The only guide you need for A+ exam success . . . 100% “A comprehensive map to this fast-growing certification.”You’re holding in your hands the most comprehensive and effective guide available for the CompTIA A+ exam.Ed Tetz, Glen Clarke, and Joseph Phillips, who have taught the A+ certification curriculum to hundreds of people, 100% C O M P R E H E N S I V E ONE HUNDRED PERCENT — Tim Sosbe, Editorial Director, Certification Magazinedeliver incisive, comprehensive explanations of every A+ hardware and operating system topic, highlighting Covers the Core COMPREHENSIVEexam-critical concepts and offering hands-on tips that can help you in your real-world IT career. Throughout, they Hardware and AUTHORITATIVE OS Technology exams WHAT YOU NEEDprovide pre-tests, exam-style assessment questions, scenario exercises, and labs—everything you need to master ONE HUNDRED PERCENTthe material and pass the exam.Get complete coverage of Hardware and Master the materialOS exam objectives for CompTIA exams• Master hardware basics, from CPU chips, motherboards, and RAM 220-201 and to ports, cables,and printers 220-202 A+ A+• Get the scoop on installing and configuring drives, peripherals, and portable devices Test your knowledge• Discover all you need to know about hardware maintenance and with assessment troubleshooting questions, scenario Hundreds of unique,• Get up to speed on OS basics, from command prompt procedures to exam-like questions exercises, and labs managing files and directories give you a random set of questions each time Practice on state-• Find out how to install and configure you take the exam. Windows, device drivers, and applications of-the-art test-• Get a handle on OS troubleshooting, from preparation software A deciphering error codes to running utilities A customizable format +• Delve into networking, from cards, cables, and enables you to define topographies to configuring Internet access your own preferences for question presentation. About the Authors Test Prep Tools on CD-ROM: Ed Tetz, A+, MCSE, MCT, has written several guides to MCSE certification. He is an • Hungry Minds test engine instructor/IT Co-Coordinator at the Halifax, Nova Scotia branch of PBSC, an IBM powered by top-rated subsidiary that is one of Canada’s premier computer training companies. Glen E. Clarke, Boson Software A+, MCSE, MCSD, MCT, CIWCI, is a technical instructor at the Halifax, Nova Scotia branch of PBSC with over 4 years of certification teaching experience. Joseph Phillips, TETZ, CLARKE, & PHILLIPS • Searchable e-version of A+, Network+, MCSE, MCT, CTT, has written several books on the MCSE certification the book path. He is an independent trainer and consultant based in Indianapolis, Indiana. CertificationSystem Requirements:PC running Windows 95 or later, Windows NT 4or later. See the About the CD Appendix for $59.99 USA $89.99 Canada £44.99 UK incl. VAT Reader Level: Beginning to Advanced Shelving Category: Certification Bible Boson Software-details and complete system requirements. powered test ISBN 0-7645-4810-7 engine on Hungry Minds www.hungr yminds.com CD-ROM *85 5 -AHGIDj ,!7IA7G4-feibaj!:p;p;T;T;t Test Engine powered by Ed Tetz, A+, MCSE, MCT Glen Clarke, A+, MCSE, MCSD, MCT, CIWCI Joseph Phillips, A+, Network+, MCSE, MCT, CTT
4810-7 FM.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page i A+ Certification Bible
4810-7 FM.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page iii A+ Certification Bible Ed Tetz, Glen E. Clarke, Joseph Phillips, Angshuman Chakraborti, Meeta Gupta, Mridula Parihar, Rashim Mogha Hungry Minds, Inc. Best-Selling Books • Digital Downloads • e-Books • Answer Networks • e-Newsletters • Branded Web Sites • e-Learning New York, NY ✦ Indianapolis, IN ✦ Cleveland, OH
4810-7 FM.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page vi Meeta Gupta is certified in C++, JAVA, JFC/Swing, Java Script, Visual Basic 5.0–6.0, VBA, HTML, DHTML, SQL, Sybase, MS Access, UML, Windows NT 4.0, Novell NetWare 4.x, UNIX SCO, and MAC OS 9. She is presently employed as a development executive with NIIT Ltd., with one year of experience in planning, organizing, writ- ing, and maintaining technical documentation. Meeta also possesses 11⁄ 2 years of experience as a trainer at NIIT Ltd., where she was responsible for conducting inter- active training modules for varied audiences and maintaining hardware and soft- ware including LAN (Novell NetWare). Mridula Parihar is a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD). She has worked with NIIT Ltd. for two years. In her first year, she worked as a technical instructor in the Career Education Group (CEG) division of NIIT Ltd. She has been working with the Knowledge Solutions Business (KSB) group for the last 12 months. Here, Mridula has had the opportunity to work on many technical projects. Her work involves design, development, testing, and implementation of instructor-led training courses. Also, she handles the additional responsibility of ensuring ISO compliance. Rashim Mogha is a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD). She has worked for two years at NIIT Ltd. Her first year was spent in the Career Education Group (CEG), where she taught NIIT students, handled computer installation and maintenance, and managed resources. For the past year, she has been working in the Knowledge Solutions Business (KSB) division of NIIT. In the KSB division, Rashim has had the opportunity to work on varied technical assignments. Her work involves design, development, testing, and implementation of instructor-led training courses. Her primary responsibilities include training development executives, project management, instructional review, technical review, and ensuring ISO compliance.
