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A+ 2003 Core Hardware Exam

OBJECTIVES

CHAPTERS

PAGE NUMBER

Domain 1: Installation, Configuration and Upgrading


1.1 Identify the names, purpose, and
characteristics, of system modules.
Recognize these modules by sight or
definition.

Motherboard

Firmware

Power supply

Processor /CPU

Memory

Storage devices

Display devices

Adapter cards

Ports

Cases

Riser cards

1.2 Identify basic procedures for adding and


removing field replaceable modules for
desktop systems. Given a replacement
scenario, choose the appropriate

1
3
5
1
2
5
2
3
5
11
1
4
1
6
11
1
7
9
1
8
1
8
10
1
5
8
10
1
3
3
5

8-11
90-98
176-202
8-11, 26-27
71-72
188-201
78-83
90-100, 95-96, 115-121
210-213
558-565
3-4, 10-11
130-150
12-13
222-243
558-565
7, 13-18
250-193
406-418, 428-433
8-9
322-330, 333-341, 369-3
18-23
331-366
497-501
8-9
176-181
341-358
497-501
7
90-100, 117-121
96-98
186-188

sequences.
Desktop components:

Motherboard

Storage device
FDD

HDD

CD/CDRW

DVD/DVDRW

Tape drive

Removable storage

Power supply

AT/ATX

Cooling systems
Fans

Heat sinks

Liquid cooling

Processor /CPU

Memory

Display device

Input devices

AC adapter

Adapters

Keyboard

Mouse/pointer devices

Touch screen

1
3
5

8-9
90-100, 117-121
202-210

1
7
1
7
1
9
1
9
1
9
1
9

7, 13-18
250-254
7, 13-18
276-293
7, 13-18
406-418, 428-433
7, 13-18
406-418, 428-433
7, 13-18
419-425
7, 13-18
393-396, 425-427

3
B
3
B

90-100, 117-121
643-656
90-100, 117-121
643-656

3
4
3
4
3
4
1
4
1
6
1
8

90-100, 117-121
130-150
90-100, 117-121
130-150
90-100, 117-121
130-150
3-4, 10-11
157-169
12-13
222-243
8-9
322-330, 333-341, 369-3

1
2
8
1
2
8
8

4-6
54-66
311-314, 366-368
4-6
54-66
314-317, 366-368
317-318, 366-368

Network Interface Card (NIC)

Sound card

Video card

Modem

SCSI

IEEE 1394/Firewire

USB

Wireless

1
2
8
10
1
2
8
1
2
8
2
8
2
7
C
2
8
2
8
2
10

18-23
54-66
331-366
497-501
18-23
54-66
331-366
18-23
54-66
322-330, 333-341, 369-3
54-66
331-366
54-66
272-274
658-664
54-66
331-366
54-66
331-366
54-66
481-491

7
11
7
11
9
11
9
11
9
11

250-254
546-549
276-293
546-549
406-418, 428-433
546-549
406-418, 428-433
546-549
393-396, 425-427
546-549

3
11
3
11
3
11

90-100, 117-121
520-525
90-100, 117-121
520-525
90-100, 117-121
520-525

1.3 Identify basic procedures for adding and


removing field replaceable modules for
portable systems. Given a replacement
scenario, choose the appropriate
sequences.
Portable components:

Storage devices
FDD

HDD

CD/CDRW

DVD/DVDRW

Removable storage

Power sources
AC adapter

DC adapter

Battery

Memory

Input devices

Keyboard

Mouse/pointer devices

Touch screen
PCMCIA/Mini PCI Adapters
Network Interface Card (NIC)

Modem

SCSI

IEEE 1394/Firewire
USB
Storage (memory and hard drive)
Docking station/port replicators
LCD panel
Wireless
o Adapter/controller
o

Antennae

6
11

222-243
542-546

2
8
11
2
8
11
8

54-66
311-314, 366-368
507-565
54-66
314-317, 366-368
507-565
317-318, 366-368

10
11
8
10
11
7
11
C
11
11
11
11
8
11

471-478, 481-491
527-539
358-359
447, 471-478
527-539
272-274
527-539
658-664
527-539
527-539
527-539
525-527
322-328, 368-374
560-561

10
11
10
11

444-464
536-539
444-464
536-539

A
C
A
C
A
C
A
C
A

635-642
664-668
635-642
664-668
635-642
664-668
635-642
664-668
635-642

1.4 Identify typical IRQs, DMAs, and I/O


addresses and procedures for altering
these settings when installing and
configuring devices. Choose the
appropriate installation or
configuration steps in a given scenario.
Content may include the following:

Legacy devices (e.g., ISA sound card)

