Control Hardware Access

The operating system manages the interaction between applications and the hardware. To access and communicate with the hardware, the operating system installs a device driver for each hardware component. A device driver is a small program written by the hardware manufacturer and supplied with the hardware component. When the hardware device is installed, the device driver is also installed, allowing the OS to communicate with the hardware component. The process of assigning system resources and...

Upgrade and Configure a Motherboard

To upgrade or replace a motherboard, you might have to replace several other components, such as the CPU, heat sink fan assembly, and RAM. Figure 11-14 shows an example of an old motherboard and a replacement new motherboard. A new motherboard must fit into the old computer case. The power supply must also be compatible with the new motherboard and be able to support all new computer components. You should begin the upgrade by moving the CPU and heat sink fan assembly to the new motherboard....

A

Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) A high-speed, 32-bit bus technology designed to support the acceleration of 3D computer graphics. Access Control List (ACL) A list managed by a network administrator that itemizes what a user is permitted to access and the type of access granted. The network administrator uses ACLs to restrict packet access to the network. access point A device that connects wireless devices to form a wireless network. An access point usually connects to a wired network, and it...

About the A Certification

As a CompTIA Authorized Quality Curriculum, IT Essentials PC Hardware and Software v4.0 will help prepare you for the new CompTIA A+ Essentials and job-skills certification exams. To become A+ certified, you will need to pass two exams to become certified in your chosen career area CompTIA A+ Essentials (220-601) Any one of the three job-skills exams 220-603 Remote Support Technician After becoming certified, you will be qualified to work as a computer support professional and technician in a...

Add an Application

If a program or application is not automatically installed when the CD is inserted, you can use the Add or Remove Programs applet to install the application, as shown in Figure 5-30. Click the Add New Programs button and select the location where the application is located. Windows will install the application for you. After the application is installed, the application can be started from the Start menu or from a shortcut icon that the application installs on the desktop. Check the application...

Add or Remove Programs Applet

Microsoft recommends that users always use the Add or Remove Programs utility, as shown in Figure 5-29, when installing or removing applications. When you use the Add or Remove Programs utility to install an application, the utility tracks installation files so that the application can be uninstalled completely, if desired. To open the Add or Remove Programs applet, use the following path Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs Figure 5-29 Windows Add or Remove Programs

Adjusting Low Battery Warnings

In Windows XP, you can set the low battery warnings. There are two levels Low Battery Alarm and Critical Battery Alarm. The low battery alarm will warn you that the battery is low. The critical battery alarm will initiate a forced standby, hibernate, or shutdown, as shown in Figure 6-18. Figure 6-18 Critical Battery Alarm Actions Worksheet 6.4.1 Match ACPI Standards Match the ACPI standard to the correct characteristic. Refer to the worksheet in IT Essentials PC Hardware and Software Labs and...

Application Management

The operating system locates an application and loads it into the RAM of the computer. Applications are software programs, such as word processors, databases, spreadsheets, games, and many other applications. The operating system ensures that each application has adequate system resources. An application programming interface (API) is a set of guidelines used by programmers to ensure that the application they are developing is compatible with an operating system. Two examples of APIs are Open...

Attach the Computer to an Existing Network

Now that the NIC drivers are installed, you are ready to connect to the network. Plug a network cable, also called an Ethernet patch or straight-through cable, into the network port on the computer. Plug the other end into the network device or wall jack. After connecting the network cable, look at the LEDs, or link lights, next to the Ethernet port on the NIC to see if any activity is occurring. If no activity is going on, this may indicate a faulty cable, a faulty hub port, or even a faulty...

Automatic Private IP Addressing Apipa An

Operating system feature that enables a computer to assign itself an address if it is unable to contact a DHCP server. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has reserved private IP addresses in the range of 169.254.0.0 to 169.254.255.255 for APIPA. Automatic Update A utility to schedule the Windows Update feature to check for critical updates. auxiliary (AUX) power connector A four-, six-, or eight-pin connector that supplies extra voltage to the motherboard from the power supply.

Automatic Updates

If every maintenance task had to be scheduled every time it was run, repairing computers would be much harder than it is today. Fortunately, tools such as the Scheduled Task Wizard allow many functions to be automated. But how can you automate the update of software that has not been written Operating systems and applications are constantly being updated for security purposes and for added functionality. It is important that Microsoft and others provide an Automatic Updates service, as shown in...

B

Backplane A physical connection between an interface processor or card, the data buses, and the power distribution buses inside a chassis. backup A copy of data saved to alternate media. Should be physically removed from the source data. backward-compatible Hardware or software systems that can use interfaces and data from earlier versions of the system or with other systems. bandwidth The amount of data that can be transmitted within a fixed amount of time. base station A device that attaches...

