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SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

Ministry of Tertiary Education & Training

National Diploma in Information & Communication Technology

Computer Maintenance
& Troubleshooting
Notes
211

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National Diploma in Information & Communication Technology
Computer Maintenance & Troubleshooting

CHAPTER 1.................................................................................................................4
General System Architecture.........................................................................................4
Structural Organization ..................................................................................................7

CHAPTER 2...............................................................................................................12
Instruction Set Architecture..........................................................................................12
Addressing Modes .......................................................................................................12
Register File .................................................................................................................20

CHAPTER 3...............................................................................................................31
Different Parts of PC....................................................................................................31
Printers.........................................................................................................................46
Bus Designs .................................................................................................................47

PRACTICE LAB1 .....................................................................................................51


OS ................................................................................................................................51

PRACTICE LAB 2 ....................................................................................................54


Software Installation and Preventive Maintenance.....................................................54

PRACTICE LAB 3 ....................................................................................................59


Troubleshooting Tools .................................................................................................59

ASSIGNMENT 1 .......................................................................................................79
Safety from Statis Electricity........................................................................................79

ASSIGNMENT 2 .......................................................................................................81
Computer Performances..............................................................................................81

ASSIGNMENT 3 ......................................................................................................82
Troubleshooting Tools .................................................................................................82

ASSIGNMENT 4 .................................................................................................... 101


VGA Troubleshooting.................................................................................................101

ASSIGNMENT 5 .................................................................................................... 102


Obtaining and Calculating Power Supply Data .........................................................102

CASE STUDY 1 ..................................................................................................... 104

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Technical Support ......................................................................................................104

CASE STUDY 2 ..................................................................................................... 106


PC Upgrading.............................................................................................................106

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CHAPTER 1

General System Architecture

Flynn's Classification
Flynn uses the stream concept for describing a machine's structure .A stream simply
means a sequence of items (data or instructions). Four main types of machine
organizations can be found.

SISD
(Singe-Instruction stream, Singe-Data stream)
SISD corresponds to the traditional mono-processor (von Neumann
computer). A single data stream is being processed by one instruction stream

SIMD
(Singe-Instruction stream, Multiple-Data streams)
In this organization, multiple processing units of the same type process on
multiple-data streams. This group is dedicated to array processing machines.
Sometimes , vector processors can also be seen as a part of this group.

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MISD
(Multiple-Instruction streams, Singe-Data stream)
In case of MISD computers, multiple processing units operate on one single-
data stream (Figure c). In practice, this kind of organization has never been
used.

MIMD
(Multiple-Instruction streams, Multiple-Data streams)
This last machine type builds the group for the traditional multi-processors.
Several processing units operate on multiple-data streams (Figure d). One
example of this group is the SGI Origin 2000

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Stored-program Concept

Stored-program computer is a term similar to but not synonymous to with the term
Von-Neumann Architecture. In a computer of this type programs are stored and
executed in main memory -- often but not always after having been loaded in from
some storage mechanism.

Although this term was often used in computing literature until the 1960s and 1970s it
is now rare as it is assumed that all computers are of this type unless stated
otherwise.

Von Neumann architecture


Von Neumann architectures are computer architectures that use the same storage
device for both instructions and data (in contrast to the Harvard architecture). The
term originated from First Draft of a Report on the EDVAC (1945), a paper written by
the famous mathematician John von Neumann that proposed the stored program
concept. The paper was written in connection with plans for a successor machine to
the ENIAC and its concepts were discussed by J. Presper Eckert, John Mauchly,
Arthur Burks, and others over a period of several months prior to Von Neumann
writing the draft report.

A von Neumann Architecture computer has five parts: an arithmetic-logic unit, a


control unit, a memory, some form of input/output and a bus that provides a data path
between these parts.

A von Neumann architecture computer performs or emulates the following sequence


of steps:

1. Fetch the next instruction from memory at the address in the program
counter.
2. Add the length of the instruction to the program counter.
3. Decode the instruction using the control unit. The control unit commands the
rest of the computer to perform some operation. The instruction may change
the address in the program counter, permitting repetitive operations. The
instruction may also change the program counter only if some arithmetic
condition is true, giving the effect of a decision, which can be calculated to
any degree of complexity by the preceding arithmetic and logic.
4. Go back to step 1.

Very few computers have a pure von Neumann architecture. Most computers add
another step to check for interrupts, electronic events that could occur at any time.
An interrupt resembles the ring of a telephone, calling a person away from some
lengthy task. Interrupts let a computer do other things while it waits for events.

Von Neumann computers spend a lot of time moving data to and from the memory,
and this slows the computer (this problem is called von Neumann bottleneck) So,
engineers often separate the bus into two or more busses, usually one for
instructions, and the other for data.

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Structural Organization
CPU
Abbreviation of central processing unit, and pronounced as separate letters. The
CPU is the brains of the computer. Sometimes referred to simply as the processor or
central processor, the CPU is where most calculations take place. In terms of
computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.

On large machines, CPUs require one or more printed circuit boards. On personal
computers and small workstations, the CPU is housed in a single chip called a
microprocessor.

Two typical components of a CPU are:

• The arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which performs arithmetic and logical
operations.
• The control unit, which extracts instructions from memory and decodes and
executes them, calling on the ALU when necessary.

What is the CPU Cache?

The cache is a very high speed and very expensive piece of memory, which is used
to speed up the memory retrieval process. Due to its expensive CPU's come with a
relatively small amount of cache compared with the main system memory. Budget
CPU's have even less cache, this is the main way that the top processor
manufacturers take the cost out of their budget CPU's.

Without the cache memory every time the CPU requested data it would send a
request to the main memory which would then be sent back across the memory bus
to the CPU. This is a slow process in computing terms. The idea of the cache is that
this extremely fast memory would store and data that is frequently accessed and
also if possible the data that is around it. This is to achieve the quickest possible
response time to the CPU. Its based on playing the percentages. If a certain piece
of data has been requested 5 times before, its likely that this specific piece of data
will be required again and so is stored in the cache memory.

Lets take a library as an example o how caching works. Imagine a large library but
with only one librarian (the standard one CPU setup). The first person comes into
the library and asks for Lord of the Rings. The librarian goes off follows the path to
the bookshelves (Memory Bus) retrieves the book and gives it to the person. The
book is returned to the library once its finished with. Now without cache the book
would be returned to the shelf. When the next person arrives and asks for Lord of
the Rings, the same process happens and takes the same amount of time.

If this library had a cache system then once the book was returned it would have
been put on a shelf at the librarian’s desk. This way once the second person comes
in and asks for Lord of the Rings, the librarian only has to reach down to the shelf
and retrieve the book. This significantly reduces the time it takes to retrieve the
book. Back to computing this is the same idea, the data in the cache is retrieved

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much quicker. The computer uses its logic to determine which data is the most
frequently accessed and keeps them books on the shelf so to speak.

That is a one level cache system which is used in most hard drives and other
components. CPU's however use a 2 level cache system. The principles are the
same. The level 1 cache is the fastest and smallest memory, level 2 cache is larger
and slightly slower but still smaller and faster than the main memory. Going back to
the library, when Lord of the Rings is returned this time it will be stored on the shelf.
This time the library gets busy and lots of other books are returned and the shelf
soon fills up. Lord of the Rings hasn't been taken out for a while and so gets taken
off the shelf and put into a bookcase behind the desk. The bookcase is still closer
than the rest of the library and still quick to get to. Now when the next person comes
in asking for Lord of the Rings, the librarian will firstly look on the shelf and see that
the book isn't there. They will then proceed to the bookcase to see if the book is in
there. This is the same for CPU's. They check the L1 cache first and then check the
L2 cache for the data they require .

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Main memory

Refers to physical mem ory that is internal to the computer. The word main is used to
distinguish it from external mass storage devices such as disk drives. Another term
for main memory is RAM.

The computer can manipulate only data that is in main memory. Therefore, every
program you execute and every file you access must be copied from a storage
device into main memory. The amount of main memory on a computer is crucial
because it determines how many programs can be executed at one time and how
much data can be readily available to a program.

Because computers often have too little main memory to hold all the data they need,
computer engineers invented a technique called swapping, in which portions of data
are copied into main memory as they are needed. Swapping occurs when there is no
room in memory for needed data. When one portion of data is copied into memory,
an equal-sized portion is copied (swapped) out to make room.

Now, most PCs come with a minimum of 32 megabytes of main memory. You can
usually increase the amount of memory by inserting extra memory in the form of
chips.

Secondary memory
Secondary memory (or secondary storage) is the slowest and cheapest form of
memory. It cannot be processed directly by the CPU. It must first be copied into
primary storage (also known as RAM).

Secondary memory devices include magnetic disks like hard drives and floppy disks ;
optical disks such as CDs and CD ROMs ; and magnetic tapes, which were the first
forms of secondary memory.

I/O Units.
Short for input/output (pronounced "eye-oh"). The term I/O is used to describe any
program, operation or device that transfers data to or from a computer and to or from
a peripheral device. Every transfer is an output from one device and an input into
another. Devices such as keyboards and mice are input-only devices while devices
such as printers are output-only. A writable CD-ROM is both an input and an output
device.

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Computer Performance Metrics


Introduction

All performance metrics (measures of performance) are based on system behavior


over time. There are three major classes of metrics that can be observed by a user or
any other entity outside a system:

• Latency or Response Time metrics measure the delay between initiating or


requesting some action and the arrival of the result.
• Throughput or Capacity metrics measure the amount of work done per unit
time, or the rate at which new results arrive.
• Availability metrics measure how much of the time a system is available for
normal operation.

A fourth class of metrics, utilization metrics, can only be observed inside a system.
Utilization information is vital for understanding and predicting system performance.
The remainder of this page discusses each class of metrics in more detail.

