Select RAM

New random-access memory (RAM) might be needed when an application locks up or if the computer displays frequent error messages. To determine whether the problem is the RAM, replace the old RAM module, as shown in Figure 11-7. Restart the computer to see whether the application runs properly. Figure 11-6 Incompatible CPUs with Similar Capabilities Figure 11-6 Incompatible CPUs with Similar Capabilities To close a stalled application, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete to open the Task Manager. In the...

Floppy Drives

A floppy drive, or floppy disk drive, is a storage device that uses removable 3.5-inch floppy disks. These magnetic floppy disks can store 720 KB or 1.44 MB of data. In a computer, the floppy drive is usually configured as the A drive. The floppy drive can be used to boot the computer if it contains a bootable floppy disk. A 5.25-inch floppy drive is older technology and is seldom used. The floppy drive is slowly being replaced by cheaper, faster, and larger-capacity storage such as writable...

Check Your Understanding

You can find the answers to these questions in the appendix, Answers to Check Your Understanding Questions. 1. Which open-source operating system is available on multiple hardware platforms 2. Which registry file contains information about the hardware and software in the computer system 3. How can the command line be accessed in Windows XP c. Start > Control Panel > Prompt d. Start > All programs > Accessories > Terminal e. Start > Run > Terminal 168 IT Essentials PC Hardware and...

Part Retriever Needle Nose Pliers or Tweezers

As shown in Figure 2-12, the part retriever, needle-nose pliers, or tweezers can be used to place and retrieve parts that can be hard to reach with your fingers. Do not scratch or hit any components when using these tools. Figure 2-12 Component Retrieving Tools Pencils should not be used inside the computer to change the setting of switches or to pry off jumpers. The pencil lead can act as a conductor and can damage the computer components. Pencils should not be used inside the computer to...

Identify Optimal Operating Environments

An optimal operating environment for a laptop is clean, free of potential contaminants, and within the temperature and humidity range specified by the manufacturer. With most desktop computers, the operating environment can be controlled. However, because of the portable nature of laptops, it is not always possible to control the temperature, humidity, and working conditions. Laptops are built to resist adverse environments, but technicians should always take precautions to protect the...

Proper Disposal of Chemical Solvents and Aerosol Cans

The chemicals and solvents used to clean computers can be a source of environmental problems when not disposed of properly. Contact the local sanitation company to learn how and where to dispose of these chemicals. Never dump chemicals or solvents down a sink or dispose of them in any drain that connects to public sewers. The cans or bottles that solvents and other cleaning supplies come in must be handled carefully. Make sure that they are identified and treated as special hazardous waste. For...

Describe How to Manipulate Operating System Files

After you have installed Windows XP, you might want to make changes to the configuration. The following applications are used extensively for postinstallation modifications Msconfig This boot configuration utility allows you to set the programs that will run at startup and to edit configuration files. It also offers simplified control over Windows Services, as shown in Figure 5-16. To access Msconfig, choose Start > Run, type msconfig, and press Enter. Regedit This application allows you to...

Dye Sublimation Printers

Dye-sublimation printers, such as the one shown in Figure 7-8, produce photo-quality images for graphic printing. Dye-sublimation printers use solid sheets of ink that change directly from solid to gas in a process called sublimating. The print head passes over a sheet of cyan, magenta, yellow, and a clear overcoat (CMYO). There is a pass for each color. In photography, both dye-sublimation printers and small color inkjet printers provide quality prints. Table 7-5 lists some advantages and...

Gather Data from the Customer

During the troubleshooting process, gather as much information from the customer as possible. The customer will provide you with the basic facts about the problem. Here is a list of some of the important information to gather from the customer Operating system information When you are talking to the customer, you should follow these guidelines Ask direct questions to gather information. Do not use industry jargon when talking to customers. Do not talk down to the customer. Do not insult the...

Describe Laptops and Other Portable Devices

Early laptops were heavy and expensive. Today, laptops are very popular because advances in technology have resulted in laptops that cost less, weigh less, and have improved capabilities. Many laptops can be configured with an additional video port, a FireWire port, an infrared port, or an integrated camera. Notebooks, laptops, and tablets are types of portable computers. For clarity and consistency in IT Essentials I, all portable computers will be called laptops. PDAs and smartphones are...

Describe LAN Topologies and Architectures

Most of the computers that you work on will be part of a network. Topologies and architectures are building blocks for designing a computer network. Although you may not build a computer network, you need to understand how they are designed so that you can work on computers that are part of a network. The two types of LAN topologies are physical and logical. A physical topology, shown in Figure 8-19, is the physical layout of the components on the network. A logical topology, shown in Figure...

Digital Subscriber Line DSL

DigitaJ subscriber line (DSL), like ISDN, allows multiple devices to share a single telephone line. DSL speeds generally are faster than ISDN. DSL allows the use of high-bandwidth applications and lets multiple users share the same connection to the Internet. In most cases, the copper wires already in your home or business can carry the signals needed for DSL communication. DSL technology has some limitations. DSL service is not available everywhere. It works better and faster the closer the...