Specialized devices (e.g., CAD/CAM)

Internal modems

Floppy drive controllers

Hard drive controllers

Multimedia devices

NICs

I/O ports

Serial

Parallel

USB ports

IEEE 1394/Firewire

Infrared

C
9
A
C
10
11
A
C

664-668
406-418, 428-433
635-642
664-668
471-478, 481-491
527-539
635-642
664-668

8
A
C
8
A
C
8
A
8
A
8
A

341-358
635-642
664-668
341-358
635-642
664-668
341-358
635-642
341-358
635-642
341-358
635-642

1
8
1
8
1
8
1
8
1
8

8-9
341-358
8-9
341-358
8-9
341-358
8-9
341-358
8-9
341-358

1
8
1
8
1

8-9
341-358
8-9
341-358
8-9

1.5 Identify the names, purposes, and


performance characteristics of
standardized/common peripheral ports,
associated cabling, and their
connectors. Recognize ports, cabling,
and connectors by sight.
Content may include the following:

Port types

Serial

Parallel

USB ports

IEEE 1394/Firewire

Infrared

Serial (Straight through vs. null modem)

Parallel

USB

Cable types

Connector types
Serial

DB-9
DB-25

RJ-11
RJ-45
Parallel
DB-25

Centronics (mini, 36)


PS2/MINI-DIN

USB

IEEE 1394

341-358

1
8
1
8
8
8

8-9
341-358
8-9
341-358
341-358
341-366

1
8
8
1
8
1
8
1
8

8-9
341-358
341-358
8-9
311-314, 366-368
8-9
341-358
8-9
341-358

1
7
1
7
1
7
7
9
7
1
7
1
7
7

7, 13-18
276-293
7, 13-18
276-293
7, 13-18
276-293
276-293
406-418, 428-433
276-293
7, 13-18
276-293
7, 13-18
276-293
276-293

1.6 Identify proper procedures for installing


and configuring common IDE devices.
Choose the appropriate installation or
configuration sequences in given
scenarios. Recognize the associated
cables.
Content may include the following:

IDE Interface Types


EIDE

ATA/ATAPI

Serial ATA

PIO
RAID (0, 1 and 5)
Master/Slave/cable select
Devices per channel

Primary/Secondary

Cable orientation/requirements

1.7 Identify proper procedures for installing


and configuring common SCSI devices.
Choose the appropriate installation or
configuration sequences in given

scenarios. Recognize the associated


cables.
Content may include the following:

SCSI Interface Types


Narrow
Fast
Wide
Ultra-wide
LVD
HVD
Internal versus external

SCSI Ids

Jumper block/DIP switch settings (binary


equivalents)

Resolving ID conflicts

RAID (0, 1 and 5)

Cabling

Length
Type
Termination requirements (active,
passive, auto)

C
C
C
C
C
C
7
C

658-664
658-664
658-664
658-664
658-664
658-664
272-274
658-664

2
7
C
2
7
C
7
9
C

54-66
272-274
658-664
54-66
272-274
658-664
265-267
406-418, 428-433
658-664

C
C
C

658-664
658-664
658-664

8
10
7
8
9
8
11
10
8
10
12
3

341-366
471-478, 481-491, 506
257-276
349-365
419-427, 393-396, 406-4
349-358
568-571
471-478, 481-491
341-366
444-464
590-606
107-111

1.8 Identify proper procedures for installing


and configuring common peripheral
devices. Choose the appropriate
installation or configuration sequences
in given scenarios.
Content may include the following:

Modems and transceivers (dial-up, cable, DSL, ISDN)

External storage

Digital cameras
PDAs
Wireless access points
Infrared devices

Printers
UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and suppressors

Monitors

322-330, 333-341, 369-3

3
4
3
4
3
4
3
4
3
4

95-96, 117-121
157-169
95-96, 117-121
157-169
95-96, 117-121
157-169
95-96, 117-121
157-169
95-96, 117-121
157-169

7
7

250-293
258, 270-276

7
10
8
6
4

276-293
471-478, 481-491
322-330, 333-341, 369-3
231-243
133-134, 142

1.9 Identify procedures to optimize PC


operations in specific situations.
Predict the effects of specific
procedures under given scenarios.
Topics may include:

Cooling systems

Liquid

Air

Heat sink

Thermal compound

Disk subsystem enhancements


Hard drives
Controller cards (e.g., RAID, ATA-100,
etc.)
Cables
NICs
Specialized video cards
Memory
Additional processors

1.10 Determine the issues that must be


considered when upgrading a PC. In a
given scenario determine when and
how to upgrade system components.
Issues may include:

