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IT Essentials I: PC Hardware and Software Companion Guide (Cisco Networking Academy Program)

by: Cisci Systems

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On-line Price: $75.95 (includes GST)

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Retail Price: $94.95

Publisher: CISCO PRESS,02/08/2004

Category: Cisco Level:

ISBN: 1587131366
ISBN13: 9781587131363

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For use within the Cisco Networking Academy Program IT Essentials I: PC Hardware and software course, version 3.X. The course introduce students to information technology and data communications. The students will develop the necessary skills to enter this field by building a computer, installing the operating system, adding peripherals, and connecting the computer to a local-area network and to the Internet. This is a hands-on, lab-oriented course that stresses laboratory safety and working effectively in a group environment.

The Companion Guide is a convenient, portable desk reference that provides the student with the knowledge and understanding of general IT knowledge within the hardware environment and how to maintain a personal computer. The Companion Guide will help prepare students for the recently revised (late 2003) CompTIA A+ certification examination. The following topics are covered in the book to help in preparation: installation, configuration, upgrading, diagnosing and troubleshooting, safety and preventive maintenance, motherboard/processors/memory, printers, portable systems, basic networking, and customer satisfaction.

The Companion Guide complements the online course and emphasizes the students knowledge through chapter objectives, end-of-chapter questions, and key terms.

The accompanying CD-ROM includes instructional videos, animations, simulation, and lab activities to practice for the CompTIA A+ certification exam as well as to gain additional hands-on experience.

Features and Benefits


  * Convenient, portable desk reference that is available anytime, anywhere- The book complements the online course and can be used outside the classroom environment and when the online course is not available to the student.


                  Benefit: Students can study and further the learning beyond the classroom and lab environment.

  * CD-ROM- Interactive media activities are included on a CD-ROM to complement the Companion Guide. The CD-ROM includes practice test questions for the CompTIA A+ certification exam, PhotoZooms and e-Lab Activities for further reinforcement.


                  Additional learning aid, interactive in nature, to build upon the classroom and web-based learning experience providing the student with additional hands-on electronic activities.

  * Only Cisco-Approved Study Materials for the Networking Academy Course-Cisco Press is the only publisher endorsed and recommended by Cisco Systems.


                  This provides the instructor and the student with the confidence that the same individuals who developed the web-based curriculum have reviewed and recommended the text from Cisco Press.

  * Chapter Objectives and Pedagogy- Each chapter begins with clearly defined objectives. Definitions, descriptions, examples and graphical presentations supports these objectives throughout the chapter.


                  Provides the instructor and the student with an outline of the chapter focus and pedagogy features throughout the chapter to aid in classroom student learning, retention and understanding.

  * Chapter Structure Designed to Reinforce Concepts- Chapter summaries, review questions, and answers included within each chapter.


                  Designed to reinforce concepts and help the student evaluate their understanding before moving on to new material. Answers to review questions are found in the appendixes, along with a glossary of key terms used throughout the text.

Table of Contents


1. Information Technology Basics.

  Getting Started in IT.

  Computer Systems and Programs.

  Computer Types.

  Connecting Computer Systems.

  Birth of the Internet.

  The Cost of Technology.

  Windows Desktop Environment.

  Starting, Shutting Down, and Restarting Microsoft Windows.

  Using Windows Explorer.

  Navigating the Desktop.

  Working with Icons.

  Recognizing an Application Window.

  Resizing a Desktop Window.

  Switching Between Windows.

  Basic Features of Windows.

  Viewing the Basic System Information of a Computer.

  Setting the Clock and Date.

  Minimizing, Maximizing, and Exiting.

  Adjusting the Screen Display.

  Working with Desktop Settings.

  Adjusting Audio Volume.

  Using the Start Menu Options.

  Understanding the Recycle Bin.

  Overview of Software Applications.

  Word Processors.



  Graphics Applications.

  Presentation Applications.

  Web Browsers and E-Mail.

  Math for a Digital Age.

  Measurement-Related Terminology.

  Analog and Digital Systems.

  Boolean Logic Gates.

  Decimal and Binary Number Systems.

  Decimal-to-Binary Conversion.

  BASE16 (Hexadecimal) Number System.

  Binary-to-Hexadecimal Conversion.

  Hexadecimal-to-Binary Conversion.

  Converting to Any Base.

  Introduction to Algorithms.

  Laboratory Safety and Tools.

  Basic Lab Safety Principles.

