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A+ Computer Maintenance & Repair

A+ Computer Maintenance & Repair
Levels: Grades
Units of Credit `
CIP Code:
Core Code:
Prerequisites:
Skill Tests:

11-12
1.0
11.9920
35-01-00-00-040
Suggested Intro to IT
#884 A+ (Computer Maintenance & Repair)
CompTIA Strata IT Fundamentals (FC0-U41)
CompTIA A+ Hardware (220-801)
CompTIA A+ Operating System (220-802)
TestOut PC Pro
HP ATA – connected Devices (HP4-A01)
MTA Windows OS Fundamentals ()
MTA Networking Fundamentals (#98-366)
MTA Security Fundamentals (#98-367)

CORE DESCRIPTION
Students will learn necessary competencies for an entry-level IT professional including installing, building,
upgrading, repairing, configuring, troubleshooting, optimizing, diagnosing, and performing preventive
maintenance of basic personal computer hardware and operating systems.
CompTIA Certification
In order to receive CompTIA A+ certification a candidate must pass two exams. The first exam is the
CompTIA A+ 220-801 Certification Exam. The CompTIA A+ 220-802 Certification Exam is the second exam
required in order for CompTIA A+ certification candidates to complete their certification.
Domain A+ 220-801

Percentage of Examination

1.0 PC Hardware
2.0 Networking
3.0 Laptops
4.0 Printers
5.0 Operational Procedures
Total

Domain A+ 220-802

40%
27%
11%
11%
11%
100

Percentage of Examination

6.0 Operating Systems
7.0 Security
8.0 Mobile Devices
9.0 Troubleshooting
Total

Based on CompTIA A+ 220-801 and 220-802 Objectives
July 2013

33%
22%
9%
36%
100%

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A+ Computer Maintenance & Repair
CompTIA 801-201
Standard 1.0 PC Hardware
1.1 Configure and apply BIOS Settings.
 Install firmware upgrades – flash BIOS
 BIOS component information
o
RAM
o
Hard drive
o
Optical drive
o
CPU
 BIOS configurations
o
Boot sequence
o
Enabling and disabling devices
o
Date/time
o
Clock speeds
o
Virtualization support
BIOS security (passwords, drive encryption: TPM, lo-jack)
 Use built-in diagnostics
 Monitoring
o
Temperature monitoring
o
Fan speeds
o
Intrusion detection/notification
o
Voltage
o
Clock
o
Bus speed
1.2 Differentiate between motherboard components, their purposes, and properties.
 Sizes
o ATX
o Micro –ATX
o ITX
 Expansion slots
o
PCI
o
PCI-X
o
PCIe
o
miniPCI
o
CNR
o
AGP2x, 4x, 8x
 RAM slots
 CPU sockets
 Chipsets
o
North Bridge
o
South Bridge
o
CMOS battery
 Jumpers
 Power connections and types
 Fan connectors
 Front panel connectors
o
USB
o
Audio
o
Power button
o
Power light
o
Drive activity lights
o
Reset button
 Bus speeds
1.3 Compare and contrast RAM types and features.
 Types
o DDR
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o DDR2
o SDRAM
o SODIMM
o DIMM
o RAM configurations (Single channel vs dual channel vs triple channel)
 RAM compatibility and speed
1.4 Install and configure expansion cards.
 Sound cards
 Video cards
 Network cards
 Serial and parallel cards
 USB cards
 Firewire cards
 Storage cards
 Modem cards
 Wireless/cellular cards
 TV tuner cards
 Video capture cards
 Riser cards
1.5 Install and configure storage devices and use appropriate media.
 Optical drives
o
CD-ROM
o
DVD-ROM
o
Blu-Ray
 Combo drives and burners
o CD-RW
o DVD-RW
o Dual Layer DVD-RW
o BD-R
o BD-RE
 Connection types
o
External (USB, Firewire, eSATA, Ethernet)
o
Internal SATA, IDE and SCSI (IDE configuration and setup (Master, Slave, Cable
Select), SCSI IDs (0 – 15))
o
Hot swappable drives
 Hard drives
o
Magnetic
o
5400 rpm
o
7200 rpm
o
10,000 rpm
o
15,000 rpm
 Solid state/flash drives
o Compact flash
o SD
o Micro-SD
o Mini-SD
o xD
o SSD
 RAID types (0, 1, 5, 10)
 Media capacity
o
CD
o
CD-RW
o
DVD-RW
o
DVD
o
Blu-Ray
o
DL DVD

