Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
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.
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.