Upgrading and Repairing PCs

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“…a comprehensive resource for PC enthusiasts and professionals alike. Packed with the latest speeds and feeds, you’ll want to keep this book on-hand as an authoritative technology reference.”

–Chris Angelini, Managing Editor, Tom’s Hardware

For 20 years, Upgrading and Repairing PCs has been the world’s #1 guide to PC hardware: the single source for reliable information on troubleshooting and fixing problems, adding hardware, optimizing performance, and building new PCs. Now, ...

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“…a comprehensive resource for PC enthusiasts and professionals alike. Packed with the latest speeds and feeds, you’ll want to keep this book on-hand as an authoritative technology reference.”

–Chris Angelini, Managing Editor, Tom’s Hardware

For 20 years, Upgrading and Repairing PCs has been the world’s #1 guide to PC hardware: the single source for reliable information on troubleshooting and fixing problems, adding hardware, optimizing performance, and building new PCs. Now, better than ever, this 20th Edition offers beefed-up coverage of the newest hardware innovations and maintenance techniques, plus more than 90 minutes of new DVD video.

Scott Mueller delivers practical answers about PC processors, motherboards, buses, BIOSes, memory, storage, video, audio, I/O, input devices, networks, Internet connectivity, power, and much more. You’ll find the industry’s best coverage of diagnostics, testing, and repair–plus cutting-edge discussions of improving performance via overclocking and other techniques.

Mueller has taught thousands of professionals in person and millions more through his books and videos–nobody knows more about keeping PCs running perfectly. Whether you’re a professional technician, a small business owner trying to save money, or a home PC enthusiast, this is the only PC hardware book you need!


  • The newest processors, including Intel’s 2nd generation Core i3, i5, i7 plus the Atom, and AMD’s new VISION series CPUs
  • 3TB (and larger) disks, 4K sectoring, partition alignment, faster SATA disk interfaces, and SSD (Solid State Drive) hard drive replacements
  • New firmware innovations, from full UEFI BIOS support to built-in motherboard flash BIOS upgrade utilities
  • Integrated video and audio, including 5.1/7.1 surround sound, HDMI, and DisplayPort connections
  • Updated PCI Express and Power Supply specifications for powering high-end video cards
  • Emerging interfaces such as USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt
  • Updated coverage of building PCs from scratch–from choosing and assembling hardware through BIOS setup and troubleshooting


Get more than 90 minutes of up-to-the minute, studio quality how-to videos–all playable on your DVD player or computer! In this edition, Scott Mueller offers true insider information about several of the key components in a PC, including hard disk drives, power supplies, motherboards, and more.

You will see hard drives completely dissected–even see an open hard drive in operation–so you can observe exactly what happens under the covers. One of the most common causes of failure in modern motherboards, power supplies, and many other PC components are bad capacitors–otherwise known as the capacitor plague. Mueller will show several real-world examples of this “disease,” so you can easily identify and perhaps even repair the problem. Finally, because external hard drives are now commonly used for supplementary storage and backups, you’ll find a complete discussion of several alternatives on the market. This includes tips and tricks for building or assembling your own flexible, high performance and highly reliable external storage drives, with several examples shown. This DVD also contains the complete 19th edition of this book in printable form, plus extensive technical reference material, a comprehensive glossary, and more!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
In 2003, there has been a bumper crop of new PC technology. And to help you assess it, implement it, fix it, Scott Mueller produced the indispensable 15th edition of his legendary Upgrading & Repairing PCs.

For example, this edition includes detailed coverage of AMD's Opteron, the revolutionary 64-bit processor that delivers remarkable performance without sacrificing compatibility. Intel's latest innovations are here, too -- notably the new Hyper Threading Technology, which gives you two "virtual processors" inside the same Pentium 4.

These processors have immense performance potential, but you'll need new motherboards, memories, and chipsets to deliver on it. Mueller covers the latest, hottest stuff -- from higher bus speeds to dual-channel memory architecture. Along the way, he addresses everything from processor slots to form factors, cases, and power connectors -- the details wherein the devil often hides.

He's 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). Which ones are likely to last? How do you minimize your risks? What do you need to know about copyright protection and other, umm, realities?

