What are the differences between hardware and software?
Computer hardware is any physical device, something that you are able to touch, and software is a collection of instructions and code installed into the computer and cannot be touched. For example, the computer monitor you are using to read this text on 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.
To some degree, software uses hardware to operate properly. A video game, which is software, uses the computer processor (CPU), memory (RAM), and video card, which is all hardware, to run. Word processing software uses the computer processor, memory, and hard drive to create documents and save them.
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 would either generate an error or sit at a black screen. Installing additional programs onto the computer after an operating system has been installed gives that computer additional capabilities. For example, a word processor is not required but 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 having problems, an error will be encountered or the computer will not start. Adding other 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 capabilities.