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A+ Core and DOS/Windows Exams: Core and DOS/Windows Exams

Overview

Two-in-one library boosts your chances on the A+ exams Trust Syngress Media's A+ Certification Boxed Set,Second Edition to ease your way on the A+ exams. The set packs together both an A+ Certification Study Guide and A+ Certification Test Yourself Practice Exams,a winning combination proven by the thousands of exam takers who eagerly grabbed up the bestselling first edition.
This edition of the Study Guide gives you over 100 pages of additional exam coverage of the A+ Core ...
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Overview

Two-in-one library boosts your chances on the A+ exams Trust Syngress Media's A+ Certification Boxed Set,Second Edition to ease your way on the A+ exams. The set packs together both an A+ Certification Study Guide and A+ Certification Test Yourself Practice Exams,a winning combination proven by the thousands of exam takers who eagerly grabbed up the bestselling first edition.
This edition of the Study Guide gives you over 100 pages of additional exam coverage of the A+ Core examination. . . . 300 all-new questions,with an emphasis on scenarios. . . and a 16-page color signature that clarifies major computer hardware components with labels and descriptions. Plus,a CD-ROM A+ Test Yourself Personal Testing Center is included.
Hundreds of questions,and an electronic version of the book with a fully hyperlinked table of contents are at your fingertips. The Test Yourself Practice Exams give you 1,000 ALL-NEW questions with even more substantial answers than the last edition for in-depth learning and confidence building.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072121384
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 9/1/1999
  • Series: A+ Series
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 1216
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 9.83 (h) x 4.50 (d)

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Chapter 1: Installation, Configuration, and Upgrading

Generally, the CPU is a square or rectangular chip that attaches to the motherboard through legs, called pins, located on the bottom of the chip. Rectangular chips were common in personal computers that predate the early 1980s as well as the original IBM-PC and XT. Since the 80286 CPU was first used in the AT in 1983, all chips through the Pentium have come in a square shape. The newest chips in the PC line-up have returned to a rectangular shape, in two different ways: the PentiumPro is two chips with two sets of connections, in one large rectangular chip; and the Pentium II is a rectangular cartridge that fits into a slot and connects to the motherboard through gold fingers, rather than using pins inserted into a socket. The chip itself contains millions of transistors on a silicon base structure like a tiny circuit board. These transistors perform the work of directing electrical signals to their destinations and performing calculations.

The pins that attach the chip to the motherboard come in two forms: the Dual In-Line Package (DIP) and the Pin GridArray (PGA). DIP pins are identified as two rows, located on opposing sides of the chip. PCs using either the 8088 or 8086 processor used 40-pin DIPS. The PGA chip has pins arranged in rows on each of the four sides, and was used in PCs using the 80286, 80386, 486 and the first Pentium CPUs (60 MHz and 66 MHz). Later Pentiums (75 MHz and up) used a slightly different form factor called the Staggered PGA, and the Pentium lI dispensed with sockets entirely by going to a cartridge type mounting method called "slot-1."

Memory

Just as you need a work surface,whether it is a desk in an office or a countertop in your kitchen, your computer also needs a work area. This area, called memory, is used by the computer to store the instructions from your applications and manipulate data. Memory is comprised of integrated circuits (ICs) that reside on a chip. ICs work in a manner similar to a light switch in that each circuit can have only one of two states: on or off. Your computer recognizes an off switch as a numerical 0, whereas an on switch is translated as a numerical 1. This binary pattern of Os and 1 s is how your computer stores, retrieves, and communicates data. Memory is broken up into several types: Random Access Memory (RAM), Read-Only Memory (ROM), and cache memory.

RAM is the most common type of memory chips used for the CPU's main memory: the CPU loads your programs into RAM, runs the program's instructions from RAM, loads data into RAM, and manipulates the data while it is in RAM. RAM is sometimes called by its more specific name, DRAM (Dynamic RAM), which is the basis for all main memory chips in all PC systems.

ROM is a memory chip that is also part of main memory, except that its contents are written only once, usually at the factory, and when used in a PC system can only be read, hence the name Read-Only. ROM usually stores only the Basic Input Output System (BIOS), which is the set of instructions that your computer uses to boot.

Cache memory is made up of much faster memory called SRAM (Static RAM). Starting with the 80386 CPU, DRAM could not work as fast as the CPU and therefore created a bottleneck that slowed down the CPU. SRAM, which runs up to ten times as fast, could not practically replace DRAM since it also costs ten times as much. However, it was discovered that a small, relatively inexpensive cache of SRAM memory chips could keep copies of the most frequently used main memory locations, and enable the main memory to keep up with the CPU 90% of the time. The faster the CPU, the more cache is needed to maintain that 90% edge. Early 386 systems typically used 64KB or 128KB of cache memory on the motherboard. 486 and Pentium CPUs have added a primary SRAM cache on the CPU chip itself, using a secondary memory cache on the motherboard of 128KB to 1MB in size. The Pentium-Il CPU includes a 512KB or 1MB cache built into the processor cartridge (in addition to an on-chip primary cache of 32KB) and therefore needs no memory cache on a the motherboard. All of these design combinations result in an overall memory system performance of 85% to 95% of the theoretical maximum performance, for thousands of dollars less.

Storage Devices

Information has become one of the most important commodities to individuals and businesses today. In the past, data was kept in the form of paper documents held in rows of file cabinets. Storing that information for any length of time became an almost impossible task due to space limitations. When personal computers began populating offices, their storage potential began to be explored. The first computers used floppy disks and hard drives, but today's computers have a wider variety of storage media available, such as CD-ROMs, tape drives, optical drives, Zip drives, and jaz drives. Do not expect any questions on your exam on jaz and Zip drives, as these are not standard hardware devices found on all computers. However, many leading computer manufacturers are including jaz and Zip drives with their computers.

Tape Drives

Shortly after the first computers were invented, it was discovered that magnetic tape could store information as a series of is and Os. However, magnetic tape can only store data sequentially, and is most commonly used as a backup medium. As tape drives are not covered on the A+ Certification exam, they get only a brief mention here.

Floppy Drives

Floppy drives write data on disks that are inserted and removed from the drive. The actual disk is encased in an envelope, which has a small opening to allow a read/write head to access the disk. The read/write head passes over the disk, reading data from or writing data to the disk itself. Floppy drives, and the disks used by them, come in two sizes: 5.25° or 3.5".

The 5.25" drives are the older of the two, and are seldom used today. The original single-sided drives had a capacity of only 180 kilobytes. Double-sided drives and disks were later introduced, which increased the storage to 360KB. The 5.25" disks eventually reached a capacity of 1.2MB as technology refined both the accuracy of the drives and the surface of the disk...

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Table of Contents

Introduction: How to Take the A+ Exam.
Part I: A+ Core Examination.
Installation, Configuration, and Upgrading.
Diagnosing and Troubleshooting.
Safety and Preventive Maintenance.
Motherboard/Processors/Memory.
Printers.
Portable Systems.
Basic Networking.
Customer Satisfaction.
Part II: DOS/Windows Examination.
Function, Structure, Operation, and File Management.
Memory Management.
Installation, Configuration, and Upgrading.
Diagnosing and Troubleshooting.
Networks. Appendices: Network Troubleshooting.
Network Language.
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