installation, and operating system components. You’ll explore the notational (numeric) systems used for processing content, storing data, and the display of onscreen text, hardware addresses, website colors, web addresses, and more. You'll also discover two easy to remember notation conversion methods. You'll round out this module with practical knowledge that you'll use when it's time to evaluate computing performance and storage.
  • Computing Devices and Peripherals
    • Computer hardware is the set of physical parts that make up the interior of your computer. Peripherals are pieces of hardware that are added to the outside of a computer for it to work more efficiently. Both hardware and peripherals are used to take input, store data, display output, and execute commands. This week, you will learn about several types of hardware components and peripherals. You will learn about printers and scanners, input and output devices, external storage devices, and audio and video devices.
  • Interfaces and Connectors
    • A computer’s multiple components, both internal and external, are constantly interacting with each other to receive input, perform requested computing functions, and provide output. As technology has evolved and connection methods have standardized, a vast array of external devices can now easily and successfully connect with computers and reliably perform their tasks.

      This week, you will learn how hardware and devices connect to form a functioning computer. You will learn about ports, interfaces, and connectors that are used by graphics, audio, networks, printers, and other peripheral devices. You will also learn about the types of installations these devices use to become operational.
  • Internal Computer Components
    • Computer Hardware is the physical part of a computer. The hardware of a computer is infrequently changed, while software and data are modified frequently. When you think of the term computer hardware, you probably think of the insides of your personal computer at home or the one at work. However, computer hardware does not specifically refer to personal computers. Instead, it is all types of computer systems. Computer hardware is located in embedded systems in automobiles, microwave ovens, CD players, DVD players, and many more devices.

      In this lesson, you’ll learn about some of the common internal components of a home and business computer system.
  • Workstation Evaluation, Setup, and Troubleshooting
    • Workstation setup, operating system configuration, and workstation troubleshooting are all in a day's work for IT support. Whether it's selecting a new computer for a colleague, reconfiguring an operating system for a coworker's accessibility needs, or troubleshooting a file or directory visibility issue, IT support personnel need to have practices and procedures that help them complete these tasks quickly, confidently, and correctly.

      This week, you will gain in-depth knowledge about basic workstation procurement and basic operating system configuration. You’ll explore details about file and folder management that help you optimize your users’ file and folder organization and perhaps even help users to locate files they don't think they can see! You will learn how you can use keyboard commands to capture screens using Windows 10 workstations, macOS workstations, and Chromebooks. You will complete your learning with an overview of business continuity principles for fault tolerance and disaster recovery.
  • Final Quiz
    • In this module, you’ll assess your course knowledge through a final quiz based on the previous five modules.

Taught by

Skills Network


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