Troubleshooting, Maintaining, and Repairing PCs / Edition 4

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Highlighted by 8 new chapters and 5 new appendices, this thoroughly updated and expanded edition of the best-selling Troubleshooting, Maintaining, and Repairing Personal Computers is your total guide to PC problem-solving.

Equally useful to technicians, enthusiasts, and PC students, this mammoth resource reviews the fundamentals of PCs and peripherals and features:

  • A unique alphabetized "Symptoms at a Glance" section stocked with fully explained solutions to over 1,200 PC problems - 800 more than before!
  • New cd-rom is full of shareware and freeware diagnostics and utilities that help you pinpoint the peskiest PC problems.
  • Newly reorganized material that makes locating beep, POST, and diagnostic codes much easier.
  • Fully revised DLS Technician's Certificate II test that also serves as an ideal prep for the A+ and ETA certification exams.
  • New Web addresses in all 49 chapters, which offer extra details, self-study aid, and news on manufacturers and organizations.
  • An opportunity to get ongoing troubleshooting help via a subscription to The PC Toolbox newsletter.

Including new guidance on PC standards, new information on PC newsgroups, Windows 95 shortcuts, and a variety of forms you can photocopy, the new Second Edition is your quick and dependable cure for every PC ailment.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
More than 2,000 pages of PC troubleshooting information, including several chapters that had to be provided on CD-ROM because they didn't fit between two covers. It'll pay for itself first time you see an error message, look it up in the library of 2,000+ symptoms, and get pointed directly to the solution. It'll pay for itself again when you break the shrinkwrap on over 120 diagnostic and utility shareware packages on CD. And again when you use it to study for your A+ or CST exam. Loads of new coverage -- CD-R/RW, RAID adapters, DVD drives, new chipsets, USB, removable media, video capture cards -- plus Bigelow's kept most of the older stuff, so it's still invaluable for troubleshooting all those 486s and Pentium I's in the shop nowadays.
Equally useful to technicians, enthusiasts, and PC students, this mammoth resource reviews the fundamentals of PCs, provides an alphabetized "symptoms at a glance" section with solutions to over 1,200 problems, and contains a revised DLS Technician's Certification II test that also serves as a prep for the A+ and ETA certification exam. The CD-ROM contains more than 150 programs for diagnostics and utilities, along with a glossary, contact list, student workbook, and technician's primer. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072126860
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 2000
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 2.56 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 2: An inside Look at Monitors

The ability to display images and information has evolved right along with CPUs, memory, hard drive space, and all of the other computer attributes that we associate with PC performance. Although the essential principles of a monitor have remained virtually unchanged, the small, drab monochrome displays of just a decade ago have been almost entirely replaced by flicker-free, high-resolution monitors capable of producing photo-realistic color images (Figure 2-1). Today's monitor is more than just an output device-it has become our window into the complex virtual world created by computers. This chapter shows you what is inside the typical color monitor and provides some guidelines for monitor disassembly and reassembly.

Monitor Assembly

As you can see from Figure 2-2, a typical computer monitor is not terribly complicated. Compared to notebook computers and low-profile desktop systems, the monitor assembly is spacious. This is not an accident-monitors require substantial amounts of energy for operation. Much of this energy is dissipated as heat. Extra space prevents a buildup of heat from damaging the monitor's circuitry, and heat is allowed to escape through ventilation slots in the enclosure. Another reason for ample enclosure space is to ensure ample high-voltage insulation. Some monitors generate up to 30kV during normal operation (sometimes more for very large monitors), and normal plastic-wire insulation is hardly sufficient to ensure safety. High-voltage insulation and plenty of unobstructed space keep high voltage from arcing to other circuits. The typical monitor can be broken down into five sections: the enclosure, theCRT, a CRT drive board (or video drive board), a raster drive board, and a power supply.

Monitor enclosures are built as two pieces. The front enclosure (3 on Figure 2-2) is used to mount the CRT and degaussing coil. This is bolted to a frame (12), which forms the base of the monitor. Once other circuit boards are attached to the frame, the rear enclosure (17) forms a shroud over almost all of the monitor. In most cases, the rear enclosure can be freed by removing four screws (18). A few monitor enclosures are held together by plastic latches in addition to screws. If the rear enclosure does not slide away easily, suspect the presence of snap-in latches or extra screws installed into the frame from the bottom.


Although color monitors rely on extra video circuitry to process color signals, it is the design and construction of the CRT itself (CRT in Figure 2-2) that really makes color monitors possible. The basic principles of a color CRT (Figure 2-3) are very similar to a monochrome monitor: electrons "boil" off the cathode and are accelerated toward the phosphor-coated front face by a high positive potential. Color CRTs use three cathodes and video control grids-one for each primary color. Control (brightness), screen, and focus grids serve the same purpose as they do in monochrome CRTs. The control grid regulates the overall brightness of the electron beams, the screen grid begins accelerating the electron beams toward the front screen, and the focus grid narrows the beams. Once the electron beams are focused, vertical and horizontal deflection coils (or deflection yokes) apply magnetic force to direct the beams around the screen...

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Table of Contents

An Inside Look at Desktops and Towers.
An Inside Look at Monitors.
An Inside Look at Operating Systems and the Boot Process.
Arranging the Preservice Checkout.
Backup Guide.
CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW Drives.
Conflict Troubleshooting.
CPU Identification and Troubleshooting.
Data Recovery Techniques.
Disk Compression Troubleshooting.
Drive Adapters and RAID Basics.
DVD Drives.
Enhancing System Performance.
Error Codes.
Fans and Cooling Devices.
Floppy and LS-120 Drives.
Floppy Drive Testing and Alignment.
Hard Drives.
Joysticks and Game Ports.
Memory Troubleshooting.
Memory Managers.
Mice and Trackballs.
Modems and Fax Cards.
Monitor Troubleshooting.
Monitor Testing and Alignment.
Motherboad Troubleshooting.
Overlay Software Troubleshooting.
Parallel Port Troubleshooting.
Plug-and-Play Configuration and Troubleshooting.
Power Protection.
Power Supplies and Power Management.
Preventive Maintenance.
(and more...)
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2000

    Awesome guide

    This book offers great guides to fixing those everyday gliches in the PC world. The price is a little out of range but well worth the cost.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2000

    Excellent reference on PCs for expert or novice

    Bigelow does an outstanding job of detailing the hardware and related issues behind PCs.He is also an online course instructor for Element K (formerly ZDU)and i have enormously enjoyed his generous documentation and expertise in the course.

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