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A+ Network+ Security+ Exams In A Nutshell A Desktop Quick Reference


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All You need to know about hardware

All You need to know about hardware

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  • 2. Other resources from O’ReillyRelated titles MCSE Core Required Internet Core Protocols: Exams in a Nutshell The Definitive Guide MCSE Core Elective TCP/IP Network Exams in a Nutshell Administration MCSA on Windows Server 802.11 Wireless Networks: 2003 Core Exams in a The Definitive Guide Nutshell PC Hardware in a Nutshell Security Warrior Linux in a Nutshell Network Security Windows Vista in a Assessment Nutshell Unix in a Nutshell is more than a complete catalog of O’Reilly books. You’ll also find links to news, events, articles, weblogs, sample chapters, and code examples. is the essential portal for developers inter- ested in open and emerging technologies, including new platforms, programming languages, and operating systems. Conferences O’Reilly brings diverse innovators together to nurture the ideas that spark revolutionary industries. We specialize in documenting the latest tools and systems, translating the innovator’s knowledge into useful skills for those in the trenches. Visit for our upcoming events. Safari Bookshelf ( is the premier online reference library for programmers and IT professionals. Conduct searches across more than 1,000 books. Sub- scribers can zero in on answers to time-critical questions in a matter of seconds. Read the books on your Book- shelf from cover to cover or simply flip to the page you need. Try it today for free.
  • 3. A+, NETWORK+,SECURITY+ EXAMS IN A NUTSHELL Pawan K. BhardwajBeijing • Cambridge • Farnham • Köln • Paris • Sebastopol • Taipei • Tokyo
  • 4. A+, Network+, Security+ Exams in a Nutshellby Pawan K. BhardwajCopyright © 2007 Pawan K. Bhardwaj. All rights reserved.Printed in the United States of America.Published by O’Reilly Media, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472.O’Reilly books may be purchased for educational, business, or sales promotional use. Onlineeditions are also available for most titles ( For more information, contactour corporate/institutional sales department: (800) 998-9938 or Jeff Pepper and Colleen Gorman Indexer: Tolman Creek DesignProduction Editor: Mary Brady Cover Designer: Karen MontgomeryCopyeditor: Mary Brady Interior Designer: David FutatoProofreader: Tolman Creek Design Illustrators: Robert Romano and Jessamyn ReadPrinting History: March 2007: First Edition.Nutshell Handbook, the Nutshell Handbook logo, and the O’Reilly logo are registeredtrademarks of O’Reilly Media, Inc. The In a Nutshell series designations, A+, Network+,Security+ Exams in a Nutshell, the image of a Goliath beetle, and related trade dress aretrademarks of O’Reilly Media, Inc.Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products areclaimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and O’Reilly Media,Inc. was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed in caps or initialcaps.While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher andauthor assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the useof the information contained herein. This book uses RepKover™ a durable and flexible lay-flat binding. ,ISBN-10: 0-596-52824-8ISBN-13: 978-0-596-52824-9[M]
  • 5. Chapter 1 Table of ContentsPreface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ixPart I. A+ Essentials 1. Overview of A+ Essentials Exam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Areas of Study for the A+ Essentials Exam 5 2. A+ Essentials Study Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Personal Computer Components 18 Laptops and Portable Devices 50 Operating Systems 65 Printers and Scanners 111 Networks 129 Security 149 Safety and Environmental Issues 165 Communications and Professionalism 172 3. Prep and Practice for the A+ Essentials Exam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181 Preparing for the A+ Essentials Exam 182 Suggested Exercises for the A+ Essentials Exam 182 Highlighters Index 191 Practice Questions for the A+ Essentials Exam 231 v
  • 6. Part II. A+ Exams 220-602, 220-603, and 220-604 4. Overview of the A+ Exams 220-602, 220-603, and 220-604 . . . . . 245 Areas of Study for A+ Exams 220-602, 220-603, and 220-604 247 5. Study Guide for A+ Exams 220-602, 220-603, and 220-604 . . . . . 251 Personal Computer Components 252 Laptops and Portable Devices 268 Operating Systems 276 Printers and Scanners 307 Networks 328 Security 358 6. Prep and Practice for the A+ Exams 220-602, 220-603, and 220-604 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 373 Preparing for the A+ Exams 374 Suggested Exercises for the Exams 374 Highlighters Index 383 Practice Questions for the A+ Exams 404Part III. Network+ 7. Overview of the Network+ Exam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 417 Areas of Study for the Network+ Exam 419 8. Network+ Exam Study Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 424 Media and Topologies 425 Protocols and Standards 457 Network Implementation 489 Network Support 514 9. Network+ Exam Prep and Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 540 Preparing for the Network+ Exam 541 Network+ Exam Suggested Exercises 541 Network+ Exam Highlighters Index 546 Network+ Exam Practice Questions 573vi | Table of Contents