4810-7 FM.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page vii Credits Acquisitions Editors Graphics and Production Specialists Nancy Maragioglio Amy Adrian Katie Feltman LeAndra Johnson Heather Pope Project Editors Kendra Span Amanda Munz Brian Torwelle Keith Cline Jeremey Unger Erin Zeltner Technical Editors Brian McCann Quality Control Technicians Trevor Kay Laura Albert John Greenough Question Writer Andy Hollandbeck Joseph Phillips David Faust Susan Moritz Copy Editors Luisa Perez Gabrielle Chosney Carl Pierce Maryann Steinhart Nancy Price Kyle Looper Marianne Santy Pat O’Brien Charles Spencer James Russell Barry Childs-Helton Permissions Editor Rebekah Mancilla Laura Moss Editorial Managers Media Development Specialist Ami Frank Sullivan Brock Bigard Kyle Looper Media Development Coordinator Project Coordinators Marisa Pearman Regina Snyder Emily Wichlinski Proofreading and Indexing Joe Shines TECHBOOKS Production Services, Inc.
4810-7 FM.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page viii I would like to dedicate this book to my wife, Sharon, and my children, Emily and Mackenzie. They have put up with a lot during the writing of this book, especially the loss of my time, which is now gone forever. — Ed This book is dedicated to my beautiful wife, Tanya, who has shown amazing support throughout the long nights and early mornings of this book. If it were not for your love and understanding, I would not have had the inspiration to write. — Glen This book is dedicated to my many friends: Mary Jane, Don, Mick, Linda Linda, Mark and Antonietta of Il Gargona, Kenny, Greg, Stacey, Mary, Nancy, Derek, Jason, Lila, and so many others. Thank you all for your friendship. — Joe
4810-7 FM.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page ix Preface W elcome to the A+ Certification Bible. This book is intended to help people who are interested in pursuing their A+ Certification. It covers material that will be found on both of the required A+ Certification Exams (A+ Core Hardware Exam and A+ OS Technologies Exam). The layout of this book has been designed to make the material easy to digest and navigate. We hope that you enjoy your experience with this book. Once you have attained your A+ Certification, you may want to pursue another major industry certification, such as CompTIA’s Network+, CompTIA’s Server+, CompTIA’s Linux+, Microsoft’s MCSE, Novell’s CNE, or Cisco’s CCNA. Any of these certifications will make you more valuable to your current employer or future employers. Good luck on your path to certification. Who Should Read this Book? This book is designed as a study aid for people who plan to write their A+ certifica- tion exams from CompTIA. If you are interested in the A+ certification, this book is the only study guide that you will need. And because it provides more detailed information than is required for the exam, it can be used as a reference at a later date. What is CompTIA? CompTIA (Computer Technology Industry Association) is an association whose members come from all areas of the computing industry. It has corporate member- ships, which include more than 10,000 companies; the IT professionals in its mem- bership come from more than 50 countries. Its main goal is to act as a unifying force to create vendor neutral certifications. You can find more information about CompTIA at http://www.comptia.org. What is A+? From 1999 to 2000, CompTIA saw a 40 percent increase in the number of people tak- ing the A+ certification exam. Over 116,000 people passed this certification in 2000, bringing the number of certified professionals to over 260,000. The A+ certification is clearly one of the fastest growing certifications in the industry.
