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CompTIA A+® Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Seventh Edition

Book Description

Get complete coverage of the latest release of the CompTIA A+ exams inside this fully revised and updated resource. Written by the leading authority on CompTIA A+ certification and training, this expert guide covers CompTIA A+ exams 220-701 and 220-702. You'll find learning objectives at the beginning of each chapter, exam tips, practice exam questions, in-depth explanations, and more than 1,000 photographs and illustrations. Designed to help you pass the CompTIA A+ exams with ease, this definitive volume also serves as an essential on-the-job IT reference.

Covers all exam objectives, including how to:

• Work with CPUs, RAM, motherboards, power supplies, and other PC components

• Install, partition, and format hard drives

• Install, upgrade, and troubleshoot WIndows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista

• Troubleshoot PCs and implement security measures

• Install video and multimedia cards

• Work with portable PCs, PDAs, smartphones, and wireless technologies

• Manage printers and connect to networks and the Internet

• Understand safety and environmental issues

• Establish good communication skills and adhere to privacy policies

The CD-ROM features:

• Practice exams for 701 & 702

• 600+ chapter review questions

• New video introduction to CompTIA A+

• One-hour video training segment

• Mike's favorite PC tools and utilities

• Searchable e-book

Mike Meyers, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, MCP, is the industry's leading authority on CompTIA A+ certification and training. He is the president and founder of Total Seminars, LLC, a major provider of PC and network repair seminars for thousands of organizations throughout the world, and a member of CompTIA.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. CompTIA A+® Certification Exam Guide
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Chapter 1 The Path of the PC Tech
    1. The Importance of Skill in Managing and Troubleshooting PCs
    2. The Importance of CompTIA A+ Certification
      1. What Is CompTIA A+ Certification?
      2. Who Is CompTIA?
      3. The Path to Other Certifications
    3. How Do I Become CompTIA A+ Certified?
      1. The Basic Exam Structure
      2. How Do I Take the Exams?
      3. How Much Does the Exam Cost?
      4. How to Pass the CompTIA A+ Exams
    4. Historical/Conceptual
    5. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  8. Chapter 2 Operational Procedures
    1. Essentials
    2. The Professional Tech
      1. Appearance
      2. The Traits of a Tech
    3. Communication
      1. Assertive Communication
      2. Respectful Communication
      3. Eliciting Answers
      4. Expectations and Follow-up
    4. Safety and Tools
      1. Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)
      2. Anti-static Tools
      3. Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)
      4. Radio Frequency Interference (RFI)
      5. Physical Safety
      6. Tools of the Trade
    5. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  9. Chapter 3 The Visible PC
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. How the PC Works
      1. Input
      2. Processing
      3. Output
      4. Storage
      5. The Art of the PC Technician
    3. Essentials
    4. The Complete PC
      1. External Connections
      2. Devices and Their Connectors
      3. Mouse
    5. Inside the System Unit
      1. Case
      2. CPU
      3. RAM
      4. Motherboard
      5. Power Supply
      6. Floppy Drive
      7. Hard Drive
      8. Optical Media Drives
      9. Know Your Parts
    6. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  10. Chapter 4 Understanding Windows
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. A Brief History of Microsoft Windows
      1. Early Windows
      2. Modern Windows
    3. Essentials
      1. Windows 2000
      2. Windows XP
      3. Windows Vista
      4. Enter 64-bit Windows
    4. The Windows Interface
      1. User Interface
      2. Hot Keys
    5. Practical Application
    6. Operating System Folders
      1. System Folder
      2. Program and Personal Document Folders
      3. Registry
      4. Page File
    7. Tech Utilities
      1. Right-Click
      2. Control Panel
      3. Device Manager
      4. System Tools
      5. Command Line
      6. Microsoft Management Console
      7. Administrative Tools
    8. Beyond A+
      1. Windows 7
      2. Windows Mobile
      3. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition
      4. Windows Embedded
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  11. Chapter 5 Microprocessors