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A+ Computer Maintenance & Repair
1.6 Differentiate among various CPU types and features and select the appropriate cooling
method.
 Socket types
o
Intel: LGA, 775, 1155, 1156, 1366
o
AMD: 940, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, FM1, F
 Characteristics
o
Speeds
o
Cores
o
Cache size/type
o
Hyperthreading
o
Architecture (32-bit vs. 64-bit)
o
Integrated GPU
 Cooling
o
Heat sink
o
Fans
o
Thermal paste
1.7 Compare and contrast various connection interfaces and explain their purpose.
 Physical connections
o
USB 1.1 vs. 2.0 vs. 3.0 characteristics (Connector types: A, B, mini, micro)
o
Firewire characteristics
o
SATA1 vs. SATA2 vs. SATA3, eSATA, IDE speeds
o
Other connector types (Serial, Parallel, VGA, HDMI, DVI, Audio, RJ-45, RJ-11)
o
Analog vs. digital transmission
VGA vs. HDMI
 Speeds, distances and frequencies of wireless device connections
o
Bluetooth
o
RF (802.11 )
1.8 Install an appropriate power supply based on a given scenario.
 Connector types and their voltages
o
SATA
o
Molex
o
4/8-pin 12v
o
PCIe 6/8-pin
o
20-pin
o
24-pin
o
Floppy
 Specifications
o
Wattage
o
Size
o
Number of connectors
o
ATX
o
Micro-ATX
 Dual voltage options
1.9 Evaluate and select appropriate components for a custom configuration, to meet customer
specifications or needs.
 Graphic / CAD / CAM design workstation
 Audio/Video editing workstation
 Virtualization workstation
 Gaming PC
 Home Theater PC
 Standard thick client
 Thin client
 Home Server PC
1.10 Given a scenario, evaluate types and features of display devices.
 Types
o CRT
o LCD
o LED
Based on CompTIA A+ 220-801 and 220-802 Objectives
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o Projector
 Resolution
 Native resolution
 Analog vs. digital
 Privacy/antiglare filters
 Multiple displays
1.11 Identify connector types and associated cables.
 Display connector types
o
DVI-D
o
DVI-I
o
DVI-A
o
DisplayPort
o
HD15 (i.e. DE15 or DB15)
o
miniHDMI
o
RJ-45
o
miniDin-6
 Display cable types
o
HDMI
o
DVI
o
VGA
o
Component
o
Composite
o
S-video
o
Coaxial
o
Ethernet
 Device connectors and pin arrangements
o
SATA
o
eSATA
o
PATA
o
IDE
o
EIDE
o
USB
o
IEEE1394
o
SCSI
o
PS/2
o
Parallel
o
Serial
o
Audio
o
RJ-45
 Device cable types
o
SATA
o
eSATA
o
IDE
o
EIDE
o
Floppy
o
USB
o
IEEE1394
o
SCSI (68pin vs. 50pin vs. 25pin)
o
Parallel
o
Serial
o
Ethernet
o
Phone
1.12 Install and configure various peripheral devices.
 Input devices
o
Mouse
o
Keyboard
o
Microphone
Based on CompTIA A+ 220-801 and 220-802 Objectives
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A+ Computer Maintenance & Repair

