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Adding and Removing FRU Modules in Portables

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This chapter helps you to prepare for the Core Hardware module of the A+ Certification examination by covering the following objectives within the "Domain 1.0: Installation, Configuration, and Upgrading" section.

1.3 Identify basic procedures for adding and removing field replaceable modules for portable systems. Given a replacement scenario, choose the appropriate sequences.

Portable Components:

  • Storage device
    • FDD
    • HDD
    • CD/CD-RW
    • DVD/DVD-RW
    • Removable storage
  • Power sources
    • AC adapters
    • DC adapter
    • Batteries
  • Memory
  • Input devices
    • Keyboard
    • Mouse/pointer devices
    • Touch screen
  • PCMCIA adapters
    • Network interface card (NIC)
    • Modem
    • SCSI
    • IEEE 1394/FireWire
    • USB
    • Storage (memory and hard drive)
  • Docking station/port replicators
  • LCD panel
  • Wireless
    • Adapter/controller
    • Antenna

Core objective 1.3 of the A+ exam states that the test taker should be able to identify basic procedures for adding and removing field replaceable modules for portables. As the objective points out, all technicians should be aware of typical portable computer components that can be exchanged in the field. They should be able to install, connect, and configure these components to upgrade or repair an existing system. The following sections of this chapter present standard procedures for installing and removing typical field replaceable units in portable computer systems.



Portable System Components

  • Portable System Boards
  • Installing Portable Memory
  • Portable Display Types
  • Liquid Crystal Displays
  • Keyboards
  • Trackballs
  • Touch Pads
  • Portable Drives

External Portable I/O

Portable Peripherals

  • Peripheral Storage Devices
  • External Drive Units
    • External FDDs
    • External CD-ROM Drives
    • External CD-RW and DVD-RW Drives
  • Removable Storage
    • Installing External Storage Devices
  • Portable Power Sources
    • Power Consumption
    • Power Management

PC Cards

  • Cardbus
  • PC Card Functions
    • Adding PC Card Memory
    • Advanced PC Card I/O
  • Installing PC Cards
  • Installing PC Card Support

Networking Portables

  • Wireless Networking with Portables
    • Installing Wireless Networking in Portables

Expanding Portable Peripheral Capabilities

  • Docking Stations
  • Port Replicators

Chapter Summary

  • Key Terms

Apply Your Knowledge

  • Review Questions
  • Answers and Explanations
  • Challenge Solutions

Suggested Readings and Resources

Study Strategies

To prepare for the Installation, Configuration, and Upgrading objective of the Core Hardware exam:

  • Use the Practice Test CD in the back of the book—At this point, use the exam material from this chapter to become comfortable in identifying the parts and components presented here. Later, you can use the test bank to get ready for the real exam. Work on this chapter until you consistently score 85–90% on the practice exams.

  • Use all the traditional study tools we've placed in the chapter—Pay attention to the Objectives, Challenges, and end-of-chapter questions and use them to learn the material.

  • Use the pedagogy in this chapter to focus on the exam-specific material—We've included lots of features geared expressly to the A+ exam. The Exam Tips scattered throughout the chapter are placed there to point to known exam-related materials. The same is true of the embedded Challenge items.

  • Key in on Exam Tips in the chapter—While reading through the chapter, make sure to concentrate on the following test-related items:

    • Know why notebook computers show short memory counts during the bootup process.

    • Be aware that the most common LCD repair is replacement.

    • Be aware that the external power supply used with portable systems basically converts AC voltage into DC voltage that the system can use to power its internal components and recharge its batteries.

    • Remember that PC Card enablers must be loaded in the operating system before the system can interact with a PC Card in one of its slots.


This chapter focuses on techniques and procedures for removing, installing, and configuring typical field replaceable hardware units associated with portable computer systems.

The initial portions of the chapter describe the typical devices associated with portable systems, such as their system boards, LCD panels, and pointing devices.

The second section of the chapter covers external portable I/O connections and devices. These devices include external disk drives and storage devices.

The next major section examines external power sources and supplies, such as batteries and AC-to-DC adapters. This is followed by an extended discussion of PCMCIA slots and the PC Card/Cardbus devices that use them.

The final section of the chapter deals with devices and techniques that can be used to adapt portables so that they also function well in an office environment. These devices include docking stations and port replicators.

After completing the chapter, you should be able to identify the components of portable systems and describe how they differ from typical desktop components. You should also be able to identify their unique problems.

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