  Workspace Practices That Help Reduce ESD Potential.

  Tools of the Trade.

  Workspace Cleaning Supplies.

  Workplace Testing Equipment.

  Lab Safety Agreement.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

2. How Computers Work.

  Computer Operations.

  Input, Processing, Output, and Storage.

  The Boot Process.

  Initializing the System Hardware.

  Loading the Operating System.

  Running the Boot Sequence.

  Hardware Components.

  Computer Cases.

  Power Supplies.

  Cooling Systems.

  The Motherboard.



  Expansion Slots.

  Riser Cards.

  Bus Types.

  Memory Components.


  SIMMs and DIMMs.

  Cache/COASt Memory.

  Display Components.

  Monitors/Display Devices.

  Video Cards.

  Connector Components.

  Serial and Parallel Ports.

  PS/2 (6-Pin Mini-DIN) Ports and 5-Pin DIN Ports.

  Universal Serial Bus Ports and FireWire Buses.

  IDE, EIDE, Ultra, and SCSI Controllers.

  SCSI Disk Types.

  Storage Components.

  Floppy Drive.

  Hard Drive.

  CD-ROM Drive.

  DVD Formats and Drives.

  Backup Hardware.

  Network Components.


  Network Interface Cards.

  System Resources.

  What Are System Resources?

  Interrupt Requests.

  Direct Memory Access.

  Input/Output Addresses.

  Portable Devices.

  Notebook Computers.

  Portable Hardware.

  PCMCIA Cards.

  Portable Computer Displays.

  Docking Stations.

  Upgrading and Troubleshooting Notebooks.

  Infrared Devices.

  Wireless Access Points.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

3. Assembling a Computer.

    Overview of the Assembly Process and Safety Issues.

  Overview of General Safety Issues.

  ESD Precautions.

  Process Demonstration.

  Creating a Computer Inventory.

  Importance of an Inventory.

  Inventory Checklist.

  Computer Case and Power Supply.

  Computer Cases and System Units.



  Power Supplies.

  Preparing the Motherboard for Installation.

  Motherboard Location Map.

  Motherboard Configuration.

  Motherboard Jumpers.

  Installing the CPU.

    Installing the Heat Sink and Fan.

  Installing RAM.

  Installing the Motherboard.

  Installing the Motherboard into the Case.

  Attaching the LEDs, Keylock, and Speaker.

  Connecting the Power Supply Cables to the Motherboard.

  Installing the Floppy Drive, Hard Drive, CD-ROM Drive, and DVD Drive.

  Attaching the Floppy Drive to the Case.

  Attaching the Hard Drive and CD-ROM Drive to the Case.

  Connecting the Floppy Drive, Hard Drive, CD-ROM Drive, and DVD Drive to the System.

  Connecting the Power Cables to the Floppy Drive, Hard Drive, and CD-ROM Drive.

  Video Card Installation.

  Final Steps.

  Fitting the Case Together.

  Connecting the Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, and Power Cord.

  Booting the System for the First Time.

  What Is the BIOS?

  Entering the BIOS Configuration.

  Standard CMOS Setup Screen.

  BIOS Features and Chipset Features Setup Screens.

  Power Management and Plug and Play Screens.

  Integrated Peripherals and Hard Disk Detection Screens.

    Password Screens and the Load Setup Defaults Screen.

  BIOS Exit Options.

  Startup Sequence.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

4. Operating System Fundamentals.

  Operating System.

  Components of an Operating System.

  Operating System Functions.

  Operating System Types: Basic Terminology.

  Disk Operating System (DOS).

  What Is DOS, and Why Learn About It?

  Understanding the DOS File Structure.

  Learning the Basic DOS Commands.

  Creating a DOS Boot Disk.

  Booting the System with a DOS Disk.

  Understanding DOS Configuration Files.

  Editing System Configuration Files: SYSEDIT.EXE.

  Memory Management.

  Memory Types.

  Memory-Management Tools: Adjusting and Optimizing System Memory.

  Other Types of Memory.

  Memory Conflicts: General Protection Faults.

  Real- Versus Protected-Mode Memory Addressing.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

5. Windows 9x Operating Systems.

  Windows 9x File Structure and File-Management System.

  Naming Files in Windows.

  Understanding Directories and Folders.

  Using a Text-Editing Application to Create a File (Document).

  Copying, Moving, and Creating Shortcuts.

  Viewing Document Details.

  Recognizing File Types in Windows.

  Selecting, Copying, and Moving Files.

