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31 Days Before Your CompTIA A+ Exams

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31 Days Before Your CompTIA A+ Exams

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  • Copyright 2009
  • Edition: 1st
  • Premium Website
  • ISBN-10: 1-58713-231-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-1-58713-231-5

31 Days Before Your CompTIA A+ Exams

Ben Conry

A day-by-day review guide for the Cisco Networking Academy IT Essentials student

31 Days Before Your CompTIA A+ Exams is a preparation guide for all four A+ exams (2006 objectives) and maps to the IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software Version 4 course developed by the Cisco® Networking Academy®.

Not sure which specialty exam to take: Field Technician, Remote Technician, or Bench Technician? This book breaks down key exam topics into manageable bits of information to review and helps you decide which direction to take after passing the Essentials exam on Day 15.

Use this day-by-day guide to organize, prepare, and review all the CompTIA® A+ objectives. The features of the book empower you to fit exam preparation into an otherwise busy schedule:

  • Tear-out calendar summarizes each day’s study topics
  • Checklist highlights important tasks and deadlines leading up to your exam
  • Description of the CompTIA A+ exams and signup process includes instructions on how to use a Cisco Networking Academy course voucher
  • Strategies from the author help you to be mentally, organizationally, and physically prepared for exam day
  • Conversational tone makes your study time more enjoyable

Ben Conry has a master’s degree in instructional technology from Johns Hopkins University and currently holds CCNA®, CCAI, and A+ certifications. He is the lead instructor for Information Technology Essentials 1 in Baltimore County public schools, where he consistently guides disadvantaged students through their A+ certification. He has received awards and citations for his commitment to educational excellence and for preparing students for both college and the workforce.

Related Titles:

IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software

Companion Guide

ISBN: 978-1-58713-199-8

IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software

Labs and Study Guide

ISBN: 978-1-58713-198-1

This book is part of the Cisco Networking Academy Series from Cisco Press®. Books in this series support and complement the Cisco Networking Academy.

Sample Content

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Day 31 and Index)

Table of Contents

Part I: Days 31—15: Taking the Essentials Exam (2006)

