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Training: Computer Training Course Outline: A+ Certification



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Course Outline: A+ Certification
A+ DOS/Windows Module:

Operating System Fundamentals.

System Configuration and User Interface files

Identify the operating system's functions, structure and major system files to navigate the operating system and how to get to needed technical information


Memory Management: This section covers the types of memory used by DOS and Windows, and the potential for memory address conflicts.

Differentiate between types of memory.

  • Conventional, Extended/upper memory
  • High memory, Expanded memory, Virtual memory
  • EMM386.EXE

Windows 9x

Windows 2000
  • Computer Management

Command Prompt Procedure


Identify basic concepts and procedures for creating, viewing and managing files, directories and disk.  This includes procedures for changing file attributes and the ramifications of those changes.

  • File attributes-Read Only, Hidden, System and Archive 
  • File naming conventions
  • Windows 2000 COMPRESS, ENCRYPT
  • Internal/External
  • Backup/Restore
  • Partitioning/Formatting/File System

Windows based utilities

  • ScanDisk, Device manager, System Manager
  • Computer Manager


Installation, Configuration and Upgrading
Identify the  procedures for installing Windows 9x and Windows 2000 for bringing the software to a basic operational level.
  • Start Up, Partition, Format drive
  • Loading drivers, Run appropriate set up utility

Identify steps to perform an operating system upgrade.

  • Upgrading Winds 95 to 98, Windows NT workstation 4.0 to 2000
  • Replacing Winds 9x/NT 4.0  with Windows 2000

Identify the basic system boot sequences and boot methods including the steps to create an emergency boot disk with utilities installed for Window 9x.

  • Startup disk, Safe Mode, MS-DOS mode, NTLDR, BOOT.INI, Files required to boot, Creating emergency repair disk
Diagnosing and Troubleshooting
Recognize and interpret the meaning of common error codes and startups messages from the boot sequence and identify steps to correct the problems
  • Safe mode, NO operating system found
  • Error in CONFIG.SYS line XX
  • Bad or missing COMMAND.COM
  • HIMEM.SYS not loaded, SCSI
  • Swap file, NT boot issues,Dr. Watson
  • Failure to start GUI
  • Windows Protection Error
  • Event Viewer

Recognize common problems and determine how to resolve them

  • Eliciting problem symptoms from customers, Having customer reproduce error as part of the diagnostic process
  • Identifying recent changes to the computer environment from the user.
  • Troubleshooting Windows-specific printing problems

Other Common Problems

  • General Protection Faults
  • Illegal Operation
  • Invalid working directory
  • System lock up
  • Option
  • Application will not start or load
  • System lock up, TSR (Terminate Stay Resident)
  • Option, Network connection
  • Virus and virus types

Networks: This section covers the required knowledge of network capabilities of DOS and Windows, and how to connect to networks, including what the Internet is about, its capabilities, basic concepts relating to Internet access and generic procedures for system setup.

Identify the networking capabilities of Windows including procedures for connecting to the network

Content may include the following:

  • Protocols
  • Sharing disk drives, Sharing print and file services
  • Network type and network card
  • Installing and Configuring browsers, Configure OS for network connection

Identify concepts and capabilites relating to the Internet and basic procedures for setting upa system for Internet access

  • ISP,TCP/IP, IPX/SPS, NetBEUI, Email, PING.EXE, HTML, HTTP, FTP, domain Names, Dial up networking, TRACERT.EXE

A+ Core Module:
Installation, Configuration and Upgrading: This requires the knowledge and skills to identify, install, configure and upgrade microcomputer modules and peripherals, following established basic procedures for system assembly and disassembly of field replaceable modules.  

Identify basic terms, concepts and functions of system modules, including how each module should work during normal operation and during the boot process

  • System board, Power supply, Processor/CPU, Memory Storage devices, Monitor, Modem, Firmware
  • BIOS, CMOS, LCD, Ports, PDA

Identify basic procedures for adding and removing filed replaceable modules for both desktop and portable systems

Examples of modules:

  • System board, storage device, Power Supply, Processor/CPU
  • Memory, Input devices, Hard drive, Keyboard, Video board, Mouse, Netowkr interface Card (NIC)

Portable System components

  • AC adapters
  • DC controllers
  • LCD panel
  • PC card
  • Pointing devices

Identify available IRQs, DMAs and I/O Addresses and procedures for configuring them for device installation and configuration

  • IRQ Settings, Modems
  • Floppy drive controllers, Hard drive controllers
  • USB port
  • Infrared ports
  • Hexadecimal/addresse

Identify common peripeheral ports, associated cabling and their connectors

  • Cable types
  • Calbe orientation
  • Serial versus parallel
  • Pin connections

Examples of types of connectors

  • DB-9, DB-25, RJ-11, RJ-45
  • BNC, PS2/MINI-DIN, USB,  IEEE-1394

Identify proper procedures for installing and configuring IDE/EIDE devices

  • Master/Slave
  • Devices per channel
  • Primary/Secondary

Identify proper procedures for installing and configuring SCSI devices

  • Address/Termination conflicts
  • Cabling, Types, Internal versus external, Jumper block settings

Identify proper procedures for installing and configuring peripheral devices.

