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
practice tests from SimulationExams.com
Exam cram notes:
1. Some important acronyms:
- ISA is an acronym for Industry Standard Architecture,
- EISA is a acronym for Extended Industry Standard
- PCI is an acronym for Peripheral Component Interconnect,
- MCA stands for Micro Channel Architecture.
- CPU stands for Central Processing Unit.
- SCSI stands for Small Computers Systems Interface.
It is pronounced as Skuzzy.
- DIMM stands for Dual-Inline Memory Module
- SIMM stands for Single-Inline Memory Module
- SRAM - Static random access memory - Uses transistors
to store information
- DRAM - Dynamic random access memory - Need to
be refreshed to retain data.
- ROM - Read only memory - Data in ROM can not
be erased or changed
- PROM - Programmable ROM - Once programmed, data
can't be erased or changed
- EPROM - Erasable PROM - Data can be erased by
ultraviolet light and can be reprogrammed using
- EEPROM - Electronically erasable PROM - Data
can be erased electrically. Chip can then be reprogrammed.
EEPROMs are frequently used to store BIOS.
2. RAM stands for Random Access Memory. There are
basically two types of RAM:
- DRAM - Dynamic RAM, and
- SRAM - Static RAM.
SRAM, being expensive, usually used for Cache memory.
DRAM, being cheaper, is used for main memory.
3. PC Memory cards:
- A SIMM has a single row of 72 contact fingers, each
making contact on both sides (Same pin number present
on both sides of the card). An older version of SIMM
card contain 30pins, and were used in 386 and some 486
- A DIMM (Dual-Inline Memory Module)has two rows of
connecting fingers, one row on each side, and the total
number of contacts are 168 contacts.
4. Monitor Connectors:
- If you are using a Monochrome / CGA/ EGA monitor,
it is a digital monitor and will have a DB-9 Male connector
that plugs into a digital adapter.
- If you are using a VGA/ SVGA monitor, it will have
a male DB-15 connector that plugs into an analog adapter.
You should never interchange an analog monitor to that
of a digital adapter and vice versa, or severe damage
may take place.
5. The storage capacity of various types of floppy:
5 1/4" ---DSHD----1.2MB
3 1/2" ---DSDD----720KB
3 1/2" ---DSHD----1.44MB
3 1/2" ---DSED----2.88MB
DSDD: Double Sided Double Density
DSHD: Double Sided High Density
DSED:Double Sided Extra Density
6. Processor package types:
- 8088, 8086 processors used 40 pin DIPs. 80286,80386,
80486, and some Pentium computers (60MHz, 66MHz) used
PGA (Pin Grid Array).
- Pentium chips (75 MHz and above) used SPGA (Staggered
PGA). Pentium II CPUs use catridge type mounting method,
7. Video types:
The table below compares various video types:
||Max. Color depth
||640X350 (Graphics Mode)
||640X480 (Graphics Mode)
||16 Million Colors
||1280X1024 or even more
8. When you are changing a video monitor on a PC (say,
during troubleshooting): When you are installing a different
SVGA monitor, it is likely that the new monitor has the
same capabilities as the old one. As a result, the image
on the screen may not be readable. In such instances, change
the video resolution to Standard VGA before installing the
new monitor. You can change the resolution appropriately
after the image on the screen is readable with the new monitor.
It may also be necessary to load appropriate device driver,
if you are installing a different display adapter.
9. FAT file system: Under FAT file system, the maximum
size of a cluster is 32 KB and the maximum number of clusters
is 65536. Therefore, the maximum size of a partitions is
the number of clusters multiplied by the max size of the
cluster, which is equivalent to 2 GB. Remember that 1 KB
= 1024 bytes.
10. Real Time Clock: The Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor
(CMOS) allows the computer to store the Real Time Clock
(RTC)and other device information even after the computer
is switched off and on. This is achieved by using a battery
back, just for CMOS.
Comptia A+ certification exams
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