BIOS-The BIOS (Basic Input-Output System) is a chip located on the motherboard, which handles all the startup routines necessary to get the computer running. In most PCs the BIOS will have 4 main functions: POST - Test computer hardware insuring hardware is properly functioning before starting process of loading Operating System. Additional information on the POST can be found our POST / Beep Codes page. Bootstrap Loader - Process of locating the operating system. If capable Operating system located BIOS will pass the control to it BIOS - Software / Drivers which interfaces between the operating system and your hardware when running DOS or Windows you are using complete BIOS support CMOS Setup - Configuration program. Which allows you to configure hardware settings including system settings such as computer passwords, time, and date? Computer hardware are divided into 3 parts BIOS manufacturers: American Megatrends, Phoenix, and Award CMOS - Stores around 64K of Programming Short for complementary metal oxide semiconductor. Pronounced see-moss, CMOS is a widely used type of semiconductor. CMOS semiconductors use both NMOS (negative polarity) and PMOS (positive polarity) circuits. Since only one of the circuit types is on at any given time, CMOS chips require less power than chips using just one type of transistor. This makes them particularly attractive for use in battery-powered devices, such as portable computers. Personal computers also contain a small amount of battery-powered CMOS memory to hold the date, time, and system setup parameters. How to enter a typical CMOS setup: When PC boots up you will be told to press a key to get to setup: Award (DEL) Phoenix (F2) American Megatrends (CTRL+ESC) Others (F1, F10, ESC)
Note: some new motherboard designs allow access to the CMOS setup to be disabled through a motherboard jumper. If you cannot access the setup using the proper key commands stated above check your motherboard settings to see if the access has been disabled. Special Thanks to American Megatrends, Award and Phoenix

A bus is a set of signal pathways that allow information to travel between components inside or outside of a computer. Types of Bus External bus or Expansion bus allows the CPU to talk to the other devices in the computer and vice versa. It is called that because it's external to the CPU. Address bus allows the CPU to talk to a device. It will select the particular memory address that the device is using and use the address bus to write to that particular address. Data bus allows the device to send information back to the CPU Types of Expansion Buses ISA Introduced by IBM, ISA or Industry Standard Architecture was originally an 8-bit bus and later expanded to a 16-bit bus in 1984. When this bus was originally released it was a proprietary bus, which allowed only IBM to

AGP is one of the fastest expansion bus in use but its only for video or graphics environment. AGP has a direct line to the computers memory which allows 3-D elements to be stored in the system memory instead of the video memory. AGP or Advanced Graphic Port is a 32-bit bus or 64-bit bus designed for the high demands of 3-D graphics. AGP Card AGP Slot . This is still in use because it's cheap and for backwards compatibility 16bit ISA Card 16bit ISA Slot PCI Introduced by Intel in 1992.create peripherals and the actual interface. Later however in the early 1980's the bus was being created by other clone manufacturers. PCI is short for Peripheral Component Interconnect and is a 32-bit or 64-bit expansion bus. The PCI bus is the most popular expansion bus use in today's computers PCI Card PCI Slot AGP Introduced by Intel in 1997.

77 MHz 8.133MB/s 4.38MB/s 8MB/s 133MB/s 266MB/s 266MB/s 533MB/s 1. AMR allows an OEM to create one card that has the functionality of either Modem or Audio or both Audio and Modem on one card.1 supports 12Mbps USB 2. 1998.0 supports 1. AMR is short for Audio/Modem Riser. AMR Slot . This new specification allows for the motherboard to be manufactured at a lower cost and free up industry standard expansion slots in the system for other additional plug-in peripherals.Expansion Bus Chart: Type of Bus Bits Wide Clock Speed Transfer Speed ISA ISA PCI (Client) PCI (Server) AGP 1x AGP 2x AGP 4x AGP 8x AGP 8x (high-end) 8 bit 16 bit 32 bit 64 bit 32 bit 32 bit 32 bit 32 bit 64 bit 4.066MB/s 2.5Mbps USB 1.266MB/s Bus Mastering-Ability of bus device to bypass the CPU can be set at the CMOS setup Other Buses USB USB or Universal Serial Bus is an external bus that most popular form of bus use today USB is hot swappable USB can daisy chain up to 127 devices USB Speeds USB 1.33 MHz 33MHz 66MHz 66MHz 66MHz 66MHz 66MHz 66MHz 2.0 supports up to 480Mbps USB_A Connector USB_B Connector AMR Released September 8.

