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Chapter 20 - Notebooks, Tablet PCs, and PDAs
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Chapter 20 - Notebooks, Tablet PCs, and PDAs


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  • 1. A+ Guide to Managing and Maintaining your PC, 6e Chapter 20 Notebooks, Tablet PCs, and PDAs
  • 2. Objectives
    • Learn how to select, support, and add peripheral devices to notebooks
    • Learn how to replace and upgrade internal notebook components
    • Learn how to troubleshoot notebooks
    • Learn about technologies relating to tablet PCs
    • Learn about personal digital assistants (PDAs)
  • 3. Introduction
    • Notebook use is growing
      • Over half of the PCs purchased today are notebooks
      • 30 percent of PCs in use today are notebooks
    • Topics to cover
      • Supporting and upgrading notebooks
      • Troubleshooting notebooks
      • Tablet PCs
      • Personal digital assistants (PDAs)
  • 4. Supporting Notebooks
    • Notebook (laptop): a portable computer
    • Comparing notebooks to full-sized computers
      • Same internal technology, but built as a single system
      • Notebooks are smaller and portable
      • Notebooks use less power
    • Topics to cover:
      • Selecting and purchasing a notebook
      • Special considerations for servicing notebooks
      • Caring for notebooks
      • Connecting peripheral equipment to notebooks
  • 5. Tips for Buying a Notebook
    • Consider a notebook if portability is important
      • Desktops are faster, cheaper, and easier to upgrade
    • Do not buy extra features unless they are needed
      • Extra features are costly and add to notebook weight
    • Purchase an extended warranty
    • Select a well regarded brand
    • Some guidelines for notebook components:
      • Choose an active matrix LCD panel (over dual scan)
      • Buy as much memory as you plan to use later
      • The best type of battery to buy is a lithium battery
  • 6. Special Considerations When Servicing Notebooks
    • Warranty concerns
      • Be careful not to void the warranty
      • Information needed before contacting technical support
        • Notebook model and serial number
        • Name, phone number, and address of the purchaser
    • Service manuals and other sources of information
      • Enable you to safely disassemble a notebook
      • Where to find the necessary documentation
        • Physical manual provided by the manufacturer
        • On the Internet; e.g., the manufacturer’s Web site
  • 7. Figure 20-2 The model and serial number stamped on the bottom of a notebook are used to identify the notebook to service desk personnel
  • 8. Figure 20-3 A notebook service manual tells you how to use diagnostic tools, troubleshoot a notebook, and replace components
  • 9. Special Considerations When Servicing Notebooks (continued)
    • Diagnostic tools provided by manufacturers
      • Used to pinpoint a problem component
      • Sources: setup CD or manufacturer’s Web site
      • Example: PC-Doctor
    • The OEM operating system build
      • Notebooks are sold with the OS preinstalled
      • OEM: original equipment manufacturer
      • OS build: customized operating system build
      • Diagnostic software is customized to the notebook
  • 10. Special Considerations When Servicing Notebooks (continued)
    • Windows notebook features
      • Channel aggregation: allows two modem connections
      • Power management features
      • Support for PC cards
      • Windows 9x/Me Briefcase
      • Windows 2000/XP Offline Files and Folders
      • Folder redirection under Windows 2000/XP
      • Hardware profiles under Windows 2000/XP
    • Sources for backup OS: recovery CD or partition
  • 11. Figure 20-6 This notebook hard drive has a recovery partition that can be used to recover the system
  • 12. Special Considerations When Servicing Notebooks (continued)
    • Upgrade the operating system only if necessary
    • Tips for upgrading a notebook operating system
      • Upgrade the OS using an OS build from the OEM
      • Ensure that supporting device drivers are included
      • Follow OEM’s specific instructions for the installation
    • Advice for upgrading with an off-the-shelf of the OS
      • Determine if system components are compatible
      • Ensure that all device drivers are stored on hard drive
      • If recommended, flash the BIOS before the upgrade
  • 13. Caring for Notebooks
    • A few general guidelines:
      • Do not touch the LCD panel with sharp objects
      • Use battery packs recommended by the OEM
      • Keep your notebook at a controlled temperature
      • Avoid direct sunlight for an extended period of time
      • Do not touch notebook until you are grounded
    • A few cleaning tips:
      • Clean the LCD panel with a soft dry cloth
      • If keys stick, spray under keys with compressed air
      • Clean the battery connections with a contact cleaner
  • 14. Caring for Notebooks (Continued)
    • Securing a notebook
      • When leaving work, lock notebook in a secure place