Latency

Latency or response time metrics are measured in units of (elapsed) time. The
definition of latency metric must specify both a start and stop event: when to begin
measuring the delay, and when to stop. Some examples of latency metrics:

• The round time between typing a new address in a web browser and the time
the requested page is completely displayed.
• Set up time for a cell phone call might be defined as the delay between
pressing the "send" button and hearing the first ring.
• The time a packet is held by a network router before being forwarded.
• Delay between receiving an order for an item at an online store and updating
the "number in stock" that's reported to other customers.

In many cases, latency is reported or specified as a statistical distribution. For


example, a cell phone base station might be required to set up 99.5% of all calls
within one second.

Throughput

Throughput metrics are measured in units of inverse time. For example:

• transactions completed per minute


• gigabytes of data written to tape per hour
• memory accesses per second
• Megabits of data transmitted per second.

The term bandwidth is often used to describe the theoretical maximum throughput of
a date link or other device. For example, a 32-bit wide data bus running at 100 MHz
has a bandwidth of 32 billion bits/second. Since all devices impose some overhead in
terms of packet headers, gaps between data blocks, or control protocols, the
throughput of usable data is always less the bandwidth. Efficiency is defined as the
ratio of usable throughput to the bandwidth. For computer networks, where packets

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may be lost or damaged, the term goodput is sometimes used for the arrival rate of
undamaged packets.

For some applications, throughput metrics may be normalized over some other
system characteristic, such as cost or power consumption. It is also a common
practice to specify throughout with latency constraint, or visa versa.

For example, the Transaction Processing Performance Council TPC-C online


transaction processing benchmark reports the throughput of specific mix of
transactions, with the requirement that transactions must be completed within fixed
time limits, as "tpmC". A second metric "price/tpmC" reports the total cost of the
system per transaction.

Availability

The term availability is used to describe the fraction of time a system is available. For
example, if an inventory database is down for an hour a day, it has an availability of
about 0.96. However, the availability metric alone doesn't tell the whole story. For
example, if the same inventory database went down for 10 milliseconds each
second, it would have an availability of 0.99 but would probably be useless for any
practical purpose. Therefore, the reliability metric is used to report the mean time
between failures (MTBF), which indicates on average, the period a system is usable.
A related metric is mean time to repair (MTTR), which quantifies how long it takes to
recover from a failure.

Utilization

The fraction of time that a system component, such as CPU, disk, or data link, is
active is its utilization. It follows from this definition that utilization values range
between 0 and 1. The maximum throughput of a system (its throughput capacity) is
reached when the busiest component reaches a utilization of 1. As a practical matter,
response time increases rapidly as utilization approaches 100%, so that many
systems are designed to keep utilization below some threshold such as 70% or 80%.

The path length of a device for specific workload is the device utilization divided by
the throughput. The path length has units of time and it indicates how much time the
device needs to process one unit of work, such as a transaction, packet, etc.

Path length is short for "code path length" or the number of instructions required to
complete a specific task. As CPU design has progressed, the introduction of caches,
virtual memory, pipelining, and concurrent execution of multiple instructions have all
made the relationship between instruction count and CPU time less predictable. For
current technology, it's better to think of path length as "CPU time per transaction."

Knowledge of utilization and path length is required to do any sort of predictive


performance modeling. Therefore, most processors and operating systems
incorporate a facility for measuring utilization.

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CHAPTER 2

Instruction Set Architecture


The instruction set architecture of a processor serves as the interface between
hardware and software. Although perfected closely resemble load instructions, the
desired semantics and actions are quite different. This section discusses these
semantic and functional issues.

RISC
Pronounced risk, acronym for reduced instruction set computer, a type of
microprocessor that recognizes a relatively limited number of instructions. Until the
mid-1980s, the tendency among computer manufacturers was to build increasingly
complex CPUs that had ever-larger sets of instructions. At that time, however, a
number of computer manufacturers decided to reverse this trend by building CPUs
capable of executing only a very limited set of instructions. One advantage of
reduced instruction set computers is that they can execute their instructions very fast
because the instructions are so simple. Another, perhaps more important advantage,
is that RISC chips require fewer transistors, which makes them cheaper to design
and produce. Since the emergence of RISC computers, conventional computers
have been referred to as CISCs (complex instruction set computers).

There is still considerable controversy among experts about the ultimate value of
RISC architectures. Its proponents argue that RISC machines are both cheaper and
faster, and are therefore the machines of the future. Skeptics note that by making the
hardware simpler, RISC architectures put a greater burden on the software. They
argue that this is not worth the trouble because conventional microprocessors are
becoming increasingly fast and cheap anyway.

To some extent, the argument is becoming moot because CISC and RISC
implementations are becoming more and more alike. Many of today's RISC chips
support as many instructions as yesterday's CISC chips. And today's CISC chips use
many techniques formerly associated with RISC chips.

CISC
Pronounced sisk, and stands for complex instruction set computer. Most personal
computers use a CISC architecture, in which the CPU supports as many as two
hundred instructions. An alternative architecture, used by many workstations and
also some personal computers, is RISC (reduced instruction set computer), which
supports fewer instructions.

Addressing Modes

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Register
A, special, high-speed storage area within the CPU. All data must be represented in
a register before it can be processed. For example, if two numbers are to be
multiplied, both numbers must be in registers, and the result is also placed in a
register. (The register can contain the address of a memory location where data is
stored rather than the actual data itself.)

The number of registers that a CPU has and the size of each (number of bits) help
determine the power and speed of a CPU. For example a 32-bit CPU is one in which
each register is 32 bits wide. Therefore, each CPU instruction can manipulate 32 bits
of data.

Usually, the movement of data in and out of registers is completely transparent to


users, and even to programmers. Only assembly language programs can manipulate
registers. In high-level languages, the compiler is responsible for translating high-
level operations into low-level operations that access registers.

Register Addressing Diagram

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• Similar to direct addressing


• Only difference is that the address field refers to a register rather than a main
memory address.
• Advantage:
• Only a small address field is needed in the instruction
• No memory references are required.
• If the register addressing is heavily used in an instruction set, this implies that the
CPU registers will be heavily used.
• Operand is contained in the register named in the
address field
• If R is the register name then EA = R
• Since there is a limited number of registers, then a
very small address field is needed
o Shorter instructions
o Faster instruction fetch
• e.g. ADD rA
o Look into register A for operand
o Add content of register A to accumulator
o Acc+(rA)? ? Acc

• No main memory access


• Very fast execution
• Very limited address space (= # registers)
• Multiple registers may help performance
• Conceptually similar to direct addressing…
• But operations on registers require fewer clock cycles

Immediate Addressing Diagram

• Operand is actually present in the instruction


• No memory reference other the instruction fetch is required to obtain the operand.

• The value of address field is the operand


• No memory reference to fetch data
• Fast
• Limited range

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Direct Addressing Diagram

• Address field contains the effective address of the operand.


• Requires only one memory reference and no special calculation
• The value of address field is the address of the operand
• If A is the value then (A) denotes the value contained in the memory cell with
address A
• Single memory reference to access data
• No additional calculations to work out effective address
• Limited address space

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Indirect Addressing Diagram

• To have the address field refer to the address of a word in memory, this in turn
contains a full-length address of the operand.
• Advantage: is that for a word length of N, an address space of 2 power of N is
now available.
• Disadvantage: is that instruction execution requires two memory references to
fetch the operand: one to get its address and a second to get its value.
• The memory cell referenced by the address field
contains the address of (i.e., the pointer to) the operand
• If A is the value of the address field, then EA is the
Effective Address in memory of the operand and is
EA=(A)
• Large address space
• 2n addressable cells where n is the number of
bits in the address field
• May be nested, multilevel, cascaded
• Multiple memory accesses to find operand
• Hence slower

Indexed Addressing

• A is the base value


• R contains the displacement
• EA = A + (R)
• Good for accessing all array cells in sequence
• First access address EA = A + (R), then increment
the content of R, and repeat

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Operations

Arithmetic and logical unit

An arithmetic and logical unit (ALU) is one of the core components of all central
processing units. It is capable of calculating the results of a wide variety of common
computations. The most common available operations are the integer arithmetic
operations of addition, subtraction, and multiplication, the bitwise logic operations of
AND, NOT, OR, and XOR, and various shift operations. Typically, a standard ALU
does not handle integer division nor any floating point operations. For these
calculations a separate component, such as a divider or floating point unit (FPU), is
often used, although it is also possible that a microcode program may use the ALU to
emulate these operations.

The ALU takes as inputs the data to be operated on and a code from the control unit
indicating which operation to perform, and for output provides the result of the
computation. In some designs it may also take as input and output a set of condition
codes, which can be used to indicate cases such as carry-in or carry-out, overflow, or
other statuses.

Processor operations

Processor Operations helps operators manage more systems with greater efficiency.
One operator, in one location, can initialize, configure, monitor, shut down, and
recover multiple systems -- both local and remote -- and respond to a variety of
detected conditions. The operator, using one standard interface, can do all that
across multiple types of systems. Automated routines for frequently used functions
speed the work of skilled operators and assist less experienced operators to become
more productive.

Processor Operations supports monitoring and control functions for any of the
following processors:

• zSeries and 390-CMOS processors


• All CMOS processors supporting Operations Command Facility (OCF) that
are not part of the above processor families are supported by processor
operations with limited functionality

SA OS/390 processor operations supports logical partitioning of any of these


processors that also support logical partitioning.

The operating systems that processor operations supports on the target systems are
z/OS, OS/390, MVS, VM, VSE, and Linux for zSeries.

Processor operations monitors and controls processor hardware operations. It


provides a connection from a focal point processor to a target processor. With
NetView on the focal point processor, processor operations automates operator and
system consoles for monitoring and recovering target processors.

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Processor operations allows you to power on and off multiple target processors and
reset them. You can perform IPLs, set the time of day clocks, respond to messages,
monitor status, and detect and resolve wait states.

Control Flow Architecture

Control dominated architecture design is significantly different from data-flow. Very


few tools are offered on the market to address this aspect of design.