As the value of computers increasingly moves to the network, Mueller has increased the book's coverage of networking, from LANs to broadband Internet connectivity. This edition covers all of today's Wi-Fi wireless standards, slow to fast, cheap to expensive -- with a focus on interoperability issues.

Most computers that need repair or upgrading aren't brand new, so Mueller presents systematic coverage of mainstream technologies, including every significant PC component. You'll find entire chapters dedicated to your PC's BIOS; to hard drives; to audio hardware; to I/O devices ranging from ancient RS-232 to contemporary USB 2.0, Serial ATA, and IEEE-1394b. Where you can upgrade existing devices to get the performance offered by newer interfaces, he tells you.

He covers myriad removable storage media from today's external USB 2.0 and FireWire drives to those failed media formats that doubtless hold your Great American Novel. His detailed coverage of backup/restore issues includes exceptional guidance on trying to recover data that seems irretrievably lost (even data on formatted, repartitioned, or erased hard drives and formatted flash memory devices).

In recent editions, Mueller added a detailed troubleshooting index that identifies hundreds of common PC hardware problems and points you directly to the solutions. That's still here, but the 15th edition adds new coverage on resurrecting dead systems and tracking down the flakiness in flaky systems.

Last but definitely not least, there's a DVD-ROM with two full hours of thoroughly updated digital video, in which Mueller walks you through a laundry list of current PC maintenance and repair tasks. Thankfully, the DVD will run on your home DVD player -- so if you've taken your computer apart and you've got no idea what to do next, you can still have Mueller show you. 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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789712950
  • Publisher: Macmillan Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 1168
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.11 (h) x 2.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Mueller is the president of Mueller Technical Research (MTR), an international research and corporate training firm. Since 1982, MTR has produced the industry’s most in-depth, accurate, and effective seminars, books, articles, videos, and FAQs covering PC hardware and data recovery. MTR maintains a client list that includes Fortune 500 companies, the U.S. and foreign governments, major software and hardware corporations, as well as PC enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. Scott’s seminars have been presented to several thousands of PC support professionals throughout the world.

Scott personally teaches seminars nationwide covering all aspects of PC hardware (including troubleshooting, maintenance, repair, and upgrade), A+ Certification, and data recovery/forensics. He has a knack for making technical topics not only understandable, but entertaining; his classes are never boring! If you have 10 or more people to train, Scott can design and present a custom seminar for your organization.

Although he has taught classes virtually nonstop since 1982, Scott is best known as the author of the longest-running, most popular, and most comprehensive PC hardware book in the world, Upgrading and Repairing PCs, which has become the core of an entire series of books, including Upgrading and Repairing PCs, Upgrading and Repairing Laptops, and Upgrading and Repairing Windows.

Scott’s premiere work, Upgrading and Repairing PCs, has sold well over two million copies, making it by far the most popular and longest-running PC hardware book on the market today. Scott has been featured in Forbes magazine and has written several articles for PC World magazine, Maximum PC magazine, the Scott Mueller Forum, various computer and automotive newsletters, and the Upgrading and Repairing PCs website.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Book Objectives 1

