COMP1037 - IT Essentials


I am not scheduled to run this class again. Please contact LifeLongLearning for details of any future classes.


The online material used in this module is also available in book form:
IT Essentials 1: PC Hardware and Software Companion Guide
Cisco Press, Sept 2004, ISBN: 1587131366 [Amazon]

The CompTIA A+ Certified Computer Technician curriculum is almost identical, so books relating to this can also be useful.


PowerPoint on installing DOS and Win98 under Virtual PC
Download Cisco IT Essentials Videos as a zip
Installation files for Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 as a zip
Printer driver for Epson PictureMate PM240
PowerZip unzipping tool.exe


Worksheets: Module 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14
Workbook Review Tests
PowerPoints of Workbook Review Tests: 8 , 9
DOS Tutorial
Sample Test


Last minute review materials:

Skills Review

  • Select text in Notepad by clicking at the start of the text, drag the pointer to the end of the text, then release the mouse button.
  • You should use hand tools that are the right size and right type and keep cutting tools sharp and in a good condition.
  • You should make sure that a computer is unplugged before working inside it.
  • Don't pry the top off of a computer case with a screwdriver; it could slip and cause harm to the technician or to nearby individuals.


  • Networked PCs are generally lower in cost than a mainframe system
  • No clock or timing signal is needed for asynchronous data transmission
  • Rubbing alcohol can contaminate electrical connections


  • 7 is the default ID of the SCSI controller card
  • 7 devices is max that can be connected to typical SCSI 1 controller card
  • 16 devices can be connected to a Wide SCSI-2 channel, including the SCSI-2 card
  • DMA channel 2 is normally used for the floppy controller
  • 50 pin connector is used for SCSI 1 and narrow SCSI 2 devices
  • PCMCIA type III card is 10.5 mm thick
  • I/O address of COM1 is 3F8
  • The CPU is the first device checked by POST
  • The operating system boot record to RAM immediately after the bootstrap finds it
  • Flash is an advanced type of EEPROM that can be erased very quickly and can be reprogrammed using special software


  • There are 12 pins on an AT motherboard power connector
  • The AMD Athlon family of processors uses a socket A connector
  • RIMM modules uses RDRAM memory
  • There are 40 pins on the connector of an IDE hard drive


  • The DOS command "type" displays the contents of a file (without editing)
  • It is possible to recover files after a quick format done with "format /q"
  • DOS needs the files: IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, COMMAND.COM in order to boot
  • is responsible for executing autoexec.bat
  • The DOS bootup file msdos.sys specifically loads the file management functions
  • Upper memory usually contain the system BIOS, plug and play BIOS, and the video BIOS
  • High memory is the first 64KB of extended memory
  • Use "devicehigh" to load drivers into upper memory blocks
  • himem.sys is responsible for managing extended memory
  • The Windows 2000 swap file is called: pagefile.sys
  • Real mode can address the memory area: 0 - 1024K


  • DOS filenames can't have the character " in them
  • Window+f is a shortcut to find files and folders
  • 23 logical drives can be assigned to a single extended partition on a hard drive
  • CVT1.EXE is the Win95 OSR2 utility that changes Fat16 to FAT32
  • 16MB is the minimum RAM requirement for a Win98 installation
  • the Ctrl key pressed during bootup will acttivate the Win98 startup menu


  • The order of the Win2000 boot process is: NTLDR, BOOT.INI, NTDETECT.COM, NTOSKRNL.EXE, HAL.DLL
  • Dynamic disk volumes can be created and expanded while the operating system is active
  • To create a Win2000 emergency repair disk: Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup


  • Remote Desktop, IIS web server, roaming profiles, & dual processor support are available in Windows XP Professional but not in the home edition
  • Windows XP 64-bit edition needs a minimum of 1GB RAM
  • User State Migration Tool allows adinistrators to migrate files and settings for multiple users in a corporate environment
  • File copy is the first installation step of Windows XP
  • A dual boot installation of Windows XP allows the user to preserve an existing operating system
  • Partitioning and formatting functions may be done, if necessary, during a complete installation of Windows XP
  • THe winnt32 command starts a Windows XP upgrade on an existing Windows 2000 system
  • The xp.exe utility will upgrade from Windows 98 to Windows XP professional
  • When upgrading Windows 98 to dual boot with Windows XP, the file system should not be upgraded to NTFS
  • The Windows XP Fast User Switching option is unavailable on a computer that has been joined to a domain


