PC Hardware and A+ Handbook

PC Hardware and A+ Handbook

by Kate J. Chase


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PC Hardware and A+ Handbook by Kate J. Chase

Learn the practical, real-world techniques you need to install, upgrade, fine-tune, and troubleshoot your PC—and even prepare for the CompTIA A+ certification exam! Designed to help you master the fundamentals of hardware and operating system support and repair.

This easy-to-read, expertly organized guide features:

  • Labs for learning and practicing must-know procedures
  • Troubleshooting Scenarios to help you diagnose and resolve common problems
  • Exam Tips for getting an edge on material tested by A+
  • Smart Shopping advice on what to look for, what to pay Covering everything from motherboards to modems, printers to protocols, system files to service packs—and how they all work together—you’ll build the same skills that professional, entry-level computer technicians must know!

Discover how to:

  • Ace the ten most common hardware fixes
  • Know when to use OS diagnostic tools and utilities
  • Set up hard drives, backup drives, and removable media
  • Replace or upgrade memory
  • Master basic networking and Internet connectivity, including wireless systems
  • Set up and troubleshoot printers
  • Install and tweak video and audio adapters
  • Support laptops and mobile devices
  • Retire or recycle old PCs the right way
  • Plan and build an entire PC system from scratch!

About A+

The A+ Certification from CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, validates your knowledge and competency as an entry-level technician supporting core hardware and operating system technologies.

2003 Exam Objectives

Core Hardware

  • Installation, configuration, and upgrading
  • Preventive maintenance
  • Motherboard/processors/memory
  • Printers
  • Basic networkingOperating Systems Technologies
  • OS fundamentals
  • Installation, configuration, and upgrading
  • Diagnosing and troubleshooting
  • Networks

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735620490
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Publication date: 06/02/2004
Pages: 656
Product dimensions: 7.22(w) x 8.94(h) x 1.54(d)

About the Author

Kate J. Chase is a Microsoft MVP in Office Systems as well as the author/co-author or editor of more than 30 technical reference books, including several books and training modules devoted to Office products. She has developed and managed vibrant online support communities for industry leaders like America Online, The Microsoft Network, and Zdnet. In addition, she frequently uses the tools in Office to work collaboratively with partners throughout the US and the world.

Table of Contents

Part IPC Need to Know
1Computer Evolution3
A Brief History of a Revolution4
PC State of the Art18
The "Build-Your-Own vs. Buy" Debate19
Evolutions in PC Design20
Smart Upgrading24
Smart Disposal24
Lab 1Disposing of Equipment Properly27
2The Operating System's Role in Hardware31
A Background in Operating Systems in General and Windows in Particular32
Windows and Hardware49
How a PC Boots67
The Role of Drivers as Go-Betweens69
Operating System Maintenance and Repair75
Lab 2Determining Device and Windows Version Compatibility and Planning77
3Defining Your Tech Toolkit81
Assembling Your Tools82
Toolkit Intangibles: Knowledge and Experience93
Ten Most Common (and Easiest) Hardware Fixes102
Lab 3Assembling or Checking an Already Packed Tool Kit105
4The Workings and Connections of the PC111
How It All Works Together111
The PC Buses, Caches, and Essential Information114
Inside the Case127
Outside the Case130
Lab 4Ride the Bus134
Part IIInternal Essentials
How a Motherboard Works141
Major Types142
On the Motherboard145
Standard Features153
Smart Shopping153
Maintenance and Repair162
Lab 5Identify the Motherboard and BIOS, and Upgrade the BIOS164
6Central Processing Units169
How a CPU Works169
Major Types of Processors171
Cooling Issues and Fan Types175
Maintenance and Repair181
Lab 6Determine the CPU Upgrade Path Possible for Three Different Motherboards182
How Memory Works186
Major Types of Memory191
Determine the Memory Type Needed194
Maintenance and Repair198
Lab 7Identify Memory Type and Perform a Memory Replacement or Upgrade202
8Power Supplies and Cooling205
How a Power Supply Works205
Major Types of Power Supply210
Power Supply Installation214
Maintenance and Repair216
Cooling Hardware219
Lab 8Replace a Power Supply223
Part IIIWorking with Add-On Boards and Other Essentials
How Video Works229
Standard Features232
Other Considerations237
Video Cooling241
Maintenance and Repair246
Lab 9Install Replacement Video Adapter and Update Its Driver250
How It Works253
Standard Features255
Maintenance and Repair268
Lab 10Installing a New Sound Adapter269
11Modems: Analog and Broadband273
Major Types of Modems and How They Work273
Troubleshooting Modem Installations290
Lab 11Install a Modem and Configure It for Use294
12Network Cards and Network Hardware297
Lab 12Install a Network Adapter, and Create a Peer-to-Peer Network with a Second PC325
13Other Controller Cards329
SCSI Controllers and Host Adapters330
High-Speed ATA Controllers335
Add-On Functionality Cards335
Lab 13Install a SCSI Controller339
Part IVAll About Drives
14Hard Drives and Drive Interfaces343
The Technology Within Hard Drives344
Drive Interfaces346
Working with Large or Multiple Drives353
Hard-Drive Installation362
Drive Prepping370
Maintenance and Repair376
Lab 14Install and Configure a New Drive as a Master Boot Drive with the Operating System384
15CD and DVD Drives387
CD Drives388
DVD Drives393
Maintenance and Repair403
Troubleshooting by Type404
Lab 15Install a CD or DVD Recordable Drive and Verify Its Operation405
16Floppy, Removable, and Backup Drives409
Floppy Drives409
Removable Storage Devices and Backup Drives411
Maintenance and Repair421
Troubleshooting by Type422
Lab 16Replace an Existing Floppy Drive with a New One and Clean the Old Drive427
Part VThe Peripheral Connection
Analog vs. Digital433
Major Types434
How Monitors Work434
Factors in Monitor Choice and Usage441
Maintenance and Troubleshooting446
Lab 17Installing and Configuring a Monitor449
18Going Wireless453
The Wireless Revolution453
Wireless Networking455
Lab 18Install and Configure a Wireless Network Setup Involving Two or More Systems466
19Audio Externals471
Major Types of Audio Externals471
Installation and Configuration480
Maintenance and Repair486
Lab 19Install, Configure, and Test Speakers and a Microphone488
20Major Input Devices and Gaming Hardware491
Major Types of Input Devices and How They Work492
Maintenance and Repair510
Lab 20Install and Configure a Keyboard and Mouse519
About Printing523
Major Printer Types524
Maintenance and Repair536
Lab 21Install a Printer542
Part VITaking It to Another Level
22The Laptop Connection547
Different Types, All Mobile547
Major Laptop Architecture548
Other Interfaces and Connections568
Maintenance and Repair568
Lab 22Set Up a Laptop as a Desk-Based Network Workstation570
23Building Your PC573
The Work Before You Build573
Assembling Your Parts576
Assembling the PC578
Finishing Up591
Lab 23Develop a Plan for Building a PC, and Then Assemble a PC from Scratch593

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