  Searching for a File, Folder, or Directory.

  Making Backup Copies of Files on a Floppy Disk.

  Using the Recycle Bin.

  Windows Management with the Control Panel.

  Using the System Properties Applet.

  Using a Printer.

  Adding and Removing Programs.

  Adding Hardware.

  Adjusting the Display and Sounds.

  System Tools.

  Understanding the Registry.


  Understanding MSCONFIG, the Startup Menu, and Safe Mode.


  Preparing a Hard Drive for Operating System Installation.

  Partitioning a Hard Drive.

  Formatting a Hard Drive.

  Installing Windows 9x.

  Windows 9x Versions Overview.

  Requirements for Installing Windows 98.

  Steps of a Windows 98 Installation.

  Windows 98 Setup Options.

  Upgrade Installation.

  Troubleshooting the Installation Process.

  Using Systematic Troubleshooting Techniques and Finding Help.

  Understanding Windows 98 Setup Errors.

  Using the System Properties Window.

  Adding Software Drivers.

  Making a Windows Startup Disk.

  Uninstalling Windows 98.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

6. Windows NT/2000 Operating Systems.

  Windows 9x Contrasts.

  NTFS Versus FAT.

  Security and Permissions.

  Windows 2000 Boot Process.

  Plug and Play Drivers.

  System Tools.

  Administrative Tools.

  Windows 2000 Registry.

  Startup Menu and Safe Mode.

  The ERD and Recovery Console for Windows 2000.

  Overview of the Installation Process.

  Differences Between the Windows 2000 and 9x Installation.

  Hardware Requirements.

  Windows 2000 Features.

  Installing Windows 2000.

  Requirements for Installing Windows 2000.

  Steps of a Windows 2000 Installation.

  Windows 2000 Setup Options.

  Special Installations.

  Upgrading from Windows NT Workstation 4 to Windows 2000.

  Replacing Windows 9x with Windows 2000.

  Dual-Booting Windows 9x/Windows NT 4 and Windows 2000.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

7. Windows XP Operating System.

  Windows XP Versions.

  Windows XP Home Edition.

  Windows XP Professional Edition.

  Windows XP Professional 64-Bit Edition.

  Windows XP Media Center Edition.

  Overview of the Installation Process.

  Differences Between the Installation of Windows 2000/9x and Windows XP.

  Windows XP Hardware Requirements.

  Windows XP Features.

  Installing the Windows XP Operating System.

  Requirements for Installing Windows XP.

  Understanding the Steps of a Windows XP Installation.

  Windows XP Setup Options.

  Special Installations.

  Upgrading Windows NT Workstation 4/2000 to Windows XP.

  Upgrading Windows 98 to Windows XP.

  Dual-Booting Windows 9x, NT 4, 2000, and XP.

  Windows XP and Windows NT/2000/Me/9x Contrasts.

  Keeping User Files Private.

  Simple File Sharing Versus Windows 2000 Sharing.

  Internet Enhancements.

  System Properties.

  Graphical User Interface.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

8. Multimedia Capabilities.

  Introduction to Multimedia.

  Basic Hardware Required for Multimedia Upgrades.

  The Video Adapter.

  Computer Displays.

  Sound Cards and Speaker Systems.

  Common Media File Formats Used in Multimedia Applications.

  MPEG Hardware Versus Software.

  Upgrading Video with a Video Acceleration Board.

  Reviewing PCI and AGP Types.

  Understanding All-in-One Cards.

  Installing and Configuring the Video Card Driver and Software.

  Understanding RAMDAC and Video Memory.

  Flashing the Video Board with BIOS Updates.

  Adding Audio Capabilities with a Sound Card.

  Understanding Sound Card Operation.

  Working with USB, PCI, and Built-In Sound.

  Removing or Disabling Outdated Sound Cards.

  Installing Sound Cards.

  Connecting a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM Drive to the Sound Card.

  Installing the Sound Card Driver and Software.

  Connecting MIDI and External Audio Sources.

  Overview of CDs and DVDs Compact Discs.

  CD-R and CD-RW Media.

  Digital Audio Extraction.

  DVD Drives.

  DVD Recording.

  CD Recording Formats.

  DVD Layering and Formats.

  Digitizing Video.

  Digital Cameras and Video Cameras.

  Hardware and Software Video Capture.

  Installing and Configuring a Video Capture Board.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

9. Advanced Hardware Fundamentals for Servers.

  Network Server Overview.