Drivers for legacy devices

664-668

Bus types and characteristics

Cache in relationship to motherboards

5
8
4

181-188
333-336
134-137

Memory capacity and characteristics

222-243

Processor speed and compatibility

130-169

Hard drive capacity and characteristics

250-293

System/firmware limitations
Power supply output capacity

5
3
B

188-201
90-96, 117-121
643-656

Components may include the following:

Motherboards
Memory
Hard drives
CPU
BIOS

Adapter cards

Laptop power sources


Lithium ion
NiMH
Fuel cell
PCMCIA Type I, II, III cards

5
6
7
4
2
5
2
8
10

176-181, 150-205
222-243
250-293
130-169
71-72
188-201
72-73
331-366
471-478, 481-491

11
11
11
11

521-525
521-525
521-525
527-539

2
8
2
8
2
8
2
8
2
8
2
7
C

72-79
341-358
72-79
341-358
72-79
341-358
72-79
341-358
72-79
341-358
54-66
272-274
658-664

2
5
2
8

66-72, 78-83
210-213
66-72, 78-83
341-358

Domain 2: Diagnosing and Troubleshooting


2.1 Recognize common problems
associated with each module and their
symptoms, and identify steps to isolate
and troubleshoot the problems. Given a
problem situation, interpret the
symptoms and infer the most likely
cause.

Content may include the following:

I/O ports and cables


Serial

Parallel

USB ports

IEEE 1394/Firewire

Infrared

SCSI

Motherboards

CMOS/ BIOS settings

POST audible/visual error codes


Peripherals
Computer case

Slot covers
Front cover alignment
Storage devices and cables
FDD

HDD

CD/CDRW

DVD/DVDRW

Tape drive

Removable storage

Cooling systems
Fans

Heat sinks

Liquid cooling

Temperature sensors

Processor /CPU

Memory

Display device

Input devices

Power supply

Keyboard

Mouse/pointer devices

Touch screen

Network Interface Card (NIC)

Sound card

2
3
B
2
2

72-79
90-100, 115-121
643-656
72-79
72-79

2
7
2
7
2
9
2
9
2
9
2
9

72-79
294-304
72-79
294-304
72-79
406-418, 428-433
72-79
406-418, 428-433
72-79
419-425
72-79
393-396, 425-427

3
4
3
4
3
4
3
4
2
4
2
6
2
8

95-96, 117-121
167-169
95-96, 117-121
167-169
95-96, 117-121
167-169
95-96, 117-121
167-169
72-83
167-169
72-83
243-244
72-83
322-330, 333-341, 369-3

2
8
2
8
8

54-66
311-314, 366-368
54-66
314-317, 366-368
317-318, 366-368

2
8
10
2
8

72-83
341-366
471-478, 481-491
72-83
341-366

Adapters

Video card

Modem

SCSI

IEEE 1394/Firewire

USB

Portable Systems
PCMCIA

Batteries

Docking Stations/Port Replicators

Portable unique storage

2
8
2
8
2
7
C
2
8
2
8

72-83
322-330, 333-341, 369-3
72-83
341-366
54-66
272-274
658-664
72-83
341-366
72-83
341-366

2
11
2
11
2
11
2
11

72-83
527-539
72-83
520-525
72-83
525-527
72-83
527-539

2
5
8
10
11
12
2
5
8
10
11
12

72-83
212-213
366-374
497-501
539-542, 558-565
617-629
72-83
212-213
366-374
497-501
539-542, 558-565
617-629

2
5
8
10
11
12

72-83
212-213
366-374
497-501
539-542, 558-565
617-629

2.2 Identify basic troubleshooting


procedures and tools and how to elicit
problem symptoms from customers.
Justify asking particular questions in a
given scenario.
Content may include the following:
Troubleshooting/isolation/problem determination
procedures

Determining whether a hardware or software problem

Gathering information from user


Customer Environment

2
72-83
5
212-213
8
366-374
10
497-501
11
539-542, 558-565
12
617-629
Situation when the problem occurred
2
72-83
5
212-213
8
366-374
10
497-501
11
539-542, 558-565
12
617-629
Domain 3: PC Preventive Maintenance, Safety and Environmental Issues
3.1 Identify the various types of preventive
maintenance measures, products and
procedures and when and how to use
them.

Symptoms/Error Codes

Content may include the following:


Liquid cleaning compounds

Types of materials to clean contacts and connections

Non-static vacuums (chassis, power supplies, fans)

Cleaning monitors

Cleaning removable media devices

Ventilation, dust and moisture control on the PC


hardware interior.