Day 31: Hardware Concepts: Part 1 of 2

A+ Essentials Exam Objective

Key Points

Storage Devices

Interfaces and Cables

Adapter Cards

Motherboards

CPU Slots and Sockets

Power Supplies

Homework

Funwork

Day 30: Hardware Concepts: Part 2 of 2

A+ Essentials Exam Objective

Key Points

System Resources

Memory

Input and Output

Cables and Ports

Cooling Systems

A Day in the Office

Homework

Funwork

Day 29: Hardware Installation

A+ Essentials Exam Objective

Key Points

SATA Installation

PATA Installation

SCSI

RAID

Flashing the BIOS: A Closer Look

Preparing the HDD for an OS Installation

Drive-Related Best Practices Found on the A+ Exam

Homework

Funwork

Day 28: Hardware Troubleshooting

A+ Essentials Exam Objectives

Key Points

Troubleshooting Process

Troubleshooting Best Practices Found on the A+ Exam

POST and Boot Problems

Resolving Resolutions

Troubleshooting Tools

Preventive Maintenance

Homework

Funwork

Day 27: Laptops and Portable Devices: Part 1 of 2

A+ Essentials Exam Objectives

Key Points

Batteries

ACPI Power Management

Laptops and Projectors

Memory and Expansion Slots

Homework

Funwork

Day 26: Laptops and Portable Devices: Part 2 of 2

A+ Essentials Exam Objectives

Key Points

Cell Phones

Cleaning Laptops

Repairing Laptops

Troubleshooting Laptops

Homework

Funwork

Day 25: Operating Systems Concepts

A+ Essentials Exam Objective

Key Points

Operating System and the Layered PC Model

Desktop Operating Systems

Network Operating Systems

The “Multi” Terms

Modes

Logical Memory

Registry

GUI Versus CLI

Users and Permissions

Windows Vista Administrator Account

File Extensions

Plug-Ins, Players, and Viewers

File Attributes

Virtual Memory

Homework

Funwork

Day 24: Operating Systems Installation

A+ Essentials Exam Objective

Key Points

Hardware Compatibility List

Boot Process

Clean Operating System Install

Add New Hardware Wizard

Add/Remove Software

Device Manager

Homework

Funwork

Day 23: Operating Systems Troubleshooting

A+ Essentials Exam Objectives

Key Points

Memory Dumps

ERD and ASR

Not Enough HDD Space

Last Known Good Configuration

Event Viewer

MSCONFIG

Change File Extension Associations

Install a Program on OS X, Windows, and Linux

View the CLI on OS X, Windows, and Linux

Disk Management and Utilities

Microsoft Backup Utility

Homework

Funwork

Day 22: Printers

A+ Essentials Exam Objective

Key Points

Printer Measurements

Types of Printers

Printer Connections

Printer Troubleshooting

Homework

Funwork

Day 21: Scanners

A+ Essentials Exam Objectives

Key Points

Handheld, Flatbed, and Drum Scanners

Optical Character Recognition

Maintaining Scanners

Other Scanners

Homework

Funwork

Day 20: Networking: Part 1 of 2

A+ Essentials Exam Objective

Key Points

LANs, WANs, and WLANs

OSI Model

Simplex, Multicasting, Half Duplex, Full Duplex

Network Addressing

Network Topologies

Client/Server Versus Peer to Peer

Network Architectures

Bluetooth

Homework

Funwork

Day 19: Networking: Part 2 of 2

A+ Essentials Exam Objectives

Key Points

OSI and TCP/IP Models

Network Protocols

Standards Organizations

AT Commands

Internet Connections

Troubleshooting Networks

Homework

Funwork

Day 18: Security

A+ Essentials Exam Objectives

Key Points

Security Threats

WIFI Security

AV, Spyware Removal, and Definitions Updates

Firewalls

User Training and Password Policies

Troubleshooting Security

Homework

Funwork

Day 17: Environmental Issues

A+ Essentials Exam Objectives

Key Points

Hazards

Fire Safety

Material Safety and Data Sheets (MSDS)

Tools

Electrostatic Discharge

Disposing of Computer Components

Customer Support

Service Level Agreements

Homework

Funwork

Day 16: Essentials Review Day

The Cheat Sheet Study Technique

Homework

Funwork

Day 15: Essentials Exam Day

The Perfect Score

Before the Exam

During the Exam

After the Exam

Part II: Days 14-1: Taking the Field Technician Exam 220-602

Day 14: Hardware: A Closer Look

A+ 220-602 Exam Objective

Key Points

Seriously SCSI

Legacy Expansion Slots

Old-School D Plugs

Absolute Power Supplies

Homework

Funwork

Day 13: Hardware Troubleshooting

A+ 220-602 Exam Objective

Key Points

Troubleshooting Monitor Issues

Can You Hear Me Now?

Quirky Qwerty

Homework

Funwork

Day 12: Hardware Preventive Maintenance

A+ 220-602 Exam Objective

Key Points

Maintenance Toolkit

Safety First

Cleaning Solutions

Homework

Funwork

Day 11: Laptops and Peripherals

A+ 220-602 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Networking for Laptops

Video RAM

Hot Swappable and Not Swappable

Measuring Memory and Speed: When Size Matters

Bluetooth Classes

Homework

Funwork

Day 10: Operating Systems: A Closer Look

A+ 220-602 Exam Objective

Key Points

Command-Line Switches

System Folders and Users

Shared Folders and Naming Conventions

Mapping a Network Drive

Language Packs

Accessibility Options

Homework

Funwork

Day 9: Operating Systems Troubleshooting

A+ 220-602 Exam Objective

Key Points

Raising the Dead: Operating System Recovery

Administrative Tools

Problems with Permissions

Remote Desktop Connection and Remote Assistance

Homework

Funwork

Day 8: Operating Systems Preventive Maintenance

A+ 220-602 Exam Objective

Key Points

What Really Happens at Startup?

Custom OS Installations

Updating the Operating System

Homework

Funwork

Day 7: Printers and Scanners: A Closer Look

A+ 220-602 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Printer RAM and Firmware

Scanner Software

WYSIWYG

The Clean and Happy Printer

Homework

Funwork

Day 6: Troubleshooting Printers

A+ 220-602 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Paper Sizes: Letter, Legal, and A4

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Toner: The Good, the Bad, and the Messy

Common Printer Problems

Homework

Funwork

Day 5: Networking: A Closer Look

A+ 220-602 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Ports of Call

Wire Drill

File Sharing

Homework

Funwork

Day 4: Network Troubleshooting

A+ 220-602 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Follow the Packet

Seeing the Light

Homework

Funwork

Day 3: Security, Environment, and Customer Service

A+ 220-602 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Firewalls

Hash

Encryption

Virtual Private Networking

A Geekspeak Translation Guide

Environment

Homework

Funwork

Day 2: 220-602 Review Day

By Any Other Name

Brain Dumps

Write Your Own Practice Questions

Homework

Funwork

Day 1: 220-602 Exam Day

Before the Exam

During the Exam

After the Exam

Part III: Days 14-1: Taking the Remote Technician Exam 220-603

Day 14: Remote Hardware Troubleshooting

A+ 220-603 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Remote Technician

Connecting over the Phone

Getting a Clue

Beep-Beep

Just a Little SCSI

Homework

Funwork

Day 13: Troubleshooting from a Distance

A+ 220-603 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Remote Assistance