  Network Servers.


  RAID Controllers.

  Hardware RAID Versus Software RAID.

  Hardware-Based RAID Configurations.

  Configuring External Peripherals.

  Overview of External Disk Subsystems.

  Configuring an External Disk Subsystem.

  Configuring an External CD-ROM System.

    Adding Hardware to a Server.

  Replacing a Single Processor with a Faster Processor.

  Installing Additional Processors.

  Upgrading the Operating System for Multiple Processors.

  Adding Hard Drives.

  Adding Memory.

  Upgrading Server Components.

  Upgrading Adapter Memory.

  Upgrading Adapter BIOS or Firmware.

  Replacing an Adapter.

  Upgrading Peripheral Devices.

  Upgrading System-Monitoring Agents.

  Upgrading Service Tools.

  Documenting the Configuration.


    Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

10. Networking Fundamentals.

  Introduction to PC Networking.

  Computer Networks.

  File, Print, and Application Services.

  Mail Services.

  Directory and Name Services.

  The Internet.

  Network Administration.

  Simplex, Half-Duplex, and Full-Duplex Transmission.

  Types of Networks.

  Peer-to-Peer Networks.

  Client/Server Networks.

  Local-Area Networks.

  Wide-Area Networks.

  Adding a Network Interface Card.

  Defining a Network Interface Card.

  Setting the IP Address.

  DHCP Servers.

  Default Gateways.

  Domain Name System.

  Physical Components of a Network.

  Network Topologies.

  Physical Versus Logical Topologies.

  Networking Media.

  Common Networking Devices.

  Server Components.

  LAN Architectures.


  Token Ring.

  Fiber Distributed Data Interface.

  Networking Protocols and the OSI Model.

  OSI Model Overview.

  Defining a Protocol.

  Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP).

  Internetwork Packet Exchange/Sequenced Packet Exchange.



  TCP/IP Utilities.

  Packet Internet Groper.






  Ipconfig, Winipcfg, Config, and Ifconfig.

  Tracert, Iptrace, and Traceroute.

  Connecting to the Internet.

  Synchronous and Asynchronous Serial Lines.


  Dial-Up Networking, Modem Standards, and AT Commands.

  ISPs and Internet Backbone Providers.

  Digital Subscriber Lines.

  Cable Modems.

  Cable Modems Versus DSL Internet Technologies.

  ISDN Connections.

  Satellite Dishes.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

11. Printers and Sharing.

  Understanding Printers and Printing.

  Printer Overview.

  Understanding Dot Matrix Printer Operation.

  Understanding Ink Jet Printer Operation.

  Understanding Laser Printer Operation.

  Buying a Printer.

  Print Capacity and Speed.

  Print Quality and Resolution.

  Printer Reliability.

  Cost of Ownership.

  Laser Versus Ink Jet Printers.

  Connecting a Printer.

  Using Serial, Parallel, SCSI, USB, FireWire, Network, and Infrared Communication Types.

  Understanding Page Description Languages.

  Installing and Updating Printer Drivers.

  Installing and Replacing Ink and Toner.

  Installing and Adjusting Print Media.

  Installing Additional Printer Memory.

  Adding a Local Printer.

  Printing a Test Page.

  Sharing a Printer.

  Host-Based Printing Technology.

  Printer Switches.

  Built-In Printer Fonts and Font Cards.

  Configuring Printer Sharing.

  Adding a Network Printer.

  Installing Print Services.

  The Network Print Server.

  Printer Network Interface Cards.

  Managing a Printer.

  Using the Printer Queue to Manage Print Jobs.

  Setting Print Times for Large or Less Important Documents.

  Selecting a Default Printer.

  Configuring Individual Printer Options.

  Using Printer Accessories.

  Dealing with Paper Problems.

  Obstructions in the Paper Path.

  Stripped and Broken Drive Gears.

  Stepper Motor Problems.

  Defective Registration Roller and Other Feed Rollers.

  Wrong Type of Paper.

  High Humidity.

  Paper Dusting.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

12. Preventive Maintenance.

  Preventive Maintenance and the Technician.

  Elements of a Preventive Maintenance Program.

  Tools and Equipment.

  Environmental Guidelines.

  Environmental Guidelines for a Server Room.

  Proper Disposal of Hazardous Materials.

  Using Material Safety Data Sheets.

  Preventive Maintenance and Electrostatic Discharge.

  Electrostatic Discharge Overview.

  Antistatic Bags.

