Essentials, 2009 Edition, Revised
Topic A0: Classroom setup
All our courses assume that each student has a personal computer to use during the class. Our hands-on approach to learning requires that they do. This topic gives information on how to set up the classroom to teach this course. It includes minimum requirements for the students’ personal computers, setup information for the first time you teach the class, and setup information for each time that you teach after the first time you set up the classroom.
The instructor’s and each student’s personal desktop computer should have:
· A keyboard and a pointing device such as a mouse
· 1 GHz or higher 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
· 1 GB or higher RAM on 32-bit processor computers or 2 GB or higher RAM on 64-bit processor computers
· At least 30 GB of free hard disk space on 32-bit processor computers or at least 40 GB of free hard disk space on 64-bit processor computers
· DVD-R ROM drive
· Floppy disk drive
· Monitor with DirectX 9 graphics support; Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 1.0 or higher
· Wired NIC
· Sound card and speakers
· A video card with two monitor ports for the independent practice activity in the “Video output ad image input devices” unit. If the video adapter cards in your computers have only one monitor port, students can do all other activities in the course, but will not be able to complete this independent practice activity.
Activity hardware requirements
In addition to the hardware requirements for the instructor’s and each student’s personal desktop computer, you will need the following hardware for each student to complete various course activities. If you don’t have enough hardware for each student, you can have students work in small groups, or you can perform the activity as a demonstration.
· Unit 5 (The Basic Input/Output System):
- Bootable floppy or bootable CD/DVD
· Unit 7 (Bus structures):
- Various types of adapter cards or photos of adapter cards
- Various motherboards or photos of motherboards
· Unit 9 (Peripheral connection types):
- Serial cable and device
- Parallel cable and device
- KVM switch
- USB cable and device
- IEEE 1394 (FireWire) cable and device
- Multimedia device (coax, MIDI, S/PDIF)
- Various types of connectors or photos of connectors
· Unit 10 (Data storage devices):
- Audio CD
- CD-R disc
- USB flash drive
- Floppy disk
- DVD-R disc
· Unit 11 (Video output and image input devices):
- CRT monitor
- LCD monitor
- Digital camera
- Web camera
· Unit 12 (Printers):
- Local Windows 7-compatible printers
· Unit 13 (Connecting computers):
- Twisted-pair cable with a clear RJ-45 connector on the end
- RG-6 or RG-59 cable and RG-58 coax cable with attached connector
· Unit 14 (Networking computers):
- Wireless access point (for instructor demonstration activity)
- Wireless client (for instructor demonstration activity)
· Unit 15 (Portable computers):
- Notebook computer with PC card
- Port replicator or docking station
- Hot-swappable device
· Unit 17 (Windows monitoring):
- A backup location: CD/DVD-R, network share, or space on the second partition
· Unit 21 (Safety and maintenance):
- Cleaning supplies for desktop computer and peripherals
You will need the following software:
· Windows 7 Professional installation files and product keys for both classroom setup and the independent practice activity in Unit 20, “Windows installation and upgrades.”
· Windows 7 Ultimate upgrade keys for an activity in Unit 20.
· Windows Vista Business installation files and product keys for the independent practice activity in Unit 20.
· Any Windows 7 and Windows Vista device drivers needed for the independent practice activity in Unit 20.
· Any Windows XP application software for an activity in Unit 20.
· Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, which can be downloaded from Microsoft’s Downloads Web site.
Note: Because students will need to conduct multiple operating system installations in the “Windows installation and upgrades” unit, operating system discs should be slipstreamed with the latest service packs, if at all possible.
The following network components and connectivity are also required for this course:
· Internet access, for the following purposes:
– Downloading the latest critical updates and service packs from www.windowsupdate.com
– Completing activities within the units.
– Downloading the Student Data files from www.axzopress.com (if necessary)
· Classroom computers need to be connected through TCP/IP and receive IP addressing information from a DHCP server.
· You will need a range of IP addresses so that students can switch to manual configuration in an activity in Unit 14, “Networking computers.”
First-time setup instructions
The first time you teach this course, you will need to perform the following steps to set up each student computer.
1 Install Windows 7 Professional on an NTFS partition according to the software manufacturer’s instructions. Leave at least 1 GB of unallocated space on the drive.
· Select your country or region, time and currency, and keyboard layout.
· Enter a user account: ESSADMIN## (where ## is a unique number for each student and the instructor), with a password of Pa$$321.
· Enter a computer name of COMPUTER## (where ## is the same unique number that was assigned to each student’s ESSADMIN## account).
