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A+, Network+, Security+ Exams in a Nutshell by Pawan K. Bhardwaj

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Areas of Study for A+ Exams 220–602, 220–603, and 220–604

Personal Computer Components

  • Install, configure, optimize and upgrade personal computer components.

    • Add, remove, and configure personal computer components, including selection and installation of appropriate components.

  • Identify tools, diagnostic procedures, and troubleshooting techniques for personal computer components.

    • Identify and apply basic diagnostic procedures and troubleshooting techniques.

    • Recognize and isolate issues with peripherals, multimedia, input devices, internal and external storage, and CPUs.

    • Identify the steps used to troubleshoot components (e.g., check proper seating, installation, appropriate components, settings and current drivers).

    • Recognize names, purposes, characteristics, and appropriate application of tools.

  • Perform preventive maintenance of personal computer components.

    • Identify and apply common preventive maintenance techniques for personal computer components.

Laptops and Portable Devices

This section is not covered in Exam 220–603.

  • Identify the fundamental principles of using laptops and portable devices:

    • Identify appropriate applications for laptop-specific communication connections such as Bluetooth, infrared, cellular WAN, and Ethernet.

    • Identify appropriate laptop-specific power and electrical input devices and determine how amperage and voltage can affect performance.

    • Identify the major components of the LCD, including inverter, screen, and video card.

  • Install, configure, optimize, and upgrade laptops and portable devices:

    • Removal of laptop-specific hardware such as peripherals, hot-swappable devices, and non-hot-swappable devices.

    • Describe how video sharing affects memory upgrades.

  • Use tools, diagnostic procedures, and troubleshooting techniques for laptops and portable devices.

    • Use procedures and techniques to diagnose power conditions, video, keyboard, pointer, and wireless card issues.

Operating Systems

This section is not covered in Exam 220–604.

  • Identify the fundamental principles of operating systems.

    • Use command-line functions and utilities to manage operating systems, including proper syntax and switches.

    • Identify concepts and procedures for creating, viewing, and managing disks, directories, and files on operating systems.

    • Locate and use operating system utilities and available switches:

      • Device Manager and Task Manager

      • MSCONFIG.EXE

      • REGEDIT.EXE

      • REGEDT32.EXE

      • CMD

      • Event Viewer

      • System Restore

      • Remote Desktop

  • Install, configure, optimize, and upgrade operating systems.

    • Identify procedures and utilities used to optimize operating systems.

  • Identify tools, diagnostic procedures, and troubleshooting techniques for operating systems.

    • Demonstrate the ability to recover operating systems (e.g., boot methods, recovery console, ASR, or ERD).

    • Recognize and resolve common operational problems.

    • Recognize and resolve common error messages and codes.

    • Use diagnostic utilities and tools to resolve operational problems.

  • Perform preventive maintenance for operating systems.

    • Demonstrate the ability to perform preventive maintenance on operating systems, including software and Windows updates (e.g., service packs), scheduled backups/restores, and restore points.

Printers and Scanners

  • Identify the fundamental principles of using printers and scanners.

    • Describe processes used by printers and scanners, including laser, ink dispersion, thermal, solid ink, and impact printers and scanners.

  • Install, configure, optimize, and upgrade printers and scanners.

    • Install and configure printers and scanners.

    • Install and configure printer upgrades including memory and firmware.

    • Optimize scanner performance including resolution, file format, and default settings.

  • Identify tools and diagnostic procedures for troubleshooting printers and scanners.

    • Gather information about printer and scanner problems.

    • Review and analyze collected data.

    • Isolate and resolve identified printer and scanner problems, including defining the cause, applying the fix, and verifying functionality.

    • Identify appropriate tools used for troubleshooting and repairing printer and scanner problems.

  • Perform preventive maintenance of printers and scanners.

    • Perform scheduled maintenance according to vendor guidelines (e.g., install maintenance kits or reset page counts).

    • Ensure a suitable environment.

    • Use recommended supplies.

Networks

This section is not covered in Exam 220–604.

  • Identify the fundamental principles of networks.

    • Identify names, purposes, and characteristics of basic network protocols and terminologies.

    • Identify names, purposes, and characteristics of technologies for establishing connectivity.

  • Install, configure, optimize, and upgrade networks.

    • Install and configure browsers.

    • Establish network connectivity.

    • Demonstrate the ability to share network resources.

  • Use tools and diagnostic procedures to troubleshoot network problems.

    • Identify names, purposes, and characteristics of tools.

    • Diagnose and troubleshoot basic network issues.

    • TCP/IP (e.g., gateway, subnet mask, DNS, WINS, and static and automatic address assignment).

    • IPX/SPX (NWLink).

  • Perform preventive maintenance of networks including securing and protecting network cabling.

Security

  • Identify the fundamentals and principles of security.

    • Identify the purposes and characteristics of access control.

    • Identify the purposes and characteristics of auditing and event logging.

  • Install, configure, upgrade, and optimize security.

    • Install and configure software, wireless, and data security.

  • Identify tool and diagnostic procedures and troubleshooting techniques for security.

    • Diagnose and troubleshoot software and data security issues.

  • Perform preventive maintenance for security.

    • Recognize social engineering and address social engineering situations.

Safety and Environmental Issues

This section is not covered in Exam 220–603.

  • Identify potential hazards and proper safety procedures, including power supply, display devices, and environment (e.g., trip, liquid, situational, atmospheric hazards, and high-voltage and moving equipment).

Communication and Professionalism

This section is not covered in Exam 220–604.

  • Use good communication skills, including listening, tact, and discretion, when communicating with customers and colleagues.

    • Use clear, concise, and direct statements.

    • Allow the customer to complete statements—avoid interrupting.

    • Clarify customer statements—ask pertinent questions.

    • Avoid using jargon, abbreviations, and acronyms.

    • Listen to customers.

  • Use job-related professional behavior including notation of privacy, confidentiality, and respect for the customer and customers’ property.

    • Behavior

    • Property

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