Troubleshooting the PC with A+ Preparation

Patrick Regan
Prentice Hall
April 2005
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  • This book is designed to introduce and teach anyone to become a successful PC technician or support person.
  •  It prepares them to pass the CompTIA A+ exam (2003 Objectives) and the Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST).


  • Each of the chapters begins with basic concepts and ends with a troubleshooting section that includes questions to check understanding, emphasize troubleshooting skills, and prepare the reader to take the A+ test and the MSDT for Windows XP.
  • Each chapter also includes hands-on exercises to reinforce basic skills and troubleshooting practices.
  • Hands-on exercises including finding patches, drivers, jumper settings, and technical information on the Internet.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1               A PC Overview

Chapter 2               The PC Technician

Chapter 3               The Disassembling and Assembling of the PC         

Chapter 4               The Processors

Chapter 5               RAM

Chapter 6               The Motherboard Support Chips

Chapter 7               Expansion Slots and Cards

Chapter 8               The Case and Power Supply          

Chapter 9               The Hard Drive                 

Chapter 10             The Floppy Drive and Other Removable Media     

Chapter 11             The Compact Disk Drive   

Chapter 12             Disk Structure

Chapter 13             Tape Drives and Data Protection               

Chapter 14             The Video System 

Chapter 15             Input Devices        

Chapter 16             Sound Cards

Chapter 17             Serial Ports and Modems   

Chapter 18             Parallel Ports and Printer

Chapter 19             The DOS Interface

Chapter 20             Windows 9X

Chapter 21             Windows NT Family (Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP)

Chapter 22             Supporting Windows and Windows Applications

Chapter 23             Introduction to Linux

Chapter 24             Advanced Linux

Chapter 25             Computers Connected to a Network         

Appendix A:           Useful Computer Table

Appendix B:           POST Error Codes

Appendix C:           Operating System Error Codes

Appendix D:           Windows Stop Errors

Appendix E:           Certification Exams


Back Cover

This easy-to-understand book provides readers with the complete knowledge to learn how to install, configure, manage, maintain and successfully troubleshoot a PC running Windows 9X, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Linux. It is also prepares the students to pass the COMPTIA's A+ (2004) exam and Microsoft's Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST). It is assumed that users of this text are familiar with and how to use the computer, have a general understanding of Windows, and have basic word-processing and spreadsheet skills. The text starts with a discussion of the basic hardware components (processor, motherboard, RAM, and drives), followed by add-on peripherals, and ends with a discussion of the various operating systems.


Key Features:


  • Real-world examples motivate interest.
  • Built-in, hands-on exercises provide accessible, easy-to-grasp presentation.
  • End-of-section questions check understanding and prepare for the COMPTIA's A+ and Microsoft MCDST exams.
  • Many websites for additional information.
  • Appendixes include POST codes, operating system error messages and Windows Stop errors. The book also lists and describes the common BIOS settings and Apple Macintosh beep codes.


What is New:


  • Updated to include the newest technology including AMD Athlon 64 and Opteron processors, BTX form factor, PCI Express, mini-PCI cards, USB 2.0, serial IDE and SCSI devices, extensible firmware interface, and spyware and wireless networks.
  • Information on Windows 2000 and XP have been greatly enhanced.
  • Detailed information on troubleshooting and disassembling and reassembling notebook computers.
  • More information on installing, configuring, maintaining and troubleshooting Windows applications including Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook, and Internet browsers.
  • Detailed information on installing, configuring, maintaining and troubleshooting Linux.
  • Introduces Apple Macintosh computers.
  • Prepares readers to take and pass the COMPTIA's A+ (2004) and the Microsoft's MCDST exams.



Patrick Regan has been a PC technician and network administrator/engineer for the past 14 years. He has also taught many computer and network classes at Sacramento local colleges (Heald Colleges and MTI College), conducted considerable formal and informal training while an IT administrator (Heald Colleges) and a product support engineer for the Intel Corporation Customer service, and participated in and led many projects (Heald Colleges and Intel Corporation). For this teaching accomplishments, he received the Teacher of the Year award from Heald Colleges; in addition, he received several recognition awards from Intel. He currently works for Virtual Alert as a network engineer supporting the BioTerrorism Readiness Suite. Currently, he holds many certifications, including Microsoft's MCSE, MCSA and MCT; COMPTIA's A+, Network+, Server+, Linux+, Security+, and CTT+; Cisco CCNA; and Novell's CNE.


Over the last couple of years, he has written several books including Troubleshooting the PC, Networking with Windows 2000 and 2003, Linux, Local Area Networks and WANs. Recently, Pat has started a new exciting Acing series which including Acing the A+, Acing the Network+, Acing the Security+, Acing the Server+ and Acing the Linux+.

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