Remote Assistance Assistance

Remote Desktop

Remote Access

Telnet and SSH

VPN

Big Brother

Homework

Funwork

Day 12: Command Prompt: That Old Time Religion

A+ 220-603 Exam Objective

Key Points

CLI on the Phone

Command-Line Switches

Homework

Funwork

Day 11: Microsoft and Me

A+ 220-603 Exam Objective

Key Points

License and Registration, Please

Hailing a CAB

Never Forget a Face

Know All Roads

Homework

Funwork

Day 10: Comparing Operating Systems

A+ 220-603 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Comparing Windows XP, Macintosh OS X, and Linux

Installing Applications on Operating Systems

Homework

Funwork

Day 9: Opening Windows

A+ 220-603 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Upgrading Windows

Distributions of Windows XP

Backward Compatibility

The Devil in the Details

Policies

Homework

Funwork

Day 8: Speaking Fluent XP

A+ 220-603 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Keyboard Shortcuts

What Really Happens at Startup?

Custom OS Installations

Updating the Operating System

Homework

Funwork

Day 7: A Long-Distance Look at Printers and Scanners

A+ 220-603 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Printer RAM and Firmware

Scanner Software

WYSIWYG

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Toner: The Good, the Bad, and the Messy

Common Printer Problems

Homework

Funwork

Day 6: More Networking

A+ 220-603 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Ports of Call

Wire Drill

File Sharing

Browsers

Homework

Funwork

Day 5: Even More Networking

A+ 220-603 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Follow the Packet

Homework

Funwork

Day 4: Security and Wireless

A+ 220-603 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Firewalls

Hash

Encryption

Troubleshooting Wireless Networks

Homework

Funwork

Day 3: Customer Service

A+ 220-603 Exam Objectives

Key Points

A Geekspeak Translation Guide

Homework

Funwork

Day 2: 220-603 Review Day

By Any Other Name

Brain Dumps

Write Your Own Practice Questions

Homework

Funwork

Day 1: 220-603 Exam Day

Before the Exam

During the Exam

After the Exam

Part IV: Days 14—1: Taking the Bench Technician Exam 220-604

Day 14: Elbow Deep in Hardware

A+ 220-604 Exam Objective

Key Points

Seriously SCSI

Legacy Expansion Slots

Old-School D Plugs

Absolute Power Supplies

Homework

Funwork

Day 13: AMD, Intel, and You

A+ 220-604 Exam Objective

Key Points

What’s Under the Hood?

A Bag of Chips

Upgrading the CPU

Homework

Funwork

Day 12: The Right Tool for the Right Job

A+ 220-604 Exam Objective

Key Points

Tools

Multimeters and Electricity

Connecting Devices Properly

Known-Good Devices

Homework

Funwork

Day 11: An Ounce of Prevention

A+ 220-604 Exam Objective

Key Points

What’s Hot and What’s Not

Cleaning Solutions

Homework

Funwork

Day 10: Batteries and LCDs

A+ 220-604 Exam Objective

Key Points

Portable Power

Crystal Clear

Video Sharing

Homework

Funwork

Day 9: Swapping Drives

A+ 220-604 Exam Objective

Key Points

Hot Swappable and Not Swappable

Laptop Hard Drives

Homework

Funwork

Day 8: Troubleshooting Portable Devices

A+ 220-604 Exam Objective

Key Points

Troubleshooting Cell Phones

Function over Form Factors

Quirky Qwerty

Homework

Funwork

Day 7: Projectors and Cameras

A+ 220-604 Exam Objective

Key Points

Troubleshooting Cameras

Measuring Memory and Speed: When Size Matters

Troubleshooting Projectors

Homework

Funwork

Day 6: The Big World of Printers and Scanners 255

A+ 220-604 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Safety First

Printer RAM and Firmware

Scanner Software

WYSIWYG

Print Servers

Homework

Funwork

Day 5: Printers and Scanners on Your Own Terms

A+ 220-604 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Got Ink?

Error Codes

Serious Solutions for Serious Bench Techs

Cleaning the Bench Tech Way

Paper Sizes: Letter, Legal, and A4

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Toner: The Good, the Bad, and the Messy

Homework

Funwork

Day 4: Alphabet Soup

Key Points

Acronym List

Homework

Funwork

Day 3: Security and Environment

A+ 220-604 Exam Objectives

Key Points

Security Devices

Environment

Homework

Funwork

Day 2: 220-604 Review Day

By Any Other Name

Brain Dumps

Write Your Own Practice Questions

Homework

Funwork

Day 1: 220-604 Exam Day

Before the Exam

During the Exam

After the Exam

Index

Updates

Submit Errata

More Information

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