Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 Introduction to Troubleshooting

The Six-Step A+ Troubleshooting Process

Step 1: Identify the Problem

Step 2: Establish a Theory of Probable Cause (Question the Obvious)

Step 3: Test the Theory to Determine Cause

Step 4: Establish a Plan of Action to Resolve the Problem and Implement the Solution

Step 5: Verify Full System Functionality and, If Applicable, Implement Preventative Measures

Step 6: Document Findings, Actions, and Outcomes

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Troubleshooting Examples and PC Tools

Troubleshooting Example 1–Basic: Display Issue

Troubleshooting Example 2–Intermediate: Power Issue

Troubleshooting Example 3–Advanced: Wireless Issue

PC Tools

More Troubleshooting Tidbits

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Chapter 2 Motherboards

Motherboard Components and Form Factors

Motherboard Components

Form Factors

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The BIOS/UEFI

BIOS, CMOS, and the Lithium Battery

The POST

Accessing and Configuring the BIOS

Flashing the BIOS

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Installing and Troubleshooting Motherboards

Installing Motherboards

Troubleshooting Motherboards

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Chapter 3 The CPU

CPU 101

CPU Technology

Cooling

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Installing and Troubleshooting CPUs

Installing CPUs

Troubleshooting CPUs

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Chapter 4 RAM

RAM Basics and Types of RAM

RAM Basics

Types of RAM

RAM Technologies

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Installing and Troubleshooting DRAM

Installing DRAM

Troubleshooting DRAM

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Chapter 5 Power

Understanding and Testing Power

Testing an AC Outlet with a Receptacle Tester

Testing an AC Outlet with a Multimeter

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Power Devices

Power Strips

Surge Protectors

Uninterruptible Power Supplies

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Power Supplies

Planning Which Power Supply to Use

Installing the Power Supply

Troubleshooting Power Supply Issues

Heating and Cooling

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Chapter 6 Storage

Hard Drives

Hard Disk Drives

Solid-State Drives

SATA

Hard Drive Specifications

Installing Hard Drives

Preventative Maintenance and Troubleshooting Hard Drives

Network Attached Storage

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RAID

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Optical Storage Media

Compact Disc (CD)

Digital Versatile Disc (DVD)

Blu-ray

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Solid-State Storage Media

USB Flash Drives

Secure Digital Cards

CompactFlash Cards

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Chapter 7 Mobile Device Hardware

Installing, Configuring, and Troubleshooting Visible Laptop Components

Laptop 101

Input Devices

Video

Audio

Optical Drives

Fans

Power

Expansion Devices

Communications

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Installing, Configuring, and Troubleshooting Internal Laptop Components

Hard Drives

Memory

System Board and CPU

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Understanding Tablet and Smartphone Hardware

Mobile Hardware Examples

Hardware Differences Between Tablets/Smartphones and Laptops

Tablet/Smartphone Ports and Accessories

Other Types of Mobile Devices and Wearable Technology

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Chapter 8 Installing and Upgrading Windows

Installing and Upgrading to Windows 8

Windows 8 Editions

Windows 8 Minimum Requirements and Compatibility

Windows 8 Installation Methods

Upgrading to Windows 8

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Installing and Upgrading to Windows 7

Windows 7 Editions

Windows 7 Minimum Requirements and Compatibility

Windows 7 Installation Methods

Upgrading to Windows 7

Verifying and Troubleshooting Windows 7 Installations

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Installing Windows Vista

Windows Vista Editions

Windows Vista Minimum Requirements and Compatibility

Windows Vista Installation Methods

Verifying and Troubleshooting Windows Vista Installations

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Chapter 9 Configuring Windows

Windows User Interfaces

Windows Components

Windows Applications

Administrative Tools and the MMC

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System Tools and Utilities

Managing Devices

Operating System Optimization

User Migrations and Customizations

Advanced System Tools

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Files, File Systems, and Drives

Working with Files and File Systems

Managing Drives

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Chapter 10 Maintaining Windows

Updating Windows

Windows Update

Service Packs

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Maintaining Hard Drives

Hard Drive Utilities

Backups

Creating Restore Points

Shadow Copy

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Chapter 11 Troubleshooting Windows

Repair Environments and Boot Errors

Windows Recovery Environments

Boot Errors

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Windows Tools and Errors

Troubleshooting Within Windows

Stop Errors

Improper and Spontaneous Shutdowns

Additional Windows Errors and Error Reporting

Restoring Windows

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Command-Line Tools

Windows Command Prompt

Recovery Command Prompt

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Chapter 12 Video and Audio

The Video Subsystem

Video Cards

Video Displays

Video Settings and Software

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The Audio Subsystem

Sound Cards

Installing a Sound Card and Speakers

Troubleshooting Audio Problems

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Chapter 13 Peripherals and Custom Computing

