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Dustin Bryan M.


CompTIA A+ certification validates foundation-level knowledge and skills necessary for a career in PC support. It is the starting point for a career. The international, vendor-neutral certification proves competence in areas such as installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security and troubleshooting.

CompTIA A+ Essentials measures the necessary competencies of an entry-level IT professional with a recommended 500 hours of hands-on experience in the lab or field. It tests for technical understanding of computer technology, networking and security, as well as the communication skills and professionalism now required of all entry-level IT professionals. CompTIA A+ Practical Application is an extension of the knowledge and skills identified in CompTIA A+ Essentials, with more of a "hands-on" orientation focused on scenarios in which troubleshooting and tools must be applied to resolve problems.

Test Details
Required exams CompTIA A+ Essentials

CompTIA A+ Practical Application Number of questions 100 for each exam Length of test90 minutes each Passing score675 for CompTIA A+ Essentials 700 for CompTIA A+ Practical Application (on a scale of 100-900) Exam codes 220-701 or JK0-701 for CompTIA A+ Essentials 220-702 or JK0-702 for CompTIA A+ Practical Application

COMPTIA A+ Essentials
1.0 Hardware 1.1 Categorize storage devices and backup media FDD HDD Optical drives Removable storage 1.2 Explain motherboard components, types and features Mouse & keyboard USB Parallel port CPU Chip RAM slots Floppy controller IDE controller PCI slot ISA slot CMOS Battery AGP slot CPU slot 1.3 Classify power supplies types and characteristics AC adapter ATX proprietary Voltage, wattage and capacity Voltage selector switch Pins (20, 24) 1.4 Explain the purpose and characteristics of CPUs and their features Identify CPU types Hyper threading Multi core Onchip cache Speed (real vs. actual) 32bit vs. 64 bit

1.5 Explain cooling methods and devices Heat sinks CPU and case fans Liquid cooling systems Thermal compound

Biometric devices Touch screen KVM switch 1.9 Summarize the function and types of adapter cards Video Multimedia I/O Communications 1.10 Install, configure and optimize laptop components and features Expansion devices Communication connections Power and electrical input devices Input devices 1.11 Install and configure printers Differentiate between printer types Local vs. network printers Printer drivers (compatibility) Consumables

1.6 Compare and contrast memory types, characteristics and their purpose Types Parity vs. Non-parity ECC vs. non-ECC Single sided vs. double sided Single channel vs. dual channel Speed 1.7 Distinguish between the different display devices and their characteristics Projectors, CRT and LCD LCD technologies Connector types Settings 1.8 Install and configure peripherals and input devices Mouse Keyboard Bar code reader Multimedia (e.g. web and digital cameras, MIDI, microphones)

2.0 Troubleshooting, Repair and Maintenance

2.1 Given a scenario, explain the troubleshooting theory Identify the problem Establish a theory of probable cause (question the obvious) Test the theory to determine cause Establish a plan of action to resolve the problem and implement the solution Verify full system functionality and if applicable implement preventative measures Document findings, actions and outcomes 2.2 Given a scenario, explain and interpret common hardware and operating system symptoms and their causes OS related symptoms Hardware related symptoms Use documentation and resources

2.3 Given a scenario, determine the troubleshooting methods and tools for printers Manage print jobs Print spooler Printer properties and settings Print a test page 2.4 Given a scenario, explain and interpret common laptop issues and determine the appropriate basic troubleshooting method Issues Methods 2.5 Given a scenario, integrate common preventative maintenance techniques Physical inspection Updates Scheduling preventative maintenance Use of appropriate repair tools and cleaning materials Power devices Ensuring proper environment Backup procedures

