Comprehensive (Windows 7), Revision 2
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 40 GB of free hard disk space on 32-bit processor computers or at least 50 GB of free hard disk space on 64-bit processor computers
· DVD-R ROM drive
· Monitor with DirectX 9 graphics support; Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 1.0 or higher
· Wired NIC
· A video card with two monitor ports for the independent practice activity in the “Video output and 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 3 (Electricity and power supplies):
- Variety of batteries for testing
- Extra power supply (If you don’t have an extra power supply for students to install in their computers, you can have them remove and the reinstall the existing power supply)
· Unit 4 (CPUs and motherboards):
- Extra CPU (This is for an optional activity. If you don’t have an extra CPU for each computer, you can either skip the activity or have students remove and reinstall the existing CPU.)
- Chip puller
- Extra system fan (If you don’t have an extra system fan for students to install in their computers, you can have them remove and the reinstall the existing system fan)
- Extra motherboard (This is for an optional activity. If you don’t have an extra motherboard for each computer, you can either skip the activity or have students remove and reinstall the existing motherboard.)
· Unit 5 (The Basic Input/Output System):
- Extra CMOS battery
- Floppy drive (installed in the PC) for the unit IPA
- Bootable floppy or bootable CD/DVD for the unit IPA
· Unit 6 (Memory systems):
- A variety memory chips or photos of memory chips
- Extra memory chip for each desktop computer
- A notebook computer with extra memory chip
- Handheld device, such as a PDA, with extra memory chip
· Unit 7 (Bus structures):
- A variety of adapter cards or photos of adapter cards for the unit IPA
- A variety of motherboards or photos of motherboards for the unit IPA
· Unit 8 (Expansion cards):
- A variety of video cards or photos of video cards
- Extra video adapter
- Sound card and external speakers
- RJ-11 connector
- Network interface card, TV or video capture card, or media reader for the unit IPA
· Unit 9 (Peripheral connection types):
- Serial cable and device
- Parallel cable and device
- PS/2 keyboard and mouse
- KVM switch
- USB 1.1 and 2.0 Type A and B cable, hub, and device
- IEEE 1394 a and b (FireWire) cable and device
- External speakers (same as Unit 8)
- Multimedia device (coax, composite, component, S/PDIF)
- Various types of connectors or photos of connectors
· Unit 10 (Data storage devices):
- A variety ATA and SATA drives or photos
- Extra internal hard drive (If you don’t have an extra internal hard drive for each computer, you can have students remove and reinstall the existing hard drive.)
- Extra optical drive (If you don’t have an extra internal optical drive for each computer, you can have students remove and reinstall the existing optical drive.)
- Audio CD
- Blank CD-R or CD-RW disc
- USB flash drive
- 3.5” floppy disk
- Floppy disk drive
- DVD-R or DVD-RW disc for the unit IPA
- DVD codex for the unit IPA
· Unit 11 (Video output and image input devices):
- CRT monitor
- LCD monitor
- Digital camera
- Web camera
- Second monitor for the unit IPA
· Unit 12 (Printers):
- Local Windows 7-compatible printer
- Printer paper
- Printer add-on
- Printer cleaning supplies
· 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 (Network troubleshooting)
- Basic cable tester
- Network analyzer
· Unit 16: (Portable computers):
- Notebook computer
- Hot-swappable device, such as a USB device
- Internal component
- Peripheral device
- Docking station
- Cleaning products for notebook
- Packaging materials for the notebook
- External monitor for the unit IPA
· Unit 18 (Windows monitoring):
- A backup location: CD/DVD-R, network share, or space on the second partition
· Unit 22 (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 an activity in Unit 21, “Windows installation and upgrades.”
· Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor, which can be downloaded from Microsoft’s Downloads Web site.
· Windows 7 Ultimate installation files and product keys for an activity in Unit 21.
· Windows Vista Business installation files and product keys for the independent practice activity in Unit 21.
· Any Windows 7 and Windows Vista drivers needed for the independent practice activity in Unit 21.
· Any Windows XP application software for an activity in Unit 21.
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.
In addition, you will need to install the following software:
· Latest service pack for Windows
· Sound card drivers
· A copy of the avast! antivirus software. An evaluation copy is suitable and is available at www.avast.com.