  • 7. Part IV. Security+ 10. Overview of Security+ Exam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 585 Areas of Study for Security+ Exam 587 11. Security+ Exam Study Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 593 General Security Concepts 594 Communication Security 617 Infrastructure Security 648 Basics of Cryptography 672 Operational and Organizational Security 685 12. Security+ Exam Prep and Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 702 Preparing for the Security+ Exam 703 Security+ Exam Suggested Exercises 703 Security+ Exam Highlighters Index 707 Security+ Exam Practice Questions 734Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 745 Table of Contents | vii
  • 8. Chapter 2 PrefaceWelcome to CompTIA: A+, Network+ and Security+ Exams in a Nutshell. Idesigned this book for the IT professional who wants to complete his ComputerTechnology Industry Association (CompTIA) certifications. CompTIA offersmultiple entry-level certification exams for various fields of the IT industry. Thesecertifications are platform-independent and are endorsed by several leaders in theIT industry such as Microsoft, IBM, Hewlett Packard, etc. If you are looking toenter the exciting field of IT support, the certifications you will be most interestedin are as follows:A+ The A+ certification is entry-level and is meant for those individuals who want to get into the exciting field of computer hardware and software support. You will need to pass two exams to complete the A+ certification track. The first is A+ Essentials, and it is required. The second exam can be chosen from one of the three exams leading to three different certifications. Exam 220-602 is intended for those individuals who work in a mobile or corporate environment, which calls for a high level of face-to-face client inter- action. Candidates who pass the A+ Essentials and the 220-602 exams receive the IT Technician certification. The second exam, 220-603, is for those individuals who work remotely to interact with clients. The combina- tion of A+ Essentials and the 220-603 exam leads to the Remote Support Technician certification. The third exam, 220-604, is for those individuals who work in repair houses that call for high level of hardware-related trouble- shooting, and who seldom interact directly with the client. The combination of A+ Essentials and the 220-604 exam leads to the Depot Technician certification.Network+ The Network+ certification is entry-level and is for those individuals who wish to pursue a career in computer network support. Although it is not a requirement, CompTIA does recommend that a candidate has at least nine months of hands-on experience before she attempts to take this exam. ix
  • 9. CompTIA also recommends that the candidate get the A+ certification before getting the Network+ certification. This certification can be achieved by passing only one exam: N10-003.Security+ The Security+ certification is entry-level and is for those individuals who wish to pursue a career in computer security. Although it is not a requirement, CompTIA does recommend that the candidate has at least two years of hands-on experience in computer networking with emphasis on security. It also recommends that the candidate get the Network+ certification before getting the Security+ certification. Like the Network+ certification, the Secu- rity+ certification can also be attained by passing only one exam: SYO-101.Each of these CompTIA certifications is covered in this book, and if taken appro-priately, each track can get you an entry-level job in the IT field of your choice.These exams just give a head start to your IT career. You can further enhance yourcareer in any of the IT fields by pursuing more advanced certifications from othervendors. Several IT industry leaders, such as Microsoft, IBM, or Hewlett Packard,recognize the CompTIA certifications. For example, Microsoft recognizes thecombination of A+ and Network+ certifications as one of the elective exams in itsMCSA and MCSE tracks.The focus of this book is on providing the core knowledge to prepare you for thetwo A+ exams—the Network+ exam and the Security+ exam. This book is meantto be used as part of your final preparation, and not as your only preparation.Think of this as the notes you’d have written down if you were to highlight andthen record every essential nugget of information related to the skills beingmeasured in the A+, the Network+, and the Security+ exams.Basically, what I did was to boil the required knowledge down to its finest core.Thus, rather than having 500 to 700 pages covering each exam, there’s justapproximately 150 pages for each. With this in mind, the best way to use thisbook is as part of your final review. So after you’ve built sufficient hands-onexpertise and studied all the relevant texts, grab this book and