  • 16 devices can be connected to a Wide SCSI-2 channel
  • PCMACIA type I card is used for memory expansion
  • It takes 2 72-pin SIMMs to fill a bank in a Pentium computer
  • FAT32 was first introduced in Windows 95 OSR2
  • contains the internal DOS commands
  • config.sys is used to load both himem.sys and emm386.exe
  • 486DX 66MHz is the minimum processor for a Windows 98 installation
  • The write permission allows users to create new files and subfolders within the folder, change folder attributes, and view folder ownership and permissions, but does not allow the user to delete the folder
  • The registry subtree HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT contains software configuration data about all the software that is installed on the computer


  • The dots per inch is determined by the combination of the screen resolution and the physical screen size
  • A video capture card is used to convert a TV/Video output into a digital format
  • When upgrading to a new video card, the existing drivers should be replaced with basic Windows drivers first
  • In digital cameras: light is recorded electronically by a semiconductor device, some very high resolution digital cameras can provide as good if not better results than film cameras, and the most common file formats are TIFF and JPEG
  • The following are digital video camera formats: MiniDV, Digital8, DVD
  • Most high-end digital cameras use CCD's
  • floppy disk, Memory Stick, PCMCIA hard disk cards, and writeable CD are types of removable media used with digital cameras


  • The write cache on a RAID controller allows the processor to continue with other tasks instead of waiting for data to be written to the disk
  • RAID 0 should not be used in a production server environment
  • In a three disk RAID 5 array, it takes two disks to fail before data is lost
  • SCSI and Fibre Channel are used to configure external disk subsystems (RAID)
  • In an external CD-ROM system, a maximum of 7 CD-ROM drives can share one SCSI ID
  • In order to boot from a SCSI drive, its ID must be 0


  • Circuit switching is used when using a modem as a WAN link
  • ARP maps known Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to physical hardware (MAC) addresses on a local network
  • Two-way satellite internel is affected by heavy rain and winds


  • The developing phase of the laser printing process transfers the toner to the latent image on the drum
  • The approximate voltage of the primary corona wire is -6000V
  • The voltage of the drum during the conditioning phase of a laser printer is -600V
  • The maximum length of a serial cable is 18m (50 ft)
  • "type thefile.txt >PRN" is a command is used to print an ASCII file directly to the parallel printer port using the command prompt
  • A thermal printer has a printhead that contains small resistive heating pins


  • A grounding wrist strap should not be worn when working on a power supply
  • Cool, low humidity conditions increases the potential for ESD
  • Dust should be removed from a mechanical mouse by scraping any buildup from the rollers with a fingernail
  • Printers require a higher level of maintenance than other peripherals because they have many moving parts and produce impurities that collect on the internal components
  • Home firewalls may be hardware or software, examine all incoming and outgoing traffic, and automatically closes the connection if hacking is detected
  • Ports 25 (SMTP), 80 (HTTP), and 110 (POP3) should be opened on a firewall to allow e-mail and Internet access
  • When the incoming voltage drops below an acceptable amount the SPS switches to battery power, whereas the UPS continually runs from the battery


  • Identifying the problem is the first step in the troubleshooting process
  • 640x480 is the standard resolution for VGA
  • Intermittent sound problems or a "dead" sound card is usually caused by resource configuration problems
  • The maximum length of an Ultra-2 SCSI cable is 12m


  • The DOS file io.sys is automatically hidden to protect it from accidental deletion
  • A .VxD type file is used by Windows 9x to replace the device= and loadhigh= commands in DOS
  • The System Configuration Editor allows easy access for editing SYSTEM.INI and WIN.INI files, as well as CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files
  • The Windows 95 file user.dat contains information about a user's choice of wallpaper and mouse speed
  • The System Policy Editor allows an administrator to set up different security restrictions for different users
  • If the Windows 2000 Enable Boot Logging Startup mode is selected, the NTBTLOG.TXT file will be created
  • The Windows 2000 Recovery Console provides a command line to perform tasks such as starting services or formatting hard disks
  • During a Windows XP install, a technician needs to install a third party driver for the disk subsystem. When the text mode setup starts, the technician should press F6 to begin the driver installation
  • An incremental backup type sets the archive bit to off
  • A printer is successfully installed on a PC located on the LAN. After testing a number of client computers, it is found that none of the clients can access the printer. The most likely the problem is that File and Print Sharing Services are not enabled on the host computer.