Back Up the Hard Drive

Just as the system restore points allow the restoration of OS configuration files, backup tools allow the recovery of data. You can use the Microsoft Backup Tool, shown in Figure 5-35, to perform backups as required. It is important to establish a backup strategy that includes data recovery. The organization's requirements will determine how often the data must be backed up and the type of backup to perform. Figure 5-35 Microsoft Backup Utility It can take a long time to run a backup. If the...

Bridges and Switches

Files are broken into small pieces of data, called packets, before they are transmitted over a network. This process allows for error checking and easier retransmission if the packet is lost or corrupted. Address information is added to the beginning and end of packets before they are transmitted. The packet, along with the address information, is called a frame. LANs are often divided into sections called segments, similar to how a company is divided into departments. The boundaries of...

Check Your Understanding

You can find the answers to these questions in the appendix, Answers to Check Your Understanding Questions. 1. Which of the following connectors are SCSI types (Choose two.) 2. What is the name given to the code that describes the layout and contents of a printed page b. Preview Description Language Chapter 14 Advanced Printers and Scanners 31 Which of the following functions are provided by a print server (Choose two.) b. Provide client access to print resources. c. Automatically reformat...

Clean the Case

Dust or dirt on the outside of a computer can travel through cooling fans and loose computer case covers. Dirt can also enter a computer through missing expansion slot covers, as shown in Figure 11-22. If dust accumulates inside the computer, it can prevent the flow of air and affect cooling. Figure 11-22 Cleaning the Computer Case Use a cloth or duster to clean the outside of the computer case. If you use a cleaning product, do not spray it directly on the case. Instead, put a small amount...

Feedback Information

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CLI Scheduled Tasks

The Scheduled Tasks utility is a Windows-based GUI utility. You can also use the at command in the command-line utility to automatically schedule a command, a script file, or an application to run at a specific date and time. To use the at command, you must be logged in as a member of the administrator group. To learn more about the at command, choose Start > Run. At the CLI prompt, type cmd and then press Enter. At the command prompt, type at . Figure 12-15 Scheduling Automated Tasks Figure...

Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cable is a copper-cored cable surrounded by a heavy shielding, as shown in Figure 8-17. Coaxial cable is used to connect the computers to the rest of the network. Coaxial cable uses BNC connectors, sometimes called British Naval Connectors or Bayonet Neill-Concelman connectors, at the ends of the cables to make the connection. Several types of coaxial cable exist Thicknet (10BASE5) is coaxial cable that was used in networks and operated at 10 Mbps, with a maximum length of 500 meters....

Compare and Contrast a Default Installation and a Custom Installation

The default installation of Windows XP Professional is sufficient for most computers used in a home or small office network. A custom installation of Windows XP Professional is typically used in a larger network. Default installation requires minimal user interaction. You are prompted to provide information for the specific computer and the owner user. In Windows XP, the custom installation is similar to the default installation. There are only two screens that offer a custom selection during...

Compare and Contrast Desktop and Laptop Power Management

Power management controls the flow of electricity to the components of a computer. Desktops are usually set up in a location where they remain plugged into a power source. Desktop power management distributes electricity from the source to the components of the desktop. There is also a small battery in the desktop that provides electricity to maintain the internal clock and BIOS settings when the desktop is powered off. Laptops are small and portable. This portability feature is achieved by...

Compare the OSI and Tcpip Models

The OSI model and the TCP IP model are both reference models used to describe the data communication process. The TCP IP model is used specifically for the TCP IP suite of protocols. The OSI model is used to develop standard communication for equipment and applications from different vendors. The TCP IP model performs the same process as the OSI model, but it uses four layers instead of seven. Figure 8-23 shows how the layers of the two models compare. Figure 8-23 OSI Model and TCP IP Model...

Complete the Installation

After the Windows installation copies all the necessary operating system files to the hard drive, the computer will reboot and prompt you to log in for the first time. You must register Windows XP. As shown in Figure 5-13, you must also complete the verification that ensures that you are using a legal copy of the OS. Doing so will enable you to download patches and service packs. Performing this step requires a connection to the Internet. Depending on the age of the media at the time of your...

Computer Shared Printers

A user's computer that has a printer attached can share that printer with other users on the network. Windows XP makes the process of enabling shared printers fast and easy. In a home network, it means that users can print documents from wherever they are in the house by using a wireless laptop. In a small office network, sharing a printer means one printer can serve many users. Sharing a printer from a computer also has disadvantages. The computer sharing the printer uses its own resources to...

Configure the Customers Internet and Network Resources

After the network has been set up and tested, you should configure a web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer. You can configure browser settings and perform maintenance tasks in the Internet Properties dialog box, as shown in Figure 15-4. Internet Explorer includes settings for temporary Internet files and the default browser. The customer may also need you to configure network resources such as file and printer sharing. The next sections describe these topics. Figure 15-4 Internet...

