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

Additional Printer Upgrades

Some additional printer upgrades include the following Duplex printing to enable dual-sided printing Extra trays to hold more paper Specialized tray types for different media Network cards to access a wired or wireless network Firmware upgrades to add functionality or to fix bugs Follow the instructions included with the printer when you install or upgrade components. Contact the manufacturer or an authorized service technician for additional information if you have any problems when installing...

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...

Analog Telephone

Analog telephone technology uses standard voice telephone lines. This type of service uses a modem to place a telephone call to another modem at a remote site, such as an Internet service provider (ISP). Using the phone line with an analog modem has two major disadvantages. The first is that the telephone line cannot be used for voice calls while the modem is in use. The second is the limited bandwidth provided by analog phone service. The maximum bandwidth using an analog modem is 56 Kbps, but...

Antistatic

An antistatic mat is slightly conductive. It works by drawing static electricity away from a component and transferring it safely from equipment to a grounding point, as shown in Figure 2-9. Lay the mat on the workspace next to or under the computer case. Clip the mat to the case to provide a grounded surface on which you can place parts as you remove them from the system. Reducing the potential for ESD reduces the likelihood of damage to delicate circuits or components. Always handle...

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...

Application Protocols

Application layer protocols provide network services to user applications such as web browsers and e-mail programs. Here are some of the application protocols that operate at the TCP IP application layer Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) governs how files such as text, graphics, sound, and video are exchanged on the Internet or World Wide Web (WWW). HTTP is an application layer protocol. A web server runs an HTTP service or daemon. A daemon is a program that services HTTP requests. These...

Apply Troubleshooting Skills

Now that you understand the troubleshooting process, it is time to apply your listening and diagnostic skills. Lab 11.6.3 is designed to reinforce your skills with PC hardware problems. You will trou-bleshoot and repair a computer that does not boot. Remote Technician 11.6.3 is designed to reinforce your communication and troubleshooting skills with PC hardware problems. In this lab, you will perform the following steps Take the customer through various steps to try and resolve the problem...

AT Commands

All modems require software to control the communication session. Most modem software uses the Hayes-compatible command set. The Hayes command set is based on a group of instructions that always begins with a set of attention (AT) characters, followed by the command characters. These are known as AT commands. Table 8-8 shows the AT command set. The attention code that precedes all modem action commands Dials the phone number, xxxxxxx, using pulse dialing Dials the phone number, xxxxxxx, using...

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...

Available

As with printers, the features, quality, and speed of the different types of scanners vary. Scanners typically create an RGB image that can be converted into common image formats such as JPEG, TIFF, BMP, and PNG. An RGB image has three channels red, green, and blue. RGB channels generally follow the color receptors of the human eye and are used in computer displays and image scanners. Some scanners can create text documents using optical character recognition (OCR) software. OCR software is...

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...

Backup Media

There are many types of backup media available for computers Tape drives are devices that are used for data backup on a network server drive. Tapes drives are an inexpensive way to store a lot of data. The Digital Audio Tape (DAT) tape standard uses 4-mm digital audiotapes to store data in the Digital Data Storage (DSS) format. Digital Linear Tape (DLT) technology offers high-capacity and relatively high-speed tape backup capabilities. USB flash memory can hold hundreds of times the data that a...

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...

Cable

Cable Internet connection does not use telephone lines. Cable uses coaxial cable lines originally designed to carry cable television. Like DSL, cable offers high speeds and an always-on connection, which means that even when the connection is not in use, the connection to the Internet is still available. Many cable companies offer telephone service as well. Because cable television reaches many homes, it is an alternative for people unable to receive DSL service. Theoretically, the bandwidth of...

Category Rating

UTP comes in several categories that are based on two factors The number of wires in the cable The number of twists in those wires Category 3 is the wiring used for telephone systems and Ethernet LAN at 10 Mbps. Category 3 has four pairs of wires. Category 5 and Category 5e have four pairs of wires with a transmission rate of 100 Mbps. Category 5 and Category 5e are the most common network cables used. Category 5e has more twists per foot than Category 5 wiring. These extra twists further...

Check Your Understanding

You can find the answers to these questions in the appendix, Answers to Check Your Understanding Questions. 1. How many FireWire devices can a single FireWire port support 2. Which type of memory transfers data twice as fast as SDRAM and increases performance by transferring data twice per cycle 3. Which type of video connector has a 24-pin or 29-pin female connector and provides compressed digital output to a monitor 4. How many universal serial bus (USB) devices can be connected to a USB port...

