Installation, configuring and updating
- Identifying basic computer subassemblies like motherboards, power supplies,
CPU, RAM, storage devices, add-on cards, firmware, BIOS and CMOS. How to identify proper function, their role in the boot process, and how
to add and replace them in the field.
- Standard software parameters such as IRQ, DMA and I/O settings for common
hardware and software configurations, and how to adjust these settings during
- Common peripheral ports and the cables & connectors associated therewith
like DB-9/25, RJ11/45, BNC, PS/2, USB and IEEE-1394.
- Installing and configuring IDE/EIDE and SCSI devices to include
Primary/Secondary/Master/Slave, SCSI types, addresses, cabling and jumper
- Peripheral installation, configuration and troubleshooting for monitors,
USB devices, and IEEE 1284/1394 devices.
- Portable system components. This will be mostly notebook-related. PCMCIA card types and implementation of card services. Familiarity with
replacement of components like RAM, hard drives and batteries. Care and
feeding of docking stations and port replicators.
Diagnosing and Troubleshooting
- Common symptoms and problems with hardware. Isolating problems using error
codes, POST audible/visual codes, and troubleshooting instruments like
- Troubleshooting procedures. Eliciting information from users/customers,
determining whether the problem is hardware/software related, isolating
problems by eliminating possibilities.
- Types of maintenance tools/materials, and their use in the field. Cleaning
compound requirements and non-static tool use.
- Field procedures for protecting yourself and your equipment.
UPS/Suppressors and signs of power issues. Component storage. Hazards from
high voltage/laser exposure. Disposal procedures for batteries, toner kits,
- ESD precautions and symptoms of damage.
- CPU chip types and characteristics. Size, voltage, pin counts and slot
types. CPU families and basic history including clock speed progression.
- RAM categories and characteristics. Generations of system RAM:
EDO/FPM/SIMM/DIMM. RIMM (Rambus) types. Video memory technology such as VRAM/WRAM.
Memory banks and requirements based on processor generation/8-, 16-, 32-bit
width. Parity versus non-parity chips.
- Motherboard types. AT and ATX form factors, port types and locations, RAM
type needed, processor sockets, cache memory. Bus architectures like ISA, PCI
and AGP. Compatibility guidelines concerning what hardware works with which
generation of motherboard.
- CMOS knowledge. Basic CMOS settings for com/parallel ports, hard drive
type, basic memory settings, boot sequence, date/time, passwords and Plug &
- Basic types and operational concepts for laser, inkjet and dot-matrix
printers. Interface types such as parallel, USB, network, infrared, serial.
- Service techniques and common problems. Feed jams, printed/displayed
errors, print quality. Safety precautions and preventive maintenance.
- Network types and topologies. Cable types, physical architecture, half- and
- Setup such as configuring network cards, hardware protocols and recovering
network function when repairs are performed.
- OS functions, structure, major system files and help functionality. Components
like Windows Explorer/My Computer/Control Panel. Contrasts between Win 9x and Windows
2000 or Windows XP. Contents, use and location of files like io.sys, boot.ini,
win.com and the command prompt. Memory management methods including himem.sys.
Win 9x files such as win.ini, system.ini, user.dat, system.dat, msconfig, regedit.exe.
Windows 2000 and Windows XP files such as boot.ini, regedit/regedit32, ntldr. Windows 7,
8 and 10 Boot Configuration Data (BCD). Some command prompt procedures: dir, ver, attrib,
mem, scandisk and others.
- File/directory/disk management procedures. File attributes and naming
conventions, backup/restore procedures, Windows 2000 / Windows XP Compress/Encrypt.
Partitioning/formatting/file systems used with Windows. Utilities such as
ScanDisk, msconfig, regedit, defrag, fdisk, asd, hwinfo.
Installation, Configuration and Upgrading
- Install procedure for Win9x, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7,
Windows 8 and Windows 10. Appropriate setup utilities, partitioning and formatting, loading drivers.
- Upgrade procedures within Win9x OS's, Windows NT 4.0 to Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10, replacing Win9x
with Windows 2000 or Windows XP, dualbooting Win9x/WinNT/Win2k/WinXP/Vista/7/8/10.
- Basic boot sequences and methods, including the creation of an emergency boot disk for Win9x,
WinNT, Win2k, WinXP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10. Use of Startup disks, Safe Mode, NTLDR, boot.ini,
making an Emergency Repair Disk (ERD).
- Loading and configuring device drivers. Win9x Plug and Play and Win2k hardware drivers,
installing and launching typical Windows and non-Windows applications.
Setting up and configuring the Windows printing subsystem for Default Printer,
spool settings and network printing.
Diagnosing and Troubleshooting
- Common error codes and startup messages from the boot sequence. Safe Mode,
No OS Found, Error in Config.sys, Command.com and Himem.sys errors, Windows
Protection Error, Device Referenced in System.ini/Win.ini.
- Recognizing and resolving common problems. Diagnostic procedure involving
the customer, identifying recent changes, printing problems. General
Protection Faults, Illegal Operations, devices not functioning, inability to
log onto network. Virus & spyware activities, types, sources, determining the presence
of a virus or spyware.
- Identifying network capabilities and connection procedures. Protocols,
Ipconfig, Winipcfg. Sharing drives/printers, network type and Network
Interface Card (NIC), installing/configuring browsers, configuring OS for
- Setting up Internet access. ISP's, Internet protocols, E-mail, Ping.exe,
HTML/HTTP/FTP. Domain names, Dial-up Networking.