CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One For Dummies
About This Book
CompTIA A+ Certification All-In-One For Dummies, 4th Edition is designed to be a hands-on, practical guide to help you pass the A+ Certification Exams. This book is written in a way that helps you understand complex technical content and prepares you to apply that knowledge to real-world scenarios.
I understand the value of a book that covers the points needed to pass the A+ Exams, but I also understand the value of ensuring that the information helps you perform IT-related tasks when you are on the job. That is what this book offers you — key points to pass the exams combined with practical information to help you in the real world, which means that this book can be used in more than one way:
- As an exam preparation tool: Because my goal is to help you pass the A+ Exams, this book is packed with exam-specific information. You should understand everything that is in this book before taking the A+ Exams, but to help identify key points that you must know, look for icons called For the Exam to help you prepare.
- As a reference: Rely on my extensive experience in the IT industry not only to study for (and pass) the A+ Exams, but also to help you perform common computer-related tasks on the job. I hope you find this book a useful tool that you can refer to time and time again in your career.
Conventions Used in This Book
Each chapter in this book has different elements that help you prepare to pass the A+ Exams. Each chapter holds the following features:
- Icons: Look for the icons used in each chapter to draw your attention to information needed for the A+ Exams or in the real world. For more details on the icons I use, check out the later section, “Icons Used in This Book.”
- Getting an A+: Found at the end of each chapter, the “Getting an A+” summary covers key points you should remember for the exams.
- Prep Test: Following each chapter’s “Getting an A+” section, you can find example questions to help review the chapter content and prepare you for the A+ Exams. Be sure to do the review questions with each chapter! Then, after you complete the book, check out the practice exams that accompany this book on the
www.dummies.comwebsite. These practice exams are designed to function like the real exams, with the same level of difficulty. (See the section, “Online Test Bank,” later in this Introduction for more information about how to access these practice exams.)
I make a few assumptions about you as a reader and have written this book with these assumptions in mind:
- You are interested in obtaining the A+ Certification. After all, the focus of this book is helping you pass the exams.
- You have a computer to work on. To perform the labs found on the companion website, you need a computer that you can take apart and install a copy of Windows on. I recommend using virtualization software such as Hyper-V or Virtual Box to create a few different virtual machines and perform installation and configuration tasks of the different operating systems.
- You will study hard and do as much hands-on work as possible. There is a lot of content covered in the A+ Exams, and you will most likely need to read over the information a few times to ensure that you understand everything. You should also experiment as much as possible after you read a particular topic. For example, after you read about how to add a hard drive on a computer, you should get a second hard drive and add it to your computer. Or if you are reading about Windows utilities, try each one to be sure you are comfortable with what the utility looks like and what it can do.
How This Book Is Organized
Like all All-In-One For Dummies books, chapters are organized into minibooks. The chapters in each minibook are related by a specific theme or topic. For example, Book 9 — “Securing Systems” — contains all security-related content needed to pass the A+ Exams.
Before you dive into the minibooks, you’ll find a set of pre-assessment questions to test your initial knowledge of the areas covered by the A+ Exams. Take time to review each question to see where you stand, and then verify your work with the answers that follow. Use the chapter reference given to learn more about the topic related to the question.
Book 1: Setting the A+ Groundwork
In this minibook, you discover what A+ Certification is all about and what you will be tested on when taking the A+ Exams. You also find out some basic safety guidelines and general “soft skills,” such as how to communicate with customers.
Book 2: Inside the Box
In Book 2, you find out about the inside of a computer and what makes it tick. You venture into the innards of your computer, such as motherboards, memory, and processors, and also see how to install and upgrade these components.
Book 3: Outside the Box
Book 3 discusses topics related to what goes on outside the computer. You find out about the different ports on the back of the computer and how to install devices, such as video cards, sound cards, and network cards that give you output (think sound and video).
Book 4: Maintenance and Troubleshooting
The maintenance and troubleshooting minibook discusses how you care for the computer to prevent problems or hardware failure. This minibook also discusses how to troubleshoot different hardware components and how to diagnose the problem.
Book 5: Operating System Basics
Book 5 is a special minibook because it makes the transition from hardware topics to operating system topics. In this minibook, you find out the purpose of an operating system and which major files an OS needs in order to run. You also discover how to install and upgrade Windows.
Book 6: Managing the Operating System
In this minibook, I discuss and demonstrate in a hands-on way how to manage aspects of the Windows operating systems. You find out how to load drivers and how to install and support applications and start using a number of troubleshooting tools available within Windows.
Book 7: Recovering Systems
In this minibook, you discover which core files are needed to start up a Windows computer and how to fix computers that fail to boot up. You also find topics related to system recovery, such as how to back up the system and perform a restore operation.
Book 8: Networking
The A+ Exams test your knowledge of basic networking concepts and ensure that you know how to network two computers. This minibook gives you the networking background you need to pass the A+ Exams. You discover the basics of networking technologies and figure out how to troubleshoot systems on a TCP/IP network.
Book 9: Securing Systems
This final minibook covers topics related to securing your environment. In this minibook, I cover fundamental terms related to network security and also how to perform such tasks as creating user accounts, setting permissions, performing virus scans, and updating Windows.
The Appendix includes an exam objective mapping table that lets you know where in the book each of the exam objectives are covered. This is very useful when you are preparing for the A+ Exams to make sure you know each point in the objectives.
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