4810-7 FM.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page x x A+ Certification Bible Structure of this Book This book is broken down into eight parts. Each part focuses on a different set of components from either the A+ Core Hardware exam or the A+ OS Technologies exam. The only exception to this rule is Part VII, which covers the networking com- ponents from both exams. Part I: A+ Core Hardware Exam — Hardware Basics Part I covers the basics of all the hardware components that make up your com- puter. The first chapter provides an overview of some of the basic components that will then be examined in subsequent chapters. Components that will be examined include: CPUs, motherboards, RAM, CMOS, ports, cables, and printers. Part I con- cludes with a review of major system resources, such as IRQs, that are used by the major types of devices. Part II: A+ Core Hardware Exam — Installing and Configuring Hardware Part II focuses on installation of various devices. It includes an examination of inter- nal hard drives, modems, USB peripherals, FireWire, and components that are included in portable devices. Part III: A+ Core Hardware Exam — Maintenance and Troubleshooting Part III provides information about maintaining computer devices, including pre- ventive maintenance and safety procedures, how to handle and care for computer components, and maintenance specifically related to printers. Part III ends with a chapter that covers basic troubleshooting of each of the major components that make up your computer. Part IV: A+ Operating System (OS) Technologies Exam — Operating System Basics Part IV introduces the different operating systems, providing a comparison of Windows 9x systems and Windows 2000, a description of different commands that can be used from command prompt, and a discussion of graphical operating sys- tems that carry out major system functions. These system functions include rout- ing disk maintenance procedures. Part IV also discusses memory management and configuration for MS-DOS and Windows 9x.
4810-7 FM.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page xi Preface xi Part V: A+ Operating System (OS) Technologies Exam — Installing and Configuring Operating Systems Part V of the book discusses how to get the OS going. It includes chapters on installing and upgrading Windows, how to control the boot process, and how to work with devices and applications. When working with applications, the differ- ences between 16-bit, 32-bit and MS-DOS based applications are discussed. Part VI: A+ Operating System (OS) Technologies Exam — Troubleshooting Operating Systems The focus of Part VI is how to troubleshoot problems from the OS perspective. This part examines different tools that can be used to troubleshoot aspects of your oper- ating system and common problems that may arise in day-to-day use of the operat- ing system. Since many computer problems arise from viruses, there is a section that deals with defining and dealing with viruses. Part VII: A+ Exams — Networking Part VII deals with networking. An overview of underlying network hardware — including cabling, network cards, and protocols — is provided, as well as a discus- sion about networking from the OS level and Internet access methods. Appendixes This book has four appendixes. The appendixes include a description of what is found on the accompanying CD-ROM, an objective mapping table to let you know which chapters cover which exam objectives, a sample exam, and some exam- taking tips. Chapter Structure Each chapter in this book follows a common structure: ✦ Objectives: A bulleted list that states the specific exam objectives that will be covered in the chapter. ✦ Pre-Test: A short test that assesses your knowledge of the material in the chapter. The pre-test questions will help you identify areas to focus on. ✦ The body of the chapter follows the Pre-Test. ✦ Key Point Summary: A summary of the crucial facts in the chapter.
4810-7 FM.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page xii xii A+ Certification Bible ✦ Study Guide: The study guide in each chapter contains some or all of the fol- lowing elements. • Assessment Questions: Multiple-choice questions, similar to the ones you will see on the exam, that test your knowledge of material presented in the chapter. • Scenarios: Exercises that require you to apply your critical thinking skills and understanding of the chapter material to solve a hypothetical problem. • Labs: Hands-on or paper-based exercises that follow a step-by-step approach. Labs are designed to help you solidify the material that is in the chapter. • Answers to Pre-Test questions, Assessment Questions, Scenarios, and Labs. Icons Used in this Book In order to draw attention to content in the chapter, a number of icons are used. These icons and their uses include the following: Caution This icon is used when there is something that is discussed or being done in a lab that could have serious consequences to you or your computer. Cross- This icon is used to reference information that is found elsewhere in the book. Reference Exam Tip This icon is used to provide tips that may help you in the exam. It may also be used to stress points that are important to the exam. In the This icon is used to deliver material that discusses practices that are opposite to Real World those presented in the study material and the exam. Objective This icon denotes test objectives that are to be covered in a section. Tip This icon is used for tips or facts that are worth noting, but are not related specifi- cally to the exam.