study it cover tocover as part of your final exam cram. Most of the individuals start their IT support career with the A+ certification, and then move on to the Network+ certification to prove their skills in computer network support. The Security+ certi- fication is basically meant for those individuals who either work in a secure computing environment or wish to attain more advanced security-related certifications. It is highly recommended that if you are just starting your IT career, you should start with the A+ certifi- cation, choosing an appropriate A+ track.One of the good things about the CompTIA exams is that once you pass the examfor any of the available tracks, the certification never expires so you don’t have toworry about the retirement of exams. But this certainly does not mean that youshould quit studying. Studies are as essential as hands-on experience in any tech-nical field. So, upgrading yourself with newer exam objectives in order to keepyou updated with changes in technology is not a bad idea.x | Preface
  • 10. Conventions Used in This BookEach part within this book corresponds to a single Microsoft exam and consists ofthe following sections:Exam Overview Provides a brief introduction to the exam’s topic, a list of objectives, and a cross reference to where the objectives are covered.Study Guide Provides a comprehensive study guide for the skills being measured on the exam. You should read through and and study this section extensively. If you encounter topics you haven’t practiced with and studied extensively prior to reading this text, you should do more hands-on work with the related area of study and refer to an expanded discussion in a relevant text. Once you’ve built the real-world know-how and developed the essential background needed to succeed, you can resume your studies and move forward.Prep and Practice Provides exercises that we suggest to supplement your studies, highlights from all the topics covered for the exam, and practice questions to help test your knowledge. Sample questions are followed by answers with explana- tions where necessary.The following font conventions are used in this book:Constant width Used for code terms, command-line text, command-line options, and values that should be typed literally.Italics Used for URLs, variables, and to introduce new terms.Additionally, we will also use the following elements: Notes are used to provide additional information or highlight a specific point. Warnings are used to provide details on potential problems.Other Study ResourcesThere is no single magic bullet for passing the CompTIA Certification exams.Your current knowledge will largely determine your success with this Study Guideand on the exams. If you encounter topics you haven’t practiced with and studiedextensively prior to reading this text, you need further preparation. Get the prac-tical hands-on know-how and the practical knowledge before continuing. Preface | xi
  • 11. Throughout your preparations for certification, we recommend that you regularlyvisit the CompTIA web site at The related pageswill help you keep up to date with the certification process and any changes thatmay occur from time to time.A wide variety of CompTIA certification study guides, training classes, andlearning resources are available. Also, a large number of practice tests and examsimulations are available for purchase and for free on the Web. These tests, likethis book, are useful as part of your exam preparation.How to Contact UsI have worked with the good folks at O’Reilly to test and verify the information inthis book to the best of my ability, but you may find that features have changed(or even that I have made mistakes!). To make this book better, please let meknow about any errors you find, as well as your suggestions for future editions, bywriting to: O’Reilly Media, Inc. 1005 Gravenstein Highway North Sebastopol, CA 95472 800-998-9938 (in the United States or Canada) 707-829-0515 (international/local) 707-829-0104 (fax)You can also send us messages electronically. To be put on the mailing list orrequest a catalog, send email to: info@oreilly.comO’Reilly has a web page for this book, which lists errata, examples, and any addi-tional information. You can access this page at: http:/// ask technical questions, to comment on the book, or more information aboutthe authors, please send email to: bookquestions@oreilly.comFor more information about O’Reilly, please visit: http://www.oreilly.comAcknowledgmentsSpecial thanks go to Jeff Pepper for pioneering the entire project from start tofinish. I would like to thank John Vacca for his fine work in editing this entiretext. Chris Crayton and Erik Eckel did a superb job of finding technical issues andmaking sure that all topics were covered appropriately. I also wish to thank MaryBrady at O’Reilly for ensuring a smooth production process.xii | Preface