Output devices
o
Printers
o
Speakers
o
Display devices

Standard 2.0 Networking
2.1 Identify types of network cables and connectors.
 Twisted Pair
o
Connectors: RJ-11, RJ-45
o
Wiring standards: T568A, T568B
2.2 Categorize characteristics of connectors and cabling.
 Twisted pair
o
Types: STP, UTP, CAT3, CAT5, CAT5e, CAT6, plenum, PVC
o
Speed and transmission limitations
2.3 Explain properties and characteristics of TCP/IP.
 IP class
o
Class A
o
Class B
o
Class C
 IPv4 vs. IPv6
 Public vs. private vs. APIPA
 Static vs. dynamic
 Client-side DNS
 DHCP
 Subnet mask
 Gateway
2.4 Explain common TCP and UDP ports, protocols, and their purpose.
 Ports
o 21 – FTP
o 23 – TELNET
o 25 – SMTP
o 53 – DNS
o 80 – HTTP
o 110 – POP3
o 143 – IMAP
o 443 – HTTPS
o 3389 – RDP
 Protocols
o DHCP
o DNS
o LDAP
o SNMP
o SMB
o SSH
o SFTP
 TCP vs. UDP
2.5 Compare and contrast wireless networking standards and encryption types.
 Standards
o 802.11 a/b/g/n
o Speeds, distances and frequencies
 Encryption types
o WEP, WPA, WPA2, TKIP, AES
2.6 Install, configure, and deploy a SOHO wireless/wired router using appropriate settings.
 MAC filtering
 Channels (1 – 11)
 Port forwarding, port triggering
 SSID broadcast (on/off)
 Wireless encryption
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 Firewall
 DHCP (on/off)
 DMZ
 NAT
2.7 Compare and contrast Internet connection types and features.
 Cable
 DSL
 Dial-up
 Fiber
 Cellular (mobile hotspot)
2.8 Identify various types of networks.
 LAN
 WAN
 PAN
 MAN
 Topologies
o
Ring
o
Bus
o
Star
o
Hybrid
2.9 Compare and contrast network devices their functions and features.
 Hub
 Switch
o PoE
 Router
 Access point
 Bridge
 Modem
 NAS
 Firewall
 VoIP phones
 Internet appliance
2.10 Given a scenario, use appropriate networking tools.
 Crimper
 Multimeter
 Toner probe
 Cable tester
 Loopback plug
 Punchdown tool
Standard 3.0 Laptops (Deleted)
Standard 4.0 Printers
4.1 Explain the differences between the various printer types and summarize the associated
imaging process.
 Laser
o Imaging drum, fuser assembly, transfer belt, transfer roller, pickup rollers, separate
pads, duplexing assembly
o Imaging process: processing, charging, exposing, developing, transferring, fusing
and cleaning
 Inkjet
o Ink cartridge, print head, roller, feeder, duplexing assembly, carriage and belt
o Calibration
 Thermal
o Feed assembly, heating element
o Special thermal paper
4.2 Given a scenario, install, and configure printers.
 Use appropriate printer drivers for a given operating system
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Print device sharing
o Wired (USB, Parallel, Ethernet)
o Wireless (802.11x)
o Printer hardware print server
 Printer sharing
o Sharing local/networked printer via Operating System settings
4.3 Given a scenario, perform printer maintenance.
 Laser
o Replacing toner, applying maintenance kit, calibration, cleaning
Standard 5.0 Operational Procedures
5.1 Given a scenario, use appropriate safety procedures.
 ESD straps
 ESD mats
 Self-grounding
 Equipment grounding
 Personal safety
o Disconnect power before repairing PC
o Remove jewelry
o Lifting techniques
o Weight limitations
o Electrical fire safety
o CRT safety – proper disposal
o Cable management
 Compliance with local government regulations
5.2 Explain environmental impacts and the purpose of environmental controls.
 MSDS documentation for handling and disposal
 Power surges, brownouts, blackouts
o Battery backup
o Surge suppressor
 Dust and debris
o Compressed air
o Vacuums
 Component handling and protection
o Antistatic bags
 Compliance to local government regulations
5.3 Given a scenario, demonstrate proper communication and professionalism.
 Use proper language – avoid jargon, acronyms, slang when applicable
 Maintain a positive attitude
 Listen and do not interrupt the customer
 Be culturally sensitive
 Be on time (if late contact the customer)
 Avoid distractions
o Personal calls
o Talking to co-workers while interacting with customers
o Personal interruptions
 Dealing with difficult customer or situation
o Avoid arguing with customers and/or being defensive
o Do not minimize customer’s problems
o Avoid being judgmental
o Clarify customer statements (ask open ended questions to narrow the scope of the
problem, restate the issue or question to verify understanding)
 Set and meet expectations/timeline and communicate status with the customer
o Offer different repair/replacement options if applicable
o Provide proper documentation on the services provided
o Follow up with customer/user at a later date to verify satisfaction
 Deal appropriately with customers confidential materials
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A+ Computer Maintenance & Repair
o Located on a computer, desktop, printer, etc
5.4 Explain the fundamentals of dealing with prohibited content/activity.
 First response
o Identify
o Report through proper channels
o Data/device preservation
 Use of documentation/documentation changes
 Chain of custody
o Tracking of evidence/documenting process

