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Upgrading and Repairing PCs, 22nd Edition

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Upgrading and Repairing PCs, 22nd Edition


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  • Beefed-up coverage of the latest hardware, plus ninety minutes of all-new Scott Mueller how-to videos on DVD
  • Cutting-edge coverage of the latest processors, chipsets, motherboards, graphics cards, and more
  • The de facto standard hardware guide for students - now better than ever!


  • Copyright 2016
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 1184
  • Edition: 22nd
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-7897-5610-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7897-5610-7

DVD-ROM Includes 3 hours of new how-to video

For more than 25 years, Upgrading and Repairing PCs has been the world’s #1 guide to PC hardware: The single source for reliable information on how PCs work, troubleshooting and fixing problems, adding hardware, optimizing performance, and building new PCs. This 22nd edition offers beefed-up coverage of the newest hardware innovations and maintenance techniques, plus more than two hours of new video.

Scott Mueller delivers practical answers about PC processors, mother-boards, buses, BIOSes, memory, SSD and HDD storage, video, audio, networks, Internet connectivity, power, and much more. You’ll find the industry’s best coverage of diagnostics, testing, and repair—plus cutting-edge discussions of improving PC performance via overclocking and other techniques.

Mueller has taught thousands of professionals in person and millions more through his books and videos—nobody knows more about keeping PCs running perfectly. Whether you’re a professional technician, a small business owner trying to save money, or a home PC enthusiast, this is the only PC hardware book you need!


  • The newest processors, including Intel’s latest Core i Haswell processors and AMD’s Kaveri core processors.
  • Everything you need to know about the latest GPU technology from NVIDIA and AMD, including developments in OpenGL, DirectX, and Mantle.
  • New firmware innovations like the InSyde BIOS, Back to BIOS buttons, and all the updated settings available for the newest processors and chipsets.
  • The latest in updated home networking standards, from blazing fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi to HomeGrid and G.hn powerline networking.
  • Ever larger storage, thanks to new technologies like helium-filled hard disks, shingled magnetic recording, and Cfast and XQD for flash memory.
  • Emerging interfaces such as mSATA, USB 3.1, and M.2
  • Updated coverage of building PCs from scratch—from choosing and assembling hardware through BIOS setup and troubleshooting


Get 3 hours of up-to-the minute, studio-quality how-to videos—all playable on your DVD player or computer! In this edition, Scott Mueller delivers a complete seminar on PC troubleshooting, teaching you how to identify and resolve an array of common and not-so-common PC problems.

From detailed explanations on all the tools that should be a basic part of any PC toolkit, to all the critical rules you should follow to safely operate on your PC’s internal components, in these videos Scott Mueller ensures you are equipped with everything you need to know to successfully resolve your PC’s problems.

From there, Scott takes you through a complete disassembly of an All-in-One (AiO) system, showing just what you can do to keep these specialized systems running smoothly. Finally, there is a detailed look at today’s ultra-fast solid state disk drives (SSD) and the benefits they bring to modern systems.

This DVD also contains the complete 19th and 20th editions of this book in printable form, plus extensive technical reference material, a comprehensive glossary, and more!

“...continually revised and updated to reflect the ever-changing PC landscape. A resource from my PC repair days, Scott Mueller’s tome is one of the books that has stayed on my bookshelf
throughout the years.”

—Adam Overa, Managing Editor, Tom’s Hardware

Sample Content


Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #1: Know Your PC's System Components

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #10: Comparing Flash Memory Devices: Which Is Best for Your Needs?

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #11: Why Won't My CD or DVD Play? Troubleshooting Optical Drives

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #12: How 3D Accelerators Work

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #13: Troubleshooting PC Audio Problems

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #14: USB Security Risks

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #15: The Best Ways to Clean Your Computer Keyboard

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #16: High-Speed Internet Access: Which Type is Right for You?