· DVD decoder software
You should have the installers for these applications available on CD or on a network share that students can access.
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 Use a third-party disk management utility or the Windows 7 Professional installation program to configure the hard disk as follows:
· A 30 GB NTFS partition for the installation of Windows 7 Professional 32-bit or 40 GB NTFS partition for the installation of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, with drive letter C:
· A 6 GB NTFS partition, with drive letter D:
· Leave the remaining as free space
If you use the Windows 7 Professional installation program to configure the hard disk, you will be prompted to select your country or region, time and currency, and keyboard layout as indicated in step 2, prior to the hard disk configuration screen.
2 Install Windows 7 Professional on the C: drive on an NTFS partition according to the software manufacturer’s instructions.
· Select your country or region, time and currency, and keyboard layout.
· Enter a user account: COMPADMIN## (where ## is a unique number for each student and the instructor).
· Enter a computer name of COMPWin7-## (COMPWin7-01, COMPWin7-02, COMPWin7-03, and so on.) Students will need to know the names of their computers, so you might want to put a card with this information on it next to each computer.
· Enter a password of !pass1234. Enter Refer to setup as the password hint.
· 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.
3 Using Control Panel, User Accounts and Family Safety, User Accounts, create a standard user account: COMPUSER## (where ## is the same unique number that was assigned to each student’s COMPADMIN## account), with a password of !pass1234.
4 In Network and Sharing Center, Advanced Sharing Options, turn on “Network discovery” and “File and printer sharing.”
5 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.
6 Verify that you have Internet access. If necessary, install drivers for the network adapter and verify that the computer is receiving IP addressing information from the institution’s DHCP server. The computer must be able to connect to the Internet.
7 Create a folder named Student Data at the root of the hard drive. For a standard hard drive setup, this will be C:\Student Data.
8 Copy the data files to the Student Data folder. 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 troubleshooting activities
Some of the units contain a troubleshooting activity. In these activities, 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 3: Electricity and power supplies
For the Topic C activity entitled “Troubleshooting power supply problems,” you can implement one or more of these problems:
· Unplug the computer from the wall outlet.
· Plug the computer into a non-functioning UPS device or surge protector.
· Disconnect the power supply from the motherboard.
· Disconnect the hard disk from the power supply.
· Replace the power supply with a non-functioning power supply.
Unit 5: The Basic Input/Output System
For the Topic B activity entitled “Troubleshooting BIOS and POST problems,” you can implement one or more of these problems:
· Switch the keyboard and mouse cables so that each one is plugged into the other’s port.
· Substitute a keyboard with a stuck key or some other defect that would cause the POST to fail.
· Replace the CMOS battery with a dead battery, or simply remove the battery from the motherboard.
· Reset one or more BIOS setup values that would leave the computer unbootable or unusable. For example, change the boot drive order, disable the hard drive controller (if it’s the boot device), or configure the on‑board video controller to an extremely low-resolution display.
· Install a defective memory module so that the POST fails when it tests memory.
· (Advanced) Flash the BIOS with an incorrect or outdated version.
Unit 6: Memory systems
For the Topic E activity entitled “Troubleshooting memory,” you can implement one or more of these problems:
· Replace one or more memory modules with a defective memory module.
· Loosen a module in its socket so that its pins don’t make proper connections.
· Reconfigure the BIOS with an incorrect quantity of memory.
· Install the incorrect type of module for the computer—install modules that are too slow, implement parity when the motherboard doesn’t, or don’t implement parity when the motherboard does, and so forth.
· Install modules of different size or speed within a single bank.
· Remove one of the modules from a bank.
Unit 8: Expansion cards
For the Topic D activity entitled “Troubleshooting expansion card problems,” you can implement one or more of these problems:
· Set the video mode to a mode that the monitor cannot support.
· Set the video refresh rate to a value that the monitor cannot support.
· Install a failing monitor that is blurry or displays an unsteady image.
· Install an out-of-date and buggy version of the video driver.
· Install the wrong video driver for the video adapter.
· Mute the sound.
· Disconnect the speaker’s power cord.
· Loosen the adapter card in its slot so that its connectors do not make full contact.
· Disconnect the CD-to-sound-card audio cable.