CompTIA 801-202
Standard 6.0 Operating Systems
6.1 Compare and contrast the features and requirements of various Microsoft Operating
Systems.
 Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Media Center, Windows XP 64-bit
Professional
 Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Premium, Windows Vista Business,
Windows Vista Ultimate, Windows Vista Enterprise
 Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7
 Ultimate, Windows 7 Enterprise
 Features:
o 32-bit vs. 64-bit
o Aero, gadgets, user account control, bit-locker, shadow copy, system restore, ready
boost, sidebar, compatibility mode, XP mode, easy transfer, administrative tools,
defender, Windows firewall, security center, event viewer, file structure and paths,
category view vs. classic view
 Upgrade paths – differences between in place upgrades, compatibility tools, Windows upgrade
OS advisor
6.2 Given a scenario, install, and configure the operating system using the most appropriate
method.
 Boot methods
o USB
o CD-ROM
o DVD
o PXE
 Type of installations
o Creating image
o Unattended installation
o Upgrade
o Clean install
o Repair installation
o Multiboot
o Remote network installation
o Image deployment
 Partitioning
o Dynamic
o Basic
o Primary
o Extended
o Logical
 File system types/formatting
o FAT32
o NTFS
o CDFS
o Quick format vs. full format
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A+ Computer Maintenance & Repair
 Load alternate third party drivers when necessary
 Workgroup vs. Domain setup
 Driver installation, software and windows updates
 Factory recovery partition
6.3 Given a scenario, use appropriate command line tools.
 Networking
o PING
o TRACERT
o IPCONFIG
o NSLOOKUP
 OS
o MD
o RD
o CD
o DEL
o FDISK
o FORMAT
o COPY
o XCOPY
o CHKDSK
o [command name] /?
 Recovery console
o Fixboot
o Fixmbr
6.4 Given a scenario, use appropriate operating system features and tools.
 Administrative
o Computer management
o Device manager
o Users and groups
o Local security policy
o Performance monitor
o Services
o System configuration
o Component services
o Windows firewall
o Advanced security
 MSCONFIG
o General
o Boot
o Service
o Startup
o Tools
 Task Manager
o Applications
o Processes
o Performance
o Networking
o Users
 Run line utilities
o MSCONFIG
o REGEDIT
o CMD
o SERVICES.MSC
o MMC
o MSTSC
o NOTEPAD
o EXPLORER
o MSINFO32
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6.5 Given a scenario, use Control Panel utilities (the items are organized by “classic view/large
icons” in Windows).
 Common to all Microsoft Operating Systems
o Internet options (Security, General, Privacy, Advanced)
o Display (Resolution)
o User accounts
o Folder options (Sharing, View hidden files, Hide extensions, Layout)
o System (Performance (virtual memory), Hardware profiles, Remote settings,
Windows firewall)
o Power options (Hibernate, Power plans, Sleep/suspend, Standby)
 Unique to Windows XP
o Add/remove programs
o Network connections
o Printers and faxes
o Automatic updates
o Network setup wizard
 Unique to Windows 7
o HomeGroup
o Action center
o Remote applications and desktop applications
o Troubleshooting
6.6 Setup and configure Windows networking on a client/desktop.
 HomeGroup, file/print sharing
 WorkGroup
 Network shares/mapping drives
 Establish networking connections
o VPN
o Dialups
o Wireless
o Wired
o WWAN (Cellular)
 Proxy settings
 Remote desktop
 Home vs. Work vs. Public network settings
 Firewall settings
o Exceptions
o Configuration
o Enabling/disabling Windows firewall
 Network card properties
o Half duplex/full duplex/auto
o Speed
o Wake-on-LAN
6.7 Perform preventive maintenance procedures using appropriate tools.
 Best practices
o Windows updates
o Antivirus updates
 Tools
o Check disk
o Defrag
6.8 Explain the differences among basic OS security settings.
 User and groups
o Administrator
o Power user
o Guest
o Standard user
 NTFS vs. Share permissions
o Allow vs. deny
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o Moving vs. copying folders and files
o File attributes
System files and folders

