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Exam Objectives

Exam objectives copyrighted by CompTIA, Inc.

220-701 (Essentials)

1.0 Hardware

1.1 Categorize storage devices and backup media

  • FDD
  • HDD
    • Solid state vs. magnetic
  • Optical drives
    • CD / DVD / RW / Blu-Ray
  • Removable storage
    • Tape drive
    • Solid state (e.g. thumb drive, flash, SD cards, USB)
    • External CD-RW and hard drive
    • Hot swappable devices and non-hot swappable devices

1.2 Explain motherboard components, types and features

  • Form Factor
    • ATX / BTX,
    • micro ATX
    • NLX
  • I/O interfaces
    • Sound
    • Video
    • USB 1.1 and 2.0
    • Serial
    • IEEE 1394 / Firewire
    • Parallel
    • NIC
    • Modem
    • PS/2
  • Memory slots
    • RIMM
    • DIMM
    • SODIMM
    • SIMM
  • Processor sockets
  • Bus architecture
  • Bus slots
    • PCI
    • AGP
    • PCIe
    • AMR
    • CNR
    • PCMCIA
  • PATA
    • IDE
    • EIDE
  • SATA, eSATA
  • Contrast RAID (levels 0, 1, 5)
  • Chipsets
  • BIOS / CMOS / Firmware
    • POST
    • CMOS battery
  • Riser card / daughterboard

1.3 Classify power supplies types and characteristics

  • AC adapter
  • ATX proprietary
  • Voltage, wattage and capacity
  • Voltage selector switch
  • Pins (20, 24)

1.4 Explain the purpose and characteristics of CPUs and their features

  • Identify CPU types
    • AMD
    • Intel
  • Hyper threading
  • Multi core
    • Dual core
    • Triple core
    • Quad core
  • Onchip cache
    • L1
    • L2
  • Speed (real vs. actual)
  • 32bit vs. 64 bit

1.5 Explain cooling methods and devices

  • Heat sinks
  • CPU and case fans
  • Liquid cooling systems
  • Thermal compound

1.6 Compare and contrast memory types, characteristics and their purpose

  • Types
    • DRAM
    • SRAM
    • SDRAM
    • DDR / DDR2 / DDR3
    • RAMBUS
  • Parity vs. Non-parity
  • ECC vs. non-ECC
  • Single sided vs. double sided
  • Single channel vs. dual channel
  • Speed
    • PC100
    • PC133
    • PC2700
    • PC3200
      • DDR3-1600
      • DDR2-667

1.7 Distinguish between the different display devices and their characteristics

  • Projectors, CRT and LCD
  • LCD technologies
    • Resolution (e.g. XGA, SXGA+, UXGA, WUXGA)
    • Contrast ratio
  • Native resolution
  • Connector types
    • VGA
    • HDMi
    • S-Video
    • Component / RGB
    • DVI pin compatibility
  • Settings
    • Refresh rate
    • Resolution
    • Multi-monitor
    • Degauss

1.8 Install and configure peripherals and input devices

  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Bar code reader
  • Multimedia (e.g.; web and digital cameras, MIDI, microphones)
  • Biometric devices
  • Touch screen
  • KVM switch

1.9 Summarize the function and types of adapter cards

  • Video
    • PCI
    • PCIe
    • AGP
  • Multimedia
    • Sound card
    • TV tuner cards
    • Capture cards
  • I/O
    • SCSI
    • Serial
    • USB
    • Parallel
  • Communications
    • NIC
    • Modem

1.10 Install, configure and optimize laptop components and features

  • Expansion devices
    • PCMCIA cards
    • PCI Express cards
    • Docking station
  • Communication connections
    • Bluetooth
    • Infrared
    • Cellular WAN
    • Ethernet
    • Modem
  • Power and electrical input devices
    • Auto-switching
    • Fixed input power supplies
    • Batteries
  • Input devices
    • Stylus / digitizer
    • Function keys
    • Point devices (e.g. touch pad, point stick / track point)

1.11 Install and configure printers

  • Differentiate between printer types
    • Laser
    • Inkjet
    • Thermal
    • Impact
  • Local vs. network printers
  • Printer drivers (compatibility)
  • Consumables