3.0 Operating Systems and Software

3.1 Compare and contrast the different Windows Operating Systems and their features Windows 2000, Windows XP 32bit vs. 64bit, Windows Vista 32 bit vs. 64bit 3.2 Given a scenario, demonstrate proper use of user interfaces Windows Explorer My Computer Control Panel Command prompt utilities Run line utilities My Network Places Task bar / systray Administrative tools MMC Task Manager Start Menu 3.3 Explain the process and steps to install and configure the Windows OS File systems Directory structures Files Verification of hardware compatibility and minimum requirements Installation methods Operating system installation options Disk preparation order Device Manager User data migration User State Migration Tool (USMT) Virtual memory Configure power manangement Demonstrate safe removal of peripherals 3.4 Explain the basics of boot sequences, methods and startup utilities Disk boot order / device priority Boot options

4.1 Summarize the basics of networking 4.2 Categorize network cables and connectors and fundamentals, including technologies, devices their implementations and protocols Cables Basics of configuring IP addressing and TCP/IP Connectors properties (DHCP, DNS) 4.3 Compare and contrast the different network types Bandwidth and latency Broadband Status indicators Dial-up Wireless Protocols (TCP/IP, NETBIOS) Bluetooth Full-duplex, half-duplex Cellular Basics of workgroups and domains

4.0 Networking

Common ports: HTTP, FTP, POP, SMTP, TELNET, HTTPS LAN / WAN Hub, switch and router Identify Virtual Private Networks (VPN) Basics class identification

5.0 Security
5.1 Explain the basic principles of security concepts and technologies

6.0 Operational Procedure

6.1 Outline the purpose of appropriate safety and environmental procedures and given a scenario apply them ESD EMI RFI Electrical safety Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) Cable management Physical safety Environmental consider proper disposal procedures 6.2 Given a scenario, demonstrate the appropriate use of communication skills and professionalism in the workplace Use proper language avoid jargon, acronyms, slang Maintain a positive attitude Listen and do not interrupt a customer Be culturally sensitive Be on time Avoid distractions Dealing with a difficult customer or situation Set and meet expectations / timeline and communicate status with the customer Deal appropriately with customers confidential materials

Encryption technologies Data wiping / hard drive destruction / hard drive recycling Software firewall Authentication technologies Basics of data sensitivity and data security

5.2 Summarize the following security features

Wireless encryption Malicious software protection BIOS Security Password management / password complexity Locking workstation Biometrics

Storage and Back Up Media

Floppy Disk A data storage medium that is composed of a disk of thin, flexible ("floppy") magnetic storage medium sealed in a square or rectangular plastic carrier lined with fabric that removes dust particles.

Size---------Storage 5 1/4" ------360KB 5 1/4" -------1.2MB 3 1/2" -------720KB 3 1/2" -------1.44MB 3 1/2" -------2.88MB

Storage and Back Up Media

Hard Disk Drive(HDD) is a non-volatile, random access device for digital data. It features rotating rigid platters on a motor-driven spindle within a protective enclosure. Data is magnetically read from and written to the platter by read/write heads that float on a film of air above the platters. Introduced by IBM in 1956, hard disk drives have fallen in cost and physical size over the years while dramatically increasing in capacity. Hard disk drives have been the dominant device for secondary storage of data in general purpose computers since the early 1960s.[They have maintained this position because advances in their areal recording density have kept pace with the requirements for secondary storage. Today's HDDs operate on high-speed serial interfaces; i.e., serial ATA (SATA) or serial attached SCSI (SAS).

Intelligent Drive Electronics or Integrated Drive Electronics, depending on who you ask. An IDE interface is an interface for mass storage devices, in which the controller is integrated into the disk or CDROM drive . Although it really refers to a general technology, most people use the term to refer the ATA specification, which uses this technology.

Serial ATA) A serial version of the ATA (IDE) interface, which has been the de facto standard hard disk interface for desktop PCs for more than two decades. The original Parallel ATA (PATA) interface was launched in 1986. SATA was introduced in 2002 at significantly higher speed, transferring data in each direction at 1.5 Gbps. A year later, SATA II increased speed to 3 Gbps. In 2008, SATA III bumped speed to 6 Gbps

Storage and Back Up Media

Optical Disc Drive is a disk drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves near the light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs. Some drives can only read from discs, but recent drives are commonly both readers and recorders. Recorders are sometimes called burners or writers. Compact discs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs are common types of optical media which can be read and recorded by such drives.