Configuring Power Schemes

Power schemes are a collection of settings that manage the power usage of the computer. Both the hard drive and the display consume large amounts of power. They can be configured on the Power Schemes tab. When you open Power Options, you will notice that Windows XP has preset power schemes. These are the default settings and were created when Windows XP was installed. You can use the default power schemes or create customized schemes that are based on specific work requirements. Figure 6-15...

Connect External Cables to the Computer

After the case panels have been reattached, connect the cables to the back of the computer. Here are some common external cable connections When attaching cables, ensure that they are connected to the correct locations on the computer. For example, some mouse and keyboard cables use the same type of PS 2 connector. When attaching cables, never force a connection. Note Plug in the power cable after you have connected all other cables. Follow these steps for external cable installation Attach the...

Contents at a Glance

Introduction to the Personal Computer 1 Basics of Preventive Maintenance and Troubleshooting 99 Fundamental Laptops and Portable Devices 171 Fundamental Printers and Scanners 213 Advanced Laptops and Portable Devices 439 Answers to Check Your Understanding Questions 565 Glossary 573 index 605

Control Panel Applets

The names of various applets in the Control Panel differ slightly depending on the version of Windows installed. In Windows XP, the icons are grouped into categories Appearance and Themes Applets that control the look of windows Network and Internet Connections Applets that configure all the connection types Add or Remove Programs An applet to add or remove programs and windows components safely Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices Applets that control all the settings for sound Performance and...

Create Accounts

An administrator account is automatically created when Windows XP is installed. The default administrator account is named administrator. For security purposes, change this default name as soon as possible. This privileged account should only be used to manage the computer it should not be used as a daily account. It is recommended that you create another account with limited access for daily use. People have accidentally made drastic changes while using the administrator account instead of a...

Customizing the Display and Hard Drive Power Settings

You can customize the display and hard drive power settings depending on your requirements and save the power scheme with a customized name. For example, a student uses a laptop for research on the Internet but does not create or save files often. In this scenario, the student needs access to the display, but rarely accesses the hard drive. The student customizes the settings as shown in Figure 6-16 and saves the settings as Research. Figure 6-16 Power Scheme Research Settings One of the...

D

Daily backup Backs up only the files that are modified on the day of the backup. This backup does not reset the archive bit. data backup Information on a computer stored on removable backup media that can be kept in a safe place. If the computer hardware fails, the data backup can be restored so that processing can continue. database An organized collection of data that can be easily accessed, managed, indexed, searched, and updated. data link layer Layer 2 of the Open Systems Interconnection...

Data Encryption

Encrypting data involves using codes and ciphers. Data encryption can help prevent attackers from monitoring or recording traffic between resources and computers. It may not be possible to decipher captured data in time to make any use of it. A security alert may inform you that you are using an encrypted connection. A virtual private network (VPN) is an encryption system that protects data as though it resides on a private network. The data actually travels over the Internet or another...

David Anfinson Ken Quamme

Cisco Press logo is a trademark of Cisco Systems, Inc. Published by Cisco Press 800 East 96th Street Indianapolis, IN 46240 USA All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. Printed in the...

Define Adware Spyware and Grayware

Adware, spyware, and grayware are usually installed on a computer without the user's knowledge. These programs collect information stored on the computer, change the computer configuration, or open extra windows on the computer without the user's consent. Adware is a software program that displays advertising on your computer. Adware is usually distributed with downloaded software. Most often, adware is displayed in a popup window. Adware popup windows are sometimes difficult to control they...

Define Computer Networks

A computer data network is a collection of hosts connected by networking devices. A host is any device that sends and receives information on the network. Peripherals are devices that are connected to hosts. Some devices can serve as either hosts or peripherals. For example, a printer connected to your laptop that is on a network is acting as a peripheral. If the printer is connected directly to a networking device, such as a hub, switch, or router, it is acting as a host. Computer networks are...

Define Power Line Communication

Power line communication (PLC) is a communication method that uses power distribution wires (the local electric grid) to send and receive data, as shown in Figure 8-26. Figure 8-26 Power Line Communication Figure 8-26 Power Line Communication Power Line Networking (PLN) With PLC, an electric company can superimpose an analog signal over the standard 50- or 60-Hz AC that travels in power lines. The analog signal can carry voice and data signals. PLC may be available in areas where other...

Define the OSI Model

The OSI model is an industry-standard framework that is used to divide network communications into seven distinct layers. Although other models exist, most network vendors today build their products using this framework. A system that implements protocol behavior consisting of a series of these layers is known as a protocol stack. Protocol stacks can be implemented in either hardware or software, or a combination of both. Typically, only the lower layers are implemented in hardware, and the...

Define the Tcpip Model

The TCP IP reference model provides a common frame of reference for developing the protocols used on the Internet. It consists of layers that perform functions necessary to prepare data for transmission over a network. Table 8-6 describes the four layers of the TCP IP model. Where high-level protocols such as SMTP and FTP operate Where flow-control and connection protocols exist Where IP addressing and routing take place Where MAC addressing and physical network components exist A message...