Input/Output, Input Devices, and Peripherals

I/O Ports

Input, Output, and Hybrid Devices

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Custom PC Configurations

Audio/Video Editing Workstation

CAD/CAM Workstation

Virtualization Workstation

Thin Client

Standard Thick Client

Home Server PC

Home Theater PC (HTPC)

Gaming PC

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Chapter 14 Printers

Printer Types and Technologies

Types of Printers

Local Versus Network Printers

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Installing, Configuring, and Troubleshooting Printers

Printer Installation and Drivers

Configuring Printers

Virtual Printing

Troubleshooting Printers

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Chapter 15 Computer Networking Part I

Types of Networks, Network Devices, and Cloud Technology

Network Types

Network Devices

Cloud Technology and Server Roles

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Cables, Connectors, and Tools

Cable Types and Connectors

Cabling Tools

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TCP/IP

Configuring IPv4

IPv4 Classes and CIDR

Configuring IPv6

TCP/IP Protocols and Their Ports

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Chapter 16 Computer Networking Part II

SOHO and Windows Networking

Internet Services

Router Setup and Wireless

Windows Configurations

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Troubleshooting Networks

Command-Line Interface Tools

Troubleshooting Common Symptoms

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Chapter 17 Security

Security Threats and Prevention

Malicious Software

Preventing and Troubleshooting Malicious Software

Unauthorized Access

Social Engineering

Hard Drive Recycling and Disposal

Additional Attacks and Security Vulnerabilities

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Desktop Operating System Security

User Accounts

File Security

Encryption

Windows Firewall

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SOHO Security

Changing Default Passwords

Changing and Disabling the SSID

Configuring Wireless Encryption

Enabling MAC Filtering

Disabling WPS

Assigning Static IP Addresses

Disabling Physical Ports

A Final Word on SOHO Routers

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Chapter 18 Android, iOS, OS X, and Linux

Android and iOS Basics

Open-Source and Closed-Source Operating Systems

Obtaining Applications

Screen Configurations

Virtual Assistants

GPS and Geotracking

Microsoft Mobile Operating Systems

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Android/iOS Networking and Synchronization

Cellular Radio Technologies

Wi-Fi Network Connectivity

Wi-Fi Troubleshooting

Bluetooth Configuration

Bluetooth Troubleshooting

E-Mail Configurations

Troubleshooting E-mail Connections

Synchronizing Android and iOS-based Devices to a PC

Synchronizing Other Devices

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Android/iOS Security and Additional Troubleshooting

Stolen and Lost Devices

Compromised and Damaged Devices

Stopping Applications

Initiating Resets

Additional Mobile Device Troubleshooting

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OS X and Linux

OS X

Linux

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Chapter 19 Safety, Procedures, and Professionalism

Safety

Electrical Safety

Electrical Fire Safety

ESD

Physical Safety

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Procedures and Environmental Controls

Temperature, Humidity, and Air

EMI and RFI

MSDS and Disposal

Incident Response and Documentation

CompTIA A+ Troubleshooting Theory

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Professionalism and Communication Skills

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Chapter 20 Taking the Real Exams

Getting Ready and the Exam Preparation Checklist

Tips for Taking the Real Exam

General Practices for Taking Exams

Smart Methods for Difficult Questions

Wrapping Up the Exam

Beyond the CompTIA A+ Certification

Practice Exam 1 CompTIA A+ 220-901

Exam Questions

Answers at a Glance

Practice Exam 2 CompTIA A+ 220-902

Exam Questions

Answers at a Glance

Appendix A Real-World Scenarios

220-901 Scenarios

Scenario 1: Design a CAD Workstation Computer

Scenario 2: Select the Best Components for Three Computers

Scenario 3: Identify Video Ports

Scenario 4: Configure Wi-Fi on a SOHO Router

Scenario 5: Identify Various Wireless Ranges

Scenario 6: Identify IP Addresses

220-902 Scenarios

Scenario 7: Troubleshoot an IP Issue with Ipconfig

Scenario 8: Sharing and Mapping in the Command Prompt

Scenario 9: Troubleshooting a System with Msconfig

Scenario 10: Fixing a Computer That Won't Boot

DVD Only:

Appendix B: Additional Reading and Resources

Practice Exam 1 Answers

Practice Exam 2 Answers

Practice Exam 3

Practice Exam 4

Exam Alerts

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