Storage and Back Up Media

Removable Storage Device is a device that allows for the transportation of information. There have been many types of Removable Storage Devices, ranging from hard disks, to rewritable Compact Disks, to portable USB drives. The amount of storage space on Removable Storage Devices has drastically increased over the years, and it is an evergrowing process as new technology is developed

SmartMedia is a a removable flash memory card that is a very small and thin storage card, used mainly in electronic devices like a digital camera, MP3 player or PDA. SmartMedia cards can hold up to 128MB of data and have a high-transfer rate for copying and downloading. SmartMedia cards are an excellent media for storing music or image files for transferring from an electronic device to your PC.

Motherboard Components, Types and Features

Motherboard is the central printed circuit board (PCB) in many modern computers and holds many of the crucial components of the system, while providing connectors for other peripherals. The motherboard is sometimes alternatively known as the mainboard, system board, or, on Apple computers, the logic board It is also sometimes casually shortened to mobo.

Motherboard Components, Types and Features

Motherboard Components, Types and Features

Mouse & keyboard USB Parallel port CPU Chip RAM slots Floppy controller IDE controller PCI slot ISA slot CMOS Battery AGP slot CPU slot Power supply plug in

AT Power Supply - the Power-on switch wire from the front of the computer is connected directly to the power supply. ATX power supplies, the power switch on the front of the computer goes to the motherboard over a connector labeled something like; PS ON, Power SW, SW Power, etc. This allows other hardware and/or software to turn the system on and off.

AT stands for Advanced Technology when ATX means Advanced Technology eXtended.
Color Orange Signal Pin Pin 13 Signal Color


+3.3V Orange +3.3V Brown sense

Orange Black Red Black Red Black Grey Purple

+3.3V2 Ground3 +5V4 Ground5 +5V6 Ground7 Power8 good +5V9 standby

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

12V Blue Ground Black Power on Green

Ground Black Ground Black Ground Black Reserve N/C d +5V Red

Power Supply
A power supply unit (PSU) is the component that supplies power to the other components in a computer. More specifically, a power supply unit is typically designed to convert general-purpose alternating current (AC) electric power from the mains(100-127V in North America, parts of South America, Japan, and Taiwan; 220-240V in most of the rest of the world) to usable low-voltage direct current (DC) power for the internal components of the computer. Some power supplies have a switch to change between 230 V and 115 V. Other models have automatic sensors that switch input voltage automatically, or are able to accept any voltage between those limits AC adapter, AC/DC adapter or AC/DC converter is a type of external power supply, often enclosed in what looks like an over-sized AC plug. Other names include plug pack, plug-in adapter, adapter block, domestic mains adapter, line power adapter, or power adapter. Informal terms include wall wart, wall cube and power brick. AC adapters are typically used with electrical devices that do not contain their own internal power supply

The central processing unit (CPU) is the portion of a computer system that carries out the instructions of a computer program, and is the primary element carrying out the computer's functions. The central processing unit carries out each instruction of the program in sequence, to perform the basic arithmetical, logical, and input/output operations of the system. This term has been in use in the computer industry at least since the early 1960s.The form, design and implementation of CPUs have changed dramatically since the earliest examples, but their fundamental operation remains much the same. PGA stands for Pin Grid Array. As on the image, the CPU's circuits are integrated inside a ceramic layer with an array of pins on the surface. At the installation the pins are inserted in the socket's holes making contact with the motherboard's circuits. LGA stands for Land Grid Array. If you look at the image, you can see there are no pins. Instead it is an array of pads that is built on the CPU's surface. At the installation the CPU is sat on the socket's pins where they are fixed to the motherboard and contact with the circuits.