2.0 Troubleshooting, Repair and Maintenance

2.1 Given a scenario, explain the troubleshooting theory

  • Identify the problem
    • Question the user and identify user changes to computer and perform backups before making changes
  • Establish a theory of probable cause (question the obvious)
  • Test the theory to determine cause
    • Once theory is confirmed determine next steps to resolve problem
    • If theory is not confirmed re-establish new theory or escalate
  • Establish a plan of action to resolve the problem and implement the solution
  • Verify full system functionality and if applicable implement preventative measures
  • Document findings, actions and outcomes

2.2 Given a scenario, explain and interpret common hardware and operating system symptoms and their causes

  • OS related symptoms
    • Bluescreen
    • System lock-up
    • Input/output device
    • Application install
    • Start or load
    • Windows specific printing problems
      • Print spool stalled
    • Incorrect / incompatible driver
  • Hardware related symptoms
    • Excessive heat
    • Noise
    • Odors
    • Status light indicators
    • Alerts
    • Visible damage (e.g. cable, plastic)
  • Use documentation and resources
    • User / installation manuals
    • Internet / web based
    • Training materials

2.3 Given a scenario, determine the troubleshooting methods and tools for printers

  • Manage print jobs
  • Print spooler
  • Printer properties and settings
  • Print a test page

2.4 Given a scenario, explain and interpret common laptop issues and determine the appropriate basic troubleshooting method

  • Issues
    • Power conditions
    • Video
    • Keyboard
    • Pointer
    • Stylus
    • Wireless card issues
  • Methods
    • Verify power (e.g. LEDs, swap AC adapter)
    • Remove unneeded peripherals
    • Plug in external monitor
    • Toggle Fn keys or hardware switches
    • Check LCD cutoff switch
    • Verify backlight functionality and pixilation
    • Check switch for built-in WIFI antennas or external antennas

2.5 Given a scenario, integrate common preventative maintenance techniques

  • Physical inspection
  • Updates
    • Driver
    • Firmware
    • OS
    • Security
  • Scheduling preventative maintenance
    • Defrag
    • Scandisk
    • Check disk
    • Startup programs
  • Use of appropriate repair tools and cleaning materials
    • Compressed air
    • Lint free cloth
    • Computer vacuum and compressors
  • Power devices
    • Appropriate source such as power strip, surge protector or UPS
  • Ensuring proper environment
  • Backup procedures

3.0 Operating Systems and Software—Unless otherwise noted, operating systems referred to within include Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional, XP Home, XP MediaCenter, Windows Vista Home, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate, Windows 7 Starter, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate

3.1 Compare and contrast the different Windows Operating Systems and their features

  • Windows 2000, Windows XP 32bit vs. 64bit, Windows Vista 32 bit vs. 64bit, Windows 7 32-bit vs. 64-bit
    • Side bar, Aero, UAC, minimum system requirements, system limits
    • Windows 2000 and newer – upgrade paths and requirements
    • Windows OS Upgrade Advisor
    • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit
    • Terminology (32bit vs. 64bit – x86 vs. x64)
    • Application compatibility, installed program locations (32bit vs. 64bit), Windows compatibility mode
    • User interface, start bar layout

3.2 Given a scenario, demonstrate proper use of user interfaces

  • Windows Explorer
    • Libraries in Windows 7
  • My Computer
  • Control Panel
  • Command prompt utilities
    • telnet
    • ping
    • ipconfig
  • Run line utilities
    • msconfig
    • msinfo32
    • Dxdiag
    • Cmd
    • REGEDIT
  • My Network Places / Home Group
  • Location of basic network settings between OS versions
  • Task bar / systray
  • Administrative tools
    • Performance monitor, Event Viewer, Services, Computer Management
  • MMC
  • Task Manager
  • Start Menu

3.3 Explain the process and steps to install and configure the Windows OS

  • File systems
    • FAT32 vs. NTFS
  • Directory structures
    • Create folders
    • Navigate directory structures
  • Files
    • Creation
    • Extensions
    • Attributes
    • Permissions
  • Verification of hardware compatibility and minimum requirements
  • Installation methods
    • Boot media such as DVD, CD, floppy or USB
    • Network installation
    • Install from image
    • Recover CD
    • Factory recovery partition
  • Operating system installation options
    • File system type
    • Network configuration
    • Repair install
  • Disk preparation order
    • Format drive
    • Partition
    • Start installation
  • Device Manager
    • Verify
    • Install and update devices drivers
    • Driver signing
  • User data migration – User State Migration Tool (USMT)
  • Virtual memory
  • Configure power management
    • Suspend
    • Wake on LAN
    • Sleep timers
    • Hibernate
    • Standby
  • Demonstrate safe removal of peripherals