Standard 7.0 Security
7.1 Apply and use common prevention methods.
 Physical security
o Lock doors
o Tailgating
o Securing physical documents/paswords/shredding
o Badges
o Windows
 Digital security
o Antivirus
o Firewalls
o Antispyware
o User authentication/strong passwords
o Directory permissions
 User education
 Principle of least privilege
7.2 Compare and contrast common security threats.
 Social engineering
 Malware
 Rootkits
 Phishing
 Shoulder surfing
 Spyware
 Viruses
o Worms
o Trojans
7.3 Implement security best practices to secure a workstation.
 Setting strong passwords
 Requiring passwords
7.4 Given a scenario, use the appropriate data destruction/disposal method.
 Low level format vs. standard format
 Hard drive sanitation and sanitation methods
o Overwrite
o Drive wipe
 Physical destruction
o Shredder
o Drill
o Electromagnetic
o Degaussing tool
7.5 Given a scenario, secure a SOHO wireless network.
 Change default user-names and passwords
 Changing SSID
 Setting encryption
 Disabling SSID broadcast
 Enable MAC filtering
7.6 Given a scenario, secure a SOHO wired network.
 Change default usernames and passwords
 Enable MAC filtering
 Assign static IP addresses
 Disabling ports
 Physical security
Standard 8.0 Mobile Devices (Deleted)
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Standard 9.0 Troubleshooting
9.1 Given a scenario, explain the troubleshooting theory.
 Identify the problem
o Question the user and identify user changes to the computer and perform backups
before making changes
 Establish a theory of probable cause (question the obvious)
 Test the theory to determine cause
o Once theory is confirmed determine next steps to resolve problem
o If theory is not confirmed re-establish new theory or escalate
 Establish a plan of action to resolve the problem and implement the solution
 Verify full system functionality and if applicable implement preventive measures
 Document findings, actions and outcomes
9.2 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common problems related to motherboards, RAM, CPU and
power with appropriate tools.
 Common symptoms
o Unexpected shutdown
o POST code beeps
o Blank screen on bootup
o BIOS time and settings resets
o Attempts to boot to incorrect device
o No power
o Loud noice
o Fans spin – no power to other devices
o Indicator lights
o BSOD
 Tools
o Multimeter
o Power supply tester
9.3 Given a scenario, troubleshoot hard drives with appropriate tools.
 Common symptoms
o Loud clicking noise
o Failure to boot
o Drive not recognized
 Tools
o Screwdriver
o External enclosures
o CHKDSK
o FORMAT
o FDISK
o File recovery software
9.4 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common video and display issues.
 Common symptoms
o VGA mode
o No image on screen
o Overheat shutdown
o Dead pixels
o Artifacts
o Color patterns incorrect
o Dim image
o Flickering image
o Distorted image
o Discoloration (degaussing)
o BSOD
9.5 Given a scenario, troubleshoot wired and wireless networks with appropriate tools.
 Common symptoms
o No connectivity
o APIPA address
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o
o
o
o
Tools
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

Limited connectivity
Local connectivity
Intermittent connectivity
IP conflict
Cable tester
Loopback plug
Punch down tools
Toner probes
Wire strippers
Crimpers
PING
IPCONFIG

9.6 Given a scenario, troubleshoot operating system problems with appropriate tools.
 Common symptoms
o BSOD
o Failure to boot
o Improper shutdown
o Spontaneous shutdown/restart
o Device fails to start
o Missing dll message
o Service fails to start
o Compatibility error
o Slow system performance
o Boots in safe mode
o Fails fails to open
o Missing NTLDR
o Missing Boot.ini
o Missing operating system
o Invalid boot disk
 Tools
o Fixboot
o Recovery console
o Fixmbr
o MSCONFIG
o DEFRAG
o Event viewer
o Safe mode
o Command prompt
9.7 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common security issues with appropriate tools and best
practices.
 Common symptoms
o Pop-ups
o Browser redirection
o Security alerts
o Slow performance
o Internet connectivity issues
o PC Locks up
o Windows updates failures
o Rouge antivirus
o Spam
o Renamed system files
o Files disappearing
o File permission changes
o Hijacked email
o Access denied
 Tools
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o Anti-virus software
o Anti-malware software
o Anti-spyware software
o Event viewer
o
o
 Best practices for malware removal
o Identify malware symptoms
o Quarantine infected system
o Disable system restore
o Remediate infected systems (Update anti-virus software, Scan and removal
techniques (safe mode, pre-installation environment)
o Schedule scans and updates
o Enable system restore and create restore point
o Educate end user
9.8 Given a scenario, troubleshoot, and repair common laptop issues while adhering to the
appropriate procedures. (Deleted)
9.9 Given a scenario, troubleshoot printers with appropriate tools
 Common symptoms
o Streaks
o Faded prints
o Ghost images
o Paper jam
o No connectivity
o Garbled characters on paper
o Printer will not print

Based on CompTIA A+ 220-801 and 220-802 Objectives
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