Demonstrate Proper Use of Cleaning Materials

Keeping computers clean inside and out is a vital part of a maintenance program. Dirt can cause problems with the physical operation of fans, buttons, and other mechanical components. On electrical components, an excessive buildup of dust will act like an insulator and trap the heat. This insulation will impair the ability of heat sinks and cooling fans to keep components cool, causing chips and circuits to overheat and fail. Before cleaning any device, turn it off and unplug the device from...

Describe a Computer System

A computer system consists of hardware and software components. Hardware is the physical equipment such as the case, storage drives, keyboards, monitors, cables, speakers, and printers. The term software includes the operating system and programs. The operating system instructs the computer how to operate. These operations may include identifying, accessing, and processing information. Programs or applications perform different functions. Programs vary widely, depending on the type of...

Describe a LAN

A local-area network (LAN) is a group of interconnected devices that is under the same administrative control, as shown in Figure 8-2. In the past, LANs were considered to be small networks that existed in a single physical location. Although LANs can be as small as a single local network installed in a home or small office, over time, the definition of LANs has evolved to include interconnected local networks consisting of many hundreds of devices, installed in multiple buildings and...

Describe a WLAN

In a traditional LAN, devices are interconnected using copper cabling. In some environments, installing copper cabling may not be practical, desirable, or even possible. In these situations, wireless devices are used to transmit and receive data using radio waves. These networks are called wireless LANs (WLAN). Figure 8-4 shows a WLAN. As with LANs, on a WLAN you can share resources, such as files and printers, and access the Internet. Figure 8-4 Wireless Local-Area Network In a WLAN, wireless...

Describe Allin One Devices

An all-in-one device combines the functionality of multiple devices into one physical piece of hardware. The devices may include media card readers and hard drives for storage. All-in-one devices generally include these functions Figure 7-19 Scanner Interfaces and Cables Scanners use the same types of interfaces as printers. Scanners use the same types of interfaces as printers. All-in-one devices typically are used in home-office environments or where space is limited. These devices often are...

Describe Cases

A computer case contains the framework to support a computer's internal components while providing an enclosure for added protection. Computer cases typically are made of plastic, steel, and aluminum and are available in a variety of styles. The size and layout of a case is called a form factor. There are many types of cases, but the basic form factors for computer cases include desktop and tower. Desktop cases may be slimline or full-sized, and tower cases may be mini or full-sized, as shown...

Describe Cellular WAN Technology

Originally, cellular networks were designed for voice communication only. Cellular technology has been evolving and now enables the transfer of voice, video, and data simultaneously. It also enables the use of laptops and portable devices remotely. With a cellular WAN adapter installed, a laptop user can travel and access the Internet. Common cellular WAN characteristics include the following Cellular WAN connections are powerful two-way wireless networks that have been around since the late...

Describe Checking Capacity of Ink Cartridges and Toners

When an inkjet printer produces blank pages, the ink cartridges can be empty. Laser printers, however, do not produce blank pages, but do begin to print very poor-quality printouts. Most inkjet printers provide a utility that shows ink levels in each cartridge, as shown in Figure 14-14. Some printers have LCD message screens or LED lights that warn users when ink supplies are low. A method for checking ink levels is to look at the page counter inside the printer or the printer software to...

Describe Custom Installation Options

Installing an operating system on a single computer takes time. Imagine the time it would take to install operating systems on multiple computers, one at a time, in a large organization. To simplify this activity, you can use the Microsoft System Preparation (Sysprep) tool to install and configure the same operating system on multiple computers. Sysprep prepares an operating system that will be used on computers with different hardware configurations. With Sysprep and a disk-cloning...

Describe Desktop Operating Systems

A desktop OS has the following characteristics Runs single-user applications Shares files and folders on a small network with limited security In the current software market, the most commonly used desktop operating systems fall into three groups Microsoft Windows Windows is one of the most popular operating systems today. The following products are desktop versions of the Microsoft Windows operating systems Windows XP Professional Used on most computers that will connect to a Windows server on...

Describe Directory Structures

In Windows, files are organized in a directory structure. The root level of the Windows partition is usually labeled drive C . Next, there is an initial set of standardized directories, called folders, for the operating system, applications, configuration information, and data files. Following the initial installation, users can install most applications and data in whatever directory they choose. Files in the directory structure adhere to a Windows naming convention Maximum of 255 characters...

Describe Drum Scanners

Drum scanners, as shown in Figure 7-22, produce a high-quality transfer of an image. Drum scanners are usually used commercially but are being replaced by lower-priced, high-quality flatbed scanners. Many drum scanners are still in use for high-end reproductions, such as archiving photographs in museums. To scan an image using a drum scanner, you attach the image to a revolving drum or load it into a supporting canister. The drum is rotated at high speed across optical scanners. The optical...