3.4 Explain the basics of boot sequences, methods and startup utilities

  • Disk boot order / device priority
    • Types of boot devices (disk, network, USB, other)
  • Boot options
    • Safe mode
    • Boot to restore point
    • Recovery options
      • Automated System Recovery (ASR)
      • Emergency Repair Disk (ERD)
      • Recovery console

4.0 Networking

4.1 Summarize the basics of networking fundamentals, including technologies, devices and protocols

  • Basics of configuring IP addressing and TCP/IP properties (DHCP, DNS)
  • Bandwidth and latency
  • Status indicators
  • Protocols (TCP/IP, NETBIOS)
  • Full-duplex, half-duplex
  • Basics of workgroups and domains
  • Common ports: HTTP, FTP, POP, SMTP, TELNET, HTTPS
  • LAN / WAN
  • Hub, switch and router
  • Identify Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
  • Basics class identification
  • IPv6 vs. IPv4
    • Address length differences
    • Address conventions

4.2 Categorize network cables and connectors and their implementations

  • Cables
    • Plenum / PVC
    • UTP (e.g. CAT3, CAT5 / 5e, CAT6)
    • STP
    • Fiber
    • Coaxial cable
  • Connectors
    • RJ45
    • RJ11

4.3 Compare and contrast the different network types

  • Broadband
    • DSL
    • Cable
    • Satellite
    • Fiber
  • Dial-up
  • Wireless
    • All 802.11 types
    • WEP
    • WPA
    • SSID
    • MAC filtering
    • DHCP settings
  • Bluetooth
  • Cellular

5.0 Security

5.1 Explain the basic principles of security concepts and technologies

  • Encryption technologies
  • Data wiping / hard drive destruction / hard drive recycling
  • Software firewall
    • Port security
    • Exceptions
  • Authentication technologies
    • User name
    • Password
    • Biometrics
    • Smart cards
  • Basics of data sensitivity and data security
    • Compliance
    • Classifications
    • Social engineering

5.2 Summarize the following security features

  • Wireless encryption
    • WEPx and WPAx
    • Client configuration (SSID)
  • Malicious software protection
    • Viruses
    • Trojans
    • Worms
    • Spam
    • Spyware
    • Adware
    • Grayware
  • BIOS Security
    • Drive lock
    • Passwords
    • Intrusion detection
    • TPM
  • Password management / password complexity
  • Locking workstation
    • Hardware
    • Operating system
  • Biometrics
    • Fingerprint scanner

6.0 Operational Procedure

6.1 Outline the purpose of appropriate safety and environmental procedures and given a scenario apply them

  • ESD
  • EMI
    • Network interference
    • Magnets
  • RFI
    • Cordless phone interference
    • Microwaves
  • Electrical safety
    • CRT
    • Power supply
    • Inverter
    • Laser printers
    • Matching power requirements of equipment with power distribution and UPSs
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  • Cable management
    • Avoiding trip hazards
  • Physical safety
    • Heavy devices
    • Hot components
  • Environmental— consider proper disposal procedures

6.2 Given a scenario, demonstrate the appropriate use of communication skills and professionalism in the workplace

  • Use proper language – avoid jargon, acronyms, slang
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Listen and do not interrupt a customer
  • Be culturally sensitive
  • Be on time
    • If late contact the customer
  • Avoid distractions
    • Personal calls
    • Talking to co-workers while interacting with customers
    • Personal interruptions
  • Dealing with a difficult customer or situation
    • Avoid arguing with customers and/or being defensive
    • Do not minimize customers’ problems
    • Avoid being judgmental
    • Clarify customer statements
      • Ask open-ended questions to narrow the scope of the problem
      • Restate the issue or question to verify understanding
  • Set and meet expectations / timeline and communicate status with the customer
    • Offer different repair / replacement options if applicable
    • Provide proper documentation on the services provided
    • Follow up with customer / user at a later date to verify satisfaction
  • Deal appropriately with customers confidential materials
    • Located on computer, desktop, printer, etc.