· Turn off all Windows sounds in the Control Panel.
· Disconnect the phone cable from the modem.
· Use a bad phone cable to connect the modem to the jack.
· Configure the modem to use incorrect connection parameters (stop bits, parity, etc.).
· After the modem is installed, change COM port configurations so that the modem can’t access the ports.
· Change the COM port configurations in the BIOS to values that the modem card doesn’t support.
· Give students a voice or fax number to dial into instead of another modem line.
· Install damaged or nonfunctioning adapter cards, such as video cards, modem cards, and sound cards.
· (Advanced) Put tape over the adapter’s edge connector or paint some of the connector’s pins with nail polish so that they cannot make contact.
Unit 9: Peripheral connection types
For the Topic F activity entitled “Troubleshooting port, cable, and connector problems,” you can implement one or more of these problems:
· Connect the keyboard to the mouse port and vice versa.
· Disable the serial port in the BIOS.
· Disable the parallel port in the BIOS.
· Within the BIOS, assign nonstandard system resources that are likely to conflict with other devices in the system.
· Cut one of the wires in the serial, parallel, USB, or FireWire cable.
· Substitute a null modem cable for a straight-through cable.
· Provide students with a USB device that requires external power, but don’t give them the power adapter.
· Install too many unpowered devices on the USB bus.
· Provide students with a USB 2.0–only device to go with their USB 1.1 systems.
· Disable the infrared port in the BIOS.
· Provide students with a nonfunctioning external modem.
· Bend one of the pins in the male serial or parallel connector so that it cannot make contact.
· Provide students with a defective or nonfunctioning mouse or keyboard (for example, one that has been dropped or had liquid spilled on it).
· Configure the external modem to use nonstandard connection parameters, such as a very slow port speed, mark or space parity, hardware flow control, and so forth.
· Provide students with a printer that supports just one parallel port mode (bi-directional, EPP, and so forth), but configure the BIOS to implement a different port mode.
· Provide students with a nonfunctioning printer.
· Tell students to connect to a remote PC with their modems, but give them a voice number to dial into (such as an automated weather line or some other line not likely to be answered by a person, who would get annoyed by the data calls).
· Cover the infrared window on the PC or device with tape, dirt, or something like nail polish that will attenuate the infrared signal without being too obviously present.
· Disconnect or remove the antenna from the radio wireless device.
· (Advanced) Provide students with an 802.11a hub and 802.11g wireless networking cards.
· (Advanced) Within the system case, disconnect the ribbon cable that runs from the serial, parallel, or USB port connector to the motherboard.
Unit 10: Data storage devices
For the Topic F activity entitled “Troubleshooting data storage devices,” you can implement one or more of these problems:
· Provide students with a damaged floppy disk. (You could scratch the disk surface, poke a pinhole in it, wrinkle it, or jam the spindle so that the disk won’t turn.)
· Remove the twist from the floppy drive cable.
· Configure the BIOS so that floppy drive A: is addressed as B: and vice versa.
· Disable the floppy drive in the BIOS.
· Disconnect the power cable from the floppy drive.
· Install the floppy drive cable’s connector backward (force the connector backward into the socket).
· Configure the BIOS so that the system will not boot from the floppy drive.
· Install a damaged, failing, or dead hard drive.
· Install the hard drive cable’s connector backward (force the connector backward into the socket).
· Install the hard drive’s cable backward (connect the motherboard connector to the drive, and connect the master drive connector to the motherboard).
· Install a bad hard drive cable.
· Bend one of the pins in the hard drive’s
connector so that the cable cannot make full contact with all of the
Warning: Doing this may permanently damage the drive. Bent pins can break, leaving the drive unusable.
· Configure the IDE drive identification incorrectly (for example, configure the drive as a slave when it’s actually the only drive in the system).
· Configure SCSI IDs incorrectly so that there’s a conflict on the bus.
· Remove termination from one or both ends of the bus, or install extra terminators within the chain.
· Disconnect the power cable from the hard drive.
· In the BIOS, configure the boot order so that it does not include the primary hard drive.
· Delete all partitions on the hard drive to
leave the system unbootable.
Warning: Doing this will destroy all information on the hard drive.