Select Cable Types

Select the cable type that is the most beneficial and cost-effective for the users and services that will connect to the network. The size of the network determines the type of network cable that will be used. Most networks today are wired using one or more types of twisted-pair copper cable Cat5 and Cat5e cables look the same, but Cat5e cable is manufactured with a higher standard to allow for higher data transfer rates. Cat6 cable is constructed with even higher standards than Cat5e. Cat6...

Determine the Components for the Customers Network

The choice of network topology determines the type of devices, cables, and network interfaces that will be required to construct the network. In addition, an outside connection to an Internet service provider (ISP) must be set up. One of the steps in building a network is to determine suitable network components that work with user devices and the network cabling. After completing this section, you will meet these objectives Select the ISP connection type.

Interrupt Requests

Computer components use interrupt requests (IRQ) to request information from the CPU. The IRQ travels along a wire on the motherboard to the CPU. When the CPU receives an interrupt request, it determines how to fulfill this request. The priority of the request is determined by the IRQ number assigned to that computer component. Older computers had only eight IRQs to assign to devices. Newer computers have 16 IRQs, which are numbered 0 to 15, as shown in Table 1-10. As a general rule, each...

Audio Ports

An audio port connects audio devices to the computer. The following audio ports are commonly used, as shown in Figure 1-18 Line In connects to an external source, such as a stereo system. Microphone In connects to a microphone. Line Out connects to speakers or headphones. Auxiliary In is an additional line in. Gameport MIDI connects to a joystick or MIDI-interfaced device. Figure 1-18 Audio Ports A video port connects a monitor cable to a computer. Several video port and connector types exist...

Network Ports and Cables

A network port, also called an RJ-45 port, connects a computer to a network. The connection speed depends on the type of network port. Standard Ethernet can transmit up to 10 Mbps, Fast Ethernet can transmit up to 100 Mbps, and Gigabit Ethernet can transmit up to 1000 Mbps. The maximum length of network cable is 328 feet (100 m). Figure 1-16 shows a network connector.

SCSI Ports and Cables

A SCSI port can transmit data at rates in excess of 320 Mbps and can support up to 15 devices. If a single SCSI device is connected to a SCSI port, the cable can be up to 80 feet (24.4 m) in length. If multiple SCSI devices are connected to a SCSI port, the cable can be up to 40 (12.2 m) feet in length. A SCSI port on a computer can be one of three different types, as shown in Figure 1-15 High-density 50-pin female connector High-density 68-pin female connector SCSI devices must be terminated...

Parallel Ports and Cables

A parallel port on a computer is a standard Type A DB-25 female connector. The parallel connector on a printer is a standard Type B 36-pin Centronics connector. Some newer printers may use a Type C high-density 36-pin connector. Parallel ports can transmit 8 bits of data at a time and use the IEEE 1284 standard. To connect a parallel device, such as a printer, a parallel cable must be used. A parallel cable, as shown in Figure 1-14, has a maximum length of 15 feet (4.5 m).

Fire Wire Ports and Cables

FireWire is a high-speed, hot-swappable interface that connects peripheral devices to a computer. A single FireWire port in a computer can support up to 63 devices. Some devices can also be powered through the FireWire port, eliminating the need for an external power source. FireWire uses the IEEE 1394 standard and is also known as i.Link. The IEEE 1394a standard supports data rates up to 400 Mbps and cable lengths up to 15 feet (4.5 m). This standard uses a six-pin connector or a four-pin...

USB Ports and Cables

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a standard interface that connects peripheral devices to a computer. It was originally designed to replace serial and parallel connections. USB devices are hot-swappable, which means that users can connect and disconnect the devices while the computer is powered on. USB connections can be found on computers, cameras, printers, scanners, storage devices, and many other electronic devices. A USB hub is used to connect multiple USB devices. A single USB port in a...

Summary of Exercises

This is a summary of the Labs, Worksheets, Remote Technician exercises, Class Discussions, Virtual Desktop activities, and Virtual Laptop activities associated with this chapter. The following worksheets cover material from this chapter. Refer to the labs in IT Essentials PC Hardware and Software Labs and Study Guide, Third Edition Worksheet 13.2.0 Investigating Repair Centers Worksheet 13.3.1 Laptop Batteries Worksheet 13.3.2 Docking Station Worksheet 13.3.3 Research DVD Drive Worksheet 13.3.4...

Select a Docking Station or Port Replicator

Docking stations and port replicators increase the number of ports available to a laptop. A port replicator may contain a SCSI port, a networking port, PS 2 ports, USB ports, and a game port. A docking station has the same ports as a port replicator, but it adds the capability to connect to PCI cards, additional hard drives, optical drives, and floppy drives. Docking stations make it convenient to connect a laptop to an office network and peripherals. A laptop connected to a docking station has...