Hyperthreading Intel Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel HT Technology) uses processor resources more efficiently, enabling multiple threads to run on each core. Intel HT Technology increases processor throughput, improving overall performance on threaded software. Intel HT Technology is available on Previous Generation Intel Core processors, 2nd generation Intel Core processor family, and Intel Xeon processor family. A multi-core processor is a single component with two or more independent actual processors (called "cores")Manufacturers typically integrate the cores onto a single integrated circuit die (known as a chip multiprocessor or CMP), or onto multiple dies in a single chip package

Heat Sinks
Heat Sinks is a term for a component or assembly that transfers heat generated within a solid material to a fluid medium, such as air or a liquid. Examples of heat sinks are the heat exchangers used in refrigeration and air conditioning systems and the radiator (also a heat exchanger) in a car. Heat sinks also help to cool electronic and optoelectronic devices, such as higher-power lasers and light emitting diodes (LEDs).

Case Fans
Computer fan is any fan inside, or attached to, a computer case used for cooling purposes, and may refer to fans that draw cooler air into the case from the outside, expel warm air from inside, or move air across a heatsink to cool a particular component. The use of fans to cool a computer is an example of active cooling.

Liquid Cooling System

Liquid cooling is essentially a radiator for the CPU inside of the computer. Just like a radiator for a car, a liquid cooling system circulates a liquid through a heat sink attached to the processor inside of the computer. As the liquid passes through the heat sink, heat is transferred from the hot processor to the cooler liquid. The hot liquid then moves out to a radiator at the back of the case and transfers the heat to the ambient air outside of the case. The cooled liquid then travels back through the system to the CPU to continue the process

Thermal Compound

thick substance that, in computer systems, is often used between the CPU core and surface of the heatsink to assist in the quick transferal of heat. Common thermal compound applications are found in micro-electronic, automotive, power generation and other performance-intensive markets. Thermal compound may also be called thermal grease

Types of Memory


(Synchronous DRAM) Almost all systems used to ship with 3.3 volt, 168-pin SDRAM DIMMs. SDRAM is not an extension of older EDO DRAM but a new type of DRAM altogether. SDRAM started out running at 66 MHz, while older fast page mode DRAM and EDO max out at 50 MHz. SDRAM is able to scale to 133 MHz (PC133) officially, and unofficially up to 180MHz or higher. As processors get faster, new generations of memory such as DDR and RDRAM are required to get proper performance.

DDR (Double Data Rate SDRAM)

DDR basically doubles the rate of data transfer of standard SDRAM by transferring data on the up and down tick of a clock cycle. DDR memory operating at 333MHz actually operates at 166MHz * 2 (aka PC333 / PC2700) or 133MHz*2 (PC266 / PC2100). DDR is a 2.5 volt technology that uses 184 pins in its DIMMs. It is incompatible with SDRAM physically, but uses a similar parallel bus, making it easier to implement than RDRAM, which is a different technology.


Despite it's higher price, Intel has given RDRAM it's blessing for the consumer market, and it will be the sole choice of memory for Intel's Pentium 4. RDRAM is a serial memory technology that arrived in three flavors, PC600, PC700, and PC800. PC800 RDRAM has double the maximum throughput of old PC100 SDRAM, but a higher latency. RDRAM designs with multiple channels, such as those in Pentium 4 motherboards, are currently at the top of the heap in memory throughput, especially when paired with PC1066 RDRAM memory.

Double-sided RAM is a type of random-access memory which

has its chips divided into two sides (called "ranks"), only one of which can be seen at a time by the computer. Initially, these were created by essentially attaching two single-sided SIMM cards to the same PCB, but more modern chips use different wiring. Pins 33 and 45 on the board are used by double-sided memory, and can sometimes be an indicator as to whether a given module is single or double-sided. To use the second half of the storage available, the computer must switch to the second rank, and can no longer read or write to the first half until it switches back again

Single-sided RAM refers to a RAM expansion with a single

"rank" of chips, which the computer can access all at once. The physical expansion card may have chips on both of its sides, or only on one side, but is considered to be single sided because the computer can "see" all of its memory at once.

