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From the author of Hardware


Both Essentials and 220-702 include Hardware as Domain 1.0. How do they differ, and what are your best strategies for mastery?

Essentials Hardware 1.0

Most of the objectives included in Essentials 1.0 require you to understand differences in various types of hardware. To master this objective, make sure that you understand the major features of storage devices (1.1), motherboards (1.2), power supplies (1.3), CPUs (1.4), cooling methods (1.5), memory types (1.6), display devices (1.7), and adapter cards (1.9)

Some keys to mastery include the following:

  • Recognizing the physical and logical differences between different types of ports, memory slots and modules, processors (CPUs) and sockets, power supply connectors, video connectors, and expansion slots.
  • Understanding the performance characteristics of different types of ports, memory modules, processors (CPUs), cooling methods, and expansion slots.

Objectives 1.8 (install and configure peripherals and input devices), 1.10 (install, configure, and optimize laptop components and devices), and 1.11 (install and configure printers) differ from the other objectives by requiring that you understand installation and configuration processes.

Some keys to mastery include the following:

  • Recognizing the need to install driver software as part of the installation process.
  • Understanding the general principles of installation and configuration of each category of device.
  • Coping with manufacturer-specific differences from device to device.
  • Using actual hardware (preferably working) for practice.

220-702 Hardware 1.0

Unlike the 220-701 version of the Hardware domain, which stresses primarily understanding PC components, the 220-702 Hardware domain is all about installation, configuration, maintenance, replacement, and repair of PC components.

Hardware 1.1 covers the installation and configuration of desktop components such as drives, motherboards, power supplies, processors, memory, adapter cards, and cooling systems.

Hardware 1.2 covers troubleshooting, repair, and replacement of the same components listed in Hardware 1.1.

Hardware 1.3 covers the installation, configuration, troubleshooting, and repair/replacement of components unique to laptops, such as LCD, hard disk and memory, disassembly processes, wireless cards, video circuits, and internal components.

Hardware 1.4 covers the selection and use of troubleshooting and disassembly/assembly tools such as electrical testers, specialized tools, cable and port tests, antistatic equipment, and extension magnets.

Hardware 1.5 discusses how to troubleshoot and resolve common printer problems.

Some keys to mastery include the following:

  • Understanding the differences between desktop and laptop assembly/disassembly, configuration, and repair/replacement.
  • Learning and applying the best use for each type of tool.
  • Recognizing the common causes of printer problems and their solutions.
  • Understanding the causes for failure (defective hardware, faulty drivers, incorrect Windows settings, others).
  • Understanding the subsystems within any computer and how the components (Windows, driver files, hardware, cables) interact with each other.
  • Using actual hardware (preferably working) for practice.
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