2
8
9
11
12
2
8
9
11
12
2
8
9
11
2
2
8
9
11
2
2
9
2
8
9
11
12

36-54
314, 317, 366-368
417-418, 425
517-518
606-613
36-54
314, 317, 366-368
417-418, 425
517-518
606-613
36-54
314, 317, 366-368
417-418, 425
517-518
606-613
36-54
314, 317, 366-368
417-418, 425
517-518
606-613
40-54
406-418, 428-433
36-54
314, 317, 366-368
417-418, 425
517-518
606-613

Hard disk maintenance (defragging, scan disk, CHKDSK)

Verify UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and


suppressors

2
8
9
11
12
2
3

36-54
314, 317, 366-368
417-418, 425
517-518
606-613
40-54
115-121

2
11
2

44-46, 49-54
549-550
44-46, 49-54

2
11
2
2

44-46, 49-54
549-550
44-46, 49-54
44-46, 49-54

2
2
3
2

44-46, 49-54
44-46, 49-54
115-121
44-46, 49-54

2
11
2
11
2
2
2

40-48
509-518
40-48
509-518
40-48
40-48
40-48

4
4
4
4
4

130-150
130-150
130-150
130-150
130-150

3.2 Identify various safety measures and


procedures and when/how to use them.
Content may include the following:

ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) precautions and


procedures

What ESD can do, how it may be apparent, or


hidden
Common ESD protection devices

Situations that could present a danger or hazard


Potential hazards and proper safety procedures relating
to
High-voltage equipment
Power supply

CRTs

3.3 Identify environmental protection


measures and procedures and
when/how to use them.
Content may include the following:

Special disposal procedures that comply with


environmental guidelines

Batteries

CRTs
Chemical solvents and cans
MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)

Domain 4: Motherboard/Processors/Memory
4.1 Distinguish between the popular CPU
chips in terms of their basic
characteristics.
Content may include the following:
o Popular CPU chips (Pentium class compatible
o Voltage
o Speeds (actual vs. advertised)
o Cache level I, II, III
o Sockets/slots

VRM(s)

130-150, 157-159

6
6
6
6
8
6
6
6

222-231
222-231
222-231
222-231
322-330, 333-341, 369-3
222-231
222-231
222-231

6
6
6
11
6
11
6

222-231
222-231
222-231
542-546
222-231
542-546
222-231

6
6
6
6

222-231
222-231
222-231
222-240

3
5
B
3
5
B

90-100
176-202
643-656
90-100
176-202
643-656

5
8
5

176-202
341-358
176-202

4.2 Identify the types of RAM (Random


Access Memory), form factors, and
operational characteristics. Determine
banking and speed requirements under
given scenarios.
Content may include the following:

Types

SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic RAM)


DDR (Double Data Rate)
RAMBUS
Form factors (including pin count)
SIMM (Single In-line Memory Module)
DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Module)
SoDIMM (Small outline DIMM)

EDO RAM (Extended Data Output RAM)


DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)
SRAM (Static RAM)
VRAM (Video RAM)

MicroDIMM

RIMM (Rambus Inline Memory Module)


Operational characteristics
Memory chips (8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit)
Parity chips versus non-parity chips
ECC vs. non-ECC
Single-sided vs. double sided

4.3 Identify the most popular types of


motherboards, their components, and their
architecture (bus structures).
Content may include the following:

Types of motherboards:
AT

ATX

Components:
Communication ports

Serial

USB

8
5
8
5
8
5
8

341-358
176-202
341-358
176-202
341-358
176-202
341-358

6
6
6
6
11
6
11

222-231
222-231
222-231
222-231
542-546
222-231
542-546

4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

130-150
130-150
130-150
130-150
130-150
130-150
130-150
130-150
130-150
130-150

5
C

176-202
664-668

PCI 32-bit
PCI 64-bit

5
5

176-202
176-202

2X

5
8
5
8
5
8
5
5
5
3
4
5

176-202
333-336
176-202
333-336
176-202
333-336
176-202
176-202
176-202
90-100
130-150
176-202

Parallel

IEEE 1394/Firewire

Infrared

Memory

SIMM

DIMM

RIMM

SoDIMM

MicroDIMM

Processor sockets

Slot 1

Slot 2

Slot A

Socket A

Socket 7

Socket 8

Socket 423

Socket 478

Socket 370
External cache memory (Level 2)
Bus Architecture
ISA

PCI

AGP

4X

8X (Pro)

USB (Universal Serial Bus)


AMR (audio modem riser) slots
CNR (communication network riser) slots
Basic compatibility guidelines

IDE (ATA, ATAPI, ULTRA-DMA, EIDE)