The 20th Edition DVD-ROM 2

My Website: informit.com/upgrading 2

A Personal Note 2

1 Development of the PC 5

Computer History: Before Personal Computers 5

Timeline 5

Electronic Computers 10

Modern Computers 11

From Tubes to Transistors 11

Integrated Circuits 13

History of the PC 13

Birth of the Personal Computer 13

The IBM Personal Computer 15

The PC Industry 30 Years Later 16

2 PC Components, Features, and System Design 19

What Is a PC? 19

Who Controls PC Software? 20

Who Controls PC Hardware? 23

White-Box Systems 25

PC Design Guides 26

System Types 27

System Components 28

3 Processor Types and Specifications 31

Microprocessor History 31

The First Microprocessor 31

PC Processor Evolution 34

16-Bit to 64-Bit Architecture Evolution 36

Processor Specifications 37

Data I/O Bus 42

Address Bus 43

Internal Registers (Internal Data Bus) 44

Processor Modes 45

Processor Benchmarks 49

Comparing Processor Performance 49

Cache Memory 54

Processor Features 60

System Management Mode (SMM) 60

Superscalar Execution 61

MMX Technology 62

Dynamic Execution 64

Dual Independent Bus Architecture 65

HT Technology 66

Multicore Technology 67

Processor Manufacturing 68

Processor Re-Marking 72

PGA Chip Packaging 72

Single Edge Contact and Single Edge Processor Packaging 73

Processor Socket and Slot Types 74

Socket 478 76

Socket LGA775 77

Socket LGA1156 78

Socket LGA1366 79

Socket LGA1155 80

Socket 939 and 940 80

Socket AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+ 81

Socket F (1207FX) 83

CPU Operating Voltages 83

Math Coprocessors (Floating-Point Units) 83

Processor Bugs and Steppings 84

Processor Code Names 85

P1 (086) Processors 85

P2 (286) Processors 86

P3 (386) Processors 87

P4 (486) Processors 88

P5 (586) Processors 90

A MD-K5 92

Intel P6 (686) Processors 92

Pentium Pro Processors 93

Pentium II Processors 93

Pentium III 95

Celeron 97

Intel Pentium 4 Processors 97

Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 100

Intel Pentium D and Pentium Extreme Edition 102

Intel Core Processors 104

Intel Core 2 Family 104

Intel (Nehalem) Core i Processors 106

AMD K6 Processors 110

NexGen Nx586 110

AMD-K6 Series 110

AMD K7 Processors 111

AMD Athlon 111

AMD Duron 113

AMD Athlon XP 113

Athlon MP 114

AMD K8 Processors 115

AMD Athlon 64 and 64 FX 115

AMD Sempron 118

AMD Athlon X2, 64 X2, and 64 FX 119

AMD K10 Processors (Phenom, Phenom II, Athlon II, Athlon X2, Sempron) 120

AMD Fusion Processors 122

Processor Upgrades 122

Overclocking 124

Quartz Crystals 124

Modern PC Clocks 126

Overclocking Tips 128

Unlocking Cores 129

Bus Speeds and Multipliers 130

Processor Cooling 132

Heatsinks 133

Liquid Cooling 138

Thermally Advantaged Chassis 138

Processor Troubleshooting Techniques 141

4 Motherboards and Buses 143

Motherboard Form Factors 143

Obsolete Form Factors 144

ATX and Other Modern Form Factors 155

Processor Sockets/Slots 167

Chipsets 169

Chipset Evolution 169

Intel Chipsets 171

Intel Chipset Model Numbers 172

Intel Integrated Graphics Architecture 173

AMD Integrated Graphics Architecture 173

Traditional North/South Bridge Architecture 174

Hub Architecture 175

Third-Party North-South Bridge Connections 177

HyperTransport 178

Intel’s Early 386/486 Chipsets 178

Fifth-Generation (P5 Pentium Class) Chipsets 179

Sixth-Generation (P6 Pentium Pro/II/III Class) Chipsets 181

Seventh/Eighth-Generation (Pentium 4/D, Core 2, and Core i) Chipsets 185

Intel 915 Family 192

Intel 925X Family 193

Intel 945 Express Family 193

Intel 955X and 975X Family 194

Intel 96x Series 194

Intel 3x and 4x Series Chipsets 195

Intel 5x Series Chipsets 198

Intel 6x Series Chipsets 201

Third-Party Chipsets for Intel Processors 203

SiS Chipsets 203

ULi Electronics Chipsets 203

ATI Chipsets 203

VIA Chipsets 204

NVIDIA Chipsets for Intel Processors 204

Chipsets for AMD Processors 204

AMD Athlon Chipsets 205

AMD Athlon 64 Chipsets 206

AMD 8000 (8151) Chipset 206

AMD (Formerly ATI) Chipsets for Athlon 64, Sempron, Phenom 207