Control flow applications are driven by a set of commands that have to be


interpreted. Each command is a sequence of control and data, and may imply
reading or writing complex data structures and executing a specific algorithm. The
computation performed may be data dependent. This includes handshaking with the
environment, data dependent loops and fast reaction to interrupts.

In complex system, data flow components are almost always mixed with control flow
components, at least at top level. Whenever a systems includes control flow
elements, a simple design strategy is to use the control part as the "skeletton" of the
architecture, and to design the data flow modules as components (dedicated co-
processors). templates is possible.

The specific template used for control-flow processor synthesis is based on a


hierarchy of complex controllers were data-flow processors can be introduced as co-
processors at any level.

The Instruction Set Architecture

• The Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) view of a machine corresponds


to the machine and assembly language levels.

• A compiler translates a high level language, which is architecture


Independent, into assembly language, which is architecture dependent.

• An assembler translates assembly language programs into executable


Binary codes.

• For fully compiled languages like C and Fortran, the binary codes
Are executed directly by the target machine. Java stops the translation
At the byte code level. The Java virtual machine, which is at
the assembly language level, interprets the byte codes (hardware
implementations of the JVM also exist, in which Java byte codes
are executed directly.)

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Basic Non Pipe Lined CPU Architecture

PIPE LINE
A Pipeline is a series of stages, where some work is done at each stage. The work is
not finished until it has passed through all stages. Pipelining is an implementation
technique in which multiple instructions are overlapped in execution. Today,
Pipelining is key to making processors fast. A pipeline is like an assembly line: in
both, each step completes one piece of the whole job. Workers on a car assembly
line perform small tasks, such as installing seat covers. The power of the assembly
line comes from many cars per day. On a well-balanced assembly line, a new car
exits the line in the time it takes to perform one of the many steps. Note that the
assembly line does not reduce the time it takes to complete an individual car; it
increases the number of cars being built simultaneously and thus the rate at which
the cars are started and completed. There are two types of pipelines, Instructional
pipeline where different stages of an instruction fetch and execution are handled in a
pipeline and Arithmetic pipeline where different stages of an arithmetic operation are
handled along the stages of a pipeline.

A Simple Non-Pipelined CPU


A simple, non-pipelined CPU also executes instructions in discrete steps or cycles.
Although the quantity and function of each step varies from machine to machine, the
basic ideas remain the same. Figure 1 shows the basic steps of instruction execution
in a non-pipelined, “LOAD/STORE” CPU. This simple CPU is taken from the
pedagogical DLX architecture,
proposed by Hennessy and Patterson in Computer Architecture A Quantitative
Approach (Morgan Kaufmann, 1990). A “LOAD/STORE” CPU performs all of its
operations on register operands. The register operands are read from memory by
“LOAD” instructions and are written back to memory by
“STORE” instructions.

Superpipelined Processors
In contrast to a superscalar processor, a superpipelined one has split the main
computational pipeline into more stages. Each stage is simpler (does less work) and
thus the clock speed can be increased. However the latency, measured in clock
cycles, for any instruction to complete has increased from 4 cycles in early RISC
processors to 8 or more.

Benefit
The major benefit of superpipelining is the increase in the number of instructions
which can be in the pipeline at one time and hence the level of parallelism.

Drawbacks
The larger number of instructions "in flight" (ie in some part of the pipeline) at any
time, increases the potential for data dependencies to introduce stalls. Simulation
studies have suggested that a pipeline depth of more than 8 stages tends to be
counter-productive.

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Note that some recent processors, eg the MIPS R10000, can be described as both
superscalar - they have multiple processing units - and superpipelined - there are
more than 5 stages in the pipeline.

Register File
The Register File is the highest level of the memory hierarchy. In a very simple
processor, it consists of a single memory location - usually called an accumulator.
The result of ALU operations was stored here and could be re-used in a subsequent
operation or saved into memory.

In a modern processor, it's considered necessary to have at least 32 registers for


integer values and often 32 floating point registers as well. Thus the register file is a
small, addressable memory at the top of the memory hierarchy. It's visible to
programs (which address registers directly), so that the number and type (integer or
floating point) of registers is part of the instruction set architecture (ISA).

Register File Capacity

A modern processor will have at least 32 integer registers each capable of storing a
word of 32 (or, more recently, 64) bits. A processor with floating point capabilities will
generally also provide 32 or more floating point registers, each capable of holding a
double precision floating point word. These registers are used by programs as
temporary storage for values which will be needed for calculations. Because the
registers are "closest" to the processor in terms of access time - able to supply a
value within a single clock cycle - an optimising compiler for a high level language will
attempt to retain as many frequently used values in the registers as possible. Thus
the size of the register file is an important factor in the overall speed of programs.
Earlier processors with fewer than 32 registers (eg early members of the x86 family)
severely hampered the ability of the compiler to keep frequently referenced values
close to the processor.

Stacks

Hardware implementation of stacks has the obvious advantage that it can be much
faster than software management. In machines that refer to the stack with a large
percentage of instructions, this increased efficiency is vital to maintaining high
system performance.

While any software method of handling stacks can be implemented in hardware, the
generally practiced hardware implementation is to reserve contiguous locations of
memory with a stack pointer into that memory. Usually the pointer is a dedicated
hardware register that can be incremented or decremented as required to push and
pop elements. Sometimes a capability is provided to add an offset to the stack
pointer to nondestructively access the first few elements of the stack without
requiring successive pop operations. Often times the stack is resident in the same
memory devices as the program. Sometimes, in the interest of increased efficiency,
the stacks reside in their own memory devices.

Another approach that may be taken to building stacks in hardware is to use large
shift registers. Each shift register is a long chain of registers with one end of the
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chain being visible as a single bit at the top of stack. 32 such shift registers of N bits
each may be placed side-by-side to form a 32 bit wide by N element stack. While this
approach has not been practical in the past, VLSI stack machines may find this a
viable alternative to the conventional register pointing into memory implementation.

Register

Special, high-speed storage area within the CPU. All data must be represented in a
register before it can be processed. For example, if two numbers are to be multiplied,
both numbers must be in registers, and the result is also placed in a register. (The
register can contain the address of a memory location where data is stored rather
than the actual data itself.)

The number of registers that a CPU has and the size of each (number of bits) help
determine the power and speed of a CPU. For example a 32-bit CPU is one in which
each register is 32 bits wide. Therefore, each CPU instruction can manipulate 32 bits
of data.

Usually, the movement of data in and out of registers is completely transparent to


users, and even to programmers. Only assembly language programs can manipulate
registers. In high-level languages, the compiler is responsible for translating high-
level operations into low-level operations that access registers.

Register Renaming
There are many solutions to resolve a pipeline stall. One way is to simply add more
registers to the CPU, which should give us more quick storage spaces. That way, we
could store all the values we need within the registers so the CPU would not have to
fetch data directly from memory. As with the case of two instructions trying to write to
a single accumulator, we could eliminate the stall if we added another accumulator.
However, adding more registers is expensive. In addition, a complex program can fill
up all the registers in our CPU within a short period of time.

Many CPU manufacturers use register renaming instead of adding more registers. In
this way, there are more registers available during program execution. Register
renaming dynamically associates physical registers to logical registers.i This is
usually done during the execution phase where an Address Generator Unit (AGU)
within the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) assigns the executed data or instruction into a
specific register, cache or memory.

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Fetch Execute Cycle


The sequence of actions that a central processing unit performs to execute each
machine code instruction in a program.

At the beginning of each cycle the CPU presents the value of the program counter on
the address bus. The CPU then fetches the instruction from main memory (possibly
via a cache and/or a pipeline) via the data bus into the instruction register.

From the instruction register, the data forming the instruction is decoded and passed
to the control unit which sends a sequence of control signals to the relevant function
units of the CPU to perform the actions required by the instruction such as reading
values from registers, passing them to the ALU to add them together and writing the
result back to a register.

The program counter is then incremented to address the next instruction and the
cycle is repeated.

• Extract the instruction from Memory


• calculate the address of the next instruction, by advancing the PC
• decode the opcode
• calculate the address of the operand (if any)
• extract the operand from memory
• execute
• calculate the address of the result
• store the result in memory

Microprogramming
The microprogram is the essential part of the computer which allows the interaction
between hardware and software. In many processors, the microprogram executes
machine code instructions directly on the hardware, providing a final level of
interpretation between machine language instructions and the basic memory and
arithmetic operations performed by the hardware. However, some new architectures
do not implement a microprogram. Instead, operations in the digital logic level are run
directly by software. In this project, I will examine microprogramming in terms of its
role as the intersection of hardware and software, and in doing so, compare and
contrast microinstruction-rich and microinstruction-deficient architectures, and
examine various new approaches to hardware/software interaction.

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The Hard-Wired Control Unit

This figure is a block diagram showing the internal organization of a hard-wired


control unit for our simple computer. Input to the controller consists of the 4-bit
opcode of the instruction currently contained in the Instruction Register and the
negative flag from the accumulator. The controller's output is a set of 16 control
signals that go out to the various registers and to the memory of the computer, in
addition to a HLT signal that is activated whenever the leading bit of the op-code is
one. The controller is composed of the following functional units: A ring counter, an
instruction decoder, and a control matrix.

The ring counter provides a sequence of six consecutive active signals that cycle
continuously. Synchronized by the system clock, the ring counter first activates its T0
line, then its T1 line, and so forth. After T5 is active, the sequence begins again with
T0.

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Memory Hierarchy and I/O Techniques

Memory Hierarchy

Memory Hierarchy

We first illustrate the issues involved in optimizing memory system performance on


multiprocessors, and define the terms that are used in this paper. True sharing cache
misses occur whenever two processors access the same data word. True sharing
requires the processors involved to explicitly synchronize with each other to ensure
program correctness. A computation is said to have temporal locality if it re-uses
much of the data it has been accessing; programs with high temporal locality tend to
have less true sharing. The amount of true sharing in the program is a critical factor
for performance on multiprocessors; high levels of true sharing and synchronization
can easily overwhelm the advantage of parallelism.