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. CPU Core Components
      1. The Man in the Box
      2. Registers
      3. Clock
      4. Back to the External Data Bus
    3. Memory
      1. Memory and RAM
      2. Address Bus
    4. Essentials
    5. Modern CPUs
      1. Manufacturers
      2. CPU Packages
      3. The Pentium CPU: The Early Years
      4. Original Pentium
      5. Pentium Pro
      6. Later Pentium-Class CPUs
      7. Pentium II
      8. Pentium III
    6. Practical Application
      1. Processing and Wattage
      2. CPU Codenames
      3. AMD Athlon
      4. AMD Duron
      5. Intel Pentium 4
      6. Mobile Processors
      7. Early 64-Bit CPUs
      8. Multicore CPUs
      9. Intel Core
      10. AMD Phenom
      11. AMD Phenom II
      12. Intel Core i7
      13. Intel Celeron
      14. Intel Pentium Dual-Core
      15. Intel Xeon Processors
    7. Installing CPUs
      1. Why Replace a CPU?
      2. Determining the Right CPU
      3. Buying a CPU
      4. Preparing to Install
      5. Inserting a PGA-Type CPU
      6. Testing Your New CPU
      7. The Art of Cooling
      8. Know Your CPUs
    8. Beyond A+
      1. Overclocking
      2. Intel Atom
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  12. Chapter 6 RAM
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. Understanding DRAM
      1. Organizing DRAM
      2. Practical DRAM
      3. DRAM Sticks
      4. Consumer RAM
    3. Essentials
    4. Types of RAM
      1. SDRAM
      2. RDRAM
      3. DDR SDRAM
      4. DDR2
      5. DDR3
      6. RAM Variations
    5. Working with RAM
      1. Do You Need RAM?
      2. Getting the Right RAM
      3. Installing DIMMs and RIMMs
      4. Installing SO-DIMMs in Laptops
    6. Practical Application
    7. Troubleshooting RAM
      1. Testing RAM
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  13. Chapter 7 BIOS and CMOS
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. We Need to Talk
      1. Talking to the Keyboard
    3. Essentials
      1. BIOS
    4. CMOS
      1. Updating CMOS: The Setup Program
      2. A Quick Tour Through a Typical CMOS Setup Program
    5. Option ROM and Device Drivers
      1. Option ROM
      2. Device Drivers
      3. BIOS, BIOS, Everywhere!
    6. Practical Application
    7. Power-On Self Test (POST)
      1. Before and During the Video Test: The Beep Codes
      2. Text Errors
      3. POST Cards
      4. The Boot Process
    8. Care and Feeding of BIOS and CMOS
      1. Losing CMOS Settings
      2. Flashing ROM
    9. Beyond A+
      1. UEFI
    10. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  14. Chapter 8 Expansion Bus
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. Structure and Function of the Expansion Bus
      1. PC Bus
      2. ISA
    3. Essentials
    4. Modern Expansion Buses
      1. False Starts
      2. PCI
    5. System Resources
      1. I/O Addresses
      2. Interrupt Requests
      3. COM and LPT Ports
      4. Direct Memory Access
      5. Memory Addresses
    6. Installing Expansion Cards
      1. Step 1: Knowledge
      2. Step 2: Physical Installation
      3. Step 3: Device Drivers
      4. Step 4: Verify
    7. Practical Application
    8. Troubleshooting Expansion Cards
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  15. Chapter 9 Motherboards
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. How Motherboards Work
      1. Form Factors
    3. Essentials
      1. Chipset
      2. Motherboard Components
    4. Practical Application
    5. Upgrading and Installing Motherboards
      1. Choosing the Motherboard and Case
      2. Installing the Motherboard
      3. Wires, Wires, Wires
    6. Troubleshooting Motherboards
      1. Symptoms
      2. Techniques
      3. Options
    7. Beyond A+
      1. Shuttle Form Factor
      2. Mini-ITX
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  16. Chapter 10 Power Supplies
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. Understanding Electricity
    3. Essentials
    4. Powering the PC
      1. Supplying AC
      2. Supplying DC
    5. Practical Application
    6. Installing, Maintaining, and Troubleshooting Power Supplies
      1. Installing
      2. Cooling
      3. When Power Supplies Die
      4. Fuses and Fire
    7. Beyond A+
      1. It Glows!
      2. Modular Power Supplies
      3. Rail Power
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  17. Chapter 11 Hard Drive Technologies
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. How Hard Drives Work
      1. Platter-based Hard Drives
    3. Essentials
      1. Solid-state Drives
    4. Parallel and Serial ATA
      1. ATA-1
      2. ATA-2
      3. ATA-3
      4. ATA-4
      5. INT13 Extensions
      6. ATA-5
      7. ATA-6