Describe Flatbed Scanners

Flatbed scanners, shown in Figure 7-20, are often used to scan books and photographs for archiving. An electronic image is acquired by placing the book or photograph facedown on the glass. The scanner head, consisting of an array of image sensors, lies beneath the glass and moves along the item, capturing the image. Sheet feeders can be used with flatbed scanners to scan multiple images. A sheet feeder is a device that can be attached to some flatbed scanners to hold multiple sheets and feed...

Describe Good Communication Skills and Professional Behavior

Whether you are talking with a customer on the phone or in person, it is important to communicate well and to represent yourself professionally. Your professionalism and good communication skills will enhance your creditability with the customer. A customer can see your body language. A customer can hear your sighs and sense that you are sneering, even over the phone. Conversely, customers can also sense that you are smiling when you speak with them on the phone. Many call-center technicians...

Describe Handheld Scanners

A handheld scanner, as shown in Figure 7-21, is small and portable. It is difficult to smoothly scan an image using a handheld scanner. To scan an item, carefully pass the scanner head across the item that you want to scan. As with a flatbed scanner, digital images are made from the images collected by the handheld scanner. When you want to scan an item larger than the head of the handheld scanner, you must make more than one pass to capture the full image. It may be difficult to re-create the...

Describe How to Install and Update the Device Driver Firmware and RAM

After you have connected the power and data cables to the printer, the operating system may discover the printer and attempt to install a driver. If you have a driver disc from the manufacturer, use this driver. The driver that is included with the printer is usually more current than the drivers used by the operating system. Figure 7-11 shows the Add Printer wizard, which can also be used to install the new printer.

Describe How to Install Network Printer Software and Drivers on a Computer

Windows XP allows computer users to share their printers with other users on the network. Step 1. Configure the computer attached to the printer to share the printer with other network users. Step 2. Configure a user's computer to recognize the shared printer and print to it. To configure the computer with the printer attached to accept print jobs from other network Step 1. Choose Start > Control Panel > Printers and Other Hardware > Printers and Faxes. Step 2. Select the printer you want...

Describe How to Optimize Printer Performance

With printers, most optimization is completed through the software supplied with the drivers, as shown in Figure 7-14. The software has tools to optimize performance Print spool settings let you cancel or pause current print jobs in the printer queue. Color calibration lets you adjust settings to match the colors on the screen to the colors on the printed sheet. Paper orientation lets you select landscape or portrait image layout.

Describe How to Schedule and Perform Maintenance on Laptops

Proper care and maintenance can help laptop components run more efficiently and extend the life of the equipment. An effective preventive maintenance program must include a routine schedule for maintenance. Most organizations have a preventive maintenance schedule in place. If a schedule does not exist, work with the manager to create one. The most effective preventive maintenance programs require a set of routines to be conducted monthly but still allow maintenance to be performed when usage...

Describe How to Share a Printer

Printer sharing enables multiple users or clients to access a printer that they are not directly connected to. Figure 7-16 shows several computers with different operating systems, all connected to the same shared printer. This arrangement reduces the expense on a network, because fewer printers are required. Setting up printer sharing is simple with Windows XP. The following steps enable a computer to share a printer Step 1. Choose Start > Printers and Faxes. Step 2. Right-click the printer,...

Describe How to Share a Printer and a Scanner on a Network

One of the primary reasons that networks were developed was to allow groups of computer users to share peripheral devices. The most common shared device is the printer. Sharing a single printer among a group of users costs much less than buying a printer for each computer. Low-cost printers usually require a separate print server to allow network connectivity because these printers do not have built-in network interfaces. The computer that is connected to the printer can serve as the print...

Describe How to Troubleshoot a Laptop

The troubleshooting process helps resolve problems with the laptop or peripherals. These problems range from simple ones, such as updating a drive, to more complex problems, such as installing a CPU. Use the following basic troubleshooting steps as a guideline to help diagnose and repair problems Evaluate the problem and implement the solution. After completing this section, you will meet these objectives Review the troubleshooting process. Identify common problems and solutions. Step 1. Step...

Describe How to Troubleshoot Laptops and Portable Devices

When troubleshooting problems with laptops or portable devices, you should determine whether a repair is cost effective. To determine the best course of action, you should compare the cost of the repair to the replacement cost of the laptop or portable device, less the salvage value. Figure 6-19 Shipping and Transporting a Laptop Because many portable devices change rapidly in design and functionality, portable devices are often more expensive to repair than to replace. For this reason,...

Describe Impact Printers

Impactprinters, such as the one shown in Figure 7-3, are basic. Impact printers have print heads that strike the inked ribbon, causing characters to be printed on the paper. Daisy-wheel and dot-matrix are examples of impact printers. In a daisy-wheel printer, the wheel contains the letters, numbers, and special characters. The wheel rotates until the required character is in place, and an electromechanical hammer pushes the character into the ink ribbon. The character then strikes the paper,...