· Enter your product key.
· Select Ask me later when prompted for Automatic Updates.
· Set the appropriate time zone, and time and date for your location.
· Select the Work network.
2 Using Control Panel, User Accounts and Family Safety, User Accounts, create a standard user account: ESSUSER## (where ## is the same unique number that was assigned to each student’s ESSADMIN## account), with a password of Pa$$321.
3 In Network and Sharing Center, Advanced Sharing Options, turn on File and Printer Sharing.
4 Use Device Manager to verify that all devices are functional. If you need to download Windows 7–compatible drivers for any devices from the manufacturers’ Web sites, keep a copy of the drivers for use during class.
5 Verify that you have received an IP address from a DHCP server and your computer has Internet access.
6 If you don't have the data CD that came with this manual, download the Student Data files for the course. You can download the data directly to student machines, to a central location on your own network, or to a disk.
a Connect to www.axzopress.com.
b Under Downloads, click Instructor-Led Training.
c Browse the subject categories to locate your course. Then click the course title to display a list of available downloads. (You can also access these downloads through our Catalog listings.)
d Click the link(s) for downloading the Student Data files, and follow the instructions that appear on your screen.
Keep a copy of the files where students can access them after reinstallation in Unit 19, “Windows installation and upgrades.”
Setting up the troubleshooting lab
Unit 15, “Portable computers,” includes a troubleshooting lab. In this lab, students are asked to solve problems related to the material of that unit. This section presents ideas for problems that can be implemented.
We suggest two ways to implement these problems. In the first, you would send students off to a break while you induce these problems in their computers. In the second scenario, you would divide students into two groups. Each group would induce problems in a set of computers. The groups would switch places and solve the problems that the other group created.
When determining which problems to implement, make sure you consider the technical proficiency of your students.
Unit 15, Portable computers
For the Topic B activity titled “Troubleshooting notebook problems,” you could implement one or problems by doing any of the following:
· Install an uncharged battery.
· Install a battery that won’t keep a charge.
· Disconnect or loosely connect the power cord.
· Plug the power cord into a power strip, but turn off the power strip.
· Connect the notebook to an external keyboard and boot it. Then disconnect the external keyboard without pressing the Fn key combination to switch back to the notebook keyboard (this often results in the keyboard having the numeric keypad enabled on the letter keys).
· Connect the notebook to an external monitor, switch to the external monitor, and then disconnect the monitor.
· Remove the hard drive.
· Remove any PC cards.
· Install a non-working PC card.
· Remove a memory module.
· Install additional memory, but don’t configure the system to recognize it.
· Don’t fully seat a memory module.
· Remove the drivers for any PC cards that are installed.
· Set the power options so that the monitor and hard drive are turned off after 1 minute of inactivity.
· Plug in an external monitor and/or keyboard, leave the notebook open, and place the external components behind the notebook and facing the other direction so that it’s not obvious that they are connected to the notebook.
· Loosely connect peripheral cables.
· Disconnect the network cable.
· Remove the battery, power cable, and hard drive. Provide the wrong power cable, battery, and hard drive to each student.
· If the power cord comes apart in the middle where the transformer is, disconnect or loosely connect this connection.
· Plug the notebook into a power strip that is turned off, and remove the battery or install a dead battery.
Setup instructions for every class
Every time you teach this class, you will need to reinstall Windows 7 Professional and complete the steps under first-time setup instructions. You will want to repartition and reformat the drive, leaving 1 GB of unallocated space.
CertBlaster pre- and post-assessment software is available for this course. To download and install this free software, students should complete the following steps:
1 Go to www.axzopress.com.
2 Under Downloads, click CertBlaster.
3 Click the link for CompTIA A+ Essentials 2009.
4 Save the .EXE file to a folder on your hard drive. (Note: If you skip this step, the CertBlaster software will not install correctly.)
5 Click Start and choose Run.
6 Click Browse and then navigate to the folder that contains the .EXE file.
7 Select the .EXE file and click Open.
8 Click OK and follow the on-screen instructions. When prompted for the password, enter c_a+ess09.
Topic B: Frequently asked questions
There are no frequently asked questions for this course at this time.
Topic C: Course notes
Question 14 of the CPUs and motherboards unit (Page 4-25) should read as follows:
14 Which socket type is similar to the Socket 7 design, but with six staggered rows of pins instead of five?
A Socket 370
B Socket A
C Socket 5
D Slot 2
Topic D: Additional information
There is no additional information for this course at this time.