    5. Practical Application
      1. ATA-7
    6. SCSI: Still Around
      1. SCSI Chains
      2. SCSI IDs
      3. Termination
    7. Protecting Data with RAID
      1. RAID
      2. Implementing RAID
      3. Hardware versus Software
      4. Personal RAID
      5. The Future Is RAID
    8. Installing Drives
      1. Choosing Your Drive
      2. Jumpers and Cabling on PATA Drives
      3. Cabling SATA Drives
      4. Connecting Solid-state Drives
      5. Connecting SCSI Drives
    9. BIOS Support: Configuring CMOS and Installing Drivers
      1. Configuring Controllers
      2. Autodetection
      3. Boot Order
      4. Enabling AHCI
      5. Device Drivers
    10. Troubleshooting Hard Drive Installation
    11. Beyond A+
      1. Spindle (or Rotational) Speed
      2. Hybrid Hard Drives
    12. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  18. Chapter 12 Implementing Hard Drives
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. Hard Drive Partitions
    3. Essentials
      1. Basic Disks
      2. Dynamic Disks
      3. Other Partitions
      4. When to Partition
    4. Hard Drive Formatting
      1. File Systems in Windows
      2. FAT
      3. FAT32
    5. Essentials/Practical Application
      1. NTFS
    6. The Partitioning and Formatting Process
      1. Bootable Disks
      2. Partitioning and Formatting with the Windows XP Installation CD
      3. Partitioning and Formatting with the Windows Vista Installation DVD
      4. Partitions and Drive Letters
      5. Disk Management
      6. Dynamic Disks
      7. Mount Points
      8. Formatting a Partition
    7. Maintaining and Troubleshooting Hard Drives
      1. Maintenance
      2. Troubleshooting Hard Drive Implementation
    8. Beyond A+
      1. Third-Party Partition Tools
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  19. Chapter 13 Removable Media
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. Floppy Drives
      1. Floppy Drive Basics
    3. Essentials
      1. Installing Floppy Drives
    4. Flash Memory
      1. USB Thumb Drives
      2. Flash Cards
    5. Optical Drives
      1. CD-Media
      2. DVD-Media
      3. Blu-ray Disc-Media
      4. Installing Optical Drives
    6. Practical Application
    7. Troubleshooting Removable Media
      1. Floppy Drive Maintenance and Troubleshooting
      2. Troubleshooting Optical Drives and Discs
    8. Beyond A+
      1. Color Books
      2. Blu-ray Disc Java
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  20. Chapter 14 Installing and Upgrading Windows
    1. Essentials/Practical Application
    2. Preparing for Installation or Upgrade
      1. Identify Hardware Requirements
      2. Verify Hardware and Software Compatibility
      3. Decide What Type of Installation to Perform
      4. Determine How to Back Up and Restore Existing Data, If Necessary
      5. Select an Installation Method
      6. Determine How to Partition the Hard Drive and What File System to Use
      7. Determine Your Computer’s Network Role
      8. Decide on Your Computer’s Language and Locale Settings
      9. Plan for Post-Installation Tasks
    3. Installing and Upgrading Windows
      1. Installing or Upgrading to Windows 2000 Professional
      2. Installing or Upgrading to Windows XP Professional
      3. Installing or Upgrading to Windows Vista
      4. Upgrading Issues
      5. The Windows 2000/XP Clean Installation Process
      6. The Windows Vista Clean Installation Process
      7. Automating the Installation
    4. Troubleshooting Installation Problems
      1. Text Mode Errors
      2. Graphical Mode Errors
      3. Lockups During Installation
    5. Post-Installation Tasks
      1. Patches, Service Packs, and Updates
      2. Upgrading Drivers
      3. Restoring User Data Files (If Applicable)
      4. Migrating and Retiring
    6. Post Installation: How All the Pieces Fit Together
      1. The 2000/XP Boot Process
      2. 2000/XP System Partition Files
      3. The Vista/7 Boot Process
      4. No Installation Is Perfect
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  21. Chapter 15 Working with the Command-Line Interface
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. Practical Application
    3. Deciphering the Command-line Interface
      1. Accessing the Command Line
      2. The Command Prompt
      3. Filenames and File Formats
      4. Drives and Folders
    4. Mastering Fundamental Commands
      1. Structure: Syntax and Switches
      2. DIR Command
      3. Directories: The CD Command
      4. Moving between Drives
      5. Making Directories
      6. Removing Directories
      7. Running a Program
    5. Working with Files
      1. Attributes
      2. Wildcards
      3. Renaming Files
      4. Deleting Files