Describe Infrared Technology

Infrared (IR) wireless technology is a low-power, short-range wireless technology. IR transmits data using Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) and receives data using photodiodes. IR wireless networks are globally unregulated. However, the Infrared Data Association (IrDA) defines the specifications for IR wireless communication. Common IR characteristics include the following IR wireless technology is low-power, short-range, wireless technology that uses LEDs. Infrared light signals operate in the...

Describe Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers produce high-quality prints. Inkjet printers are easy to use and inexpensive compared to laser printers. The print quality of an inkjet printer is measured in dots per inch (dpi). Higher dpi numbers provide greater image details. Figure 7-4 shows an all-in-one device that contains an inkjet printer. Figure 7-5 shows inkjet printer components. Inkjet printers use ink-filled cartridges that spray ink onto a page through tiny holes called nozzles. The ink is sprayed in a pattern on...

Describe Installation of a Second Operating System

You can have multiple operating systems on a single computer. Some software applications might require the most recent version of an operating system, while other applications require an older version. There is a dual-boot process for multiple operating systems on a computer. When the boot.ini file determines that more than one operating system is present during the boot process, you are prompted to choose the operating system that you want to load. Figure 12-13 shows a sample boot.ini file. To...

Describe Installation Use and Configuration of EMail Software

E-mail software can be installed as part of a web browser or as a standalone application. Outlook Express is an e-mail tool that is a component of the Microsoft Windows operating system. To configure Outlook Express, you must provide information about your e-mail account, as shown in Figure 12-10. Figure 12-10 E-Mail Account Information You should have the following information available when installing e-mail accounts into the e-mail client software Type of incoming mail server, such as POP3...

Describe IP Addressing

An IP address is a number that is used to identify a device on the network. Each device on a network must have a unique IP address to communicate with other network devices. As noted earlier, a host is a device that sends or receives information on the network. Network devices are devices that move data across the network, including hubs, switches, and routers. On a LAN, each host and network device must have an IP address within the same network to be able to communicate with each other. A...

Describe LAN Topologies

A physical topology defines the way in which computers, printers, and other devices are connected to a network. A logical topology describes how the hosts access the medium and communicates on the network. The type of topology, as shown in Figure 8-21, determines the network's capabilities, such as ease of setup, speed, and cable lengths. Hierarchical or Extended Star Topology 3

Describe Operating Systems

An operating system is the interface between the user and the computer. Without an operating system, the user would not be able to interact with the hardware or software on the computer. An operating system provides the following operational and organizational capabilities Provides a bridge between the hardware and applications Creates a file system to store data Operating systems have minimum requirements for hardware. Table 12-2 shows the minimum hardware requirements for several operating...

Describe Potential Safety Hazards and Safety Procedures Associated with Printers and Scanners

You must always follow safety procedures when working on any computer. There are also rules that you must follow as you work with printers and scanners. These rules keep you and the equipment safe. The first rule of safety concerns moving large pieces of equipment. Always lift equipment by using the strength in your legs and knees, not your back. Wear appropriate work clothes and shoes. Do not wear loose jewelry or baggy clothes when servicing computer equipment. Printers, scanners, and...

Describe Preventive Maintenance Procedures for Networks

Preventive maintenance is just as important for the network as it is for the computers on a network. You must check the condition of cables, network devices, servers, and computers to make sure that they are kept clean and are in good working order. You should develop a plan to perform scheduled maintenance and cleaning at regular intervals. This helps you prevent network downtime and equipment failures. As part of a regularly scheduled maintenance program, inspect all cabling for breaks. Make...

Describe Printer Upgrades

Upgrading the printer memory improves the printing speed and enhances the ability to perform complex print jobs. All printers today have at least a small amount of RAM. The more memory a printer has, the more efficiently it works. The added memory helps with tasks such as job buffering, page creation, improved photo printing, and graphics. Print job buffering is when a print job is captured into the internal printer memory. Buffering allows the computer to continue with other work instead of...

Describe Scanner Optimization

Scanners work well for most users without any changes to the default settings. There are, however, features that can improve document or image scans depending on user requirements. The most common types of scanner options are as follows Scanning resolution affects the size of the output file. The end use of the image determines the required resolution. If the image is for use on a web publication, you only need low resolution and a small file size. This makes it possible for browsers to load...

Describe Solid Ink Printers

Solid-ink printer's use solid sticks of ink rather than toner or ink cartridges, as shown in Figure 7-6. Solid-ink printers produce high-quality images. The ink sticks are nontoxic and can be handled safely. Solid-ink printers melt ink sticks and spray the ink through nozzles. The ink is sprayed onto a drum. The drum transfers the ink to paper. Table 7-3 lists some advantages and disadvantages of a solid-ink printer. Table 7-3 Solid-Ink Printer Pros and Cons

Describe the Installation and Configuration Process for Printers

When you purchase a printer, the installation and configuration information is usually supplied by the manufacturer. An installation CD that includes drivers, manuals, and diagnostic software is included with the printer. The same tools may also be available as downloads from the manufacturer's website. Figure 7-9 show an example of what typically comes with a printer. After completing this section, you will meet these objectives Describe how to set up a printer. Explain how to power and...