It is important to take synchronization and sharing into consideration when deciding


on how to parallelize a loop nest and how to assign the iterations to processors.
Consider the code shown in Figure 1(a). While all the iterations in the first two-deep
loop nest can run in parallel, only the inner loop of the second loop nest is
parallelizable. To minimize synchronization and sharing, we should also parallelize
only the inner loop in the first loop nest. By assigning the ith iteration in each of the
inner loops to the same processor, each processor always accesses the same rows
of the arrays throughout the entire computation. Figure 1(b) shows the data accessed
by each processor in the case where each processor is assigned a block of rows. In
this way, no interprocessor communication or synchronization is necessary.

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Main Memory
The storage device used by a computer to hold the currently executing program and
its working data. A modern computer's main memory is built from random access
memory integrated circuits. In the old days ferrite core memory was one popular form
of main memory, leading to the use of the term "core" for main memory.

Computers have several other sorts of memory, distinguished by their access time,
storage capacity, cost, and the typical lifetime or rate of change of the data they hold.
Registers in the CPU are fast, few, expensive and typically change every few
machine instructions. Other kinds are cache, PROM, magnetic disk (which may be
used for virtual memory), and magnetic tape.

Cache Memory
a special high-speed storage mechanism. It can be either a reserved section of main
memory or an independent high-speed storage device. Two types of caching are
commonly used in personal computers: memory caching and disk caching.

A memory cache, sometimes called a cache store or RAM cache, is a portion of


memory made of high-speed static RAM (SRAM) instead of the slower and cheaper
dynamic RAM (DRAM) used for main memory. Memory caching is effective because
most programs access the same data or instructions over and over. By keeping as
much of this information as possible in SRAM, the computer avoids accessing the
slower DRAM.

Some memory caches are built into the architecture of microprocessors. The Intel
80486 microprocessor, for example, contains an 8K memory cache, and the Pentium
has a 16K cache. Such internal caches are often called Level 1 (L1) caches. Most
modern PCs also come with external cache memory, called Level 2 (L2) caches.
These caches sit between the CPU and the DRAM. Like L1 caches, L2 caches are
composed of SRAM but they are much larger.

Disk caching works under the same principle as memory caching, but instead of
using high-speed SRAM, a disk cache uses conventional main memory. The most
recently accessed data from the disk (as well as adjacent sectors) is stored in a
memory buffer. When a program needs to access data from the disk, it first checks
the disk cache to see if the data is there. Disk caching can dramatically improve the
performance of applications, because accessing a byte of data in RAM can be
thousands of times faster than accessing a byte on a hard disk.

When data is found in the cache, it is called a cache hit, and the effectiveness of a
cache is judged by its hit rate. Many cache systems use a technique known as smart
caching, in which the system can recognize certain types of frequently used data.
The strategies for determining which information should be kept in the cache
constitute some of the more interesting problems in computer science.

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Secondary Memory
Secondary memory (or secondary storage) is the slowest and cheapest form of
memory. It cannot be processed directly by the CPU. It must first be copied into
primary storage (also known as RAM ).

Secondary memory devices include magnetic disks like hard drives and floppy disks ;
optical disks such as CDs and CDROMs ; and magnetic tapes, which were the first
forms of secondary memory.

I/O Methods
The original MemoryObject class has two I/O methods: the read and write methods.
These methods read and write to the memory object directly. With the integration of
file system caching, these methods are no longer sufficient. At least two sets of I/O
methods are required. The first set of I/O methods does I/O directly from and to
memory objects like the original read and write methods. The revised virtual memory
management system uses these methods to read data into main memory and write
data out of main memory. The second set of I/O methods supports file system I/O.
These methods do I/O through a memory object cache if a memory object is cached.

In the revised virtual memory management system, the original read and write
methods of the MemoryObject class has been renamed rawRead and rawWrite. The
rawRead and rawWrite methods do I/O directly from and to memory objects. Then,
new read and write methods are defined. If a memory object is cached, these
methods invoke the cacheRead and cacheWrite methods of the memory object's
memory object cache. If a memory object is not cached, these methods invoke the
memory object's rawRead and rawWrite methods.

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Input / Output (I/O)

I/O Modules
It is not possible to simply connect I/O devices directly to the system bus for several
reasons.

o There are many different types of device, each with a different method of
operation, e.g. monitors, disk drives, keyboards. It is impracticable for a
CPU to be aware of the operation of every type of device, particularly as
new devices may be designed after the CPU has been produced.
o The data transfer rate of most peripherals is much slower than that of
the CPU. The CPU cannot communicate directly with such devices
without slowing the whole system down.
o Peripherals will often use different data word sizes and formats than
the CPU.

For this reason a computer system must use I/O modules, components which
interface between the CPU and the peripherals. An I/O module has several functions.

o Controlling the peripheral and synchronising its operation with that of


the CPU
o Communicating with the CPU through the system bus
o Communicating with the peripheral through an I/O interface
o Buffering data
o Error detection

An I/O module consists of several parts.

o A connection to the system bus


o Some control logic
o A data buffer
o An interface to the peripheral(s)

We shall consider two main areas.

o The strategy by which I/O modules communicate with the CPU.


o The interface between I/O modules and the device(s) connected to
them.

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Programmed I/O
The simplest strategy for handling communication between the CPU and an I/O
module is programmed I/O. Using this strategy, the CPU is responsible for all
communication with I/O modules, by executing instructions which control the
attached devices, or transfer data.

For example, if the CPU wanted to send data to a device using programmed I/O, it
would first issue an instruction to the appropriate I/O module to tell it to expect data.
The CPU must then wait until the module responds before sending the data. If the
module is slower than the CPU, then the CPU may also have to wait until the transfer
is complete. This can be very inefficient.

Another problem exists if the CPU must read data from a device such as a keyboard.
Every so often the CPU must issue an instruction to the appropriate I/O module to
see if any keys have been pressed. This is also extremely inefficient. Consequently
this strategy is only used in very small microprocessor controlled devices.

Interrupt Driven I/O

A more common strategy is to use interrupt driven I/O. This strategy allows the CPU
to carry on with its other operations until the module is ready to transfer data. When
the CPU wants to communicate with a device, it issues an instruction to the
appropriate I/O module, and then continues with other operations. When the device
is ready, it will interrupt the CPU. The CPU can then carry out the data transfer as
before.

This also removes the need for the CPU to continually poll input devices to see if it
must read any data. When an input device has data, then the appropriate I/O module
can interrupt the CPU to request a data transfer.

An I/O module interrupts the CPU simply by activating a control line in the control
bus. The sequence of events is as follows.

1. The I/O module interrupts the CPU.


2. The CPU finishes executing the current instruction.
3. The CPU acknowledges the interrupt.
4. The CPU saves its current state.
5. The CPU jumps to a sequence of instructions which will handle the
interrupt.

The situation is somewhat complicated by the fact that most computer systems will
have several peripherals connected to them. This means the computer must be able
to detect which device an interrupt comes from, and to decide which interrupt to
handle if several occur simultaneously. This decision is usually based on interrupt
priority. Some devices will require response from the CPU more quickly than others,
for example, an interrupt from a disk drive must be handled more quickly than an
interrupt from a keyboard.

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Many systems use multiple interrupt lines. This allows a quick way to assign priorities
to different devices, as the interrupt lines can have different priorities. However, it is
likely that there will be more devices than interrupt lines, so some other method must
be used to determine which device an interrupt comes from.

Most systems use a system of vectored interrupts. When the CPU acknowledges an
interrupt, the relevant device places a word of data (a vector) on the data bus. The
vector identifies the device which requires attention, and is used by the CPU to look
up the address of the appropriate interrupt handing routine.

DMA (Direct Memory Access)


Although interrupt driven I/O is much more efficient than program controlled I/O, all
data is still transferred through the CPU. This will be inefficient if large quantities of
data are being transferred between the peripheral and memory. The transfer will be
slower than necessary, and the CPU will be unable to perform any other actions
while it is taking place.

Many systems therefore use an additional strategy, known as direct memory access
(DMA). DMA uses an additional piece of hardware - a DMA controller. The DMA
controller can take over the system bus and transfer data between an I/O module
and main memory without the intervention of the CPU. Whenever the CPU wants to
transfer data, it tells the DMA controller the direction of the transfer, the I/O module
involved, the location of the data in memory, and the size of the block of data to be
transferred. It can then continue with other instructions and the DMA controller will
interrupt it when the transfer is complete.

The CPU and the DMA controller cannot use the system bus at the same time, so
some way must be found to share the bus between them. One of two methods is
normally used.

Burst mode
The DMA controller transfers blocks of data by halting the CPU and controlling the
system bus for the duration of the transfer. The transfer will be as quick as the
weakest link in the I/O module/bus/memory chain, as data does not pass through the
CPU, but the CPU must still be halted while the transfer takes place.

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Cycle Stealing
The DMA controller transfers data one word at a time, by using the bus during a part
of an instruction cycle when the CPU is not using it, or by pausing the CPU for a
single clock cycle on each instruction. This may slow the CPU down slightly overall,
but will still be very efficient.

Process of Cycle Stealing


• Cycle stealing is a strategy whereby DMA module uses the system bus to move
data between the I/O module/external devices at times when the CPU is not
using the bus.
• During the decode cycle of the fetch-decode-execute cycle the BUS is not in use
thus the DMA module “steals” or takes control of the bus.
• The DMA module transfers one word and returns control to CPU.
• It is not an interrupt because the CPU does not change state; it does not jump to
any special service routine; it is just paused for one or more cycles.

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CHAPTER 3

Different Parts of PC

Computer Monitor
The computer monitor is an output device that is part of your computer's display
system. A cable connects the monitor to a video adapter (video card) that is
installed in an expansion slot on your computer’s motherboard. This system converts
signals into text and pictures and displays them on a TV-like screen (the monitor).