Identify Common Uses of Laptops

The most significant feature of a laptop is the compact size. The design of the laptop places the keyboard, screen, and internal components into a small, portable case. Another popular feature of the laptop is that it can be used almost anywhere. A rechargeable battery allows the laptop to function when it is disconnected from an AC power source. The first laptops were used primarily by businesspeople who needed to access and enter data when they were away from the office. The use of laptops...

Identify Common Uses of PDAs and Smartphones

The concept of the PDA has existed since the 1970s. The earliest models were computerized personal organizers designed to have a touch screen and a stylus. Today, some models have both a touch screen and a keyboard and use an operating system that is similar to operating systems used on desktop computers. The PDA is an electronic personal organizer with the following tools The smartphone is a mobile phone with PDA capabilities. Smartphones combine cell phone and computer functions in a single,...

Describe Level Two Technician Responsibilities

As with level-one technicians, call centers sometimes have different names for level-two technicians. These technicians may be known as product specialists or technical-support personnel. The level-two technician's responsibilities generally are the same from one call center to the next. The level-two technician is usually more knowledgeable than the level-one technician about technology, or has been working for the company for a longer period of time. When a problem cannot be resolved within...

Port Protection

Every communication using TCP IP is associated with a port number. HTTPS, for instance, by default uses port 443. A firewall, as illustrated in Figure 9-5, is a way of protecting a computer from intrusion through the ports. With port protection, the user can control the type of data sent to a computer by selecting which ports will be open and which will be secured. Data being transported on a network is called traffic. Table 9-1 shows the ports and protocols associated with the more common...

Verify the Obvious Issues

The second step in the troubleshooting process is to verify the obvious issues. Even though the customer might think that there is a major problem, start with the obvious issues before moving to more complex diagnoses. Verify the following obvious issues Loose external cable connections. Incorrect boot order in BIOS. Nonbootable disk in floppy drive. Power switch for an outlet is turned off. Surge protector is turned off. If you find an obvious issue that fixes the problem, you can go to the...

Describe Wireless Security Techniques

Traffic flows through radio waves in wireless networks, so it is easy for attackers to monitor and attack data without having to connect to a network physically. Attackers gain access to a network by being within range of an unprotected wireless network. A technician needs to know how to configure access points and wireless network interface cards (WNIC) to an appropriate level of security. When installing wireless services, you should apply the following wireless security techniques...

Identify Tools and Software Used with Personal Computer Components and Know Their Purpose

For every tool there is the right job, and for every job there is the right tool. Ensure that you are familiar with the correct use of each tool and that the right tool is used for the current task. This will reduce the chances of damage or injury. Skilled use of tools and software makes the job less difficult and ensures that tasks are performed properly and safely. Figure 2-4 shows a sample tool kit used to install, connect, remove, and repair PC components. In addition to hardware tools,...

Setting the Laptop to the Standby or Hibernate Sleep State

If you do not want to completely shut down the laptop, you have two options Standby Documents and applications are saved in RAM, allowing the computer to power on quickly. Hibernate Documents and applications are saved to a temporary file on the hard drive, and it will take a little longer than Standby to power on. Figure 6-17 shows Hibernate enabled in the Power Options properties. Figure 6-17 Hibernate Options Figure 6-17 shows Hibernate enabled in the Power Options properties. Figure 6-17...

Berg Power Connectors

The four-pin Berg power connector supplies power to a floppy drive. Follow these steps for power connector installation Plug the SATA power connector into the HDD. Plug the Molex power connector into the optical drive. Plug the four-pin Berg power connector into the FDD. Connect the three-pin fan power connector into the appropriate fan header on the motherboard according to the motherboard manual. Plug the additional cables from the case into the appropriate connectors according to the...

Input Output IO Port Addresses

Input output (I O) port addresses are used to communicate between devices and software. The I O port address is used to send and receive data for a component. As with IRQs, each component has a unique I O port assigned. A computer has 65,535 I O ports, and they are referenced by a hexadecimal address in the range of 0000h to FFFFh. Table 1-11 is a chart of common I O ports. I O Port Device or I O Port Device or I O Port Device or Addresses Port Addresses Port Addresses Port (in Hex) Assignment...

Step 2 Verify the Obvious Issues

After you have talked to the customer, you should verify the obvious issues. Here are some issues that apply to laptops Have people asked you to stop sending them strange e-mails even though you have not sent them anything Have any items on your desktop been moved Has your computer been running slower than normal, or is it unresponsive Do you see any unfamiliar login addresses in the login window Are there any unexplained entries in the security protection software logs Is your Internet...

Describe Printer Maintenance

Printers have many moving parts and require a higher level of maintenance than most other electronic devices. Impurities produced by the printer collect on the internal components. Over time, if the impurities are not removed, the printer may malfunction. The maintenance schedule for a printer can be found in the manual or on the manufacturer's website. Be sure to unplug the printer from the electrical source before beginning any type of maintenance. Most printers come with printer monitoring...