      5. Copying and Moving Files
      6. Working with Batch Files
      7. And Even More Tools, Utilities, and Commands
    6. Beyond A+
      1. Using Special Keys
      2. Compact and Cipher
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  22. Chapter 16 Securing Windows Resources
    1. Essentials/Practical Application
    2. Authentication with Users and Groups
      1. Managing Users in Windows 2000
      2. Managing Users in Windows XP
      3. Managing Users in Windows Vista
      4. Managing Users in General
    3. Authorization through NTFS
      1. NTFS Permissions
      2. Permission Propagation
      3. Techs and Permissions
    4. Sharing a Windows PC Securely
      1. Sharing in Windows 2000
      2. Sharing in Windows XP
      3. Sharing in Windows Vista
      4. Locating Shared Folders
      5. Administrative Shares
      6. Protecting Data with Encryption
    5. Beyond A+
    6. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  23. Chapter 17 Maintaining and Troubleshooting Windows
    1. Essentials
    2. Maintaining Windows
      1. Patches, Updates, and Service Packs
      2. Temporary File Management with Disk Cleanup
      3. Registry Maintenance
      4. Security: Spyware/Antivirus/Firewall
      5. Error-Checking and Disk Defragmentation
      6. Scheduling Maintenance
    3. Optimizing Windows
      1. Installing and Removing Software
      2. Installing/Optimizing a Device
      3. Resource Tracking
      4. Preparing for Problems
    4. Practical Application
    5. Troubleshooting Windows
      1. Failure to Boot
      2. Failure to Load the GUI
      3. Troubleshooting Tools in the GUI
      4. Application Problems
    6. Beyond A+
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  24. Chapter 18 Input/Output
    1. Essentials/Practical Application
    2. Supporting Common I/O Ports
      1. Serial Ports
      2. USB Ports
      3. FireWire Ports
      4. General Port Issues
    3. Common I/O Devices
      1. Keyboards
      2. Mice
      3. Scanners
      4. Digital Cameras
      5. Web Cameras
    4. Specialty I/O Devices
      1. Biometric Devices
      2. Bar Code Readers
      3. Touch Screens
      4. KVM Switches
    5. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  25. Chapter 19 Video
    1. Video Displays
    2. Historical/Conceptual
      1. CRT Monitors
    3. Essentials
      1. LCD Monitors
      2. Projectors
      3. Common Features
      4. Power Conservation
    4. Video Cards
      1. Modes
      2. Motherboard Connection
      3. Graphics Processor
      4. Video Memory
      5. Connections
    5. Installing and Configuring Video
      1. Software
      2. Working with Drivers
    6. Practical Application
      1. 3-D Graphics
    7. Troubleshooting Video
      1. Troubleshooting Video Cards/Drivers
      2. Troubleshooting Monitors
      3. Common Monitor Problems
    8. Beyond A+
      1. Video and CMOS
      2. Other Display Technologies
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  26. Chapter 20 Multimedia
    1. Sound
    2. Historical/Conceptual
      1. How Sound Works in a PC
    3. Essentials
      1. Getting the Right Sound Hardware
      2. Installing Sound in a Windows System
    4. Practical Application
      1. Troubleshooting Sound
    5. Video Capture
      1. Hardware
      2. Software
      3. Troubleshooting
    6. TV Tuners
      1. Tuner Hardware
      2. Tuner Software
      3. Tuner Troubleshooting
    7. Beyond A+
      1. Sound Card Benchmarking
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  27. Chapter 21 Portable Computing
    1. Essentials/Practical Application
    2. Portable Computing Devices
      1. LCD Screens
      2. Desktop Replacements
      3. Desktop Extenders
      4. Netbooks
      5. PDAs and Smartphones
      6. Tablet PCs
      7. Portable Computer Device Types
    3. Practical Application
    4. Enhancing and Upgrading Portable Computers
      1. PC Cards
      2. Single-Function Ports
      3. General-Purpose Ports
      4. The Modular Laptop
    5. Managing and Maintaining Portable Computers
      1. Batteries
      2. Power Management
      3. Cleaning
      4. Heat
      5. Protect the Machine
    6. Troubleshooting Portable Computers
    7. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  28. Chapter 22 Printers
    1. Essentials
    2. Printer Technologies
      1. Impact Printers
      2. Inkjet Printers
      3. Dye-Sublimation Printers
      4. Thermal Printers
      5. Laser Printers
      6. Solid Ink
      7. Printer Languages
      8. Printer Connectivity
    3. Practical Application
    4. The Laser Printing Process
      1. The Physical Side of the Process
      2. The Electronic Side of the Process
    5. Installing a Printer in Windows