The computer sends a signal to the video adapter, telling it what character, image or
graphic to display. The video adapter converts that signal to a set of instructions that
tell the display device (monitor) how to draw the image on the screen.

Cathode Ray tube

The CRT, or Cathode Ray Tube, is the "picture tube" of your monitor. Although it is a
large vacuum tube, it's shaped more like a bottle. The tube tapers near the back
where there's a negatively charged cathode, or "electron gun". The electron gun
shoots electrons at the back of the positively charged screen, which is coated with a
phosphorous chemical. This excites the phosphors causing them to glow as
individual dots called pixels (picture elements). The image you see on the monitor's
screen is made up of thousands of tiny dots (pixels). If you've ever seen a child's
LiteBrite toy, then you have a good idea of the concept. The distance between the
pixels has a lot to do with the quality of the image. If the distance between pixels on a
monitor screen is too great, the picture will appear "fuzzy", or grainy. The closer
together the pixels are, the sharper the image on screen. The distance between
pixels on a computer monitor screen is called its dot pitch and is measured in
millimeters. (see sidebar). You should try to get a monitor with a dot pitch of .28 mm
or less.

There are a couple of electromagnets (yokes) around the collar of the tube that
actually bend the beam of electrons. The beam scans (is bent) across the monitor
from left to right and top to bottom to create, or draw the image, line by line. The
number of times in one second that the electron gun redraws the entire image is
called the refresh rate and is measured in Hertz (Hz).
If the scanning beam hits each and every line of pixels, in succession, on each pass,
then the monitor is known as a non-interlaced monitor. A non-interlaced monitor is
preferred over an interlaced monitor. The electron beam on an interlaced monitor
scans the odd numbered lines on one pass, then scans the even lines on the second
pass. This results in an almost imperceivable flicker that can cause eye-strain.

This type of eye-strain can result in blurred vision, sore eyes, headaches and even
nausea. Don't buy an interlaced monitor, they can be a real pain in the ... ask your
optometrist.

Interlaced computer monitors are getting harder to find (good!), but they are still out
there, so keep that in mind when purchasing a monitor and watch out for that "steal
of a deal".
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Video Technologies

Video technologies differ in many different ways. However, the major 2 differences
are resolution and the number of colors it can produce at those resolutions .

Resolution

Resolution is the number of pixels that are used to draw an image on the screen. If
you could count the pixels in one horizontal row across the top of the screen, and the
number of pixels in one vertical column down the side, that would properly describe
the resolution that the monitor is displaying. It’s given as two numbers. If there were
800 pixels across and 600 pixels down the side, then the resolution would be 800 X
600. Multiply 800 times 600 and you’ll get the number of pixels used to draw the
image (480,000 pixels in this example). A monitor must be matched with the video
card in the system. The monitor has to be capable of displaying the resolutions and
colors that the adapter can produce. It works the other way around too. If your
monitor is capable of displaying a resolution of 1,024 X 768 but your adapter can only
produce 640 X 480, then that’s all you’re going to get.
When we talk about the different technologies, we’re talking about the video card
and monitor that make up that display system. Also, standards describe the basic
number of colors and resolutions for each technology, but individual manufacturers
always take liberties, providing options and enhancements that are designed to make
their product more appealing to the end user. This is, of course, how new standards
come about.

Monochrome

Monochrome monitors are very basic displays that produce only one color. The basic
text mode in DOS is 80 characters across and 25 down. When graphics were first
introduced, they were fairly rough by today’s standards, and you had to manually
type in a command to change from text mode to graphics mode. A company called
Hercules Graphics developed a video adapter that could do this for you. Not only
could it change from text to graphics, but it could do it on the fly whenever the
application required it. Today’s adapters still basically use the same methods .

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CGA/EGA

The Color Graphics Adapter (CGA) introduced color to the personal computer. In
APA mode it can produce a resolution of 320 X 200 and has a palette of 16 colors
but can only display 4 at a time. With the introduction of the IBM Enhanced Graphics
Adapter (EGA), the proper monitor was capable of a resolution of 640 X 350 pixels
and could display 16 colors from a palette of 64.

VGA

Up until VGA, colors were produced digitally. Each electron beam could be either on
or off. There were three electron guns, one for each color, red, green and blue
(RGB). This combination could produce 8 colors. By cutting the intensity of the beam
in half, you could get 8 more colors for a total of 16. IBM came up with the idea of
developing an analog display system that could produce 64 different levels of
intensity. Their new Video Graphics Array adapter was capable of a resolution of 640
X 480 pixels and could display up to 256 colors from a palette of over 260,000. This
technology soon became the standard for almost every video card and monitor being
developed.

SVGA

Once again, manufacturers began to develop video adapters that added features and
enhancements to the VGA standard. Super-VGA is based on VGA standards and
describes display systems with several different resolutions and a varied number of
colors. When SVGA first came out it could be defined as having capabilities of 800 X
600 with 256 colors or 1024 X 768 with 16 colors. However, these cards and
monitors are now capable of resolutions up to 1280 X 1024 with a palette of more
than 16 million colors.

XGA

Extended Graphics Array was developed by IBM. It improved upon the VGA standard
(also developed by IBM) but was a proprietary adapter for use in Micro Channel
Architecture expansion slots. It had its own coprocessor and bus-mastering ability,
which means that it had the ability to execute instructions independent of the CPU. It
was also a 32-bit adapter capable of increased data transfer speeds. XGA allowed
for better performance, could provide higher resolution and more colors than the
VGA and SVGA cards at the time. However, it was only available for IBM machines.
Many of these features were later incorporated by other video card manufacturers.

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Video Adapter

A board that plugs into a personal computer to give it display capabilities. The display
capabilities of a computer, however, depend on both the logical circuitry (provided in
the video adapter) and the display monitor. A monochrome monitor, for example,
cannot display colors no matter how powerful the video adapter. Many different types
of video adapters are available for PCs. Most conform to one of the video standards
defined by IBM or VESA.

Each adapter offers several different video modes. The two basic categories of video
modes are text and graphics. In text mode, a monitor can display only ASCII
characters. In graphics mode, a monitor can display any bit-mapped image. Within
the text and graphics modes, some monitors also offer a choice of resolutions. At
lower resolutions a monitor can display more colors.

Modern video adapters contain memory, so that the computer's RAM is not used for
storing displays. In addition, most adapters have their own graphics coprocessor for
performing graphics calculations. These adapters are often called graphics
accelerators.

Like most parts of the PC, the video card had very humble beginnings--it was only
responsible for taking what the processor produced as output and displaying it on the
screen. Early on, this was simply text, and not even color at that. Video cards today
are much more like coprocessors; they have their own intelligence and do a lot of
processing that would otherwise have to be done by the system processor. This is a
necessity due to the enormous increase both in how much data we send to our
monitors today, and the sophisticated calculations that must be done to determine
what we see on the screen. This is particularly so with the rise of graphical operating
systems, and 3D computing.

The video card in your system plays a significant role in the following important
aspects of your computer system:

• Performance: The video card is one of the components that has an impact
on system performance. For some people (and some applications) the impact
is not that significant; for others, the video card's quality and efficiency can
impact on performance more than any other component in the PC! For
example, many games that depend on a high frame rate (how many times per
second the screen is updated with new information) for smooth animation, are
impacted far more by the choice of video card than even by the choice of
system CPU.

• Software Support: Certain programs require support from the video card.
The software that normally depends on the video card the most includes
games and graphics programs. Some programs (for example 3D-enhanced
games) will not run at all on a video card that doesn't support them.

• Reliability and Stability: While not a major contributor to system reliability,


choosing the wrong video card can cause problematic system behavior. In
particular, some cards or types of cards are notorious for having unstable
drivers, which can cause a host of difficulties.

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• Comfort and Ergonomics: The video card, along with the monitor,
determines the quality of the image you see when you use your PC. This has
an important impact on how comfortable the PC is to use. Poor quality video
cards don't allow for sufficiently high refresh rates, causing eyestrain and
fatigue.

This section discusses the video card and its characteristics in detail, including its
components, performance factors, video modes and resolution, and multimedia. I
also discuss different memory technologies used in video cards today.

Color Graphics Adapter (CGA)

The first mainstream video card to support color graphics on the PC was IBM's Color
Graphics Adapter (CGA) standard. The CGA supports several different modes; the
highest quality text mode is 80x25 characters in 16 colors. Graphics modes range
from monochrome at 640x200 (which is worse than the Hercules card) to 16 colors at
160x200. The card refreshes at 60 Hz.

Note that the maximum resolution of CGA is actually significantly lower than MDA:
640x200. These dots are accessible individually when in a graphics mode but in text
each character was formed from a matrix that is 8x8, instead of the MDA's 9x14,
resulting in much poorer text quality. CGA is obsolete, having been replaced by EGA.

Hercules Graphics Card

One weakness of the original MDA display was that it did not support graphics of any
kind. A company named Hercules created in the early 80s an MDA-compatible video
card that supported monochrome graphics in addition to the standard text modes.

The Hercules card was actually a very widely-accepted standard in the mid-80s;
eventually Hercules clones even appeared on the market. Support for the card was
included in popular software packages such as Lotus 1-2-3 to allow the display of
graphs and charts on the computer screen. It has of course been replaced by later,
color, graphics adapters.

Enhanced Graphics Adapter (EGA)

IBM's next standard after CGA was the Enhanced Graphics Adapter or EGA. This
standard offered improved resolutions and more colors than CGA, although the
capabilities of EGA are still quite poor compared to modern devices. EGA allowed
graphical output up to 16 colors (chosen from a palette of 64) at screen resolutions of
640x350, or 80x25 text with 16 colors, all at a refresh rate of 60 Hz.

You will occasionally run into older systems that still use EGA; EGA-level graphics
are the minimum requirement for Windows 3.x and so some very old systems still
using Windows 3.0 may be EGA. There is of course no reason to stick with EGA
when it is obsolete and VGA cards are so cheap and provide much more
performance and software compatibility.

