CompTIA® A+ Hardware Exam Cram Notes : Ups, Laptops, Pc Components, Tools

A+ Core hardware Technologies-Exam cram

A+ Certification, awarded by CompTIA® organization is the most widely recognized certification in the area of PC hardware and software technologies. To attain A+ certification, one need to pass 2 exams, namely, A+ Core Hardware Technologies, and A+ Operating Systems Technologies. These exams basically test the skills in assembling a computer, troubleshooting, and the ability to work with various operating systems. Linux is not included in the A+ Certification Operating Systems exam, as it has an exam of its own (Linux+ Certification), offered by CompTIA. The exam cram offers several final preparation points for candidates intending to appear for the A+ test. Latest objectives are available from website.

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41. Terminate and Stay Resident programs, as the name suggest, stay inactive in the memory area of the computer. An example of a TSR is Screen saver program. To view, which programs are consuming how much memory area, MEM command can be issued with switch "C".

42. If you notice that the time is constantly incorrect, even after adjusting correctly, the most likely cause is that the CMOS battery has become weak and need to be replaced.

43. When you have two hard disk drives, the following two combinations are possible:

  • Install the drives one each on primary and secondary controllers and designate both as Masters.
  • Install both the drives on the primary controller and designate one as Master and the other as Slave.

44. Cleaning of PC components - tools used:

Recommended cleaning procedures for various components are as below:

  • Computer Cabinet: Use Mild detergent
  • Dust inside the computer: Use Compressed air
  • Tape drive: Use tape drive cleaning catridge
  • Floppy drive: Use Floppy drive cleaning kit
  • CD ROM drive: Use CD-ROM drive cleaning kit
  • Mouse: Use cotton swab with Isopropyl Alcohol.

IsoPropyl Alcohol is recommended for cleaning PCAs such as motherboards. Mild detergent can be used for cleaning the outside cabinet or the keyboard.

45. Laptop computers:

Nickel Cadmium battery is not environmentally friendly and not as efficient as Nickel / Metalhydride or Lithium Ion. Nickel / Metal hydride, though environmentally friendly, not as efficient as Lithium Ion. Lithium Ion battery is environmentally friendly and very efficient.

Passive matrix displays are most commonly used and cheaper than Active matrix displays. Also, passive matrix displays consume less power. However, the advantages of active matrix display are that they can handle faster screen image transition, and display is clearly viewable, even from slant angles.

Laptops most widely use PCMCIA cards, also referred to as PC cards.

46. Handheld PCs are also referred to as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).

47. Batteries, and chemical solvents contain environmentally hazardous chemicals and therefore, should not be disposed through dustbin. Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions or the relevant State guidelines.

48. Given below are important bus types and their characteristics:

Bus Type Data bus width Speed Bandwidth Comments
ISA 16-bit 8.3MHz 15.9MBPS Use jumpers to configure
EISA 32-bit 8.3MHz 31.8MBPS Backward compatible with ISA, uses software/ jumpers for configuration
VESA or VL bus 32-bit 33MHz 127.2MBPS Backward compatible with ISA cards
PCI 32-bit 33MHz 127.2MBPS Supports Plug and Play
64-bit PCI 64-bit 66MHz 508.6MBPS Supports Plug and Play
PCMCIA 32-bit 33MHz Used in laptops, also know as PC card
AGP 32-bit Speed of Processor Used in video cards

49.Printers and cables:

InkJet is the generic name given for contactless printing using ink.

The centronics cable, used for parallel printing will have a male DB-25 connector at one end and a female 36 pin connector at the other end.

Friction feed is most commonly used with laser printers, and Inkjet printers.


10BaseT Ethernet complies to IEEE standard 802.3 and requires an RJ-45 connector to connect to the NIC. The maximum specified transmission speed for 10BaseT Ethernet is 10Mbps. For 100BaseT, it is 100Mbps.

Ethernet is based on CSMA/CD, which stands for Carrier Sense Multiple Access / Collision Detect.

CAT3, CAT4 or, CAT5 cabling is used with 10BaseT Ethernet. Thin coax is used with 10Base2 Ethernet. Thick coax is used with 10Base5 Ethernet. FDDI uses Optic Fiber as the medium.

10Base2 network, also known as Thin-net, uses BNC connector to connect to the NIC.

A repeater can extend the distance over which the signal can travel without loosing out due to attenuation.

The maximum length of the cable for 10BaseT Ethernet segment is 100 meters.

Thin co-axial and thick co-axial cables have conductive grounding sheath surrounding the center conductor. Therefore, the electromagnetic interference (EMI) is significantly less.

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