CNR Slot PCI-X PCI-X is a high performance bus that is designed to meet the increased I/O demands of technologies such as Fibre Channel.modem USB and Local Area Networking interfaces of core logic chipsets. CNR is short for Communication and Network Riser and is a specification that supports audio. 2000. PCI-X card PCI-X Type of Bus PCI-X (v1) PCI-X (v1) PCI-X (v1) Bits Wide 64bit 64bit 64bit Clock Speed 66MHz * 8 = 100MHz * 8 = 133MHz * 8 = Transfer Speed 533MB/s 800MB/s 1066MB/s PCI Express A high speed serial I/O interconnect standard being used for high speed connection it will eventually replace the PCI standards PCI-e Card .CNR Introduced by Intel February 7. Gigabit Ethernet and Ultra3 SCSI.

3mm 5.5mm Usage Flash Memory USB/NIC/Wireless Hard Drive PCMCIA cards supports 16 or 32 bit bus width Express Card is the newest form of card you insert in newer laptops .PCI-Express Lane Widths x1 x2 x4 x8 x16 x32 (new) Peak unidirectional bandwidth 250MB/s 500MB/s 1GB/s 2GB/s 4GB/s 8GB/s Peak full duplex bandwidth 500MB/s 1GB/s 2GB/s 4GB/s 8GB/s 16GB/s Laptop Buses PCMCIA or PC Card Personal Computer memory card international association is a type of bus use for laptops. Type II PCMCIA Card PC Card Types Type I Type II Type III Measurement 3.0mm 10. There are different types of cards and you primarily slide in the card in a PC card slot of a laptop.

Special Thanks to nVidia. some computers are still based on this type. are the most expensive computer cases in the market. and as a result. but some manufacturers don’t usually separate the two types. and the only drawback of course is if some component breaks inside your kind out of luck. Tablet PC Case. Tower cases are differentiated by the number of drive bays that they support. which can host 4-5 drive bays. depending on the company or store that you buy your case from. Mini towers have three drive bays. Commonly use by Notebooks. though the number may be different. . All-In-One-Case This type of case is very popular with Apple computers. ATI and Intel COMPUTER CASES Types of Form Factors: AT Advance Technology (older model) ATX Advance Technology Extended (most popular type of computer case use today) BTX Balance Technology Extended (newest form factor known as the cooling case) SFF Small Form Factor (the smallest form factor when it comes to computer cases) 4 types of Computer Cases: Tower Case (Full. Midi and Mini) These cases usually sport up to multiple drive bays. Desktop Case This type of case in which the monitor sits on top of the case has the fewest alternative available on the market. and PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistant) such as a palm pilot and blackberry. There is actually a middle-ground tower. But even with proliferation of Tower Cases. called the midi. it is slim and cool looking. Linksys. Laptops. Portable Case This type of case is usually the lightest and the most portable in the market.

Toshiba and Samsung Steps to install a CD ROM.2400 KBps 24x . Another type of compact disc.10800 KBps CD-R have two speeds that matter: the record speed and the read speed 16 x 32 . Pioneer.7800 KBps 60x .9000 KBps 72x .4800 KBps 40x . Both of these types of compact disc are read-only. CD Manufacturers include Plextor. called CD-Rs and CD_RWs. CD.2600 KBps 32x . which means that once the data has been recorded onto them. CD-R. Currently. a compact disc is a polycarbonate with one or more metal layers capable of storing digital information. or played.7200 KBps 52x . The most prevalent types of compact discs are those used by the music industry to store digital recordings and CD-ROMs used to store computer data. erasable optical storage is too slow to be used as a computer's main storage facility. they can only be read. optical storage devices are becoming a popular alternative to tape systems as a backup method.CD/DVD ROM COMPACT DISKS Known by its abbreviation.6000 KBps 48x . Attach 40-pin ribbon cable (make sure pin1 is closest to Molex connector) in IDE controllers found on the motherboard Attach Molex connector for power Attach audio cable from sound card to back of CD ROM Go to CMOS and set it to auto or CD ROM detection CD ROM speeds 1x * 150KBps (Whatever the speed in X times 150) 16x . can have their data erased and overwritten by new data. CD-RW or DVD Connect CD ROM device and set jumpers to slave if hard drive is present in a daisy chain environment if by itself in a single cable install jumpers and set to master. but as the speed improves and the cost comes down. Sony.