  • 12. A+ Essentials I This is the Title of the Book, eMatter EditionCopyright © 2007 O’Reilly & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 13. Chapter 1A+ Essentials Overview Overview of A+ Essentials 1 ExamThe A+ Essentials exam is the first of CompTIA’s two exams required forcompleting the A+ certification. The A+ certification is an entry-level certificationfor those individuals who wish to pursue their careers in computer hardware andsoftware support. The candidate must pass two exams in order to get his A+ certi-fication. You can choose one of the other three elective exams—IT TechnicianExam 220-602, Remote Support Technician Exam 220-603 or Depot TechnicianExam 220-604—to get an appropriate A+ certification. The second part of thisbook (Chapters 4, 5, and 6) covers the elective exams.The main focus of the A+ Essentials exam is to test your knowledge on the basicsof computer hardware. The exam focuses on your skills to install, build, upgrade,repair, configure, troubleshoot, optimize, diagnose problems, and to performpreventive maintenance of personal computers and the installed operatingsystems.Aside from testing your knowledge of computer components and operatingsystems, this exam also covers networking concepts and printing and scanningdevices. It has recently been revised to include newer areas of study, such ascomputer security, safety and environmental issues, and communications andprofessionalism. Another new area is the knowledge of laptops and portabledevices. In each of the study areas, you are expected to be skilled in identifyingindividual computer components as well as in installing, upgrading, and config-uring them. You must also have hands-on experience in optimizing performance,using appropriate tools to diagnose problems, and performing preventivemaintenance.The approximate percentage of each section in Exams 220-602, 220-603, and 220-604 is given in Table 1-1. 3
  • 14. Table 1-1. A+ Essentials exam domains and percentage of coverage Domain Percentage of coverage Personal computer components 21 percent Laptops and mobile devices 11 percent Operating systems 21 percent Printers and scanners 9 percent Networks 12 percent Security 11 percent Safety and environmental issues 10 percent Communication and professionalism 5 percentCompTIA recommends that in order to be prepared for the A+ Essentials exam,you should have approximately 500 hours of actual active experience withcomputer hardware, either in the field or in a lab. It is a good idea to have studiedan A+ certification exam self-paced study guide or attended a training coursebefore you attempt to write any of the A+ exams. If you have, you should be readyto use this section of the book as your final exam preparation. A+ Essentials is the first of the two required exams to complete your A+ certification. For the second exam, you can choose from Exams 220-602, 220-603, and 220-604. The combination of A+ Essentials and 220-602 gets you the IT Technician certification. A+ Essentials and Exam 220-603 gets you the Remote Support Techni- cian certification. Similarly, the combination of A+ Essentials and 220-604 gets you the Depot Technician certification.4 | Chapter 1: Overview of A+ Essentials Exam
  • 15. Areas of Study for the A+ Essentials Exam A+ Essentials OverviewPersonal Computer Components • Identify the fundamental principles of using personal computers. • Identify the names, purposes and characteristics of the following storage devices: — FDD — HDD — CD/DVD/RW (e.g., drive speeds and media types) — Removable storage (e.g., tape drive and solid states such as thumb drive, flash and SD cards, USB, external CD-RW, and hard drives) • Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics of the following mother- boards: — Form Factors (e.g., ATX/BTX and micro ATX/NLX) — Components: • Integrated I/Os (e.g., sound, video, USB, serial, IEEE 1394/firewire, parallel, NIC, and modem) • Memory slots (e.g., RIMM and DIMM) • Processor sockets • External cache memory • Bus architecture • Bus slots (e.g., PCI, AGP, PCIE, AMR, and CNR) • EIDE/PATA • SATA • SCSI Technology — Chipsets — BIOS/CMOS/Firmware — Riser card/daughter board • Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics of power supplies—for example, AC adapter, ATX, proprietary, and voltage. • Identify the names, purposes and characteristics of processor/CPUs, such as the following: — CPU chips (AMD and Intel) — CPU technologies: • Hyperthreading • Dual core • Throttling • Micro code (MMX) • Overlocking Areas of Study for the A+ Essentials Exam | 5
  • 16. • Cache • VRM • Speed (real versus actual) • 32-bit versus 64-bit • Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics of memory, such as the following: — Types of memory (e.g., DRAM, SRAM, SDRAM, DDR/DDR2, and RAMBUS) — Operational characteristics: • Memory chips (8,16,32) • Parity versus non-parity • ECC versus non-ECC • Single-sided versus double-sided • Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics of display devices—for example, projectors, CRT, and LCD: — Connector types (e.g., VGA, DVI/HDMi, S-Video, and Component/ RGB) — Settings (e.g., V-hold, refresh rate, and resolution) • Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics of input devices—for exam- ple: mouse, keyboard, bar code reader, multimedia (e.g., web and digital cameras, MIDI, and microphones), biometric devices, and touch