What are the differences between hardware and software?
Computer hardware is any physical device used in or with your machine, whereas software is a collection of code installed onto your computer's hard drive; it is intangible. For example, the computer monitor you are using to read this text and the mouse you are using to navigate this web page is computer hardware. The Internet browser that allowed you to visit this page and the operating system that the browser is running on is considered software.
Nearly all software utilizes hardware to operate properly. A video game, which is software, uses the computer processor (CPU), memory (RAM), and video card, all of which is hardware, to run. Word processing software uses the computer processor, memory, and hard drive to create and save documents.
Can a computer run without software?
In most situations, yes, a computer can run without software being installed. However, if an operating system or interpreter is not found on the computer, it either generates an error or doesn't output any information. Installing programs onto the computer in addition to an operating system gives the computer additional capabilities. For example, a word processor is not required, but it allows you to create documents and letters.
Can a computer run without hardware?
Depends on the hardware. Most computers require at least a display, hard drive, keyboard, memory, motherboard, processor, power supply, and video card in order to function properly. If any of these devices are missing or malfunctioning, an error is encountered, or the computer will not start. Adding hardware such as a disc drive (e.g. CD-ROM or DVD), modem, mouse, network card, printer, sound card, or speakers are not required, but give the computer additional functionality.