enough for a full-length movie. rewrite speed and read speed 12 x 10 x 32 48 x 16 x 48 CD R technology media you can record once good for copying permanent data such as music CD RW technology lets you rewrite information CD holds about 650MB (74 minutes) or 700MB (80 minutes) ATAPI .CD-RW have three speeds that matter: the write speed. Newer DVD players can also read CD-R disks.SYS DEVICE=C:\SCSI\ASPICD.SYS DEVICE=A:\OAKCDROM.7GB to 17GB and access rates of 600KBps to 1.CD Files System Driver part of the IFS just load it in the device manager and its protected mode DVD .BAT file. .EXE program in the AUTOEXEC.SYS /D:ASPICD Windows 95 Device Drivers DEVICE=A:\HIMEM. One of the best features of DVD drives is that they are backward compatible with CD-ROMs. The DVD specification supports disks with capacities of from 4. This means that DVD players can play old CD-ROMs.SYS has line like this DEVICE=C:\OAKCDROM. and video CDs. as well as new DVD-ROMs.SYS DEVICE=A:\ASPI2DOS.SYS /D:ASPICD ATAPI DOS DRIVERS DEVICE=A:\HIMEM.Give CD ROM a unique ID and if its at the end of the chain terminate it (load SCSI driver in BIOS) CD ROM Drivers (your CD is going to need drivers in order to function) DOS Device Drivers DEVICE=C:\DOS\HIMEM.Short for digital versatile disc or digital video disc.SYS file you then need to place the Microsoft's MSCDEX.7GB (gigabytes).3 MBps.SYS DEVICE=A:\ASPICD. a new type of CD-ROM that holds a minimum of 4.SYS DEVICE=C:\SCSI\ASPI2DOS. CD-I disks.SYS /D:MSCD001 MSCDEX Once you load the device driver in the CONFIG.ATA Packet Interface is the protocol that lets a CD/DVD device connect to an IDE controller SCSI CD ROM .SYS /D:MSCD001 in AUTOEXEC. Example if CONFIG. MSCDEX is short for Microsoft CD ROM extension.BAT line must match this MSCDEX /D:MSCD001 the D: line must match Windows 9x and Windows 2000 CD ROM drivers CDFS .

DVD uses MPEG-2 to compress video data DVD version Type of DVD DVD -5 DVD .5 8 New Generation of DVD New Generation DVD Blu Ray DVD HD DVD Capacity 25-50GB 15-30GB DVD speeds 1x * 1350KBps (Whatever the speed in X times 1350) DVD Standard DVD-ROM DVD-R DVD-R Dual Layer (DL) DVD-RW DVD+R DVD+R Double Layer (DL) DVD+RW DVD-RAM CD/DVD Troubleshooting Description Read Only Memory compatible with CD's DVD Recordable DVD Recordable in two layers Rewriteable DVD Competes with DVD-R DVD Recordable in two layers Rewriteable DVD which uses DVD+R technology Recordable and erasable stored in cartridges .9 DVD .18 Capacity 4.10 DVD .7 GB 8.54 GB 9.4 GB 17.08 GB Layer Sides Single-sided/Single-layer Single-sided/Double-layer Double-sided/Single-layer Double-sided/Double-layer Hours 2 4 4.

creates more coasters-that is improperly burned and therefore useless CDs and DVDs than any single problem CD burning software the most popular are made by Nero and Easy CD creator Caring for CD/DVD and Disks Hold disks by edge Don't paste paper on surface of disk You can label a disk using a felt-tip pen.Set to Auto Detection in BIOS/CMOS Use molex for power cable attachment where pin 1 should be closest to power connector other end of cable should pin 1 match with IDE controller Set master and slave settings Bypass CD autorun hold SHIFT key Stuck CD use a paper clip or a pin to auto eject it To clean a CD make sure its center out or use a CD cleaner Make sure the CD ROM drivers are loaded Buffer underrun . Don't leave disk in contact with heat or direct sunlight The CD/DVD tray is not a coffee holder :) . Do not label a DVD if both sides hold data.the inability of a source device to keep a burner loaded with data.