screens. • Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics of adapter cards: — Video including PCI/PCI-E and AGP — Multimedia — I/O (SCSI, serial, USB, and Parallel) — Communications, including network and modem • Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics of ports and cables—for example, USB 1.1 and 2.0, parallel, serial, IEEE 1394/Firewire, RJ45 and RJ11, PS2/MINI-DIN, centronics (e.g., mini, and 36), multimedia (e.g., 1/8 connector, MIDSI COAX, and SPDIF). • Identify the names, purposes, and characteristics of cooling systems—for example: heat sinks, CPU and case fans, liquid cooling systems, and thermal compounds. • Install, configure, optimize, and upgrade personal computer components. • Add, remove and configure internal and external storage devices: — Drive preparation of internal and external storage devices, including format/filesystems and imaging technology • Install display devices. • Add, remove, and configure basic input and multimedia devices. • Identify tools, diagnostic procedures, and troubleshooting techniques for per- sonal computer components.6 | Chapter 1: Overview of A+ Essentials Exam
  • 17. • Recognize the basic aspects of troubleshooting theory—for example: A+ Essentials Overview — Perform backups before making changes — Assess a problem systematically and divide large problems into smaller components to be analyzed individually — Verify even the obvious. Determine whether the problem is something simple or complicated, and make no assumptions — Research ideas and establish priorities — Document findings, actions, and outcomes• Identify and apply basic diagnostic procedures and troubleshooting tech- niques—for example: — Identify the problem using techniques such as questioning the user and identifying any user changes to the computer — Analyze the problem, including considering potential causes and making an initial determination of software and/or hardware problems — Test related components using avenues such as inspection, connections, hardware/software configurations, device managers, and consulting vendor documentation — Evaluate results and take additional steps if needed, such as consulta- tion, use of alternate resources, and manuals — Document activities and outcomes• Recognize and isolate issues with display, power, basic input devices, stor- age, memory, thermal, and POST errors (e.g., BIOS and hardware).• Apply basic troubleshooting techniques to check for problems (e.g., thermal issues, error codes, power, connections—including cables and/or pins—com- patibility, functionality, and software/drivers) with components—for example: — Motherboards — Power supply — Processor/CPUs — Memory — Display devices — Input devices — Adapter cards• Recognize the names, purposes, characteristics, and appropriate application of tools.• Perform preventive maintenance on personal computer components.• Identify and apply basic aspects of preventive maintenance theory—for example: — Visual/audio inspection — Driver/firmware updates — Scheduling preventive maintenance Areas of Study for the A+ Essentials Exam | 7
  • 18. — Use of appropriate tools and cleaning materials — Ensuring proper environment • Identify and apply common preventive maintenance techniques for devices such as input devices and batteries.Laptops and Portable Devices • Identify the fundamental principles of using laptops and portable devices. • Identify names, purposes, and characteristics of laptop-specific items, such as: — Form Factors such as memory and hard drives — Peripherals (e.g., docking stations, port replicators, and media/accessory bays) — Expansion slots (e.g., PCMCIA I, II, and III, and card and express bus) — Ports (e.g., mini PCI slot) — Communication connections (e.g., Bluetooth, infrared, cellular WAN, and Ethernet) — Power and electrical input devices (e.g., auto-switching and fixed-input power supplies and batteries) — LCD technologies (e.g., active and passive matrix, resolution, such as XGA, SXGA+, UXGA, WUXGA, contrast radio, and native resolution) — Input devices (e.g., stylus/digitizer, function (Fn) keys, and pointing devices such as touch pad and point stick/track point) • Identify and distinguish between mobile and desktop motherboards and pro- cessors, including throttling, power management, and Wi-Fi. • Install, configure, optimize, and upgrade laptops and portable devices. • Configure power management: — Identify the features of BIOS-ACPI — Identify the difference between suspend, hibernate, and standby • Demonstrate safe removal of laptop-specific hardware such as peripherals, hot-swappable devices, and non-hot-swappable devices. • Identify tools, basic diagnostic procedures, and troubleshooting techniques for laptops and portable devices. • Use procedures and techniques to diagnose power conditions, video, key- board, pointer, and wireless card issues—for example: — Verify AC power (e.g., LEDs and swap AC adapter) — Verify DC power — Remove unneeded peripherals — Plug in external monitor — Toggle Fn keys — Check LCD cutoff switch8 | Chapter 1: Overview of A+ Essentials Exam
  • 19. — Verify backlight functionality and pixilation A+ Essentials