      • Use a notebook cable lock to secure it to your desk
      • Use a theft-prevention plate (with an identifying label)
    • Types of passwords
      • Supervisor, user (power-on), and hard drive
      • Check CMOS setup to see if passwords are supported
    • Data backups
      • Always back up critical data
      • Use an online backup service (good when traveling)
  • 15. Figure 20-8 Use a cable lock system to secure a notebook computer to a desk to help prevent it from being stolen
  • 16. Figure 20-9 CMOS setup main menu shows support for four power-on passwords
  • 17. Caring for Notebooks (Continued)
    • Two power sources: AC adapter and DC adapter
    • Types of batteries:
      • Ni-Cad (nickel-cadmium)
      • NiMH (nickel-metal-hydride)
      • Lithium Ion
      • Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC): experimental
    • A few tips for managing power:
      • Check the manual for battery recharging instructions
      • Use power-management features of your OS
      • Use standby or hibernate mode when notebook is idle
  • 18. Caring for Notebooks (Continued)
    • Power Options Properties dialog box
      • Used to modify multiple power management schemes
      • Example: cause notebook to hibernate after set time
    • The battery meter can be added to the taskbar
    • Port replicator: interface to AC outlet and peripherals
    • Docking station: port replicator + secondary storage
    • Hardware profiles
      • Enable you to store various hardware configurations
      • Example: set up one profile to use a docking station
  • 19. Figure 20-13 The Power Options Properties dialog box of Windows 2000/XP allows you to create and manage multiple power schemes
  • 20. Figure 20-19 Windows XP allows you to set a hardware profile for different hardware configurations
  • 21. Connecting Peripheral Devices to Notebooks
    • A few ports, switches and slots:
      • PC Card/CardBus slot with lock switch and eject button
      • ExpressCard slot with slot protective cover
      • USB and FireWire ports
      • Wireless antenna on/off switch
      • Power jack for DC or AC power adapter
    • PC Card slots and USB ports are standard equipment
    • Examples of PC cards
      • Modems, network cards, sound cards, TV tuners
  • 22. Figure 20-20 Ports on the back of a notebook
  • 23. Figure 20-22 Many peripheral devices are added to a notebook using a PC Card slot; here, a modem PC Card is inserted in a PC Card slot
  • 24. Connecting Peripheral Devices to Notebooks (continued)
    • PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association)
      • Develops standards for PC card slots
    • PCMCIA standards related to size: Type I to Type III
    • PC cards may also provide proprietary ports/adapters
    • PC card slot technologies: 16-bit ISA and 32-bit PCI
    • Two new PCMCIA standards:
      • CardBus: increases bus width to 32 bits
      • ExpressCard: matches PCI Express and USB 2.0
  • 25. Figure 20-27 Dimensions of CardBus and ExpressCard cards
  • 26. Connecting Peripheral Devices to Notebooks (continued)
    • Socket service: connects or disconnects a PC card
    • Card service: provides driver after socket created
    • Removing a card from a PC card or ExpressCard slot
      • Click the Unplug or Eject Hardware icon in system tray
      • Click Stop to open Stop a Hardware device dialog box
      • Click OK and the proceed to eject the card
    • A few tips for helping a notebook recognize a card
      • Make sure the system is on when inserting the card
      • Try installing drivers before you insert the card
  • 27. Figure 20-32 Safely Remove Hardware dialog box
  • 28. Connecting Peripheral Devices to Notebooks (continued)
    • WiFi review:
      • Two connection modes: ad hoc and via access point
      • Change wireless settings in Network Connections
      • To make a connection, turn on wireless switch
      • You can choose from a list of wireless networks
    • Bluetooth review:
      • Used for short-range wireless; e.g., optical mouse
    • Some special considerations for Bluetooth:
      • Read documentation for configuration guidelines
      • If device does not function, reinstall the device driver
  • 29. Figure 20-38 Select a wireless network from those in range
  • 30. Replacing and Upgrading Internal Parts
    • Three common maintenance tasks:
      • Upgrading memory
      • Exchanging a hard drive
      • Replacing a broken component; e.g., the LCD panel
  • 31. Three Approaches to Dealing with a Broken Internal Device
    • Factors to consider before starting a repair project:
      • Whether the warranty covers the problem
      • Whether the warranty will be voided by your action
      • How much time the repair will take
    • Alternatives to fixing (or upgrading) it yourself:
      • Return notebook to the OEM or other service center
      • Substitute an external component for internal device
    • Guidelines to follow if you choose to replace device:
      • Obtain instructions for replacing an internal device
      • Back up important data and take safety precautions