Third-Party Chipsets for AMD Processors 213

VIA Chipsets 213

SiS Chipsets 213

NVIDIA Chipsets 213

Super I/O Chips 214

Motherboard Connectors 214

System Bus Types, Functions, and Features 223

The Processor Bus (FSB) 229

Types of I/O Buses 229

The ISA Bus 230

The Micro Channel Bus 230

The EISA Bus 230

Local Buses (VESA, PCI, PCI Express, AGP) 231

System Resources 238

Interrupts 238

DMA Channels 243

I/O Port Addresses 243

Resolving Resource Conflicts 246

PnP 247

Motherboard Selection Criteria (Knowing What to Look For) 249

Chipset Documentation 250

5 BIOS 251

BIOS Basics 251

Motherboard ROM BIOS 255

ROM Hardware 256

ROM Shadowing 257

ROM Chip Types 258

ROM BIOS Manufacturers 262

BIOS Hardware/Software 264

Upgrading the BIOS 265

Where to Get Your BIOS Update 266

Determining Your BIOS Version 266

Checking the BIOS Date 266

Backing Up Your BIOS 267

Backing Up Your BIOS Setup (CMOS RAM) Settings 267

Upgrading a Flash BIOS 268

Motherboard CMOS RAM Addresses 276

Year 2000 BIOS Issues 278

Preboot Environment 278

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) 280

UEFI and BIOS Limitations 280

UEFI Support 282

CMOS Setup 282

Running or Accessing the CMOS Setup Program 282

BIOS Setup Menus 283

Maintenance Menu 283

Main Menu 285

Advanced Menus 286

Security Menu 300

Power Menu 301

Boot Menu (Boot Sequence, Order) 303

Exit Menu 305

Additional BIOS Setup Features 305

PnP BIOS 306

PnP Device IDs 307

ACPI 307

BIOS/MBR Error Messages 308

BIOS Boot Error Messages 309

MBR Boot Error Messages 312

6 Memory 315

Memory Basics 315

ROM 317

DRAM 317

Cache Memory: SRAM 319

Memory Standards 321

Speed and Performance 322

Fast Page Mode DRAM 324

Extended Data Out RAM 325






Memory Modules 333

Registered Modules 338

SIMM Details 340

SDR DIMM Details 340

DDR DIMM Details 340

DDR2 DIMM Details 341

DDR3 DIMM Details 341

Determining a Memory Module’s Size and Features 341

Memory Banks 343

Memory Module Speed 344

Parity and ECC 345

Parity Checking 347

How Parity Checking Works 347

ECC 350

RAM Upgrades 350

Upgrade Options and Strategies 351

Purchasing Memory 353

Replacing Modules with Higher-Capacity Versions 355

Installing Memory Modules 355

Troubleshooting Memory 358

Memory Defect Isolation Procedures 361

The System Logical Memory Layout 363

7 The ATA/IDE Interface 367

An Overview of the IDE Interface 367

Precursors to IDE 367

IDE Origins 368

Origins of ATA 369

ATA Standards 370

ATA-1 (ATA Interface for Disk Drives) 372

ATA-2 (ATA Interface with Extensions-2) 372

ATA-3 (ATA Interface-3) 373

ATA/ATAPI-4 (ATA with Packet Interface Extension-4) 373

ATA/ATAPI-5 (ATA with Packet Interface-5) 374

ATA/ATAPI-6 (ATA with Packet Interface-6) 375

ATA/ATAPI-7 (ATA with Packet Interface-7) 376


PATA 377

PATA I/O Connector 377

PATA I/O Cable 380

Longer or Rounded Cables 382

PATA Signals 382

PATA Dual-Drive Configurations 383

PATA PIO Transfer Modes 385

PATA DMA Transfer Modes 386

SATA 387

SATA Cables and Connectors 389

SATA Configuration 391

Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) 392

SATA Transfer Modes 393

ATA Features 394

ATA Commands 394

ATA Security Mode 395

Host Protected Area 396


ATA Drive Capacity Limitations 397

Prefixes for Decimal and Binary Multiples 398

BIOS Limitations 399

CHS Versus LBA 400

CHS/LBA and LBA/CHS Conversions 401

BIOS Commands Versus ATA Commands 402

CHS Limitations (the 528MB Barrier) 403

CHS Translation (Breaking the 528MB Barrier) 404

The 2.1GB and 4.2GB Barriers 406

LBA-Assist Translation 408

The 8.4GB Barrier 411

The 137GB Barrier and Beyond 412

Operating System and Other Software Limitations 413

GPT and the 2.2TB Barrier 415


8 Magnetic Storage Principles 421

Magnetic Storage 421

History of Magnetic Storage 421

How Magnetic Fields Are Used to Store Data 422

Read/Write Head Designs 425

Ferrite 426

Metal-In-Gap 426

Thin-Film 427

Magneto-Resistive Heads 427

Giant Magneto-Resistive Heads 429