      1. Setting Up Printers
      2. Optimizing Print Performance
    6. Troubleshooting Printers
      1. General Troubleshooting Issues
      2. Troubleshooting Dot-Matrix Printers
      3. Troubleshooting Inkjet Printers
      4. Troubleshooting Laser Printers
    7. Beyond A+
      1. DOT4
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  29. Chapter 23 Local Area Networking
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. Networking Technologies
      1. Topology
    3. Essentials
      1. Packets/Frames and NICs
      2. Introducing Ethernet
      3. Fiber Optic Ethernet
      4. Coax/BNC
      5. Parallel/Serial
      6. FireWire
      7. USB
    4. Essentials/Practical Application
    5. Network Operating Systems
      1. Network Organization
      2. Protocols
      3. Client Software
      4. Server Software
    6. Installing and Configuring a Wired Network
      1. Installing a NIC
      2. Configuring a Network Client
      3. Configuring TCP/IP
      4. Sharing and Security
    7. Essentials
    8. Troubleshooting Networks
      1. Verify the Symptom
      2. When Did It Happen?
      3. What Has Changed?
      4. Check the Environment
      5. Reproducing the Problem
      6. Isolating the Symptom
      7. Separating Hardware from Software
      8. Research
      9. Make the Fix and Test
      10. OSI Seven-Layer Model
      11. Mike’s Four-Layer Model
    9. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  30. Chapter 24 Wireless Networking
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. Wireless Networking Components
    3. Essentials
      1. Wireless Networking Software
      2. Wireless Network Modes
      3. Wireless Networking Security
      4. Speed and Range Issues
    4. Wireless Networking Standards
      1. IEEE 802.11-Based Wireless Networking
      2. Other Wireless Standards
    5. Practical Application
    6. Installing and Configuring Wireless Networking
      1. Wi-Fi
      2. Bluetooth Configuration
      3. Cellular Configuration
    7. Troubleshooting Wi-Fi
      1. Hardware Troubleshooting
      2. Software Troubleshooting
      3. Connectivity Troubleshooting
      4. Configuration Troubleshooting
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  31. Chapter 25 The Internet
    1. Historical/Conceptual
    2. How the Internet Works
      1. Internet Tiers
      2. TCP/IP—The Common Language of the Internet
      3. Internet Service Providers
      4. Connection Concepts
    3. Essentials
    4. Connecting to the Internet
      1. Dial-up
      2. DSL
      3. Cable
      4. LAN
      5. Wireless
      6. Satellite
      7. Windows Internet Connection Sharing
      8. Hardware Connection Sharing
    5. Internet Software Tools
      1. The World Wide Web
      2. E-mail
      3. Newsgroups
      4. File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
      5. Telnet and SSH
      6. Voice over IP
      7. Terminal Emulation
    6. Virtual Private Networks
      1. PPTP VPNs
    7. Beyond A+
      1. Online Gaming
      2. Chatting
      3. File Sharing
    8. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  32. Chapter 26 Securing Computers
    1. Analyzing Threats
    2. Historical/Conceptual
      1. Unauthorized Access
      2. Social Engineering
      3. Data Destruction
      4. Administrative Access
      5. System Crash/Hardware Failure
    3. Essential/Practical Application
      1. Physical Theft
      2. Virus/Spyware
    4. Security Concepts and Technologies
      1. Access Control
      2. Data Classification and Compliance
      3. Reporting
    5. Network Security
      1. Malicious Software
      2. Virus Prevention and Recovery
      3. Firewalls
      4. Authentication and Encryption
      5. Wireless Issues
    6. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  33. Chapter 27 The Complete PC Tech
    1. Essentials
    2. How Computers Work
    3. Troubleshooting Theory
      1. Identify the Problem
      2. Establish a Theory of Probable Cause (Question the Obvious)
      3. Test the Theory to Determine Cause
      4. Verify and Prevent
      5. Document Findings, Actions, and Outcomes
    4. Tech Toolkit
      1. Utilities
      2. Field Replaceable Units (FRUs)
    5. Chapter Review
      1. Questions
      2. Answers
  34. Appendix A Mapping to the CompTIA A+ Objectives
    1. CompTIA A+ Essentials Objectives Map
    2. CompTIA A+ Practical Application Objectives Map
  35. Appendix B About the Download
    1. System Requirements
    2. Installing and Running Total Tester
    3. About Total Tester
    4. Playing Mike Meyers’ Introduction Video
    5. CompTIA A+ Acronyms List and CompTIA A+ Exam Objectives
    6. Shareware and Freeware
    7. Technical Support
  36. Glossary
  37. Index