220-702 (Practical Application)

1.0 Hardware

1.1 Given a scenario, install, configure and maintain personal computer components

  • Storage devices
    • HDD
      • SATA
      • PATA
  • Solid state
    • FDD
    • Optical drives
      • CD / DVD / RW / Blu-Ray
    • Removable
    • External
  • Motherboards
    • Jumper settings
    • CMOS battery
    • Advanced BIOS settings
    • Bus speeds
    • Chipsets
    • Firmware updates
    • Socket types
    • Expansion slots
    • Memory slots
    • Front panel connectors
    • I/O ports
      • Sound, video, USB 1.1, USB 2.0, serial, IEEE 1394 / Firewire, parallel, NIC, modem, PS/2)
  • Power supplies
    • Wattages and capacity
    • Connector types and quantity
    • Output voltage
  • Processors
    • Socket types
    • Speed
    • Number of cores
    • Power consumption
    • Cache
    • Front side bus
    • 32bit vs. 64bit
  • Memory
  • Adapter cards
    • Graphics cards
    • Sound cards
    • Storage controllers
      • RAID cards (RAID array – levels 0,1,5)
      • eSATA cards
    • I/O cards
      • Firewire
      • USB
      • Parallel
      • Serial
    • Wired and wireless network cards
    • Capture cards (TV, video)
    • Media reader
  • Cooling systems
    • Heat sinks
    • Thermal compound
    • CPU fans
    • Case fans

1.2 Given a scenario, detect problems, troubleshoot and repair/replace personal computer components

  • Storage devices
    • HDD
      • SATA
      • PATA
      • Solid state
    • FDD
    • Optical drives
      • CD / DVD / RW / Blu-Ray
    • Removable
    • External
  • Motherboards
    • Jumper settings
    • CMOS battery
    • Advanced BIOS settings
    • Bus speeds
    • Chipsets
    • Firmware updates
    • Socket types
    • Expansion slots
    • Memory slots
    • Front panel connectors
    • I/O ports
      • Sound, video, USB 1.1, USB 2.0, serial, IEEE 1394 / Firewire, parallel, NIC, modem, PS/2)
  • Power supplies
    • Wattages and capacity
    • Connector types and quantity
    • Output voltage
  • Processors
    • Socket types
    • Speed
    • Number of cores
    • Power consumption
    • Cache
    • Front side bus
    • 32bit vs. 64bit
  • Memory
  • Adapter cards
    • Graphics cards - memory
    • Sound cards
    • Storage controllers
      • RAID cards
      • eSATA cards
    • I/O cards
      • Firewire
      • USB
      • Parallel
      • Serial
    • Wired and wireless network cards
    • Capture cards (TV, video)
    • Media reader
  • Cooling systems
    • Heat sinks
    • Thermal compound
    • CPU fans
    • Case fans

1.3 Given a scenario, install, configure, detect problems, troubleshoot and repair/replace laptop components

  • Components of the LCD including inverter, screen and video card
  • Hard drive and memory
  • Disassemble processes for proper re-assembly
    • Document and label cable and screw locations
    • Organize parts
    • Refer to manufacturer documentation
    • Use appropriate hand tools
  • Recognize internal laptop expansion slot types
  • Upgrade wireless cards and video card
  • Replace keyboard, processor, plastics, pointer devices, heat sinks, fans, system board, CMOS battery, speakers

1.4 Given a scenario, select and use the following tools

  • Multimeter
  • Power supply tester
  • Specialty hardware / tools
  • Cable testers
  • Loop back plugs
  • Anti-static pad and wrist strap
  • Extension magnet

1.5 Given a scenario, detect and resolve common printer issues

  • Symptoms
    • Paper jams
    • Blank paper
    • Error codes
    • Out of memory error
    • Lines and smearing
    • Garbage printout
    • Ghosted image
    • No connectivity
  • Issue resolution
    • Replace fuser
    • Replace drum
    • Clear paper jam
    • Power cycle
    • Install maintenance kit (reset page count)
    • Set IP on printer
    • Clean printer

2.0 Operating Systems— unless otherwise noted, operating systems referred to within include Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional, XP Home, XP MediaCenter, Windows Vista Home, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate, Windows 7 Starter, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate.