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #17: Internet Connection Security Basics

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #18: Types of Networks

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #19: Wireless Network Security Basics

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #2: Comparing Processor Performance

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #20: Power Cycling: When to Turn Your Computer Off

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #21: How to Use a Digital Multimeter to Check Your Computer's Power Supply

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #22: Building Your Own Computer: Start By Deciding What to Build

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #23: Building Your Own Computer: 16 Steps for Powering on Your System for the First Time

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #24: A Checklist of PC Maintenance Hand Tools

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #25: Top 12 PC Troubleshooting Problems and Solutions

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #3: How L1 Cache Works on Your PC

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #4: Motherboard Selection Criteria (Knowing What to Look For)

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #5: Upgrading a Flash BIOS

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #6: What Is ROM?

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #7: An Overview of the Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) Interface

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #8: How Magnetic Fields are Used to Store Data on Your Computer

Upgrading and Repairing PCs Tip #9: What Is a Hard Disk Drive and What Does It Do?

What is RAM?

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 6 and Index)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Development of the PC 5

Computer History: Before Personal Computers 5

Timeline 5

Electronic Computers 10

Modern Computers 11

From Tubes to Transistors 11

Integrated Circuits 14

History of the PC 15

Birth of the Personal Computer 15

The IBM Personal Computer 16

The PC Industry 34 Years Later 17

Chapter 2 PC Components, Features, and System Design 21

What Is a PC? 21

Who Controls PC Software? 23

Who Controls PC Hardware? 26

White-Box Systems 28

System Types 29

System Components 30

Chapter 3 Processor Types and Specifications 33

Microprocessor History 33

The First Microprocessor 33

PC Processor Evolution 36

16-Bit to 64-Bit Architecture Evolution 39

Processor Specifications 40

Data I/O Bus 48

Address Bus 48

Internal Registers (Internal Data Bus) 49

Processor Modes 49

Processor Benchmarks 54

Comparing Processor Performance 55

Cache Memory 58

Processor Features 65

System Management Mode 65

Superscalar Execution 66

MMX Technology 67

Dynamic Execution 69

Dual Independent Bus Architecture 70

HT Technology (Hyperthreading) 70

Multicore Technology 72

Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Support 73

Processor Manufacturing 74

PGA Chip Packaging 78

Single Edge Contact and Single Edge Processor Packaging 80

Processor Socket and Slot Types 81

Socket LGA775 84

Socket LGA1156 85

Socket LGA1366 86

Socket LGA1155 87

Socket LGA2011 87

Socket LGA1150 89

Socket AM2/AM2+/AM3/AM3+ 89

Socket F (1207FX) 91

Socket FM1 92

Socket FM2 92

Socket FM2+ 92

Socket AM1 (Socket FS1B) 92

CPU Operating Voltages 93

Math Coprocessors (Floating-Point Units) 94

Processor Bugs and Steppings 94

Processor Code Names 95

P1 (086) Processors 95

P2 (286) Processors 97

P3 (386) Processors 98

P4 (486) Processors 99

P5 (586) Processors 100

AMD-K5 102

Intel P6 (686) Processors 103

Pentium Pro Processors 103