Head Sliders 430

Data-Encoding Schemes 432

Frequency Modulation Encoding 434

Modified FM Encoding 434

Run Length Limited Encoding 434

Encoding Scheme Comparisons 436

Partial-Response, Maximum-Likelihood Decoders 437

Capacity Measurements 437

Areal Density 438

PMR 441

9 Hard Disk Storage 445

Definition of a Hard Disk 445

Hard Drive Advancements 446

Form Factors 447

5 1/4-Inch Drive 448

3 1/2-Inch Drive 449

2 1/2-Inch Drive 449

1.8-inch Drive 449

1-Inch Drives 450

HDD Operation 450

The Ultimate HDD Analogy 452

Tracks and Sectors 453

ECC 456

Disk Formatting 461

Basic HDD Components 465

Hard Disk Platters (Disks) 466

Recording Media 467

Read/Write Heads 469

Head Actuator Mechanisms 470

Air Filters 477

Hard Disk Temperature Acclimation 479

Spindle Motors 479

Logic Boards 480

Cables and Connectors 481

Configuration Items 481

Hard Disk Features 482

Capacity 482

Performance 484

Reliability 488

10 Flash and Removable Storage 493

Alternative Storage Devices 493

Flash Memory Devices 493

CompactFlash 495

SmartMedia 496

MultiMediaCard 496

SecureDigital 496

Sony Memory Stick 496

ATA Flash PC Card 497

xD-Picture Card 497

SSD (Solid-State Drive) 498

Virtual SSD (RAMdisk) 498

Flash-Based SSDs 498

USB Flash Drives 501

Comparing Flash Memory Devices 502

Flash Card Readers 504

Card Readers 504

Type II PC Card Adapters 505

High-Capacity Removable Magnetic Storage Devices 505

Floppy Disk Drives 506

1.44MB 3 1/2-Inch Drives 507

Floppy Drive Interfaces 507

Drive Components 508

Read/Write Heads 508

The Floppy Controller 509

Power and Data Connectors 510

The Floppy Disk Controller Cable 510

How the OS Uses a Floppy Disk 512

Disk Change 513

Floppy Disk Media Types and Specifications 514

Density 514

Media Coercivity and Thickness 514

Floppy Disk Media 515

Tape Drives 516

11 Optical Storage 517

Optical Technology 517

CD-Based Optical Technology 518

CDs: A Brief History 518

CD Construction and Technology 519

Mass-Producing CDs 519

Writable CDs 531

MultiRead Specifications 538

DVD 539

DVD History 540

DVD Construction and Technology 541

DVD Tracks and Sectors 542

Handling DVD Errors 546

DVD Capacity (Sides and Layers) 547

Data Encoding on the DVD Disc 550

Recordable DVD Standards 551

Multiformat Rewritable DVD Drives 558

BD 559

HD-DVD 561

Optical Disc Formats 562

CD Formats 562

DVD Formats and Standards 570

Optical Disc File Systems 573

Ripping/Copying Discs 579

“For Music Use Only” CD-R/RW Discs 580

CD Copy Protection 580

CD Digital Rights Management 581

DVD Copy Protection 581

Optical Drive Performance Specifications 584

CD Data Transfer Rate 585

CD Drive Speed 585

DVD Drive Speed 588

Access Time 590

Buffer/Cache 590

Direct Memory Access and Ultra-DMA 590

Interface 590

Loading Mechanism 591

Other Drive Features 592

How to Reliably Record Optical Discs 592

Booting from a Floppy Disk with Optical Drive Support 593

Bootable Optical Discs—El Torito 594

LightScribe and LabelFlash 594

Troubleshooting Optical Drives 595

Caring for Optical Media 598

Updating the Firmware in an Optical Drive 599

12 Video Hardware 603

Display Adapters and Monitors 603

Video Display Adapters 604

Video Adapter Types 604

Integrated Video/Motherboard Chipsets 605

CPUs with Integrated Video 609

Video Adapter Components 609

Identifying the Video and System Chipsets 611

Video RAM 612

The DAC 615

Video Display Interfaces 616

The System Interface 616

The Display Interface 618

TV Display Interfaces 632

3D Graphics Accelerators 633

How 3D Accelerators Work 633

APIs 636

Dual-GPU Scene Rendering 637

Monitors 639

Display Specifications 639

LCD Technology 650

LED Backlit Technology 652

CRT Display Technology 652

Plasma Display Technology 654

LCD and DLP Projectors 654

Using Multiple Monitors 656

Dualview 656

Homogeneous Adapters 657

Heterogeneous Adapters 657

Video Troubleshooting and Maintenance 657

Troubleshooting Video Cards and Drivers 658

Video Drivers 660

Maintaining Monitors 660

Testing Monitors 661