SCSI (Narrow, Wide, Fast, Ultra, HVD, LVD(Low Voltage


Differential)
Chipsets

5
7
C

176-202
250-276
658-664

176-202

2
5
4
5
5

71-72
188-202
157-169
188-202
188-202

188-202

2
5
5
7
5
6
2
5
5
5
2
5
5
5
3
5
5

78-83
188-202
188-202
250-293
188-202
222-231
71-72
188-202
188-202
188-202
71-72
188-202
188-202
188-202
92-95, 111-114
188-202
188-202

12
12
12

578-589
578-589
578-589

4.4 Identify the purpose of CMOS


(Complementary Metal-Oxide
Semiconductor) memory, what it
contains, and how and when to change
its parameters. Given a scenario
involving CMOS, choose the
appropriate course of action.
CMOS Settings:

Default settings

CPU settings

Printer parallel portUni., bi-directional, disable/enable,


ECP, EPP
COM/serial portmemory address, interrupt request,
disable
Floppy driveenable/disable drive or boot, speed,
density

Hard drivesize and drive type

Memoryspeed, parity, non-parity

Boot sequence

Date/Time
Passwords
Plug & Play BIOS

Disabling on-board devices


Disabling virus protection
Power management

Infrared

Domain 5: Printers
5.1 Identify printer technologies, interfaces,
and options/upgrades.
o
o
o

Technologies include:
Laser
Ink Dispersion
Dot Matrix

Solid ink
Thermal
Dye sublimation

o
o
o
o

Interfaces include:
Parallel

Network

SCSI

USB

Infrared

Serial

IEEE 1394/Firewire

Wireless

o
o
o
o
o
o

Options/Upgrades include:
Memory
Hard drives
NICs
Trays and feeders
Finishers (e.g., stapling, etc.)
Scanners/fax/copier

12
12
12

578-589
578-589
578-589

8
12
8
12
2
7
12
C
8
12
8
12
8
12
8
12
8
12

346-347
578-589
346-347
578-589
54-66
272-274
578-589
658-664
346-347
578-589
346-347
578-589
346-347
578-589
346-347
578-589
346-347
578-589

12
12
12
12
12
12

590-606,613-616
590-606,613-616
590-606,613-616
590-606,613-616
590-606,613-616
590-606,613-616

12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
12
2

617-629
617-629
617-629
617-629
617-629
617-629
617-629
617-629
617-629
617-629
617-629
617-629
44-46, 49-54

5.2 Recognize common printer problems


and techniques used to resolve them.
Content may include the following:

Printer drivers
Firmware updates
Paper feed and output
Calibrations
Printing test pages
Errors (printed or displayed)
Memory
Configuration
Network connections
Connections
Paper jam
Print quality
Safety precautions

Preventive maintenance

Consumables

Environment

12
2
12
2
12
2
12

617-629
40-48
617-629
40-48
617-629
40-48
617-629

10
10
10
10
10

444-464
444-464
444-464
444-464
444-464

10
10
10
10
10
10
10

444-464
444-464
444-464
444-464
444-464
444-464
444-464

10
10
10
10
10

444-464
444-464
444-464
444-464
444-464

10
10
10
10

471-478, 481-491
466-471
444-448
497-501

10
10
10
10

466-471
466-471
466-471
466-471

Domain 6: Basic Networking


6.1 Identify the common types of network
cables, their characteristics and
connectors.

Cable types include:


Coaxial
RG6
RG8
RG58
RG59
Plenum/PVC
UTP
CAT3
CAT5/e
CAT6
STP
Fiber
Single-mode
Multi-mode
Connector types include:
BNC
RJ-45
AUI
ST/SC
IDC/UDC

6.2 Identify basic networking concepts


including how a network works.
Concepts include:
Installing and configuring network cards
Addressing
Bandwidth
Status indicators
Protocols
TCP/IP
IPX/SPX (NWLINK)
AppleTalk
NETBEUI/NETBIOS

Full-duplex, half-duplex
CablingTwisted Pair, Coaxial, Fiber Optic, RS-232
Networking models
Peer-to-peer

Client/server
Infrared

Wireless

10
10

444-464
444-464

10
10
8
10
11
10
11

466-471
466-471
346-347
444-464
536-539
444-464
536-539

10
10
10
10
8
10
10
10
11

444-456
444-456, 506
444-456, 506
444-456, 506
358-366
444-456
444-456, 506
444-464
536-539

10
10
10

444-456
444-456
444-456

6.3 Identify common technologies available


for establishing Internet connectivity
and their characteristics.
Technologies include:

LAN
DSL
Cable
ISDN
Dial-up

Satellite
Wireless

Characteristic include:
Definition
Speed
Connections