Pentium II Processors 104

Pentium III 106

Celeron 107

Intel Pentium 4 and Extreme Edition Processors 108

Intel Pentium D and Pentium Extreme Edition 110

Intel Core Processors 112

Intel Core 2 Family 112

Intel (Nehalem) Core i Processors 116

AMD K6 Processors 121

AMD K7 Processors 122

AMD Athlon 122

AMD Duron 123

AMD Athlon XP 124

Athlon MP 124

AMD K8 Processors 124

AMD Athlon 64 and 64 FX 124

AMD Sempron 128

AMD Athlon X2, 64 X2, and 64 FX 128

AMD K10 Processors (Phenom, Phenom II, Athlon II, Athlon X2, Sempron) 130

AMD Bulldozer, Piledriver, Steamroller, and Excavator FX Processors 134

AMD Fusion/HSA APUs 137

Processor Upgrades 139

Overclocking 142

Quartz Crystals 142

Modern PC Clocks 145

Overclocking Tips 147

Unlocking Cores 148

Bus Speeds and Multipliers 149

Processor Cooling 152

Heatsinks 152

Liquid Cooling 158

Thermally Advantaged Chassis 159

Processor Troubleshooting Techniques 161

Chapter 4 Motherboards and Buses 165

Motherboard Form Factors 165

Obsolete Form Factors 166

ATX and Other Modern Form Factors 177

Processor Sockets/Slots 189

Chipsets 192

Chipset Evolution 193

Intel Chipsets 195

Intel Chipset Model Numbers 195

Intel Integrated Graphics Architecture 197

AMD Integrated Graphics Architecture 197

Traditional North/southbridge Architecture 197

Hub Architecture 199

HyperTransport and Other Processor/Chipset Interconnects 201

Intel's Early 386/486 Chipsets 201

Fifth-Generation (P5 Pentium Class) Chipsets 202

Sixth-Generation (P6 Pentium Pro/II/III Class) Chipsets 203

Seventh/Eighth-Generation (Pentium 4/D, Core2, and Core i) Chipsets 207

Intel 915 Family 215

Intel 925X Family 215

Intel 945 Express Family 216

Intel 955X and 975X Family 217

Intel 96x Series 217

Intel 3x and 4x Series Chipsets 218

Intel 5x Series Chipsets 220

Intel 6x Series Chipsets 224

Intel 7x Series Chipsets 225

Intel 8x Series Chipsets 227

Intel 9x Series Chipsets 229

Third-Party Chipsets for Intel Processors 231

SiS Chipsets 231

ULi Electronics Chipsets 231

ATI Chipsets 231

VIA Chipsets 232

NVIDIA Chipsets for Intel Processors 232

Chipsets for AMD Processors 232

AMD Athlon Chipsets 233

AMD Athlon 64 Chipsets 234

AMD 8000 (8151) Chipset 234

AMD (Formerly ATI) Chipsets for Athlon 64, Sempron, Phenom 235

Third-Party Chipsets for AMD Processors 242

VIA Chipsets 242

SiS Chipsets 242

NVIDIA Chipsets 243

Super I/O Chips 244

Motherboard Connectors 244

System Bus Types, Functions, and Features 255

The Processor Bus (FSB) 261

Types of I/O Buses 262

The ISA Bus 262

The Micro Channel Bus 262

The EISA Bus 263

Local Buses (VESA, PCI, PCI Express, AGP) 263

System Resources 270

Interrupts 271

DMA Channels 276

I/O Port Addresses 276

Motherboard Selection Criteria (Knowing What to Look For) 278

Chipset Documentation 279

Chapter 5 BIOS 281

BIOS Basics 281

Motherboard ROM BIOS 285

ROM Hardware 285

ROM Shadowing 287

ROM Chip Types 287

ROM BIOS Manufacturers 291

BIOS Hardware/Software 292

Upgrading the BIOS 292

Where to Get Your BIOS Update 293

Determining Your BIOS Version 293

Backing Up Your BIOS 293

Backing Up Your BIOS Setup (CMOS RAM) Settings 294

Upgrading a Flash BIOS 295

Motherboard CMOS RAM Addresses 303

Preboot Environment 305

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface 307

UEFI and BIOS Limitations 307

UEFI Support 309

BIOS Setup 309

Running or Accessing the BIOS Setup Program 310

BIOS Setup Menus 310

Maintenance Menu 311

Main Menu 313

Exit Menu 345

AMD-Specific BIOS Settings 346

PnP BIOS 347

PnP Device IDs 347

ACPI 347

BIOS/MBR Error Messages 348

BIOS Boot Error Messages 349

MBR Boot Error Messages 352

Chapter 6 Memory 355

Memory Basics 355

ROM 357

DRAM 357

Cache Memory: SRAM 359

