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Upgrading and Repairing PCs, Fourteenth Edition

Upgrading and Repairing PCs, Fourteenth Edition

4.0 3
by Scott Mueller, Mueller

This is the newest comprehensive update to the world's #1 guide to PC repair and maintenance. World-renowned PC hardware expert Scott Mueller has thoroughly updated his legendary Upgrading and Repairing PCs to reflect today's latest PC technologies, and added a new DVD with more than two hours of digital video demonstrating PC maintenance and repair, which


This is the newest comprehensive update to the world's #1 guide to PC repair and maintenance. World-renowned PC hardware expert Scott Mueller has thoroughly updated his legendary Upgrading and Repairing PCs to reflect today's latest PC technologies, and added a new DVD with more than two hours of digital video demonstrating PC maintenance and repair, which can be watched on either their DVD-equipped PCs or any DVD player. Mueller presents updated coverage of every significant PC component: processors, motherboards, memory, the BIOS, IDE and SCSI interfaces, drives, removable and optical storage, video and audio hardware, USB, FireWire, Internet connectivity, LANs, power supplies, even PC cases. This book also contains a detailed troubleshooting index designed to help readers rapidly diagnose more than 250 common PC hardware problems, as well as an extensive vendor contact guide, and a comprehensive PC technical glossary.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
More than 2 million computer professionals, power users, students, and ordinary folks with computer problems have chosen Scott Mueller’s Upgrading & Repairing PCs since its original appearance in 1987. Now, plenty of folks listen to Britney Spears instead of Beethoven -- but in this case, the people are on to something. Mueller’s book is a simply extraordinary resource. And his new 14th Edition will be very, very hard to top.

We’ll get to Mueller’s many content updates in a moment. But first, take notice: For the first time, this book comes with a DVD-ROM, not a CD-ROM. That DVD contains more than two full hours of digital video that walk you through virtually every common PC maintenance and repair task. If you don’t have a DVD-equipped PC, or if yours is broken, no sweat: The DVD will play on any DVD player.

If a new technology has been released (or announced), it’s a good bet Mueller discusses it. For example, Mueller now covers Intel’s Northwood Pentium 4s, starting at 2 GHz and already approaching 3 GHz as this is written. (Northwood gives Intel loads of new running room. It’s smaller, uses less power, and has twice the L2 cache -- leading to cheaper, faster, more stable chips, and presumably a more profitable Intel Corporation).

Into servers and high-performance workstations? Mueller introduces the Itanium 2 -- the processor that may finally make Intel and HP’s multibillion-dollar investment begin to pay off. Want to achieve the most performance per penny? Mueller briefs you on AMD’s widely anticipated Athlon XP processors.

With all these processor choices, it’s tough to keep track of the motherboards all these babies fit into; Mueller responds with updated coverage of processor slots, mobo form factors, chipsets, even cases and power connectors (including the recently introduced ATX12V).

Equally tricky, in an era of DDR, CAS 2 DIMMS, and RDRAM: matching memory to processors. So Upgrading & Repairing PCs contains up-to-the-minute guidance on choosing the right memory for your processor. Simply put, if you want to build your own, or do a major brain transplant on your aging PC, everything you need to know is here. (And don’t forget about all that do-it-yourself video on DVD.)

Mueller is equally strong on the “almost new” technologies now coming into widespread use. For example, as part of a detailed chapter on optical storage, he demystifies the bewildering menagerie of DVD standards (DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW), covering drive compatibility, copyright protection, and more.

Other recent introductions covered here: serial-ATA drives; flat-panel LCD displays, and nVidia’s GeForce4 video card technology, which has raised the bar on affordable high-performance video. You’ll also find detailed, up-to-date coverage of broadband Internet connectivity; and of LANs -- including 802.11b Wi-Fi wireless LANs and even newer alternatives.

Most computers that need repair or upgrading aren’t brand new, so Mueller presents systematic coverage of mainstream technologies, including every significant PC component -- old and new. You’ll find entire chapters dedicated to your PC’s BIOS; to hard drives; to audio hardware; to I/O devices ranging from first-generation RS-232 serial ports to the latest USB 2.0 standard. A full chapter on removable storage covers everything from flash memory cards to Zip, Jaz, tape storage -- even where to get ancient Syquest cartridges. (If you’re repairing really old systems, check out the DVD-ROM for an extensive resource library drawn from older editions of Upgrading & Repairing PCs.)

In 1,600 pages, Mueller has plenty of room for those critical tidbits that’ll keep you from getting burned -- literally. For instance, Mueller shows you which Dell computers have those notorious non-standard power connectors. (Plug your Dell power supply into that standard motherboard you’ve just installed, and as Mueller asks, “How do you like your fried chips: medium or well-done?”)

Perhaps best of all, you’ll find an updated troubleshooting index that identifies 250-plus common PC hardware problems and points you directly to the solutions. Which, after all, is the real point of Upgrading & Repairing PCs: understanding the technologies so you can keep them from driving you nuts. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

Product Details

Pearson Education
Publication date:
Upgrading and Repairing Series
Product dimensions:
7.54(w) x 9.44(h) x 2.62(d)

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Upgrading and Repairing PCs, Fourteenth Edition 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are heaps of online resources for the savvy computer pro. However, I believe every serious computer tech needs a good reference tool. There are always occassions when you need to get a job done and there is no internet access. If you are the computer guru for you friends then you are going to need a book like this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
No this book does not show you step by step how to work on YOUR OWN COMPUTER(the title does not say work on your own computer for dummys)..this book gives you the guidelines you need to know what the heck computers are all about...if you want to know what hardware your own COMP needs that is what the motherboard, and OEM manuals are for...also a quick call to Frys or CompUsa with the type of computer you have and what your looking for and they will tell the you that are illiterate what you will then need...this book is fantastic and helped me pass my A+...not this particular edition but a previous one
Guest More than 1 year ago
Scott should come up with a different title for the book. All that this book covers is spec. sheets and old comp. hardware ratings. This book almost completely avoids what it title says. It does not teach you to repair your own computer. It does not tell you what kind of new video card would be good with that motherboard. It tells you what the AGP slot is. It does not tell you what RAM will give you the best performance, it tells you what CL latency is. This is a book of definitions and terms. It does not teach you how to make decisions on what you should do to upgrade you own computer. It barely even touches on how to repair a PC. The only material that is devoted to repairing a PC is on the DVD. And don't buy the book for the DVD either. But I have to admit it was funny as hell to see him standing there and being very nervous.