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Video Graphics Adapter (VGA)

The replacement for EGA was IBM's last widely-accepted standard: the Video
Graphics Array or VGA. VGA, supersets of VGA, and extensions of VGA form today
the basis of virtually every video card used in PCs. Introduced in the IBM PS/2 model
line, VGA was eventually cloned and copied by many other manufacturers. When
IBM fell from dominance in the market, VGA continued on and was eventually
extended and adapted in many different ways.

Most video cards today support resolutions and color modes far beyond what VGA
really is, but they also support the original VGA modes, for compatibility. Most call
themselves "VGA compatible" for this reason. Many people don't realize just how
limited true VGA really is; VGA is actually pretty much obsolete itself by today's
standards, and 99% of people using any variant of Windows are using resolution that
exceeds the VGA standards. True VGA supports 16 colors at 640x480 resolution, or
256 colors at 320x200 resolution (and not 256 colors at 640x480, even though many
people think it does). VGA colors are chosen from a palette of 262,144 colors (not
16.7 million) because VGA uses 6 bits to specify each color, instead of the 8 that is
the standard today.

VGA (and VGA compatibility) is significant in one other way as well: they use output
signals that are totally different than those used by older standards. Older displays
sent digital signals to the monitor, while VGA (and later) send analog signals. This
change was necessary to allow for more color precision. Older monitors that work
with EGA and earlier cards use so-called "TTL" (transistor-transistor logic) signaling
and will not work with VGA. Some monitors that were produced in the late 80s
actually have a toggle switch to allow the selection of either digital or analog inputs.

Super VGA (SVGA) and Other Standards Beyond VGA

VGA was the last well-defined and universally accepted standard for video. After IBM
faded from leading the PC world many companies came into the market and created
new cards with more resolution and color depths than standard VGA (but almost
always, backwards compatible with VGA).

Most video cards (and monitors for that matter) today advertise themselves as being
Super VGA (SVGA). What does a card saying it is SVGA really mean? Unfortunately,
it doesn't mean much of anything. SVGA refers collectively to any and all of a host of
resolutions, color modes and poorly-accepted pseudo-standards that have been
created to expand on the capabilities of VGA. Therefore, knowing that a card that
supports "Super VGA" really tells you nothing at all. In the current world of multiple
video standards you have to find out specifically what resolutions, color depths and
refresh rates each card supports. You must also make sure that the monitor you are
using supports the modes your video card produces; here too "Super VGA
compatible" on the monitor doesn't help you.

To make matters more confusing, another term is sometimes used: Ultra VGA or
UVGA. Like SVGA, this term really means nothing also. :^) Some people like to refer
to VGA as 640x480 resolution, SVGA as 800x600, and UVGA as 1024x768. This is
overly simplistic however, and really is not something that you can rely upon.

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The proliferation of video chipsets and standards has created the reliance on
software drivers that PC users have come to know so well. While Microsoft Windows,
for example, has a generic VGA driver that will work with almost every video card out
there, using the higher resolution capabilities of your video card requires a specific
driver written to work with your card. (The VESA standards have changed this
somewhat, but not entirely).

IBM did create several new video standards after VGA that expanded on its
capabilities. Compared to VGA, these have received very limited acceptance in the
market, mainly because they were implemented on cards that used IBM's proprietary
Micro Channel Architecture (which received no acceptance in the market). You may
hear these acronyms bandied about from time to time:
8514/A: This standard was actually introduced at the same time as standard VGA,
and provides both higher resolution/color modes and limited hardware acceleration
capabilities as well. By modern standards 8514/A is still rather primitive: it supports
1024x768 graphics in 256 colors but only at 43.5 Hz (interlaced), or 640x480 at 60
Hz (non-interlaced).
XGA: This acronym stands for Extended Graphics Array. XGA cards were used in
later PS/2 models; they can do bus mastering on the MCA bus and use either 512
KB or 1 MB of VRAM. In the 1 MB configuration XGA supports 1,024x768 graphics in
256 colors, or 640x480 at high color (16 bits per pixel).
XGA-2: This graphics mode improves on XGA by extending 1,024x768 support to
high color, and also supporting higher refresh rates than XGA or 8514/A.

Keyboard

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The set of typewriter-like keys that enables you to enter data into a computer.
Computer keyboards are similar to electric-typewriter keyboards but contain
additional keys. The keys on computer keyboards are often classified as follows:

• alphanumeric keys -- letters and numbers


• punctuation keys -- comma, period, semicolon, and so on.
• special keys -- function keys, control keys, arrow keys, Caps Lock key, and so
on.

The standard layout of letters, numbers, and punctuation is known as a QWERTY


keyboard because the first six keys on the top row of letters spell QWERTY. The
QWERTY keyboard was designed in the 1800s for mechanical typewriters and was
actually designed to slow typists down to avoid jamming the keys. Another keyboard
design, which has letters positioned for speed typing, is the Dvorak keyboard.

There is no standard computer keyboard, although many manufacturers imitate the


keyboards of PCs. There are actually three different PC keyboards: the original PC
keyboard, with 84 keys; the AT keyboard, also with 84 keys; and the enhanced
keyboard, with 101 keys. The three differ somewhat in the placement of function
keys, the Control key, the Return key, and the Shift keys.

In addition to these keys, IBM keyboards contain the following keys: Page Up, Page
Down, Home, End, Insert, Pause, Num Lock, Scroll Lock, Break, Caps Lock, Print
Screen.

There are several different types of keyboards for the Apple Macintosh. All of them
are called ADB keyboards because they connect to the Apple Desktop bus (ADB).
The two main varieties of Macintosh keyboards are the standard keyboard and the
extended keyboard, which has 15 additional special-function keys.

Mouse

A device that controls the movement of the cursor or pointer on a display screen. A
mouse is a small object you can roll along a hard, flat surface. Its name is derived
from its shape, which looks a bit like a mouse, its connecting wire that one can
imagine to be the mouse's tail, and the fact that one must make it scurry along a
surface. As you move the mouse, the pointer on the display screen moves in the
same direction. Mice contain at least one button and sometimes as many as three,
which have different functions depending on what program is running. Some newer
mice also include a scroll wheel for scrolling through long documents.

Invented by Douglas Engelbart of Stanford Research Center in 1963, and pioneered


by Xerox in the 1970s, the mouse is one of the great breakthroughs in computer
ergonomics because it frees the user to a large extent from using the keyboard. In
particular, the mouse is important for graphical user interfaces because you can
simply point to options and objects and click a mouse button. Such applications are
often called point-and-click programs. The mouse is also useful for graphics
programs that allow you to draw pictures by using the mouse like a pen, pencil, or
paintbrush.

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There are three basic types of mice:

1. mechanical: Has a rubber or metal ball on its underside that can roll in all
directions. Mechanical sensors within the mouse detect the direction the ball
is rolling and move the screen pointer accordingly.

2. optomechanical: Same as a mechanical mouse, but uses optical sensors to


detect motion of the ball.

3. optical: Uses a laser to detect the mouse's movement. You must move the
mouse along a special mat with a grid so that the optical mechanism has a
frame of reference. Optical mice have no mechanical moving parts. They
respond more quickly and precisely than mechanical and optomechanical
mice, but they are also more expensive.

Mice connect to PCs in one of several ways:

1. Serial mice connect directly to an RS-232C serial port or a PS/2 port. This is
the simplest type of connection.
2. PS/2 mice connect to a PS/2 port.
3. USB mice.

Cordless mice aren't physically connected at all. Instead they rely on infrared or radio
waves to communicate with the computer. Cordless mice are more expensive than
both serial and bus mice, but they do eliminate the cord, which can sometimes get in
the way

Computer case

Computer case, most people called it wrongly by naming it as CPU, is actually a


‘house’ of the computer hardware parts of a computer. Generally, computer casing
comes in two design, either tower case or desktop case. For better expendabilities, I
would suggest that the tower computer cases are more ideal, and it best fits the end-
users requirement. The reason behind this is that it is easier to upgrade, to add new
devices, and easier to disassemble too. But, the disadvantages are tower computer
cases are ‘wastage’ of your computer table space, whether you place it on the table
or underneath it. They are already more than enough for my usage, but one factor
must be considered, is that a tower case, regardless of high case, medium case or
mini case, must has enough hard disk drive bay (inside the casing) for installing more
than two or more hard disk drive.

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PC Power Supplies
The power supply converts electricity received from a wall outlet(120V AC in the
U.S.A.) into DC current amounts that are needed by the various components of the
system. There are 2 different types of power supplies that correspond to 2 different
types of motherboards, and hence, case designs.

AT - This is an older design in which the connector to the system board uses 2 6-
pin(P8/P9) connections. It is important that the 2 connectors are plugged into the
system board correctly and not switched. P8 should be plugged into P1 on the
system board and P9 should be connected to P2.

ATX - A newer specification that uses a single 20 pin connection to the system
board. These connectors are keyed to make sure that the connector is plugged in
properly.

Both models provide 4 levels of DC voltage. ATX power supplies add an additional
voltage of +3.3V. The wires coming out of the power supply are color coded with the
black one as the ground wire.

• Yellow: +12
• Blue: -12
• Red: +5
• White: -5
• Circuitry: +/- 5 volts
• Motor: +/- 12 volts

Laptops and portables utilize an external power supply and rechargeable battery
system. Batteries were typically nickel-cadmium, but newer technologies have
introduced nickel metal-hydride and lithium-ion batteries that provide extended life
and shorter recharge times. Lithium batteries are also used to power a computer's
CMOS ROM.

Installation/Removal
To remove a power supply from a PC, follow these steps:

1. Unplug the computer from the wall


2. Disconnect all of the internal power connections(i.e. CD Rom, Motherboard,
hard disk, etc)
3. Remove the 4 retaining screws
4. Pull power supply out of the computer

Motherboard

The main circuit board of a microcomputer. The motherboard contains the


connectors for attaching additional boards. Typically, the motherboard contains the
CPU, BIOS, memory, mass storage interfaces, serial and parallel ports, expansion
slots, and all the controllers required to control standard peripheral devices, such as
the display screen, keyboard, and disk drive. Collectively, all these chips that reside
on the motherboard are known as the motherboard's chipset.