Install the Operating System Using Default Settings

When installing Windows XP, the installation wizard gives the option to install using typical (default) settings or custom settings. Using the typical settings increases the likelihood of a successful installation. However, the user must still provide the following information during the setup Standards and formats that define currency and numerals Name of the user and company Domain or workgroup information When a computer boots up with the Windows installation CD, the Windows XP installation...

Upgrade and Configure a CPU and a Heat Sink Fan Assembly

One way to increase the apparent power of a computer is to increase the processing speed. You can often do this by upgrading the central processing unit (CPU). However, there are some requirements that you must meet The new CPU must fit into the existing CPU socket. The new CPU must be compatible with the motherboard chipset. The new CPU must operate with the existing motherboard and power supply. The new CPU must operate with the existing RAM. The RAM might need to be upgraded or expanded to...

Identify Appropriate Cleaning Procedures

Proper routine cleaning is the easiest, least expensive way to protect and to extend the life of a laptop. It is very important to use the right products and procedures when cleaning a laptop. Always read all warning labels on the cleaning products. The components are very sensitive and should be handled with care. Consult the laptop manual for additional information and cleaning suggestions. This section provides basic steps for cleaning the laptop keyboard, ventilation area, screen, touchpad,...

How This Book Is Organized

This book is divided into 16 chapters, one appendix, and a glossary of key terms Chapter 1, Introduction to the Personal Computer Information technology (IT) is the design, development, implementation, support, and management of computer hardware and software applications. An IT professional is knowledgeable about computer systems and operating systems. This chapter will review IT certifications and the components of a basic personal computer system. Chapter 2, Safe Lab Procedures and Tool Use...

Perform Preventive Maintenance on Security

Several maintenance tasks are necessary to ensure that security is effective. The following sections cover how to maximize protection by performing updates, backups, and reconfiguration of the operating systems, user accounts, and data. After completing the following sections, you will meet these objectives Describe the configuration of operation system updates Explain data backup procedures, access to backups, and secure physical backup media Describe the Configuration of Operating System...

Upgrade and Configure BIOS

Motherboard manufacturers periodically release updates for their basic input output system (BIOS). The release notes describe the upgrade to the product, compatibility improvements, and the known bugs that have been addressed. Some newer devices only operate properly with an updated BIOS. Early computer BIOS information was contained in ROM chips. To upgrade the BIOS information, the ROM chip had to be replaced, which was not always possible. Modern BIOS chips are EEPROM, or flash memory, which...

Describe Laser Printers

A laser-printer, such as the one shown in Figure 7-2, is a high-quality, fast printer that uses a laser beam to create an image. The central part of the laser printer is its electrophotographic drum. The drum is a metal cylinder that is coated with a light-sensitive insulating material. When a beam of laser light strikes the drum, it becomes a conductor at the point where the light hits it. As the drum rotates, the laser beam draws an electrostatic image on the drum, called the image. The...

Identify the Names Purposes and Characteristics of Storage Drives

A storage drive reads or writes information to magnetic or optical storage media. It can be used to store data permanently or to retrieve information from a media disk. Storage drives can be installed inside the computer case, such as a hard drive. For portability, some storage drives can connect to the computer using a USB port, a FireWire port, or a SCSI port. These portable storage drives are sometimes called removable drives and can be used on multiple computers. Figure 1-9 shows some...

PATA Data Cables

The parallel advanced technologies attachment (PATA) cable is sometimes called a ribbon cable because it is wide and flat. The PATA cable can have either 40 or 80 conductors. A PATA cable usually has three 40-pin connectors. One connector at the end of the cable connects to the motherboard. The other two connectors connect to drives. The end of the PATA cable is keyed and can be inserted only one way. A stripe on the data cable denotes pin 1. Plug the PATA cable into the drive with the pin 1...

Identify the Names Purposes and Characteristics of Internal Components

This section discusses the names, purposes, and characteristics of a computer's internal components, as shown in Figure 1-3. After completing this section, you will meet these objectives Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics of motherboards. Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics of CPUs. Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics of cooling systems. Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics of ROM and RAM. Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics...

Describe the Safe Installation and Removal of Laptop Components

There are a number of components on a laptop that might need to be replaced. Remember always to make sure that you have the correct replacement component and tools as recommended by the manufacturer. Some components are hot-swappable, which means that you can remove and replace them while the computer is on. Some components that you might need to replace include the following Each laptop manufacturer uses unique hardware installation and removal procedures. Check the laptop manual for specific...

Windows Registry

The Windows registry is a hierarchal database used by the Windows operating system to store information and settings for hardware, software, users, and preferences on a system. The registry is an important part of the Windows XP boot process. These registry files are recognized by their distinctive names, which begin with HKEY_, as shown in Table 5-4, followed by the name of the portion of the operating system under their control. Every setting in Windows from the background of the desktop and...

Explain Web Security

Web security is important because so many people visit the World Wide Web every day. Some of the features that make the web useful and entertaining can also make it harmful to a computer. Tools that are used to make web pages more powerful and versatile can also make computers more vulnerable to attacks. Here are some examples of web tools ActiveX is technology created by Microsoft to control interactivity on web pages. If ActiveX is on a page, the user must download an applet or small program...