Adjusting Monitors 662

Bad Pixels 663

Troubleshooting Monitors 664

Repairing Monitors 665

13 Audio Hardware 667

Audio Hardware Concepts and Terms 668

The Nature of Sound 668

Evaluating the Quality of Your Audio Hardware 668

Sampling 669

Early PC Sound Cards 670

Limitations of Sound Blaster Pro Compatibility 670

Microsoft Windows and Audio Support 670

DirectX and Audio Support Hardware 671

Core Audio APIs for Windows Vista and Windows 7 671

3D Gaming Audio Standards 672

Legacy Audio Support Through Virtualization 673

Audio Hardware Features 674

Basic Connectors 674

Advanced Audio Features 676

Volume Control 678

MIDI Support Features 678

Data Compression 679

Sound Drivers 680

Sound Cards for Sound Producers 680

Motherboard Chipsets with Integrated Audio 681

AC’97 Integrated Audio 682

Intel “Azalia” HD Audio 682

Troubleshooting PC Audio Problems 682

Sound Card and Onboard Audio Problems 682

Speakers 685

Speaker Selection Criteria 686

Theater and Surround Sound Considerations 687

Microphones 688

14 External I/O Interfaces 691

Introduction to Input/Output Ports 691

Serial Versus Parallel 691

Universal Serial Bus (USB) 692

IEEE 1394 (FireWire or i.LINK) 707

Comparing USB and IEEE 1394 (FireWire) 711

Hot-Plugging (and Unplugging) 714

Thunderbolt Technology 717

Low-Speed External Connections 719

Serial Ports 719

Parallel Ports 723

15 Input Devices 729

Keyboards 729

Enhanced 101-Key Keyboard 729

104-Key (Windows) Keyboard 731

Keyboard Technology 732

Keyswitch Design 732

The Keyboard Interface 737

Typematic Functions 739

Keyboard Key Numbers and Scan Codes 740

International Keyboard Layouts 741

Keyboard/Mouse Interface Connectors 742

USB Keyboards 743

Keyboards with Special Features 744

Keyboard Troubleshooting and Repair 745

Keyboard Disassembly 746

Cleaning a Keyboard 746

Keyboard Recommendations 747

Pointing Devices 748

Ball-Type Mice 749

Optical Mice 749

Pointing Device Interface Types 751

Mouse Troubleshooting 754

Scroll Wheels 755

TrackPoint II/III/IV 755

Alternative Pointing Devices 758

Wireless Input Devices 761

Power Management Features of Wireless Input Devices 762

Troubleshooting Wireless Input Devices 763

16 Internet Connectivity 765

Internet Connectivity Trends 765

Broadband Internet Access Types 765

Cable TV 766

Digital Subscriber Line 769

Wireless Broadband 773

Cellular Broadband 3G and 4G Services 773

Satellite Broadband 774

ISDN 777

Leased Lines 778

Comparing High-Speed Internet Access 779

Dial-Up Modems 780

56Kbps Modems 781

Internet Connection Security 784

Having a Backup Plan in Case of Service Interruptions 786

Sharing Your Internet Connection 786

Routers for Internet Sharing 787

Modem/Router Status LEDs 788

17 Local Area Networking 789

Defining a Network 789

Types of Networks 790

Requirements for a Network 790

Client/Server Versus Peer Networks 791

Client/Server Networks 791

Peer-to-Peer Networks 792

Comparing Client/Server and Peer-to-Peer Networks 793

Network Architecture Overview 794

Wired Ethernet 795

Wireless Ethernet 797

Bluetooth 802

Hardware Elements of Your Network 802

NICs for Wired Ethernet Networks 802

Network Cables for Wired Ethernet 804

Wired Network Topologies 813

Switches for Ethernet Networks 816

Wireless Ethernet Hardware 819

Network Protocols 825

IP and TCP/IP 825

IPX 826

NetBEUI 826

Other Home Networking Solutions 827

HomePNA 827

Power Line Networking 828

Putting Your Network Together 829

Network Adapters 829

Cables and Connections Between Computers 830

Switch/Access Point 831

18 Power Supplies 833

The Power Supply 833

Primary Function and Operation 833

Voltage Rails 834

The Power Good Signal 836

Power Supply Form Factors 837

Modern Form Factors 840

Power Switches 854

ATX and Newer 854

PC/XT/AT and LPX Power Switches 855

Motherboard Power Connectors 857

AT/LPX Power Supply Connectors 857

ATX and ATX12V Motherboard Power Connectors 859

Backward and Forward Compatibility 871

Dell Proprietary (Nonstandard) ATX Design 873