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On most PCs, it is possible to add memory chips directly to the motherboard. You
may also be able to upgrade to a faster PC by replacing the CPU chip. To add
additional core features, you may need to replace the motherboard entirely.

Sound Card
An expansion board that enables a computer to manipulate and output sounds.
Sound cards are necessary for nearly all CD-ROMs and have become commonplace
on modern personal computers. Sound cards enable the computer to output sound
through speakers connected to the board, to record sound input from a microphone
connected to the computer, and manipulate sound stored on a disk.

Nearly all sound cards support MIDI, a standard for representing music electronically.
In addition, most sound cards are Sound Blaster-compatible, which means that they
can process commands written for a Sound Blaster card, the de facto standard for
PC sound.

Sound cards use two basic methods to translate digital data into analog sounds:

• FM Synthesis mimics different musical instruments according to built-in


formulas.

• Wavetable Synthesis relies on recordings of actual instruments to produce


sound. Wavetable synthesis produces more accurate sound, but is also more
expensive.

Video adapter

A board that plugs into a personal computer to give it display capabilities. The display
capabilities of a computer, however, depend on both the logical circuitry (provided in
the video adapter) and the display monitor. A monochrome monitor, for example,
cannot display colors no matter how powerful the video adapter.

Many different types of video adapters are available for PCs. Most conform to one of
the video standards defined by IBM or VESA.

Each adapter offers several different video modes. The two basic categories of video
modes are text and graphics. In text mode, a monitor can display only ASCII
characters. In graphics mode, a monitor can display any bit-mapped image. Within
the text and graphics modes, some monitors also offer a choice of resolutions. At
lower resolutions a monitor can display more colors.

Modern video adapters contain memory, so that the computer's RAM is not used for
storing displays. In addition, most adapters have their own graphics coprocessor for
performing graphics calculations. These adapters are often called graphics
accelerators.

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Hard Disk Drives

The hard disk drive in your system is the "data center" of the PC. It is here that all of
your programs and data are stored between the occasions that you use the
computer. Your hard disk (or disks) are the most important of the various types of
permanent storage used in PCs (the others being floppy disks and other storage
media such as CD-ROMs, tapes, removable drives, etc.) The hard disk differs from
the others primarily in three ways: size (usually larger), speed (usually faster) and
permanence (usually fixed in the PC and not removable).

Hard disk drives are almost as amazing as microprocessors in terms of the


technology they use and how much progress they have made in terms of capacity,
speed, and price in the last 20 years. The first PC hard disks had a capacity of 10
megabytes and a cost of over $100 per MB. Modern hard disks have capacities
approaching 100 gigabytes and a cost of less than 1 cent per MB! This represents an
improvement of 1,000,000% in just under 20 years, or around 67% cumulative
improvement per year. At the same time, the speed of the hard disk and its interfaces
have increased dramatically as well.

Your hard disk plays a significant role in the following important aspects of your
computer system:

• Performance: The hard disk plays a very important role in overall system
performance, probably more than most people recognize (though that is
changing now as hard drives get more of the attention they deserve). The
speed at which the PC boots up and programs load is directly related to hard
disk speed. The hard disk's performance is also critical when multitasking is
being used or when processing large amounts of data such as graphics work,
editing sound and video, or working with databases.
• Storage Capacity: This is kind of obvious, but a bigger hard disk lets you
store more programs and data.
• Software Support: Newer software needs more space and faster hard disks
to load it efficiently. It's easy to remember when 1 GB was a lot of disk space;
heck, it's even easy to remember when 100 MB was a lot of disk space! Now
a PC with even 1 GB is considered by many to be "crippled", since it can
barely hold modern (inflated) operating system files and a complement of
standard business software.
• Reliability: One way to assess the importance of an item of hardware is to
consider how much grief is caused if it fails. By this standard, the hard disk is
the most important component by a long shot. As I often say, hardware can
be replaced, but data cannot. A good quality hard disk, combined with smart
maintenance and backup habits, can help ensure that the nightmare of data
loss doesn't become part of your life.

This chapter takes a very detailed look at hard disks and how they work. This
includes a full dissection of the internal components in the drive, a look at how data is
formatted and stored, a discussion of performance issues, and a full analysis of the
two main interfaces used to connect hard disks to the rest of the PC. A discussion is
also included about the many confusing issues regarding hard disks and BIOS
versions, and support for the newer and larger hard disks currently on the market.
Finally, a full description is given of logical hard disk structures and the functioning of
the FAT and NTFS file systems, by far the most popular currently used by PCs.

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Hard Disk Tracks, Cylinders and Sectors

All information stored on a hard disk is recorded in tracks, which are concentric
circles placed on the surface of each platter, much like the annual rings of a tree. The
tracks are numbered, starting from zero, starting at the outside of the platter and
increasing as you go in. A modern hard disk has tens of thousands of tracks on each
platter.

Data is accessed by moving the heads from the inner to the outer part of the disk,
driven by the head actuator. This organization of data allows for easy access to any
part of the disk, which is why disks are called random access storage devices.

Each track can hold many thousands of bytes of data. It would be wasteful to make a
track the smallest unit of storage on the disk, since this would mean small files
wasted a large amount of space. Therefore, each track is broken into smaller units
called sectors. Each sector holds 512 bytes of user data, plus as many as a few
dozen additional bytes used for internal drive control and for error detection and
correction.

Primary and Secondary Memory

Primary Memory

The main memory stores the program instructions and the data in binary machine
code. The Control Unit deals with the instructions and the arithmetic and logic unit
handles calculations and comparisons with the data. Data and instructions are
moved by buses. There are two types of memory in the Immediate Access Store of
the computer, RAM and ROM:

RAM is Random Access Memory which loses its contents when the computer is
switched off (it is volatile). This memory can be written to, instructions and data can
be loaded into it.

ROM, or Read Only Memory is non-volatile and is used to store programs


permanently (the start-up or "boot" instructions, for example), the computer cannot
store anything in this type of memory.

When the programs and data files (known as the software) are not in RAM, they are
stored on backing store such as tapes or discs. The tape or disc drives and any input
and output devices connected to the CPU are known collectively as peripherals.

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Floppy disk

A soft magnetic disk. It is called floppy because it flops if you wave it (at least, the
5¼-inch variety does). Unlike most hard disks, floppy disks (often called floppies or
diskettes) are portable, because you can remove them from a disk drive. Disk drives
for floppy disks are called floppy drives. Floppy disks are slower to access than hard
disks and have less storage capacity, but they are much less expensive. And most
importantly, they are portable.

Floppies come in three basic sizes:

• 8-inch: The first floppy disk design, invented by IBM in the late 1960s
and used in the early 1970s as first a read-only format and then as a
read-write format. The typical desktop/laptop computer does not use
the 8-inch floppy disk.

• 5¼-inch: The common size for PCs made before 1987 and the
predecessor to the 8-inch floppy disk. This type of floppy is generally
capable of storing between 100K and 1.2MB (megabytes) of data. The
most common sizes are 360K and 1.2MB

• 3½-inch: Floppy is something of a misnomer for these disks, as they


are encased in a rigid envelope. Despite their small size, microfloppies
have a larger storage capacity than their cousins -- from 400K to
1.4MB of data. The most common sizes for PCs are 720K (double-
density) and 1.44MB (high-density). Macintoshes support disks of
400K, 800K, and 1.2MB

Floppy drives

While floppy drives still have a useful role in the modern PC, there is no denying their
reduced importance. Very little attention is paid to floppy "performance" any more,
and even choosing makes or models involves a small fraction of the amount of care
and attention required for selecting other components. In essence, the floppy drive
today is a commodity item! For this reason, I examine the floppy drive in this chapter
but do not go into a great level of detail. In addition, since many aspects of floppy
disk construction and logical operation are similar to those of hard disks, and since I
did describe hard disks in a great level of detail, I make frequent references back to
relevant sections in the chapter on hard disks
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CD-ROM

A type of optical disk capable of storing large amounts of data -- up to 1GB, although
the most common size is 650MB (megabytes). A single CD-ROM has the storage
capacity of 700 floppy disks, enough memory to store about 300,000 text pages.

CD-ROMs are stamped by the vendor, and once stamped, they cannot be erased
and filled with new data. To read a CD, you need a CD-ROM player. All CD-ROMs
conform to a standard size and format, so you can load any type of CD-ROM into any
CD-ROM player. In addition, CD-ROM players are capable of playing audio CDs,
which share the same technology.

CD-ROMs are particularly well-suited to information that requires large storage


capacity. This includes large software applications that support color, graphics,
sound, and especially video.

CPU

Abbreviation of central processing unit, and pronounced as separate letters. The


CPU is the brains of the computer. Sometimes referred to simply as the processor or
central processor, the CPU is where most calculations take place. In terms of
computing power, the CPU is the most important element of a computer system.

On large machines, CPUs require one or more printed circuit boards. On personal
computers and small workstations, the CPU is housed in a single chip called a
microprocessor.

Two typical components of a CPU are:

• The arithmetic logic unit (ALU), which performs arithmetic and logical
operations.
• The control unit, which extracts instructions from memory and decodes and
executes them, calling on the ALU when necessary

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Printers
A device that prints text or illustrations on paper. There are many different types of
printers. In terms of the technology utilized, printers fall into the following categories:

• daisy-wheel: Similar to a ball-head typewriter, this type of printer has a plastic or


metal wheel on which the shape of each character stands out in relief. A hammer
presses the wheel against a ribbon, which in turn makes an ink stain in the shape
of the character on the paper. Daisy-wheel printers produce letter-quality print but
cannot print graphics.