About the Technical Reviewers

Johnson is a professor of information systems technology at New Hampshire Community Technical College, Pease Campus in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Among his certifications are A+, Net+, and CCNA. He received his B.A. and M.Ed. degrees from the University of Maine in Orono, Maine. Scott Stephenson is in his sixth year as the Cisco Networking Academy instructor at Burleson High School. His teaching duties include Cisco Networking Academy CCNA 1-4, Cisco Networking Academy IT Essentials,...

Display Professional Behavior with the Customer

When dealing with customers, you must be professional in all aspects of your role. You must handle customers with respect and prompt attention. When on the phone, make sure that you know how to put a customer on hold, as well as how to transfer a customer without losing the call. How you conduct the call is important. Your job is to help the customer focus on and communicate the problem so that you can solve it. Be positive when communicating with the customer. Tell him what you can do. Do not...

About the Authors

David Anfinson, MCSE, MCSA, CCNA, CCDA, A+, Net+, HTI+, is a former instructor and CIO for Williston State College. David resides in Williston, North Dakota, with his wife, Teresa, and their children, Rachel and Shawn. Ken Quamme, CCNA, CCAI, A+, is an assistant professor at Williston State College, Williston, North Dakota, where he teaches the CCNA curricula, IT Essentials I and II, Cisco wireless, and IP telephony. Ken has served as vocational director and chief information officer for...

Memory Modules

Early computers had RAM installed on the motherboard as individual chips. These individual memory chips, called dual inline package (DIP) chips, were difficult to install and often became loose on the motherboard. To solve this problem, designers soldered the memory chips on a special circuit board called a memory module. The different types of memory modules are as follows Dual Inline Package (DIP) is an individual memory chip. A DIP had dual rows of pins used to attach it to the motherboard....

Identify the Names Purposes and Characteristics of Input Devices

An input device is used to enter data or instructions into a computer. Here are some examples of input devices Digital camera and digital video camera Biometric authentication device The mouse and keyboard are the two most commonly used input devices. The mouse is used to navigate the graphical user interface (GUI). The keyboard is used to enter text commands that control the computer. Digital cameras and digital video cameras, shown in Figure 1-20, create images that can be stored on magnetic...

Install the Power Supply

A technician may be required to replace or install a power supply, as shown in Figure 3-1. Most power supplies can fit only one way in the computer case. Usually, three or four screws attach the power supply to the case. Power supplies have fans that can vibrate and loosen screws that are not secured. When installing a power supply, make sure that all the screws are used and that they are properly tightened. These are the power supply installation steps How To H Step 1. Insert the power supply...

Describe the Components Found on the Laptop Docking Station

A base station is a device that attaches to AC power and to desktop peripherals. When you plug the laptop into the base station, you have convenient access to power and the attached peripherals. There are two types of base stations docking stations and port replicators. Docking stations and port replicators are used for the same purpose. Port replicators are usually smaller than docking stations and do not have speakers or Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) slots....

Identify the Names Purposes and Characteristics of Cooling Systems

Heat is caused by the flow of current within the components. Computer components perform better when kept cool. If the heat is not removed, the computer may run slower. If too much heat builds up, computer components can be damaged. Increasing the air flow in the computer case allows more heat to be removed. A case fan, shown in Figure 1-5, is installed in the computer case to make the cooling process more efficient. In addition to case fans, a heat sink...

Identify Potential Safety Hazards and Implement Proper Safety Procedures Related to Networks

Installing network cables, whether copper or fiber-optic, can be dangerous. Often, cables must be pulled through ceilings and walls where there are obstacles and unexpected or toxic materials. You should wear clothing that protects you from these materials. For example, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, sturdy shoes that cover your feet, and gloves. Most importantly, wear safety glasses. If possible, ask building management, or someone responsible for the building, if there are any...

Demonstrate Proper Use of an Antistatic Wrist Strap

As discussed previously, an example of ESD is the small shock that someone receives when you walk across a carpeted room and touch a doorknob. Although the small shock is harm less to you, the same electrical charge passing from you to a computer can damage its components. Wearing an antistatic wrist strap can prevent ESD damage to computer components. The purpose of an antistatic wrist strap is to equalize the electrical charge between you and the equipment. The antistatic wrist strap is a...

Describe Bluetooth Technology

Bluetooth is a wireless technology that enables devices to communicate over short distances. A Bluetooth device can connect up to seven other Bluetooth devices to create a wireless personal-area network (WPAN). This technical specification is described by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.15.1 standard. Bluetooth devices can handle voice and data and are ideally suited for connecting the following devices Common Bluetooth characteristics include the following...