2.1 Select the appropriate commands and options to troubleshoot and resolve problems

  • MSCONFIG
  • DIR
  • CHKDSK (/f /r)
  • EDIT
  • COPY (/a /v /y)
  • XCOPY
  • FORMAT
  • IPCONFIG (/all /release /renew)
  • PING (-t –l)
  • MD / CD / RD
  • NET
  • TRACERT
  • NSLOOKUP
  • [command name] /?
  • SFC

2.2 Differentiate between Windows Operating System directory structures (Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7)

  • User file locations
  • User profile and program files
  • System file locations
  • Fonts
  • Temporary files
  • Program files
  • Offline files and folders

2.3 Given a scenario, select and use system utilities / tools and evaluate the results

  • Disk management tools
    • DEFRAG
    • NTBACKUP
    • Check Disk
  • Disk Manager
    • Active, primary, extended and logical partitions
    • Mount points
    • Mounting a drive
    • FAT32, NTFS, FAT64 (exFAT)
      • External hard drives
      • Flash drives
    • Drive status
      • Foreign drive
      • Healthy
      • Formatting
      • Active unallocated
      • Failed
      • Dynamic
      • Offline
      • Online
  • System monitor
  • Administrative tools
    • Event Viewer
    • Computer Management
    • Services
    • Performance Monitor
  • Device Manager
    • Enable
    • Disable
    • Warnings
    • Indicators
  • Task Manager
    • Process list
    • Resource usage
    • Process priority
    • Termination
  • System Information
  • System restore
  • Remote Desktop Protocol (Remote Desktop / Remote Assistance)
  • Task Scheduler
  • Regional settings and language settings

2.4 Evaluate and resolve common issues

  • Operational Problems
    • Windows specific printing problems
      • Print spool stalled
      • Incorrect / incompatible driver / form printing
    • Auto-restart errors
    • Bluescreen error
    • System lock-up
    • Devices drivers failure (input / output devices)
    • Application install, start or load failure
    • Service fails to start
  • Error Messages and Conditions
    • Boot
      • Invalid boot disk
        • Inaccessible boot drive
      • Missing NTLDR
    • Startup
      • Device / service failed to start
      • Device / program in registry not found
    • Event viewer (errors in the event log)
    • System Performance and Optimization
      • Aero settings
      • Indexing settings
      • UAC
      • Side bar settings
      • Startup file maintenance
      • Background processes

3.0 Networking

3.1 Troubleshoot client-side connectivity issues using appropriate tools

  • TCP/IP settings
    • Gateway
    • Subnet mask
    • DNS
    • DHCP (dynamic vs. static)
    • NAT (private and public)
  • Characteristics of TCP/IP
    • Loopback addresses
    • Automatic IP addressing
  • Mail protocol settings
    • SMTP
    • IMAP
    • POP
  • FTP settings
    • Ports
    • IP addresses
    • Exceptions
    • Programs
  • Proxy settings
    • Ports
    • IP addresses
    • Exceptions
    • Programs
  • Tools (use and interpret results)
    • Ping
    • Tracert
    • Nslookup
    • Netstat
    • Net use
    • Net /?
    • Ipconfig
    • telnet
    • SSH
  • Secure connection protocols
    • SSH
    • HTTPS
  • Firewall settings
    • Open and closed ports
    • Program filters

3.2 Install and configure a small office home office (SOHO) network

  • Connection types
    • Dial-up
    • Broadband
      • DSL
      • Cable
      • Satellite
      • ISDN
    • Wireless
      • All 802.11
      • WEP
      • WPA
      • SSID
      • MAC filtering
      • DHCP settings
    • Routers / Access Points
      • Disable DHCP
      • Use static IP
      • Change SSID from default
      • Disable SSID broadcast
      • MAC filtering
      • Change default username and password
      • Update firmware
      • Firewall
    • LAN (10/100/1000BaseT, Speeds)
    • Bluetooth (1.0 vs. 2.0)
    • Cellular
    • Basic VoIP (consumer applications)
  • Basics of hardware and software firewall configuration
    • Port assignment / setting up rules (exceptions)
    • Port forwarding / port triggering
  • Physical installation
    • Wireless router placement
    • Cable length

4.0 Security

4.1 Given a scenario, prevent, troubleshoot and remove viruses and malware

  • Use antivirus software
  • Identify malware symptoms
  • Quarantine infected systems
  • Research malware types, symptoms and solutions (virus encyclopedias)
  • Remediate infected systems
  • Update antivirus software
    • Signature and engine updates
    • Automatic vs. manual
  • Schedule scans
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