Percussive Maintenance

What Does Percussive Maintenance Mean?

In IT, percussive maintenance is the art of shaking,
banging or pounding on something, in order to make it work. Experts generally define
percussive maintenance as the use of rough impact on physical hardware to solve
some type of malfunction.


Techopedia Explains Percussive Maintenance

Generally, percussive maintenance is seen as an ineffective and superstitious way of addressing hardware problems. Statistically, it is extremely unlikely that pounding on a piece of hardware is going to make it perform better. In fact, this would usually make it perform worse. In professional IT circles, percussive maintenance is seen as an ignorant neophyte solution, and something that is more emotional than rational.

However, one thing that is frustrating about percussive maintenance is that there is a chance for it to work in some circumstances. Where there may be a slightly disconnected circuit, a loose wire, or any number of other delicate connections, some types of impact may actually fix the device by moving components inside of the hardware box. So it is inaccurate to say that percussive maintenance can never work.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…