4810-7 FM.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page xiii Preface xiii Exam Components The A+ Certification exams can be scheduled at Vue or Prometric testing centers. For more information about scheduling your exam, check the Testing Locations page on CompTIA’s Web site at http://www.comptia.org/certification/ test_locations.htm. Pricing As of January 1, 2001, the cost of taking the A+ exams is $82 US per exam for corpo- rate members and $132 US per exam for non-members. What’s on the exam? The objectives for the A+ Core Hardware exam are found in Table 1, and the objec- tives for the A+ OS Technologies exam are found in Table 2. Table 1 A+ Core Hardware Exam (220-201) Domain % of Examination 1.0 Installation, Configuration and Upgrading 30% 2.0 Diagnosing and Troubleshooting 30% 3.0 Preventive Maintenance 5% 4.0 Motherboard/Processors/Memory 15% 5.0 Printers 10% 6.0 Basic Networking 10% Total 100%
4810-7 FM.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page xiv xiv A+ Certification Bible Table 2 A+ OS Technologies Exam (220-202) Domain % of Examination 1.0 OS Fundamentals 30% 2.0 Installation, Configuration and Upgrading 15% 3.0 Diagnosing and Troubleshooting 40% 4.0 Networks 15% Total 100% Passing scores CompTIA uses a scale score to determine the total number of points that each question on the exam will be calculated out of. This scale score is between 100 and 900. In any case, the passing score (not a percentage due to the scale) is 683 or 76% for the A+ Core Hardware exam and 614 or 68% for the A+ OS Technologies exam. The scale score system allows the number of points assigned to questions to vary between each copy of the exam, which makes it harder for test candidates to com- pare scores across exams. The revised exams for A+ were released January 31, 2001. Each exam contains 70 questions, and you will have 90 minutes to complete each exam. In the third quar- ter of 2001, the exams are scheduled to become adaptive. Adaptive exams ask a minimal number of questions (usually about 15), and then will ask additional ques- tions based on any incorrect answers. Appendix D provides additional information about the differences between standard and adaptive exams.
4810-7 FM.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page xv Acknowledgments I would like to thank Hungry Minds, Inc., especially Nancy Maragioglio, the acquisi- tions editor who got me involved with this project. It has always been great to work with her. That feeling of thanks also goes out to Amanda Munz, the project editor with whom I worked very closely. Both Nancy and Amanda made this process fulfill- ing. Not least, I want to thank the technical editors, copy editors, and other staff at Hungry Minds who helped bring this book to print. — Ed First, I would like to thank Ed Tetz for getting me involved in this project. I would also like to thank the staff at Hungry Minds, Inc., especially Nancy Maragioglio, Acquisitions Editor, and Amanda Munz, Project Editor. You all have made this expe- rience one of the most enjoyable of my career. — Glen Many thanks to Nancy Maragioglio for asking me to write this book and for her guidance and support. Thanks also to Amanda Munz for her incredible patience and leadership, and to Ed Tetz and Glen Clarke for their hard work and late nights invested in this book. Many thanks to the technical editors, copy editors, and countless other individuals who’ve made this book a success — Joe
4810-7 Pt01.F 6/6/01 11:35 AM Page 1 P A R T Hardware Basics I ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ A s an A+ Certified Technician, not only do you have to understand how to troubleshoot and fix hardware- related problems, you also have to understand an entire In This Part new dictionary of terms. These terms are ones used in the Chapter 1 computer industry describing a number of different hardware Basic Terms, technologies. Concepts, and Functions of System In Part I, you will explore the common components that are Modules found in a computer system. Then you will be walked through the wonderful world of different hardware technologies, from Chapter 2 motherboards, CPUs, and RAM technologies to different types Popular CPU Chips of ports and connectors, as well as printer operations. and their Characteristics At the end of this part, Chapter 8 will cover how to troubleshoot hardware resources. It will discuss some of the common prob- Chapter 3 lems that occur when installing devices in a system that deals Motherboards: with conflicting I/O addresses or IRQs. Components and Architecture Chapter 4 RAM Terminology Chapter 5 CMOS Basic Parameters Chapter 6 Ports, Cables, and Connectors Chapter 7 Printer Operations and Components Chapter 8 System Resources Used By Devices ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦
4810-7 ch01.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page 3 Basic Terms, Concepts, and 1 C H A P T E R ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ Functions of System Modules EXAM OBJECTIVES Exam 220-201 ✦ A+ Core Hardware ✦ 1.1 Identify basic terms, concepts, and functions of system modules, including how each module should work during normal operation and during the boot process. Examples of concepts and modules are: • System board • Power supply • Processor/CPU • Memory • Storage devices • Monitor • Modem • Firmware • BIOS • CMOS • LCD (portable systems) • Ports • PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)