Clean Internal Components

One important part of computer preventive maintenance is to keep the system clean. The amount of dust in the environment and the habits of the user determine how often to clean the computer components. Most of your cleaning is to prevent the accumulation of dust. To remove dust, do not use a vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners can generate static and can damage or loosen components and jumpers. Instead, you should use compressed air to blow the dust away. If you use compressed air from a can, keep...

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...

Cleaning a Mouse

Use glass cleaner and a soft cloth to clean the outside of the mouse. Do not spray glass cleaner directly on the mouse. If cleaning a ball mouse, you can remove the ball and clean it with glass cleaner and a soft cloth. Wipe the rollers clean inside the mouse with the same cloth. You might need to use a nail file to clean the rollers on the mouse. Do not spray liquids inside the mouse. The following list documents the computer items that you should clean and the cleaning materials you should...

Feedback Information

At Cisco Press, our goal is to create in-depth technical books of the highest quality and value. Each book is crafted with care and precision, undergoing rigorous development that involves the unique expertise of members from the professional technical community. Readers' feedback is a natural continuation of this process. If you have any comments regarding how we could improve the quality of this book, or otherwise alter it to better suit your needs, you can contact us through email at...

Cleaning CRT Screens

To clean the screens of CRT monitors, dampen a soft, clean, lint-free cloth with distilled water and wipe the screen from top to bottom. Do not spray the glass cleaner directly onto the display. Use a soft, dry cloth to wipe the screen and remove any streaking after you have cleaned the monitor. Clean dusty components with a can of compressed air. Compressed air does not cause electrostatic buildup on components. Make sure that you are either outside or in a well-ventilated area before blowing...

Cleaning Tools

The appropriate cleaning tools are essential when maintaining or repairing computers. These tools will ensure that computer components are cleaned correctly. The list that follows describes the cleaning tools that you will most commonly use Soft sloth Used to clean different computer components without scratching or leaving debris. Compressed air Used to blow away dust and debris from different computer parts without touching the components. Cable ties Used to bundle cables neatly inside and...

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...

Close with the Customer

After the repairs to the computer have been completed, finish the troubleshooting process by closing with the customer. Communicate the problem and the solution to the customer verbally and in all documentation. The steps to be taken when you have finished a repair and are closing with the customer include Discuss the solution implemented with the customer. Have the customer verify that the problem has been solved. Provide the customer with all paperwork. Document the steps taken to solve the...

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....

Color or Black and White

A computer monitor produces colors through the additive mixing of dots that are displayed on the screen. The eye picks up the colors directly. The dots produce the color range using red, green, and blue (RGB) dots. A printer produces colors using subtractive mixing. The eye sees a color that reflects from the combination of colors on the paper. The choice between a black-and-white printer and a color printer depends on your customer's needs. If your customer is primarily printing letters and...

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 Options and Default Settings

Common printer options that can be configured by the user include media control and printer output. The following media control options set the way a printer manages media The following printer output options manage how the ink or toner goes on the media Some printers have control switches for users to select options. Other printers use the printer driver options. Two methods of selecting options are the global and per-document methods, as described in the sections that follow.

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...

Connect the Device to a Local Port

Depending on the manufacturer, local printers can communicate with computers using serial, parallel, USB, FireWire, or SCSI ports and cables. Wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth and infrared, are also used to connect these devices. Review the characteristics of these ports Serial. Serial data transfer is the movement of single bits of information in a single cycle. A serial connection can be used for dot matrix printers because the printers do not require high-speed data transfer....

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...

Corporate and Government Sales

The publisher offers excellent discounts on this book when ordered in quantity for bulk purchases or special sales, which may include electronic versions and or custom covers and content particular to your business, training goals, marketing focus, and branding interests. For more information, please contact U.S. Corporate and Government Sales 1-800-382-3419 corpsales pearsontechgroup.com For sales outside the United States please contact International Sales international pearsoned.com

Create a Preventive Maintenance Plan

The goal of an operating system preventive maintenance plan is to avoid problems in the future. You should perform preventive maintenance regularly, and you should also record all actions taken and observations made. Some preventive maintenance should take place when it will cause the least amount of disruption to the people who use the computers. This often means scheduling tasks at night, early in the morning, or over the weekend. There are also tools and techniques that can automate many...

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 Backups

You should include data backup procedures in a security plan. Data can be lost or damaged in circumstances such as theft or equipment failure, or in a disaster, such as a fire or flood. Backing up data is one of the most effective ways of protecting against data loss. Here are some considerations for data backups Frequency of backups Backups can take a long time. Sometimes it is easier to make a full backup monthly or weekly and then do frequent partial backups of any data that has changed...

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...