Describe the Installation of a Modem

A modem, shown in Figure 8-25, is an electronic device that transfers data between one computer and another using analog signals over a telephone line. The modem converts digital data to analog signals for transmission. The modem at the receiving end reconverts the analog signals to digital data to be interpreted by the computer. The process of converting analog signals to digital and back again is called modulation demodulation. Modem-based transmission is very accurate, despite the fact that...

Describe the Physical Components of a Network

Many devices can be used in a network to provide connectivity, as shown in Figure 8-10. Which device you use depends on how many devices you are connecting, the type of connections they use, and the speed at which the devices operate. These are the most common devices on a network Figure 8-10 Physical Network Components The physical components of a network are needed to move data between these devices. The characteristics of the media determine where and how the components are used. These are...

Describe Upgrading an Operating System

Sometimes it can be necessary to upgrade an operating system. Before upgrading the operating system, check the minimum requirements of the new operating system to ensure that the computer meets the minimum specifications required. Check the HCL to ensure that the hardware is compatible with the new operating system. Back up all data before upgrading the operating system in case there is a problem with the installation. The process of upgrading a computer system from Windows 2000 to Windows XP...

Describe WiFi Technology

The wireless technology Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) is based on IEEE 802.11 networking standards and specifications. The number 802.11 denotes a set of standards that are specified in the IEEE 802.11 documentation. Hence, the terms 802.11 and Wi-Fi are interchangeable. Here are some characteristics of Wi-Fi Wi-Fi is a wireless technology that provides a simple connection from anywhere within range of a base station. Connection distances are 300 feet (91 m) or more, depending on the environment....

Describe Wireless Communication Methods for Laptops and Portable Devices

Wireless devices give people the freedom to work, learn, play, and communicate wherever they want. People using wireless-capable devices do not need to be tied to a physical location to send and receive voice, video, and data communications. As a result, wireless facilities, such as Internet cafes, are opening in many countries. College campuses use wireless networks to allow students to sign up for classes, watch lectures, and submit assignments in areas where physical connections to the...

Determine a Topology

You must understand the customer's needs and determine the general layout of the new network to properly determine the network topology. You need to discuss these important issues with the customer Number and location of users The number of users and the estimated amount of future growth determine the network's initial physical and logical topology. You should create a checklist to record the customer's needs. You should do an inspection, called a site survey, early in the project. A site...

Determine Minimum Hardware Requirements and Compatibility with the OS Platform

Operating systems have minimum hardware requirements that must be met for the OS to install and function correctly. Table 5-3 is a chart of the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 2000, Windows XP Pro, and Windows XP Home operating systems. Table 5-3 Minimum Hardware Requirements Table 5-3 Minimum Hardware Requirements Identify the equipment that your customer has in place. If hardware upgrades are necessary to meet the minimum requirements for an OS, conduct a cost analysis to determine...

Determine Scheduled Maintenance According to Vendor Guidelines

Read the information manuals that come with every new piece of equipment. Follow the recommended maintenance instructions. Also, use the supplies listed by the manufacturer. Less expensive supplies can save money but might produce poor results, damage the equipment, or void the warranty. When maintenance is completed, reset the counters to allow the next maintenance to be completed at the correct time. On many types of printers, the page count is viewed through the LCD or a counter located...

Direct Memory Access

High-speed devices use Direct Memory Access (DMA) channels to communicate directly with the main memory. These channels allow the device to bypass interaction with the CPU and directly store information in memory and retrieve it. Only certain devices can be assigned a DMA channel, such as SCSI host adapters and sound cards. Older computers had only four DMA channels to assign to components. Newer computers have eight DMA channels that are numbered 0 to 7, as shown in Table 1-12. Network cards,...

Disk Dfragmenter

To help optimize the files on the hard drive, Windows operating systems provide the Disk Defragmentei utility. As files are accessed and stored on a hard drive, the files change from being contiguous on the disk to being scattered across the disk. This can cause the operating system to slow down. The hard drive has to search several areas on the hard drive platter to find the entire file. For one file, the effect of the process is minimal. When this occurs for thousands of files, however, the...

Disk Management Tools

You must be able to identify which software to use in different situations. Disk management tools help detect and correct disk errors, prepare a disk for data storage, and remove unwanted files. Disk management software includes the following Fdisk A command-line tool used to create and delete partitions on a hard drive and set active, or boot, partitions Formal Used to prepare a hard drive to store information Scandisk or Chkdsk Used to check the integrity of files and folders on a hard drive...