4810-7 ch01.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page 4 4 Part I ✦ Hardware Basics CHAPTER PRE-TEST 1. What computer component stores settings about devices such as hard drives? 2. What are the two major technologies that are used for hard drives in today’s computers? 3. What is the difference between firmware and software? 4. The BIOS of your computer contains settings for the types of hard drives that are installed and for the current time. True or False? 5. All devices receive their power from the system board. True or False? 6. What is the first step in the boot process? 7. Modems perform what type of signal conversion? 8. Name at least two technologies that are generally associated with portable computers. ✦ Answers to these questions can be found at the end of the chapter. ✦
4810-7 ch01.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page 5 Chapter 1 ✦ Basic Terms, Concepts, and Functions of System Modules 5 T his chapter defines basic terms and provides a brief overview of many topics that will be covered in this book. By the time you finish reading this chapter, you should have a good understanding of the major components of the personal computer, from the motherboard to the monitor. System Board Objective 1.1 Identify basic terms, concepts, and functions of system modules, including how each module should work during normal operation and during the boot process. Content may include the following: System board The term system board can be used to describe any number of circuit boards that make up the internals of your computer, but it is used most often to describe the motherboard. The motherboard is the main board in your computer that contains the BIOS chips, RAM, I/O ports, and CPU. This board maintains the electrical path- ways that enable all other components to communicate with each other. In some computers, you will hear the term daughter board used. A daughter board is a board that contains some of the chips that should have been put on the mother- board, but were not — perhaps due to space limitations or other reasons. Cross- More information about motherboards is provided in Chapter 3. Reference Power supply Objective 1.1 Identify basic terms, concepts, and functions of system modules, including how each module should work during normal operation and during the boot process. Content may include the following: Power supply. The power supply does exactly what its name suggests: supplies power to the rest of the components in the computer. The power supply takes 120 volts or 240 volts (depending on the country you are in) from your building and converts it to output ranging from 5 volts down to 1.5 volts. It contains a number of leads that supply dif- ferent voltages for different types of devices (such as floppy drives and hard drives). Cross- More information about power supplies is provided in Chapter 12. Reference
4810-7 ch01.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page 6 6 Part I ✦ Hardware Basics Processor/CPU Objective 1.1 Identify basic terms, concepts, and functions of system modules, including how each module should work during normal operation and during the boot process. Content may include the following: Processor/CPU The processor is the “brains of the organization,” so to speak. It has been designed to do very few things, but do them extremely fast. The processor performs a limited set of calculations based on requests from the operating system and controls access to system memory. Processor speed is measured in several different ways, including clock cycles, Megahertz (MHz), or millions of instructions per second (MIPS). Either of these measures will give you an estimate of the processor’s power. The speed of early processors ranged from 4–8MHz, while today’s processors have broken the Gigahertz (GHz) mark. Cross- More information about processors is provided in Chapter 2. Reference Memory Objective 1.1 Identify basic terms, concepts, and functions of system modules, including how each module should work during normal operation and during the boot process. Content may include the following: Memory RAM (Random Access Memory) is the computer’s primary working memory. The OS (Operating System) controls the computer’s functions. When the OS loads, it loads into RAM; when applications load, they load into RAM; when you open documents, they load into RAM; and when you need to send output to your monitor, the output is loaded into RAM before it hits your monitor. RAM is used in many areas of your computer, and in many different forms. It is used by the base OS in one big chunk that most people think of as RAM, but it is also implemented as processor cache (L1 and L2), video RAM for your video card, and any number of components that claim to have caching. RAM speeds are usually measured in nanoseconds. One nanosecond is a billionth of a second. There are many delivery forms for RAM. These include DIMM and SIMM packaging. Cross- More information about memory is provided in Chapter 4. Reference