Additional Power Connectors 875

Peripheral Power Connectors 875

Floppy Power Connectors 876

Serial ATA Power Connectors 877

PCI Express Auxiliary Graphics Power Connectors 878

Power Supply Specifications 881

Power Supply Loading 881

Power Supply Ratings 883

Other Power Supply Specifications 884

Power Factor Correction 886

SLI-Ready and CrossfireX Certifications 888

Safety Certifications 888

Power-Use Calculations 889

Power Savings 891

80 Plus 891


Advanced Power Management 892

Advanced Configuration and Power Interface 893

Power Cycling 896

Power Supply Troubleshooting 899

Overloaded Power Supplies 900

Inadequate Cooling 901

Using Digital Multimeters 901

Specialized Test Equipment 904

Power Supply Recommendations 906

Modular Cables 907

Sources for Replacement Power Supplies 907

Power-Protection Systems 908

Surge Suppressors (Protectors) 909

Network and Phone Line Surge Protectors 910

Line Conditioners 910

Backup Power 910

Real-Time Clock/Nonvolatile RAM (CMOS RAM) Batteries 913

Modern CMOS Batteries 914

Obsolete or Unique CMOS Batteries 915

CMOS Battery Troubleshooting 916

19 Building or Upgrading Systems 917

System Components 917

Case and Power Supply 919

Processor 920

Motherboard 921

Memory 923

Hard Disk/Solid-State Drives 925

Removable Storage 925

Input Devices 925

Video Card and Display 926

Audio Hardware 926

Accessories 927

Hardware and Software Resources 928

System Assembly and Disassembly 928

Assembly Preparation 929

Installing the CPU and Heatsink 932

Installing Memory Modules 937

Mounting the New Motherboard in the Case 938

Preparing a Modular Power Supply 942

Connecting the Power Supply 944

Connecting I/O and Other Cables to the Motherboard 946

Installing the Drives 948

Installing a Video Card 952

Installing Additional Expansion Cards 954

Replacing the Cover and Connecting External Cables 954

System Startup 954

Installing the OS 956

Troubleshooting New Installations 957

20 PC Diagnostics, Testing, and Maintenance 959

PC Diagnostics 959

Diagnostics Software 959

The POST 960

Peripheral Diagnostics 972

Operating System Diagnostics 973

Commercial Diagnostics Software 974

Free/User Supported Diagnostics 974

The Boot Process 975

The Hardware Boot Process: Operating System Independent 975

The DOS Boot Process 979

The Windows 9x/Me Boot Process 980

Windows 2000/XP Startup 980

Windows Vista/7 Startup 981

PC Maintenance Tools 982

Hand Tools 982

Safety 986

Test Equipment 987

Special Tools for the Enthusiast 992

Preventive Maintenance 993

Active Preventive Maintenance Procedures 994

Passive Preventive Maintenance Procedures 999

Troubleshooting Tips and Techniques 1003

Repair or Replace? 1003

Troubleshooting by Replacing Parts 1004

Troubleshooting by the Bootstrap Approach 1004

Problems During the POST 1006

Problems Running Software 1006

Problems with Adapter Cards 1007

Top Troubleshooting Problems 1007

Index 1019

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2000


    I first looked in this book for a serial-port pin-diagram to settle an argument at a hardware troubleshooting seminar. While browsing through I was so impressed by the quality of it's content that I immediately paid the $59.95 purchase price & comitted myself to reading it 'cover-to-cover.' I am now about 200-300 pages into the book and am even more impressed than I was at first. This book is a MUST HAVE for any good tech-support area (I recommend keeping 3-5 copies on-hand as you will end up with techs fighting for them when a call-in pops ANY hard question).

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2001

    Very Informative!

    I highly recommend this book to all the newbies in the industry. Well written and easy to follow!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    This book is great besides the fact that a lot Fjhljdhawssfbjf