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol DHCP

A software utility that automatically assigns IP addresses to client devices in a large network. dynamic RAM (DRAM) RAM that stores information in capacitors that must be periodically refreshed. Delays can occur because DRAMs are inaccessible to the processor when refreshing their contents. However, DRAMs are less complex and have greater capacity than SRAMs. dynamic routing Routing that adjusts automatically to network topology or traffic changes. Also called adaptive routing.

E

Eject button The lever that releases an object, such as the button on a floppy drive. Electronic Industries Association (EIA) A group that specifies electrical transmission standards. The EIA and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) have developed numerous well-known communications standards, including EIA TIA-232 and EIA TIA-449. electronic mail (e-mail) Users' ability to communicate over a computer network. The exchange of computer-stored messages by network communication....

Explain Bandwidth and Data Transmission

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transmitted within a fixed time period. When data is sent over a computer network, it is broken into small chunks called packets. Each packet contains headers. A header is information added to each packet that contains the packet's source and destination. A header also contains information that describes how to put all the packets back together again at the destination. The size of the bandwidth determines the amount of information that can be...

Explain Cable Cable Cutters and Cable Cutting Safety Hazards

All levels of technicians should know the hazards before working with network cables and equipment. This section describes the safety hazards of working with copper cables, which, like fiber-optic cables, can be dangerous to handle. When handling cable, always wear eye protection. Never touch the ends of any type of cable to bare skin. When you cut copper cable, the small copper strands can puncture your skin or cut you. The small pieces that come off after cables are cut often fly into the...

Explain Cabled Ethernet Standards

The Ethernet architecture is based on the IEEE 802.3 standard. The IEEE 802.3 standard specifies that a network must implement the CSMA CD access control method. In CSMA CD, all end stations listen to the network wire for clearance to send data. This process is similar to waiting to hear a dial tone on a phone before dialing a number. When the end station detects that no other host is transmitting, it attempts to send data. If no other station sends data at the same time, the transmission...

Explain Client Server Networks

In a client server network, shown in Figure 8-6, the client requests information or services from the server. The server provides the requested information or service to the client. Servers on a client server network commonly perform some of the processing work for client machines, such as sorting through a database before delivering only the records requested by the client. One example of a client server network is a corporate environment in which employees use a company e-mail server to send,...

Explain Denial of Service

Denial of service (DoS) is a form of attack that prevents users from accessing normal services, such as e-mail or a web server. DoS works by sending so many requests for a system resource that the requested service is overloaded and ceases to operate. DoS attacks can affect servers and computers in the following ways Ping of death is a series of repeated, larger-than-normal pings that are intended to crash the receiving computer. An e-mail bomb is a large quantity of bulk e-mail sent to...

Explain How to Configure Laptops

To allow applications and processes to run smoothly, you might need to configure and allocate system resources, install additional components and plug-ins, or change environmental settings to match software requirements. Adding external components is usually accomplished through the use of Plug and Play, but occasionally driver installation and additional configuration might be required. Proper configuration of the power settings will help you get the maximum performance from a laptop, such as...

Explain How to Manage Data Version Control Between Desktops and Laptops

It is important to manage your data files and folders properly. Restore and recover procedures, as well as backups, are more successful if the data is organized. Windows XP has a default location, sometimes available as an icon on the desktop called My Documents. You can use My Documents to create a folder structure and store files. When moving files from a laptop to a desktop computer, start by creating a similar folder structure in both locations. Files can be transferred over a network, with...

Explain How to Power and Connect the Device Using a Local or Network Port

Now that the printer has been unpacked and placed in position, you must connect it to the computer, network, or print server and plug it into an electrical outlet by following these Connect the appropriate data cable to the communication port on the back of the printer. If the printer has a USB, FireWire, or parallel port, connect the corresponding cable to the printer port. Connect the other end of the data cable to the corresponding port on the back of the computer. If you are installing a...

Explain IT Industry Certifications

This course focuses on desktop and laptop computers. It also discusses electronic devices, such as personal digital assistants and cell phones. Training and experience will qualify a technician to service these computers and personal electronic devices. You will gain the specialized technical skills you need to install, maintain, and repair computers. Earning an industry-standard certification will give you confidence and increase your opportunities in IT. This course focuses on the following...

Explain the Benefits of Networking

The benefits of networking computers and other devices include lower costs and increased productivity. With networks, resources can be shared, which results in less duplication and corruption of data. The following are some benefits of using networks Fewer peripherals are needed Figure 8-1 shows that many devices can be connected on a network. Each computer on the network does not need its own printer, scanner, or backup device. Multiple printers can be set up in a central location and can be...

Explain the OSI and Tcpip Data Models

An architectural model is a common frame of reference for explaining Internet communications and developing communication protocols. It separates the functions of protocols into manageable layers. Each layer performs a specific function in the process of communicating over a network. The TCP IP model was created by researchers in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The TCP IP model is a tool used to help explain the TCP IP suite of protocols, which is the dominant standard for transporting...