4810-7 ch01.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page 7 Chapter 1 ✦ Basic Terms, Concepts, and Functions of System Modules 7 Firmware Objective 1.1 Identify basic terms, concepts, and functions of system modules, including how each module should work during normal operation and during the boot process. Content may include the following: Firmware It is human nature to want to classify everything we see or work with into cate- gories. Many of these categories seem very distinct until something comes along to challenge our opinions, and then the waters become murky. Take the subject of hardware and software, for example, which at one time were thought to be distinct and separate entities. Software is programming code that is stored on your disk, or some other form of media. Hardware refers to the physical components — boards, peripherals, and other equipment — that make up your computer. Firmware fills in a middle ground between these two, where the distinct line begins to disappear. Firmware is programming code (software) that is contained in or stored on the IC (Integrated Circuit) chips (hardware) on your computer. This combination of hard- ware and software makes up the BIOS on several different devices, with potential settings stored in CMOS. BIOS Objective 1.1 Identify basic terms, concepts, and functions of system modules, including how each module should work during normal operation and during the boot process. Content may include the following: BIOS BIOS is short for Basic Input Output System. The BIOS is actually software that is stored in a ROM (Read Only Memory) chip on your motherboard. Most systems today use a Flash EPROM (Erasable Programmable ROM) so that the user can update them. The BIOS is responsible for controlling or managing the POST (Power On Self Test), the boot process, and the interaction of components on the motherboard. These are all low-level processes that the BIOS is responsible for, but still extremely important to your system. Cross- More information about BIOS is provided in Chapter 3. Reference CMOS Objective 1.1 Identify basic terms, concepts, and functions of system modules, including how each module should work during normal operation and during the boot process. Content may include the following: CMOS CMOS is short for Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor, which is the type of manufacturing process that creates most integrated circuits. This development pro- cess is used to create the following:
4810-7 ch01.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page 8 8 Part I ✦ Hardware Basics ✦ High-density DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) ✦ High-speed processors ✦ Low-power devices for mobile use The term complementary refers to the fact that these chips use negatively and posi- tively charged transistors (which complement each other) to store information. Most RAM chips rely on CMOS technology to store information, but when dis- cussing CMOS, you will probably be referring to the hardware configuration settings that are saved between reboots of your computer. These settings include: ✦ Hard drives and floppy drives ✦ Memory ✦ Keyboard ✦ Mouse ✦ Reserved resources (such as IRQ, I/O addresses, and DMA channels) ✦ Power on password ✦ Date ✦ Time ✦ ACPI (Advance Configuration Power Interface) Cross- More information about CMOS is provided in Chapter 5. Reference Storage Devices Objective 1.1 Identify basic terms, concepts, and functions of system modules, including how each module should work during normal operation and during the boot process. Content may include the following: Storage devices Storage devices on your computer are responsible for storing data, such as the operating system, applications, and actual output of applications or user data. Depending on the amount and type of data, there are three basic types of devices to work with: ✦ Floppy drives, including some of the high-capacity formats such as 120MB Superdisks ✦ Hard drives, including some of the removable cartridge drives such as SyQuest drives ✦ Optical drives, including CD-ROM and DVD drives Any one of these formats will enable you to read data into your computer, and some can be used for storing data as well.
4810-7 ch01.F 6/7/01 8:12 AM Page 9 Chapter 1 ✦ Basic Terms, Concepts, and Functions of System Modules 9 When dealing with hard drives, there are two major attachment interfaces: IDE (Integrated Device Electronics) or ATA (AT Attachment), and SCSI (Small Computer System Interface). ATA opens up the IDE interface to accept a wider variety of devices. There has been a long ongoing battle for speed and performance between IDE and SCSI, but in general, SCSI provides faster and more reliable transportation. IEEE-1394 or FireWire provides a fast enough bus to enable hard drives to be attached to a computer by this method. There are also PCMCIA or PC Card hard drives that can be used with your computer. The type of drives that you will be attaching to your computer will depend on the types that are supported by your motherboard or I/O cards. Cross- More information about hard drives and storage devices is supplied in Chapter 9. Reference Monitor Objective 1.1 Identify basic terms, concepts, and functions of system modules, including how each module should work during normal operation and during the boot process. Content may include the following: Monitor The different types of buses that can be used to provide video services include: ✦ ISA, which runs at a speed of 8 MHz ✦ PCI, which runs at a speed of 33 MHz ✦ AGP, which runs at a speed of 66 MHz You have probably already guessed that the faster the bus speed, the faster your video card is likely to function. The AGP bus was designed specifically for video. In addition to a fast bus speed, video performance and color depth is provided by RAM or Video RAM. This RAM is found on the video card itself. Some high-end video cards will also have a small processor to handle some of the work of display- ing information on your monitor. Video cards traditionally allow for color depths that include: ✦ 4 bit or 16 colors ✦ 8 bit or 256 colors ✦ 16 bit or 65 thousand colors ✦ 24 bit or 16 million colors ✦ 32 bit or 4 billion colors