  • 32. Upgrading Memory
    • General considerations:
      • Add memory to improve performance
      • Additional memory needed for video-editing software
      • Types of video memory: dedicated and shared
    • Types of memory modules used in notebooks:
      • SO-DIMMs (small outline DIMMs)
      • SO-RIMMs (small outline RIMMs)
      • Credit card memory
      • Proprietary memory modules
      • MicroDIMMs
  • 33. Figure 20-41 Older notebooks used credit card memory and proprietary memory modules, both larger than the current SO-DIMM modules
  • 34. Upgrading Memory (continued)
    • Preparing for the upgrade
      • Make sure you are not voiding your warranty
      • Search for best buy on a suitable and authorized part
    • Upgrade process is similar to that for desktops
    • General instructions for accessing memory:
      • Turn the notebook upside down
      • Remove the screws and the panel cover
      • Locate the memory modules in expansion slots
    • Advice: check user guide for specific instructions
  • 35. Figure 20-43 To access memory modules, remove a panel cover on the bottom of the notebook
  • 36. Replacing a Hard Drive
    • General guidelines
      • Check with OEM for drive sizes and connector types
      • Be aware or voiding manufacturer’s warranty
      • A notebook drive is 2.5 inches wide
    • Other issues:
      • If old drive crashed, obtain recovery and driver CDs
      • When moving data, you may need USB-IDE converter
    • General instructions for replacing the hard drive
      • Open the case, pull old drive out of bay, and replace
      • Boot the system from a recovery CD (if drive is new)
  • 37. Figure 20-49 First remove the floppy drive to reveal the hard drive cavity
  • 38. Replacing the LCD Panel
    • Diagnosing a problem when panel is dim or black:
      • Connect an external monitor to the video port
      • If external monitor works, LCD panel is likely broken
    • Causes of a malfunctioning LCD panel
      • Video inverter card is not working (relatively minor)
      • Faulty LCD panel assembly (major)
    • A few tips for successful a disassembly
      • Take safety precautions
      • Assemble the appropriate set of tools
      • Keep parts and screws organized
  • 39. Figure 20-52 Tools for disassembling a notebook computer
  • 40. Figure 20-54 Using a notepad can help you organize screws so you know which screw goes where when reassembling
  • 41. Replacing the LCD Panel (continued)
    • How to replace an LCD panel assembly
      • Remove the battery pack
      • Remove the keyboard (if necessary)
      • Remove screws in the back of the notebook
      • Remove the hinge covers
      • Lift the cover off the notebook case
      • Carefully disconnect wires or cables
      • Remove screws holding the top cover and LCD panel
      • Carefully remove the cable system
  • 42. Figure 20-59 Remove the top LCD cover by first removing hinge screws and disconnecting the hinges; then lift off the cover
  • 43. Replacing a Mini PCI Card
    • Mini PCI specifications
      • Define the form factor for notebook expansion cards
      • Three types: Type I, II, and III (differ by connectors)
    • Steps for removing a Mini PCI wireless network card
      • Remove the hinged cover and the keyboard
      • Disconnect the cable to the wireless antenna
      • Pull outward on the securing tabs
      • After the card pops, lift it out of the cavity
    • Replacing the Mini PCI wireless network card
      • Insert card, reconnect antenna, add keyboard and cover
  • 44. Figure 20-62 Remove a Mini PCI card
  • 45. Other Field Replaceable Units
    • A number of field replaceable units (FRUs)
      • The motherboard and CPU
      • The keyboard
      • The PC Card socket assembly
      • The optical drive (CD or DVD drive)
      • The floppy drive
      • A sound card
      • A pointing device
      • AC adapter, the battery pack and the DC controller
    • OEM must approve or make replacement parts
  • 46. Troubleshooting Notebooks
    • Software and hardware problems are covered
    • Actions that apply to all computer troubleshooting
      • Interview the user
      • Back up any important data
      • Document each step
  • 47. Problems with the Power System
    • A few troubleshooting guidelines
      • Check the power light (power may be off)
      • Connect the AC adapter (battery might have run down)
      • Check the connections at the adapter unit
      • Try a new AC adapter
      • Eliminate power strips
      • Try unplugging all unnecessary devices
      • Try reseating memory modules, which may be loose
      • Replace CMOS RAM battery (if CMOS setup corrupted)
  • 48. Problems with Video
    • Causes:
      • Display settings
      • The power system
      • A faulty LCD panel or inverter board
    • Table 20-4 shows troubleshooting tips
    • Advice for replacing the LCD panel or inverter board
      • Purchase the same LCD assembly originally installed
  • 49. Table 20-4 Problems with video and what to do about them
  • 50. Table 20-4 Problems with video and what to do about them (continued)
