Starting Up and Shutting Down a Computer

Turning your computer on

When you want to use your computer, you have to switch on the various hardware components individually.

Computer Power Button

First, press the power button on the system unit. You’ll usually find the power button on the front of the unit.
Next, switch on your monitor; again, the power button is usually found on the front.
Then, if you have them, switch on your modem, speakers and printer.

Power switches on these peripherals can be located on the front, top, sides or back of the hardware. When you switch on your computer, it performs something called a Power On Self Test (POST for short).

This makes sure that all the internal parts, like the motherboard, RAM, and hard disks, are working. If you switch on the computer for the first time you can see the POST information in the top left corner of the screen.

After the POST test has finished your operating system software will be loaded and the desktop will be displayed. What this looks like will vary with each computer

Turning your computer off

When you have finished using the computer, you should shut it down and switch it off to save power.

Computer Buttons

It’s important that you shut down your computer properly using the operating system software so that all your files and settings are saved correctly for next time. To shut down your computer, you would choose Shut Down and then follow any additional instructions.

You might find that your system unit switches itself off once you have shut down.

If the computer has a power light like the green light in the picture then this light will go out when the computer has completely shut down.

Next: The Keyboard