Identify Common Problems and Solutions

Maintaining a computer can be a challenge. One of the biggest challenges is making sure that your computer software is updated and secure. Table 9-4 is a chart of common security issues and solutions. Table 9-4 Common Security-Related Issues and Solutions Table 9-4 Common Security-Related Issues and Solutions Set Windows Automatic Update to run daily at a Upgrade to 128-bit WEP security, WAP, or Table 9-4 Common Security-Related Issues and Solutions continued Possible Security Issue Possible...

High Definition Multimedia Interface HDMI

A video, plasma, LCD, or DLP projector. HKEY_ The designation at the beginning of Windows Registry boot filenames. host A computer system on a network. Similar to the term node, except that host usually implies a computer system. Node generally applies to any networked system, including access servers and routers. hot-swappable interface Allows peripherals to be changed while the system is running. USB is an example. hub 1) Generally, a term used to describe a Layer 1 device at the center of a...

Describe the Call Center Environment

A call center may exist within a company and offer service to the employees of that company as well as to the customers of that company's products. Alternatively, a call center may be an independent business that sells computer support as a service to outside customers. In either case, a call center is a busy, fast-paced work environment, often operating 24 hours a day. Call centers tend to have a large number of cubicles. Each cubicle has a chair, at least one computer, and a phone with a...

Types of Drive Interfaces

Hard drives and optical drives are manufactured with different interfaces that are used to connect the drive to the computer. When you install a storage drive in a computer, the connection interface on the drive must be the same as the controller on the motherboard. Some common drive interfaces are as follows Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE), also called Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA), is an early drive controller interface that connects computers and hard-disk drives. An IDE interface...

Identify Common Preventive Maintenance Techniques for Laptops and Portable Devices

Because laptops are mobile, they are used in different types of environments. Some environments can be hazardous to a laptop. Even eating or drinking around a laptop creates a potentially hazardous condition. Consider what would happen if a drink were spilled onto the keyboard of a laptop. Many components are placed in a very small area directly beneath the keyboard. Spilling liquid or dropping debris onto the keyboard can result in severe internal damage. It is important to keep a laptop clean...

Describe Level One Technician Responsibilities

Call centers sometimes have different names for level-one technicians. These technicians may be known as level-one analysts, dispatchers, or incident screeners. Regardless of the title, the level-one technician's responsibilities are fairly similar from one call center to the next. The primary responsibility of a level-one technician is to gather pertinent information from the customer. The technician has to document all the information in the ticket or work order. Here is some of the...

Identify Standards Organizations

Several worldwide standards organizations are responsible for setting networking standards. Manufacturers use standards as a basis for developing technology, especially communications and networking technologies. Standardizing technology ensures that the devices you use are compatible with other devices using the same technology. Standards groups create, examine, and update standards. These standards are applied to the development of technology to meet the demands for higher bandwidth,...

Describe the Components Found on the Inside of the Laptop

Typically, the laptop is closed when not in use. By opening the lid of the laptop, you can access a variety of input devices, LEDs, and a display screen. There are several input devices available when the laptop lid is open, as shown in Figure 6-7 Power Button Volume Controls Keyboard Power Button Volume Controls Keyboard A laptop receives and interprets data in many ways. As a result, the laptop is able to perform a variety of functions. At the bottom of the...

Step 1 Gather Data from the Customer

The first step in the troubleshooting process is to gather data from the customer. Table 13-3 lists open-ended and closed-ended questions to ask the customer about laptop errors. (This list is not comprehensive.) Table 13-3 Laptop Errors Open-Ended and Closed-Ended Questions to Ask Table 13-3 Laptop Errors Open-Ended and Closed-Ended Questions to Ask Has anyone done any repair work on the laptop How does your laptop connect to the Internet Does your laptop have a wireless NIC Have you ever had...

Describe Internet Protocols and Applications

Internet protocols are sets of rules governing communication within and between computers on a network. Protocol specifications define the format of the messages that are exchanged. A letter sent through the postal system also uses protocols. Part of the protocol specifies where on the envelope the delivery address needs to be written. If the delivery address is written in the wrong place, the letter cannot be delivered. Timing is crucial to network operation....

Install the Video Adapter Card

A video adapter card, shown in Figure 3-8, is the interface between a computer and a display monitor. An upgraded video adapter card can provide better graphics capabilities for games and graphic programs. Video adapter cards use PCI, AGP, and PCIe expansion slots on the motherboard. Follow these steps for video adapter card installation How To Ol Step 1. Align the video adapter card to the appropriate expansion slot on the motherboard. Step 2. Press down gently on the video adapter card until...

Install a CPU and a Heat Sink Fan Assembly

Heat Sink Assembly Motherboard

The central processing unit (CPU) and the heat sink fan assembly may be installed on the motherboard before the motherboard is placed in the computer case. Figure 3-2 shows a close-up view of the CPU and the motherboard. The CPU and motherboard are sensitive to electrostatic discharge. When handling a CPU and motherboard, make sure that you place them on a grounded antistatic mat. You should wear an antistatic wrist strap while working with these components. When handling a CPU, do not touch...