    This boook is great since i have the print version it came with a how to DVD with two hours for runtime it has helped me alot with understandibg not only how to repair and upgrade a pc it has helped me understand a pc more thoroughly and pc history. Thanks Scott Mueller for making a book that completely covers e erything in one book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Scott Mueller did it again a great book for computer people that want to learn about the newest technology and to UpGrade & Repair their computers.

    Five out of Five Stars

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Become an EXPERT with PCs thanks to Scott Mueller!

    Upgrading And Repairing PCs by Scott Mueller is THE reference manual for PCs. This new edition of the book covers the latest technology, while still providing plenty of knowledge regarding the older technology as well. Scott writes in a way that is precise and easy to understand, which is incredibly helpful to everyone from beginners to those with an advanced level of knowledge regarding PCs. I highly recommend this book, as well as any books by Scott Mueller, in your quest for knowledge of PCs!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Everything you ever wanted to know about computer hardware!

    A LOT of information in one place. Could be overwhelming to the casual reader but a real find for someone what wants indepth information on computer hardware in one place. The DVD-ROM is a clear, easy to absorb, chunk of information which I recommend as a "view first" before jumping into the book. I wish I had read the book before I bought my last computer, I'll probably build my next one.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Great Reference Manual

    This book is definitely for people who are technicians or understand the technology gibberish. If you are someone who is just learning computers this is NOT the book for as it is simply too in-depth. This book is a must-have for any technician's reference library.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An industry standard

    Have worked in all areas of I/T for the past 20 years this book is used more than any other for detailed, cogent. and extremely accurate information on the guts of PC's and laptops.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2003

    Scott 'HELP'

    He is the best when it comes to 'computer technology explained so I can understand.'

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2001

    Excellent Study Guide

    This is a great book in preparing for A+ Certification. I read it and took the sample questions on the CD, for two weeks straight. I passed both portions of the exam first time out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2000

    A must-have for an PC enthusiast

    This book is great for the intermediate to advanced user in PC upgrades or repair. This guy really knows what he is talking about. I espicially enjoyed the software on the CD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2000

    Informative but not definitive

    The author appears to position this book as THE definitive guide to PC upgrade and repair. If so, this proactive assertion does an injustice to the reader. 1) I believe this book (and the 10th edition) contains a fair number of 'sins of omission and comission' (e.g., revisionist/inaccurrate computer history, incomplete understanding of x86 internals). 2) Although books of this size (1500+ pages) are rarely error-free, poetic license can be graced upon honest mistakes/typos. Opinionated diatribe warrants no such respect. It seems that at times, the author will serve opinions as bold facts. The author's take on overclocking (multiplier-lock/unlocking) is an example of this. 3) Fortunately, if you have a good grasp of x86 (PC), most of the 'hiccups' in this book will be trivial. 4) Overall, a good guide -especially to the beginner- but not THE definitive text on the subject of PC upgrade and repair. 5) This review is 100% personal opinion on the text in question. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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