Memory Standards 361

Speed and Performance 362

Fast Page Mode DRAM 365

Extended Data Out RAM 366







Memory Modules 375

Registered Modules 382

SDR DIMM Details 383

DDR DIMM Details 384

DDR2 DIMM Details 384

DDR3 DIMM Details 384

DDR4 DIMM Details 384

Determining a Memory Module's Size and Features 385

Memory Banks 387

Memory Module Speed 388

Parity and ECC 388

Parity Checking 390

How Parity Checking Works 391

ECC 391

RAM Upgrades 392

Upgrade Options and Strategies 393

Purchasing Memory 395

Replacing Modules with Higher-Capacity Versions 397

Installing Memory Modules 397

Troubleshooting Memory 399

Memory Defect Isolation Procedures 403

The System Logical Memory Layout 405

Chapter 7 The ATA/IDE Interface 409

An Overview of the IDE Interface 409

Precursors to IDE 409

IDE Origins 410

Origins of ATA 411

ATA Standards 412

ATA-1 (ATA Interface for Disk Drives) 414

ATA-2 (ATA Interface with Extensions-2) 415

ATA-3 (ATA Interface-3) 415

ATA/ATAPI-4 (ATA with Packet Interface Extension-4) 416

ATA/ATAPI-5 (ATA with Packet Interface-5) 417

ATA/ATAPI-6 (ATA with Packet Interface-6) 417

ATA/ATAPI-7 (ATA with Packet Interface-7) 418


PATA 419

PATA I/O Connector 419

PATA I/O Cable 423

Longer or Rounded Cables 425

PATA Signals 425

PATA Dual-Drive Configurations 426

PATA PIO Transfer Modes 429

PATA DMA Transfer Modes 429

SATA 431

SATA Standards and Performance 431

SATA Express 432

SATA Cables and Connectors 434

eSATA 439

SATA Configuration 443

Advanced Host Controller Interface 444

Non-Volatile Memory Express 445

SATA Transfer Modes 445

ATA Features 446

ATA Commands 446

ATA Security Mode 447

Host Protected Area 448


ATA Drive Capacity Limitations 450

Prefixes for Decimal and Binary Multiples 451

BIOS Limitations 451

CHS Versus LBA 452

CHS/LBA and LBA/CHS Conversions 453

BIOS Commands Versus ATA Commands 454

CHS Limitations (the 528MB Barrier) 455

CHS Translation (Breaking the 528MB Barrier) 457

The 2.1GB and 4.2GB Barriers 459

LBA-Assist Translation 462

The 8.4GB Barrier 465

The 137GB Barrier and Beyond 466

Operating System and Other Software Limitations 468

GPT and the 2.2TB Barrier 470


Software RAID 474

Chapter 8 Magnetic Storage 475

Magnetic Storage 475

History of Magnetic Storage 475

How Magnetic Fields Are Used to Store Data 476

Read/Write Head Designs 479

Ferrite 480

Metal-In-Gap 480

Thin-Film 480

Magneto-Resistive Heads 481

Giant Magneto-Resistive Heads 482

Head Sliders 483

Data-Encoding Schemes 486

Frequency Modulation Encoding 487

Modified FM Encoding 487

Run Length Limited Encoding 488

Encoding Scheme Comparisons 489

Partial-Response, Maximum-Likelihood Decoders 490

Capacity Measurements 491

Areal Density 492

Perpendicular Magnetic Recording 495

Helium-Filled Drives 497

Shingled Magnetic Recording 497

Definition of a Hard Disk 498

Hard Drive Advancements 499

Form Factors 500

5 1/4-Inch Drive 502

3 1/2-Inch Drive 502

2 1/2-Inch Drive 502

1.8-Inch Drive 503

1-Inch Drives 503

HDD Operation 503

Data Recovery Options 505

The Ultimate HDD Analogy 506

Tracks and Sectors 507

ECC 510

Disk Formatting 515

Basic HDD Components 521

Hard Disk Platters (Disks) 522

Recording Media 522

Read/Write Heads 524

Head Actuator Mechanisms 526

Air Filters 532

Hard Disk Temperature Acclimation 534

Spindle Motors 534

Logic Boards 535

Cables and Connectors 536

Configuration Items 536

Hard Disk Features 536

Capacity 537

Performance 538

Reliability 543

Chapter 9 Flash and Removable Storage 547

Alternative Storage Devices 547

Flash Memory Devices 547

CompactFlash, XQD, and CFast 549

SmartMedia 551

MultiMediaCard 551

SecureDigital 552

Sony Memory Stick 552


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