  • 51. A Notebook Gets Wet
    • Steps to take when a notebook gets wet:
      • Turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker
      • Turn off the computer and disconnect the AC adapter
      • Turn off any attached devices
      • Ground yourself by touching a metal unpainted part
      • Remove any PC Cards or removable drives
      • Remove the battery pack, memory, and hard drive
      • Open the notebook and elevate it on two books
      • Allow notebook to dry for 24 hours
  • 52. The Notebook is Dropped
    • Save your work, close all files, shutdown computer
    • Disconnect the AC adapter
    • Turn off and disconnect any external devices
    • Reinstall power adapters and turn on the notebook
    • Troubleshooting the system (if it is not working)
  • 53. Protecting and Retrieving Data
    • Obtain a notebook IDE adapter kit
    • Remove the notebook hard drive from the notebook
    • Connect the IDE adapter to the drive
    • Copy the data onto a hard drive in the desktop system
    • Reinstall the hard drive in the notebook
  • 54. Figure 20-67 Use an IDE adapter kit to install a notebook hard drive into a desktop system
  • 55. More Errors and What to do About Them
    • Other sources for notebook troubleshooting tips:
      • Table 20-5
      • Troubleshooting tips for desktop computers
      • Web site of the notebook manufacturer
      • The notebook service manual
      • Other Internet sites (using general search)
  • 56. Table 20-5 Error messages and what to do about them
  • 57. Table 20-5 Error messages and what to do about them (continued)
  • 58. Online Resources for Troubleshooting Notebooks
    • Tips for desktops apply to troubleshooting notebooks
    • Be especially conscious of warranty issues
      • Know what you can do within the warranty guidelines
    • Notebook documentation is comprehensive
    • OEM provides extra support for the system
    • Drivers are obtained from setup CD or OEM Web site
  • 59. Surveying Tablet PCs
    • Tablet PC: small notebook with special features
    • Forms of tablet PC
      • A convertible tablet PC
      • A slate model tablet PC
      • A tablet PC with a docking station
    • Some features:
      • Onscreen writing ability for notes and drawings
      • Voice- and handwriting-recognition software
      • Built-in support for wireless, wired, dial-up networking
      • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system
  • 60. Surveying PDAs
    • PDAs (personal digital assistants)
      • Sometimes called personal PCs or handheld PCs
      • Used for smaller tasks, such as scheduling
      • Examples: Palm Pilot, Pocket PC, or BlackBerry
    • PDAs connect to desktop using Bluetooth or USB
    • A few features: GPS receiver, fold-out keyboard
    • A few questions to ask before purchase?
      • How easy is the PDA to use?
      • What operating system does the PDA use?
      • What is the price of the PDA?
  • 61. Figure 20-71 Garmin iQue M5 Color Pocket PC PDA and GPS
  • 62. Battery Life on a PDA
    • Battery life on a PDA varies by model
    • Some PDAs use rechargeable batteries
    • Data is lost if battery completely discharges
    • Good habit: set PDA in its cradle when not in use
  • 63. Applications on a PDA
    • Some tasks performed:
      • Store addresses and phone numbers
      • Manage a calendar
      • Run word-processing software
      • Send and receive e-mail
      • Access Web sites
      • Provide telecommunication
    • Applications may be preinstalled or downloaded
    • Web content read by PDA is limited
  • 64. Connecting a PDA to a PC
    • Use cradle with cable or Bluetooth wireless
    • Synchronization: process by which PDA and PC talk
    • Setting up communication:
      • Install synchronization software
      • Connect the PDA
      • PDA and PC will immediately synchronize
    • A few troubleshooting tips:
      • Ensure USB or serial cable is plugged in at both ends
      • Ensure USB or serial port is enabled in CMOS setup
      • Uninstall and reinstall the PDA software on the PC
  • 65. PDA Manufacturers and Operating Systems
    • List of operating systems used on PDAs:
      • Windows Mobile
      • BlackBerry
      • Palm OS
      • Symbian OS
    • Some manufacturers:
      • Casio
      • Compaq
      • Hewlett-Packard
      • Palm (was PalmOne)
  • 66. Summary
    • Notebook (laptop): portable computer
    • OS build: notebook OS customized by the OEM
    • Power Options Properties: used to configure AC and DC power management schemes
    • PCMCIA: develops standards for PC card, CardBus, and ExpressCard slots
    • Wireless notebooks can connect in an ad hoc mode or via an access point
  • 67. Summary (continued)
    • Notebook memory modules: SO-DIMMs, SO-RIMMs credit card memory, and proprietary memory modules
    • Mini PCI specifications: define form factor for notebook expansion cards
    • Troubleshooting notebooks is like troubleshooting desktops
    • Tablet PC: small notebook with special user interface
    • PDAs (personal digital assistants): miniature computer used for simple tasks, such as scheduling