Define Viruses Worms and Trojan Horses

Computer viruses are created with malicious intent and sent by attackers. A virus is attached to small pieces of computer code, software, or documents. The virus executes when the software is run on a computer. If the virus spreads to other computers, those computers could continue to spread the virus. A virus is transferred to another computer through e-mail, file transfers, and instant messaging. The virus hides by attaching itself to a file on the computer. When the file is accessed, the...

Describe Repairs for Laptops and Portable Devices

When a laptop or portable device begins to malfunction, what should you do The customer can replace some parts of a laptop, typically called Customer-Replaceable Units (CRU). CRUs include such components as the laptop battery and additional RAM. Parts that the customer should not replace are called Field-Replaceable Units (FRU). FRUs include such components as the laptop motherboard, LCD display, and keyboard. In many cases, the device may need to be returned to the place of purchase, a...

Identify Common Network Problems and Solutions

Network problems can be attributed to hardware, software, connectivity issues, or some combination of the three. You will resolve some types of network problems more often than others. Table 8-9 is a chart of common network problems and solutions. Table 8-9 Common Problems and Solutions Table 8-9 Common Problems and Solutions The computer can't connect to a popular Check to make sure that the DHCP server The computer can't connect to the network. The computer can't print using the network Check...

Identify the Names Purposes and Characteristics of Cases and Power Supplies

The computer case provides protection and support for the computer's internal components. All computers need a power supply to convert alternating-current (AC) power from the wall socket into direct-current (DC) power. The size and shape of the computer case is usually determined by the motherboard and other internal components. You can select a large computer case to accommodate additional components that may be required in the future. Other users may select a smaller case that requires...

Describe How to Configure a NIC and a Modem

A network interface card (NIC) is required to connect to the Internet. The NIC may come preinstalled, or you may have to purchase one. In rare cases, you may need to update the NIC drivei. You can use the driver disc that comes with the motherboard or adapter card, or you can supply a driver that you downloaded from the manufacturer. After the NIC and the driver have been installed, you can connect the computer to the network. In addition to installing a NIC, you may need to install a modem to...

Connectors

Most connectors today are keyed connectors. Keyed connectors are designed to be inserted in only one direction. Each part of the connector has a colored wire with a different voltage running through it, as described in Table 1-1. Different power supply form factors provide different power output connections, depending on system requirements. AT form factors have been slowly phased out by ATX form factor power supplies because of the different case sizes and advanced features. ATXv12 was created...

Describe How to Configure Power Settings

One of the most popular features of a laptop is the ability to operate using batteries. This feature allows laptops to operate in locations where AC power is not available or is inconvenient. Advances in power management and battery technology are increasing the time laptop users can remain disconnected from AC power. Current batteries can last from 2 to 10 hours without recharging. Managing the power by configuring the power settings on a laptop is important to ensure that the battery charge...

Compare and Contrast Desktop and Laptop Components

Most of the functions that a desktop can perform can also be performed by a laptop. However, these two kinds of computers are built very differently and the parts are not interchangeable. As an example, a airplane and a helicopter can each travel to the same destination, but they cannot be repaired with the same spare parts. This is also true for laptops and desktops. Few components can be shared between desktops and laptops. Desktop components tend to be standardized. They usually meet...

Identify Beep Codes

POST checks to see that all the hardware in the computer is operating correctly. If a device is malfunctioning, an error or beep code alerts the technician that a problem has occurred. Typically, a single beep denotes that the computer is functioning properly. If a hardware problem exists, the computer may emit a series of beeps. Each BIOS manufacturer uses different codes to indicate hardware problems. Table 3-1 is a sample chart of beep codes. The beep codes for your computer may be...

Small Computer System Interface SCSI cable

An external or internal cable that connects the SCSI controller to SCSI ports of multiple internal and external devices. smart card A credit-card-sized device that includes a processor and memory. Used to store information and authenticate network users. Smart cards provide two-factor identification because the user must have both the card and a password to access the network. software firewall An application on a computer that inspects and filters data packets. solenoid A coil of wires that...

Key Terms

This chapter uses the following key terms. You can find the definitions in the Glossary. personal digital assistant (PDA) page xx optical drive status indicator page xx Video Graphics Array (VGA) port page xx Digital Visual Interface (DVI) port page xx external diskette drive connector page xx Advanced Power Management (APM) page xx Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) page xx Small Outline Dual In-line Memory Module (SODIMM) page xx optimal operating environment page xx One of the...

Monitors and Projectors

Monitors and projectors are primary output devices for a computer. Figure 1-22 shows different types of monitors. The most important difference between these monitor types is the technology used to create an image CRT Cathode ray tube monitors are the most common monitor type. Red, green, and blue electron beams move back and forth across the phosphorous-coated screen. The phosphor glows when struck by the electron beam. Areas not struck by the electron beam do not glow. The combination of...