Choose Start Control Panel Hardware Network Connections

Which two protocols are used to receive e-mail 8. A company purchases several wireless NICs at a great price. After installing the NICs, it finds that the users cannot connect to the wireless 802.11n network. What is a likely cause of the problem A. The NICs are designed for the 802.11a standard. B. The NICs are designed for the 802.11b standard. C. The NICs are designed for the 802.11g standard. D. The NICs are designed for the 802.11n standard via USB.

Dedicated PC Print Servers

A dedicated PC print server is a computer dedicated to handling client print jobs in the most efficient manner. Because it handles requests from multiple clients, a print server is usually one of the most powerful computers on the network. Dedicated PC print servers can manage more than one printer at a time. A print server needs to have resources available to meet the requests of print clients Powerful processor Because the PC print server uses its processor to manage and route printing...

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 Broadband

Broadband is a technique used to transmit and receive multiple signals using multiple frequencies over one cable. For example, the cable used to bring cable television to your home can carry computer network transmissions at the same time. Because the two transmission types use different frequencies, they do not interfere with each other. Broadband is a signaling method that uses a wide range of frequencies that can be further divided into channels. In networking, the term broadband describes...

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 DHCP

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a software utility used to dynamically assign IP addresses to network devices. This dynamic process eliminates the need to manually assign IP addresses. A DHCP server can be set up and the hosts can be configured to automatically obtain an IP address. When a computer is set to obtain an IP address automatically, all the other IP addressing configuration boxes are dimmed, as shown in Figure 8-9. The server maintains a list of IP addresses to assign,...

Define ICMP

Devices on a network use Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) to send control and error messages to computers and servers. ICMP has several different uses, such as announcing network errors, announcing network congestion, and troubleshooting. Packet Internet groper (ping) is commonly used to test connections between computers. Ping is a simple but highly useful command-line utility that determines whether a specific IP address is accessible. You can ping the IP address to test IP...

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...

Define VoIP

Voice over IP (VoIP) is a method to carry telephone calls over the data networks and Internet. VoIP converts the analog signals of our voices into digital information that is transported in IP packets. VoIP can also use an existing IP network to provide access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). When using VoIP, you are dependent on an Internet connection. This can be a disadvantage if the Internet connection experiences an interruption in service. When a service interruption...

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 Suitable Environment for Printers and Scanners

Printers and scanners, like all other electrical devices, are affected by temperature, humidity, and electrical interference. For example, laser printers produce heat. Operate them in well-ventilated areas to prevent overheating. If possible, store all printers, scanners, and supplies in a cool and dry place, away from dust. This will ensure that they will work properly and for a long time. Keep paper and toner cartridges in their original wrappers and in a cool, dry environment. High humidity...

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 and Compare Operating Systems to Include Purpose Limitations and Compatibilities

A technician can be asked to choose and install an operating system for a customer. The type of OS selected depends on the customer's requirements for the computer. There are two distinct types of operating systems Desktop operating systems A desktop operating system is intended for use in a small office home office (SOHO) with a limited number of users. Network operating systems A network operating system (NOS) is designed for a corporate environment serving multiple users with a wide range of...

Describe Basic Networking Concepts and Technologies

As a computer technician, you will be required to configure and troubleshoot computers on a network. To effectively configure a computer on the network, you should understand IP addressing, protocols, and other network concepts. After completing this section, you will meet these objectives Explain bandwidth and data transmission. Describe Internet protocols and applications.

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 Environmental Issues

The Earth's environment is delicately balanced. The hazardous materials found in computer components must be disposed of in specific ways to help maintain this balance. A computer recycling warehouse is a place where discarded computer equipment can be taken apart. Computer parts that are still usable can be recycled for repairing other equipment. Recycling warehouses must obey the codes and regulations for the disposal of each type of computer part. Before parts are recycled, they are...

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

As soon as you have connected and started the scanner, the computer operating system might be able to discover the scanner through the plug-and-play process. If the scanner is discovered, the operating system might automatically install a driver. After you set up a scanner, install the driver software that the manufacturer includes with the scanner. This driver is usually more current than the drivers on your computer. It may also provide more functionality than the basic driver from Windows....

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 Set Up a Printer

Although all types of printers are somewhat different to connect and configure, some procedures should be applied to all printers. After the printer has been unpacked and placed in position, connect it to the computer, network, or print server, and plug it into an electrical outlet. Follow these steps to set up a printer Check the box to ensure that all required cables are provided. Remove all packing materials from the printer. Remove all plastic inserts from the consumables. Ensure that the...

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 How to Upgrade Operating Systems

An operating system must be upgraded periodically to remain compatible with the latest hardware and software. When newer versions of an operating system are released, support for older operating systems is eventually withdrawn. Hardware products are continually coming on the market. The new design of the products often requires that the latest operating system be installed to operate correctly. While this might be expensive, you gain advanced functionality through new features and support for...

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...