is calling on the ALU when necessary. The faster the clock. the older system bus speed of 33 MHz was doubled to 66 MHz. the CPU is the most important element of a computer system. the CPU is where most calculations take place.CPU CPU-Central Processing Unit. which extracts instructions from memory and decodes and executes them. The two biggest manufacturers of PC CPU chips are those made by Intel and AMD other CPU makers include Motorola. 64 bit System Bus How Fast a CPU can send information thru a bus path System Bus: The bus that connects the CPU to main memory As PC microprocessors have become faster and faster. The CPU is the brain of the computer. the speed at which a microprocessor executes instructions. Heat Sink and Liquid Cooling) also thermal paste Overclocking Making a CPU run faster than it should Front Side vs. the clock speed determines how many instructions per second the processor can execute. CPU Terminology Clock speed: Given in megahertz (MHz) or higher (GHz). In terms of computing power. a 32-bit microprocessor that runs at 50MHz is more powerful than a 16-bit microprocessor that runs at 25MHz Address Bus: Refers to the wires that carry specific addresses to and from the processor. the more instructions the CPU can execute per second. Cache: Frequently stored memory. The CPU requires a fixed number of clock ticks (or clock cycles) to execute each instruction. the more powerful the CPU For example. Sometimes referred to simply as the processor or central processor. But microprocessor speeds raced ahead to over 300 MHz. Backside Bus How the CPU communicates with the memory and the cache . which performs arithmetic and logical operations The control unit. Newer CPU's like the pentium IV have and L1 and L2 cache built in with a L3 cache Cache is a very fast memory that is used to hold data and instructions VRM (Voltage Regulator Mode) Is the circuitry that sends standard level voltage to the CPU RISC vs. Via. 1 MHz being equal to 1 million cycles per second. Also called clock rate. Clock speeds are expressed in megahertz (MHz). most older CPU's have an L1 internal cache built in with an L2 external cache support chips. the higher the value. With the advent of the Pentium microprocessor. Complex Instruction Set Computing Math Co Processor Ability of a CPU to perform math functions and advance calculations Cooling Mechanism Devices use to cool a CPU (FAN. the system bus has come under increased scrutiny as one of the chief bottlenecks in modern PCs. CISC Reduce Instruction Set Computing vs. In cases. 1 MHz = 1 million clock cycle 1 GHz = 1 billion clock cycle Bus Speed 32 vs. This meant that system designers needed to insert up to 5 wait states between each memory access. Every computer contains an internal clock that regulates the rate at which instructions are executed and synchronizes all the various computer components. and Cyrix Central Processing Unit (The Brain of the Computer) Two typical components of a CPU are: The arithmetic logic unit (ALU).

Hyperthreading Is a technology developed by Intel that acts as two processors Multicore or Dual Core Has the capability to act as separate processor in the same CPU Instruction set: The set of instructions that the microprocessor can execute. They go into different types of CPU sockets. PGA chips are particularly good for chips that have many pins. Bandwidth: The number of bits processed in a single instruction. Different types of PGA SPGA: Staggered Pin Grid Array BCPGA: Ball Chip Pin Grid Array FCPGA: Flip Chip Pin Grid Array CPGA: Ceramic Pin Grid Array BPGA-Ball Pin Grid Array .The form factor for Intel's Pentium II processors The Slot 1 package replaces the Socket 7 and Socket 8 form factors used by previous Pentium processors.Adding one more execution engine in a CPU Dynamic execution . AMD Athlon SEC SLOT 1 .Allows a new instruction to start processing while a current instruction is still being processed. Pipelining .Single Edge Cartridge a new CPU package that is slightly bigger with a built in fan that goes into a SLOT 1 or SLOT A socket. a type of chip package in which the connecting pins is located on the bottom in concentric squares.A technique that attempts to infer the proper address of the next instruction while knowing only the current one. Slots and Sockets SEC. It similar to a work table use by the CPU Computer Packages.Similar to Intel's Slot 1 but used for AMD Athlons SLOT 2 Slot 2 is a 330-contact use by Intel Pentium II. III XEON found mostly on server computers PGA-Short for pin grid array.Allows the CPU to evaluate the programs's flow and choose the best order in which to process the instructions Registers: Temporary storage areas that hold data before and after processing by the ALU. Some Pentium III and Celeron also use SLOT 1. Branch Prediction . Slot 1 is a 242-contact daughter card slot that accepts a microprocessor packaged as a Single Edge Contact (SEC) cartridge. Superscalar execution . SLOT A . A motherboard can have one or two Slot 1s. such as modern microprocessors.

Land Grid Array (Newer technology replacing PGA) Use grid instead of pins .Pin Array Cartridge (Use in Itanium CPU's) LGA . a chip socket that allows you to insert and remove a chip without special tools.Zero insertion force.A female connector where a CPU connects Note * PGA and LGA fits into a socket and SEC packages fits into a slot Other CPU packages include the following: PAC . Socket .ZIF .

CPU CHART Intel CPU Chart .

AMD CPU Chart .

Heat Sink and Liquid Cooling) 5 Minute shut down (CPU is overheating) Listen for fan for breakdown and weird unusual noises Computer won't start Computer is acting erratic Keep air case tight CPU Compatibility (look at chart) Overclocking (make sure you have the proper cooling mechanism to support this or you will damage your CPU) When installing CPU be careful don't bend or break pins Match PGA to Socket (ZIF) and SEC to Slot ZIF (Zero Insertion Force) Match Pin 1 to the socket or look for notches when installing CPU Avoid ESD by grounding one's self Make sure CPU use the proper voltages CPU Installation CPU package must match pin 1 with CPU Socket Put thermal compound on CPU and install proper cooling mechanism (Fan. Heat Sink or Liquid) . Heat Sink or Liquid) CPU SEC slide in CPU slot and install proper cooling mechanism (Fan.CPU Troubleshooting Problems with heat (cooling mechanism FAN.