  Grounding Wrist Straps.

  Compressed Air.

  Grounded Workbench.

  Preventive Maintenance for Computer Peripherals.






  Computer Software for Preventive Maintenance.

  Software Utilities.

  User Responsibilities.

  Antivirus Applications.


  Preventive Maintenance and Power Issues.

  Power Issues.

  Surge Suppressors and Power Supplies.

  UPS in a Server Environment.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

13. Troubleshooting PC Hardware.

  Troubleshooting Basics.

  Troubleshooting Overview.

  Troubleshooting Steps.

  Troubleshooting Tools.

  Diagnostic Software.

  Disposal Actions.

  Troubleshooting the Hardware Box.

  Overview of Field-Replaceable Units.

  POST Errors.

  CMOS/BIOS Errors.

  Motherboard-Related Errors.



  Cable Issues.


  The Video System.

  Secondary Storage Devices.

  Sound Cards.

  Power Supply Issues.

  Box Cooling Issues.

  Troubleshooting Peripheral Devices.

  Input Devices.

  Output Devices.

  SCSI Interface Issues.

  Internet/Network-Access Devices.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

14. Troubleshooting Software.

  Troubleshooting Process.

  Overview of the Troubleshooting Process.

  Gathering User Information.

  Reproducing Error Symptoms.

  Identifying Recent Software Changes.

  Determining Whether a Problem Is Hardware or Software Related.

  Fixing the Software.

  DOS Troubleshooting Issues.

  System Boot Problems.

  DOS Error Messages.

  Invalid Directory Errors.

  Common Windows Operating System Problems.

  Troubleshooting Setup (Installation) Problems: Review.

  Troubleshooting Startup (Booting) Problems.

  Understanding Windows Memory Usage Problems.

  Troubleshooting Windows Missing/Corrupt .DLL or .VxD Files.

  Troubleshooting System Lockup Errors.

  Troubleshooting Shutdown Problems.

  Troubleshooting Windows 9x.

  Upgrade Issues.

  Error Codes and Startup Messages.

  Windows 9x Startup Modes.

  Windows 9x Error Log Files.

  Windows Virtual Memory Errors.

  Using System Tools and System Editors to Troubleshoot Windows 9x/2000.

  Using System Tools.

  Using the Device Manager to Troubleshoot.

  Using the System Editors.

  Windows 9x/2000 Registry Problems.

  Understanding the Registry Files.

  Understanding the Registry Structure.

  Editing the Registry.

  Cleaning the Registry.

  Troubleshooting Windows NT 4/2000.

  Windows NT/2000 Installation Problems: Review.

  Windows NT/2000 Upgrade Issues.

  Windows NT Startup Modes.

  Windows 2000 Startup Modes.

  Windows 2000 Recovery Console.

  Troubleshooting Windows XP.

  Windows XP Installation Problems.

  Windows XP Upgrade Issues.

  Windows XP Startup Modes.

  Windows XP Recovery Console.

  Troubleshooting Applications.

  Troubleshooting DOS Applications.

  Troubleshooting NT/2000 Applications.

  Windows Data Backup and Recovery.

  Windows Registry Backup and Recovery Tools.

  Windows Data and Application Backup and Recovery Tools.

  Types of Data Backup Procedures.

  Windows-Specific Printer Software Problem Troubleshooting.

  Print Spoolers.

  Printer Queues.

  Incorrect/Incompatible Printer Drivers.

  Windows-Specific Networking Software Connection .


  Error Messages.

  Incorrect Parameter Settings/Switches.

  Incorrect Protocols or Protocol Properties.

  Incorrect Client or Client Properties.

  Missing or Incorrect Bindings.

  Incorrect Service Selection.

  Incorrect Primary Network Logon Settings.

  Incorrect Computer Name or Workgroup Name.

  Network Troubleshooting Software Utilities.

  Windows 9x, NT, 2000, and XP Help.

  Help and Troubleshooting Files.

  Troubleshooting and Information Resources.


  Key Terms.

  Check Your Understanding.

About the Authors


p>Cisco Press is a collaboration between Cisco Systems, Inc., and Pearson Education that is charged with developing high-quality, cutting-edge educational and reference products for the networking industry. The products in the Cisco Networking Academy Program series are designed to prepare students for careers in the exciting networking field. These products have proven to be strong supplements to the web-based curriculum and are the only print companions that have been reviewed and endorsed by Cisco Systems for Cisco Networking Academy Program use.