· Remove the “active” designation from the primary hard drive so that the system won’t boot.
· Install a new drive that is partitioned, but not formatted, so that the system cannot boot from that drive.
· Install, or provide students with, an extremely large hard drive (160 GB or larger) in a system that cannot support it.
· With an older, slower drive, configure the BIOS to speed the boot process to the point where the drive cannot spin up and be ready by the time the startup process accesses it.
· Use a scratched CD for the CD or DVD.
· Use a burned DVD or CD.
· Provide a DVD in place of a CD for use with a CD drive.
· Plug the speakers into the MIC jack.
· Disconnect or loosely connect the cable from the CD drive to the sound card.
· Remove the driver for the CD drive.
· Set the SCSI ID on a SCSI CD drive to a duplicate ID used by another SCSI device.
· Remove (or add) termination to the SCSI CD drive.
· Change the CD drive to the master drive (or as slave if it’s already a master) on an IDE channel.
· Disconnect or loosely connect the power or data cable from the CD drive.
· For an external CD drive, disconnect or loosely connect the power or data cable.
· Use an audio DVD for the audio CD (if it is a CD drive rather than a DVD drive).
· Change or remove the driver for the CD player.
· Install a damaged CD drive that no longer works.
· If you’re using an external CD drive, plug the drive into a power strip, but turn the power strip off.
· Install the CD drive cable’s connector backward (force the connector backward into the socket).
· Install the CD drive cable backward (connect the motherboard connector to the drive, and connect the master drive connector to the motherboard).
· Install a bad CD drive cable.
· Bend one of the pins in the CD drive’s
connector so that the cable cannot make full contact with all of the
Warning: Doing this may permanently damage the drive. Bent pins can break, leaving the drive unusable.
· Disable the use of flash drives on the system.
· Use a drive that has been damaged.
· Password-protect the flash drive, but don’t tell students the password (until they ask later when they figure out that this is the problem).
· Use a damaged drive that no longer works.
· Use a damaged tape.
· Provide the wrong drivers for the drive.
· Use a controller card that is incompatible with the tape drive.
· Use a damaged power and/or data cable.
· Plug the drive into a power strip, but turn the power strip off.
Unit 12: Printers
For the Topic D activity, entitled “Troubleshooting printer problems,” you can implement one or more of these problems:
· Replace the ink cartridges with empty ones or ones that produce poor output.
· Install a printer that prints stray marks on output.
· Disconnect or loosely connect the interface cable.
· Disconnect or loosely connect the power cord.
· Leave the cover or door open, off, or slightly ajar.
· Plug the printer into the power strip, but turn off the strip.
· Create a paper jam.
· Remove the printer driver.
· Install the wrong printer driver.
· Remove the ink cartridge(s).
· Turn the printer off midway through a cleaning cycle or while printing.
· Provide the wrong interface cable, power cord, and/or drivers.
· In the BIOS, disable the port to which the printer connects.
· Add paper that is either very static-laden or humid (to produce poor images and possibly printer jams).
· Replace the toner cartridge with an empty one or one that produces poor output.
· Remove the toner cartridge.
· If the printer requires setup on the printer, change the settings to use a different interface, or other settings. (For example, on a LaserJet printer, use the menu on the printer to specify that it’s connected via the serial port, while it is actually connected via parallel port.)
Unit 16, Portable computers
For the Topic D activity titled “Troubleshooting notebook problems,” you could implement one or problems by doing any of the following:
· 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.
· 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.
For the Topic D activity titled “Identifying power problems,” you could implement one or problems by doing any of the following:
· Set the power options so that the monitor and hard drive are turned off after 1 minute of inactivity.
· 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.
· 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 one of the following links:
- CompTIA A+ Essentials 2009
- CompTIA A+ Practical Application
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 (for Essentials) or c_a+pracapp (for Practical Application).
Topic B: Frequently asked questions
There are no frequently asked questions for this course at this time.
Topic C: Course notes
Unit 2, Activities A-1 and A-2
All steps are in the activities, they are just misnumbered. Activity A-1 should read steps 1 through 4, instead of 5 through 8. Activity A-2 should read steps 1 through 9, instead of 9 through 17.
Topic D: Additional information
There is no additional information for this course at this time.