Operating Systems

The A+ Essentials exam tests your knowledge of introductory concepts of operating systems. Exams 220–602, 603, and 604 test your ability to identify and use tools and utilities to manage operating systems and diagnose common problems related to the components of operating systems. In this section, we will discuss commonly used tools and utilities to manage the operating system, utilities to troubleshoot startup and recovery problems, and the maintenance of disks and filesystems. The two major desktop operating systems covered on the A+ exams are Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional. A majority of the tools and utilities covered in the following sections are available on both of these operating systems.


There are some overlapping objectives covered in A+ Essentials and Exams 220–602, 220–603, and 220–604. I encourage you to review the fundamental concepts of operating systems covered in Chapter 2.

Fundamental Principles

This section focuses on identifying, locating, and using command-line utilities, as well as disk and system management tools. These utilities are very helpful in diagnosing and resolving common system problems.

Command-line functions and utilities

Most of the system management tasks can be accomplished using command-line utilities, which are available in both Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP operating systems. Although most system administrators and technicians prefer to use the graphical user interfaces (GUIs) or wizards to ...

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