  • Monitor/video Card, Modem
  • USB peripherals and hubs
  • IEEE-1284, IEEE-1394
  • External storage


  • Docking stations
  • PC Cards
  • Port replicators
  • Infrared devices

Identify hardware methods of upgrading sytem performance, procedures for replacing basic subsystem components, unique components and when to use them

  • Memory, Hard Drives, CPU, Upgrading BIOS
  • When to upgrade BIOS
Diagnosing and troubleshooting: This section covers the required knowledge relating to diagnosing and troubleshooting common module problems and system malfunctions. This includes knowledge of the symptoms relating to common problems.

Identify common symptoms and problems associated with each module and how to troubleshoot and isolate the problems.

  • Processor/Memory symptoms
  • Mouse, Floppy drive failures, Parallel ports
  • Hard Drives, Sound Card/Audio, Monitor/Video
  • Motherboards
  • Modems, BIOS, CMOS
  • Power supply, Slot covers
  • POST audible/visual error codes
  • Troubleshooting tools, e.g., multimeter
Identify basic troubleshooting procedures and good practices for eliciting problem symptoms from customers.
  • Troubleshooting/isolation/problem determination procedures
  • Determine whether hardware or software problem
  • Gather information from user regarding, e.g., multimeter
  • Customer Environment, Symptoms/Error Codes
  • Situation when the problem occurred
Safety and Preventive Maintenance: This section covers safety and preventive maintenance. With regard to safety, it includes the potential hazards to personnel and equipment when working with lasers, high voltage equipment, ESD, and items that require special disposal procedures that comply with environmental guidelines. With regard to preventive maintenance, this includes knowledge of preventive maintenance products, procedures, environmental hazards, and precautions when working on microcomputer systems.
Identify the purpose of various types of preventive maintenance products and procedures and when to use/perform them.
  • Liquid cleaning compounds, Types of materials to clean contacts and connections
  • Vacuum out systems, power supplies, fans,
Identify procedures and devices for protecting against environmental hazards.
  • UPS (uninterruptible power supply) and suppressors
  • Determining the signs of power issues, Proper methods of storage of components for future use
Identify the potential hazards and proper safety procedures relating to lasers and high-voltage equipment.
  • Lasers, High-voltage equipment
  • Power supply, CRT
Identify items that require special disposal procedures that comply with environmental guidelines.
  • Batteries, CRTs, Toner kits/cartridges
  • Chemical solvents and cans, MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)
Identify ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) precautions and procedures, including the use of ESD protection devices.
  • What ESD can do, how it may be apparent, or hidden
  • Common ESD protection devices
  • Situations that could present a danger or hazard
Motherboard/Processors/Memory: This section covers terminology, facts, ways and means of dealing with classifications, categories and principles of motherboards, processors, and memory in microcomputer systems.
Distinguish between the popular CPU chips in terms of their basic characteristics.
  • Popular CPU chips, Characteristics:
  • Physical size, Voltage
  • Speeds, On board cache or not
  • Sockets, Number of pins
Identify the categories of RAM (Random Access Memory) terminology, their locations, and physical characteristics.
  • Terminology:
  • EDO RAM (Extended Data Output RAM)
  • DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory)
  • SRAM (Static RAM)
  • VRAM (Video RAM)
  • WRAM (Windows Accelerator Card RAM)
  • Locations and physical characteristics:
  • Memory bank
  • Memory chips (8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit)
  • SIMMS (Single In-line Memory Module)
  • DIMMS (Dual In-line Memory Module)
  • Parity chips versus non-parity chips
Identify the most popular type of motherboards, their components, and their architecture (for example, bus structures and power supplies).
  • Types of motherboards: AT (Full and Baby), ATX
  • Components: Communication ports, SIMM AND DIMM
  • Processor sockets
  • External cache memory (Level 2)
  • Bus Architecture, ISA, EISA, PCI, USB (Universal Serial Bus), VESA local bus (VL-Bus)
  • PC Card (PCMCIA), Basic compatibility guidelines
Identify the purpose of CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor), what it contains and how to change its basic parameters.
  • Printer parallel port, Uni., bi-directional, disable/enable, ECP, EPP
  • COM/serial port memory address, interrupt request, disable
  • Floppy drive enable/disable drive or boot, speed, density
  • Hard drive size and drive type
  • Memory parity, non-parity
  • Boot sequence
  • Date/Time, Passwords
Printers: This section covers basic types of printers, basic concepts, printer components, how they work, how they print onto a page, paper path, care and service techniques, and common problems.
Identify basic concepts, printer operations and printer components.
  • Types of Printers: Laser, Inkjet, Dot Matrix
  • Paper feeder mechanisms
Identify care and service techniques and common problems with primary printer types.
  • Feed and output, Errors
  • Paper jam, Print quality
  • Safety precautions , Preventive maintenance
Identify the types of printer connections and configurations.
  • Parallel, Serial
  • Network
Portable Systems: This section covers portable computers and their unique components and problems.
Identify the unique components of portable systems and their unique problems.
  • Battery, LCD, AC adapter, Docking stations
  • Hard Drive, Types I, II, III cards
  • Network cards
  • Memory
Basic Networking: This section covers basic network concepts and terminology, ability to determine whether a computer is networked, knowledge of procedures for swapping and configuring network interface cards, and knowledge of the ramifications of repairs when a computer is networked.
Identify basic networking concepts, including how a network works.
  • Network access, Protocol
  • Network Interface Cards, Full-duplex
  • Cabling, Twisted Pair, Coaxial, Fiber Optic
  • Ways to network a PC
Identify procedures for swapping and configuring network interface cards. Identify the ramifications of repairs on the network.
  • Reduced bandwidth, Loss of data
  • Network slowdown


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