ECC Error-Correcting Code memory, a type of memory that includes special circuitry for testing the accuracy of data as it passes in and out of memory. A memory system that tests for and corrects errors automatically, very often without the operating system being aware of it, let alone the user. As data are written into memory, ECC circuitry generates checksums from the binary sequences in the bytes and stores them in an additional seven bits of memory for 32-bit data paths or eight bits for 64-bit paths. When data are retrieved from memory, the checksum is recomputed to determine if any of the data bits have been corrupted. Such systems can typically detect and automatically correct errors of one bit per word and can detect, but not correct, errors greater than one bit

Beep Code: No Beeps One Beep Two Beeps One Long Beep, One Short Beep One Long Beep, Two Short Beeps One Long Beep, Three Short Beeps Three Long Beeps Repeated Long Beeps Continuous Hi-Lo Beeps

Description of Problem: Short, No power, Bad CPU/MB, Loose Peripherals Everything is normal and Computer POSTed fine POST/CMOS Error Motherboard Problem VideoProblem Video Problem Keyboard Error Memory Error CPUOverheating

An LCD projector is a type of video projector for

displaying video, images or computer data on a screen or other flat surface. It is a modern equivalent of the slide projector or overhead projector. To display images, LCD (liquid-crystal display) projectors typically send light from a metal-halide lamp through a prism or series of dichroic filters that separates light to threepolysilicon panels one each for the red, green and blue components of the video signal. As polarized light passes through the panels (combination of polarizer, LCD panel and analyzer), individual pixels can be opened to allow light to pass or closed to block the light. The combination of open and closed pixels can produce a wide range of colors and shades in the projected image.

Biometrics (or biometric authentication)] consists of methods

for uniquely recognizing humans based upon one or more intrinsic physical or behavioral traits. In computer science , in particular, biometrics is used as a form of identity access management and access control . It is also used to identify individuals in groups that are under surveillance.
A touchscreen is an electronic visual display that can detect

the presence and location of a touch within the display area. The term generally refers to touching the display of the device with a finger or hand. Touchscreens can also sense other passive objects, such as a stylus. Touchscreens are common in devices such as game consoles, all-in-one computers, tablet computers, and smartphones.

A liquid crystal display (LCD) is a flat panel display, electronic visual display

video display that uses the light modulating properties of liquid crystals (LCs). LCs do not emit light directly.
They are used in a wide range of applications, including computer monitors

television, instrument panels, aircraft cockpit displays signage etc. They are common in consumer devices such as video players, gaming devices, clocks, watches, calculators, and telephones LCDs have replaced cathode ray tube (CRT) displays in most applications. They are available in a wider range of screen sizes than CRT and plasma displays, and since they do not use phosphors, they cannot suffer image burn-in. LCDs are, however, susceptible to image persistence
LCDs are more energy efficient and offer safer disposal than CRTs. Its low

electrical power consumption enables it to be used in battery powered electronic equipment. It is an electronically modulated optical device made up of any number of segments filled with liquid crystals and arrayed in front of a light source (backlight) or reflector to produce images in color or monochrome. The most flexible ones use an array of small pixels. The earliest discovery leading to the development of LCD technology, the discovery of liquid crystals, dates from 1888.[2] By 2008, worldwide sales of televisions with LCD screens had surpassed the sale of CRT units.

A KVM switch (with KVM being an abbreviation for keyboard, video,

or visual display unit, mouse) is a hardware device that allows a user to control multiple computers from a single keyboard, video monitor and mouse. Although multiple computers are connected to the KVM, typically a smaller number of computers can be controlled at any given time. Modern devices have also added the ability to share USB devices and speakers with multiple computers. Some KVM switches can also function in reverse - that is, a single PC can be connected to multiple monitors, keyboards, and mice. While not as common as the former, this configuration is useful when the operator wants to access a single computer from two or more (usually close) locations - for example, a public kiosk machine that also has a staff maintenance interface behind the counter, or a home office computer that doubles as a home theater PC.