Install the Motherboard

The motherboard is now ready to install in the computer case. Plastic and metal standoffs are used to mount the motherboard and to prevent it from touching the metal portions of the case. You should install only the standoffs that align with the holes in the motherboard. Installing any additional standoffs may prevent the motherboard from being seated properly in the computer case. Follow these steps for motherboard installation Step 1. Install standoffs in the computer case. Step 2. Align the...

Select the CPU and Heat Sink Fan Assembly

Replace the CPU when it fails or is no longer adequate for the current applications. For example, you might have a customer who has purchased an advanced graphics application. The application might run poorly because it requires a faster processor than the current CPU. Before you buy a CPU, make sure that it is compatible with the existing motherboard The new CPU must use the same socket type and chipset. The BIOS must support the new CPU. The new CPU might require a different heat sink fan...

Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction to the Personal Computer 1 Objectives 1 Key Terms 1 Explain IT Industry Certifications 3 Identify Education and Certifications 3 Describe the A+ Certification 4 Describe the EUCIP Certification 5 Module 1 Computer Hardware 5 Module 2 Operating Systems 5 Module 3 Local-Area Network and Network Services 5 Module 4 Expert Network Use 6 Module 5 IT Security 6 Identify the Names, Purposes, and Characteristics of Cases and Power Supplies 6 Describe Cases 7 Describe Power...

Compare and Contrast Desktop and Laptop Expansion Capabilities

Expansion capabilities add functionality to a computer. Many expansion devices can be used with both laptops and desktops Expansion devices are attached to laptops and desktops differently. A desktop attaches these devices with USB ports and parallel ports. A laptop attaches these devices with USB ports, parallel ports, and PC Cards. The standardized use of USB and FireWire ports makes it possible to connect many types of external components to laptops, docking stations, port replicators, and...

Select Security Components Based on Customer Needs

The security policy helps customers to select the security components necessary to keep equipment and data safe. If there is no security policy, you should discuss security issues with the customer. Use your past experience as a technician and research the current security products on the market when selecting security components for the customer. The goal is to provide the security system that best matches the customer's needs. After completing the following sections, you will meet these...

Compare the Different Mobile Phone Standards

When people began to use cell phones, there were few industry-wide standards applying to cell phone technology. Without standards, it was difficult and expensive to make calls to people that were on another network. Today, cell phone providers use industry standards, which make it easier to use cell phones to make calls. When the industry started, most cell phone standards were analog. Today, cell phone standards are mostly digital. Cell phone standards have not been adopted uniformly around...

Identify the Names Purposes and Characteristics of CPUs

The central processing unit (CPU) is considered the computer's brain. It is sometimes called the processor. Most calculations take place in the CPU. In terms of computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system. CPUs come in different form factors, each style requiring a particular slot or socket on the motherboard. Common CPU manufacturers include Intel and AMD. The CPU socket or slot is the connector that is the interface between the motherboard and the processor....

Determine Protocols and Network Applications

When designing a network, you must determine which protocols will be used. Some protocols are proprietary and work on only specific equipment, and others are open standards and work on a variety of equipment. Here are the details of the various network protocols Transmission Control Protocol Internet Protocol (TCP IP) represents a set of public standards that specify how packets of information are exchanged between computers over one or more networks. The TCP IP suite of protocols has become...

Compare and Contrast Desktop and Laptop Motherboards

Desktop motherboards have standard form factors. The standard size and shape allow motherboards from different manufacturers to be interchangeable. Laptop motherboards vary by manufacturer and are proprietary. When you repair a laptop, it is strongly recommended that you obtain a replacement motherboard from the manufacturer of the laptop. Figure 6-12 shows a desktop motherboard and a laptop motherboard. Figure 6-12 Laptop Motherboard and Desktop Motherboard Figure 6-12 Laptop Motherboard and...

Describe the Components Found on the Outside of the Laptop

Laptop and desktop computers use the same types of ports so that peripherals can be interchangeable. These ports are specifically designed for connecting peripherals and providing network connectivity and audio access. Ports, connections, and drives are located on the front, back, and sides of the laptop because of the compact design. Laptops contain PC Card or ExpressCard slots to add functionality such as more memory, a modem, or a network connection. You learn more about PC Card and...

Identify the Names Purposes and Characteristics of Motherboards

The motherboard is the main printed circuit board. It contains the buses, or electrical pathways, found in a computer. These buses allow data to travel between the various components that comprise a computer. A motherboard is also known as the system board, backplane, or main board. Figure 1-4 shows a variety of motherboards. The motherboard accommodates the central processing unit (CPU), RAM, expansion slots, heat sink fan assembly, BIOS chip, chip set, and the embedded wires that interconnect...

Identify the Names Purposes and Characteristics of Internal Cables

Drives require both a power cable and a data cable. A power supply has a SATA power connector for SATA drives, a Molex power connector for PATA drives, and a Berg four-pin connector for floppy drives. The buttons and the LED lights on the front of the case connect to the motherboard with the front panel cables. Figure 1-10 shows some examples of internal PC cables. Data cables connect drives to the drive controller, which is located on an adapter card or the motherboard. Some common types of...