• dot-matrix: Creates characters by striking pins against an ink ribbon. Each pin
makes a dot, and combinations of dots form characters and illustrations.
• ink-jet: Sprays ink at a sheet of paper. Ink-jet printers produce high-quality text
and graphics.
• laser: Uses the same technology as copy machines. Laser printers produce very
high quality text and graphics.
• LCD & LED : Similar to a laser printer, but uses liquid crystals or light-emitting
diodes rather than a laser to produce an image on the drum.
• line printer: Contains a chain of characters or pins that print an entire line at one
time. Line printers are very fast, but produce low-quality print.
• thermal printer: An inexpensive printer that works by pushing heated pins
against heat-sensitive paper. Thermal printers are widely used in calculators and
fax machines.

Printers are also classified by the following characteristics:

• quality of type: The output produced by printers is said to be either letter quality
(as good as a typewriter), near letter quality, or draft quality. Only daisy-wheel,
ink-jet, and laser printers produce letter-quality type. Some dot-matrix printers
claim letter-quality print, but if you look closely, you can see the difference.
• speed: Measured in characters per second (cps) or pages per minute (ppm), the
speed of printers varies widely. Daisy-wheel printers tend to be the slowest,
printing about 30 cps. Line printers are fastest (up to 3,000 lines per minute). Dot-
matrix printers can print up to 500 cps, and laser printers range from about 4 to 20 text
pages per minute.
• impact or non-impact: Impact printers include all printers that work by striking
an ink ribbon. Daisy-wheel, dot-matrix, and line printers are impact printers. Non-
impact printers include laser printers and ink-jet printers. The important difference
between impact and non-impact printers is that impact printers are much noisier.
• graphics: Some printers (daisy-wheel and line printers) can print only text. Other
printers can print both text and graphics.
• fonts : Some printers, notably dot-matrix printers, are limited to one or a few
fonts. In contrast, laser and ink-jet printers are capable of printing an almost
unlimited variety of fonts. Daisy-wheel printers can also print different fonts, but
you need to change the daisy wheel, making it difficult to mix fonts in the same
document.

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Bus Designs
A computer bus is a method of transmitting data from one part of the computer to
another part of the computer. Generally the computer bus will connect all devices to
the computer CPU and main memory. The computer bus consists of two parts the
address bus and a data bus. The data bus transfers actual data whereas the address
bus transfers information about where the data should go.

Found on this page you will be able to read about the various types of computer
buses found on computers in the past and in the future.

ISA
Introduced by IBM, ISA or Industry Standard Architecture was originally an 8-bit bus
and later expanded to a 16-bit bus in 1984. When this bus was originally released it
was a proprietary bus, which allowed only IBM to create peripherals and the actual
interface. Later however in the early 1980's the bus was being created by other clone
manufacturers.

In 1993, Intel and Microsoft introduced a PnP ISA bus that allowed the computer to
automatically detect and setup computer ISA peripherals such as a modem or sound
card. Using the PnP technology an end-user would have the capability of connecting
a device and not having to configure the device using jumpers or dipswitches.

To determine if an ISA card is an 8-bit or 16-bit card physically look at the card. You
will notice that the first portion of the slot closest to the back of the card is used if the
card is an 8-bit card. However, if both sections of the card are being utilized the card
is a 16-bit card.

Today many manufacturers are trying to eliminate the usage of the ISA slot however
for backwards compatibility you may find 1 or 2 ISA slots with additional PCI slots,
AGP slots, etc. However, you may also not have any ISA slots. We highly
recommend when purchasing any new internal expansion card that you stay away
from ISA as it has for the most part disappeared.

MCA
Short for Micro Channel Architecture, MCA was introduced by IBM in 1987, MCA or
the Micro Channel bus was a competition for ISA BUS. The MCA bus offered several
additional features over the ISA such as a 32-bit bus, automatically configure cards
(similar to what Plug and Play is today), and bus mastering for greater efficiency.

One of the major downfalls of the MCA bus was it being a proprietary BUS and
because of competing BUS designs the MCA BUS never became widely used and
has since been phased out of the desktop computers.

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EISA
Short for Extended Industry Standard Architecture, EISA was announced September
of 1988. EISA is a computer bus designed by 9 competitors to compete with IBM's
MCA BUS. These competitors were AST Research, Compaq, Epson, Hewlett
Packard, NEC, Olivetti, Tandy, WYSE, and Zenith Data Systems.

The EISA Bus provided 32-bit slots at an 8.33 MHz cycle rate for the use with
386DX, or higher processors. In addition the EISA can accommodate a 16-bit ISA
card in the first row.

Unfortunately, while the EISA bus is backwards compatible and is not a proprietary
bus the EISA bus never became widely used and is no longer found in computers
today.

VLB
The VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) a nonprofit organization
founded by NEC, released the VLB or VESA Local Bus 1.0 in 1992. The VLB is a 32-
bit bus that and had direct access to the system memory at the speed of the
processor, commonly the 486 CPU (33 / 40 MHz). VLB 2.0 was later released in
1994 and had a 64-bit bus and a bus speed of 50 MHz. Unfortunately, because the
VLB heavily relied on the 486 processor when the Pentium Processor arose in the
Market place manufacturers began switching to PCI.

PCI
Introduced by Intel in 1992, revised in 1993 to version 2.0, and later revised in 1995
to PCI 2.1. PCI is short for Peripheral Component Interconnect and is a 32-bit
computer bus that is also available as a 64-bit bus today.

The PCI bus is the most found and commonly used bus on computers today for
computer expansion cards.

AGP
Introduced by Intel in 1997, AGP or Advanced Graphic Port is a 32-bit bus designed
for the high demands of 3-D graphics. AGP has a direct line to the computers
memory which allows 3-D elements to be stored in the system memory instead of the
video memory.

For AGP to work in a computer must have the AGP slot which comes with most
Pentium II and Pentium III machines. The computer also needs to be running
Windows 95 OSR2.1, Windows 98, Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000, Windows ME or
higher.

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USB
USB or Universal Serial Bus is an external bus that supports transfer rates of 12
Mbps, can support 127 devices and supports hot plugging. Additional information on
USB can be found on our USB page.

MINI PCI
Mini PCI is a new standard which measures at 2.75-inch x 1.81-inch x 0.22-inch is a
new standard developed by leading notebook manufactures. This technology could
allow manufactures to lower their price as the motherboards would be simpler to
design.

Type I - Identical to Type II, except requires extra cables for connectors like the RJ-
11 and RJ-45. However, offers more flexibility to where it can be placed in the
computer.

Type II - Used when size is not important. Type II is able to integrate the RJ-11 and
RJ-45 connectors and due away with extra cables.

Type III - SO-DIMM style connector that can be installed with a mere 5 mm overall
height above the system board. In addition cabling to the I/O connectors allow Type
III cards to be placed anywhere in the system.

PCI-X
PCI-X is a high performance bus that is designed to meet the increased I/O demands
of technologies such as Fibre Channel, Gigabit Ethernet and Ultra3 SCSI. PCI-X
capabilities include:
Up to 133 MHz bus speed
64-Bit bandwidth
1GB/sec throughput
More efficient bus operation for easier interface.

Split Transactions allows an indicator device to make only one data request and
relinquish the bus. Instead of constantly needing to poll the bus for a response.
Byte Count that enables indicator to specify in advance the specific number of bytes
requested, eliminating the inefficiency of speculative prefetches.
Backwards compatibility

AMR
Released September 8, 1998, AMR is short for Audio/Modem Riser. AMR allows an
OEM to create one card that has the functionality of either Modem or Audio or both
Audio and Modem on one card. This new specification allows for the motherboard to
be manufactured at a lower cost and free up industry standard expansion slots in the
system for other additional plug-in peripherals.

CNR
Introduced by Intel February 7, 2000, CNR is short for Communication and Network
Riser and is a specification that supports audio, modem USB and Local Area
Networking interfaces of core logic chipsets.
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SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT


Ministry of Tertiary Education & Training

National Diploma in Information & Communication Technology

Computer Maintenance
& Troubleshooting
Practice Labs
211

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Interactive Training Division
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PRACTICE LAB1

OS

Processes and Process Management


An OS (i.e. operating system) manages resources for use by several programs and
provides an abstract view on resources. The notion of a file for I/O operations is one
important example, as is the notion of a process for execution of programs. An
overview of the latter is given below.

A simple computer contains a single processor which may be used to perform


computations. An OS may merge different computations so that users may consider
computations to be performed concurrently. In fact the use of the processor is
granted for use by the various computations one by one, but so fast those users do
not perceive the switching, much like a movie picture in fact is composed by a
sequence of still pictures.

The notion of a process is the abstraction that matches a user's belief to have the
processor exclusively. To an OS a process is some data that can be manipulated.
Since the OS also has to use the processor, this view is the OS's when no other
process is executing. One important aspect of a process is its state in an OS's
representation.

1. Explain what is a process?

2. Explain process management using necessary diagrams.

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Memory Management
When a user executes a program, the operating system creates an address space
for it to run in. This address space will include the instructions for the program itself,
as well as any data it requires. In a system with memory protection, each process is
restricted by the operating system to accessing only the memory in its own address
space. However, the combined program memory requirements often exceed the
system's amount of physical memory (RAM) installed on a computer. So, modern
operating system’s use a portion of the hard disk called a swap file to extend the
amount of available memory. This technique, called virtual memory, treats physical
memory as a cache of the most recently used data. In a virtual memory system,
memory is divided into units called pages (a page is typically 4-8Kb in size). The set
of addresses that identify locations in virtual memory is called the virtual address
space. Each process is allocated a virtual address space. The virtual address space
can range from 0-4GB on a 32-bit architecture.

A process's address space contains the set of instructions and data that is mapped
into virtual memory when a program is executed. Virtual memory addresses are
translated into physical memory addresses through the use of a look-up table, called
a page table. In addition to mapping the entire process into virtual memory, a subset
of pages is also mapped into physical memory. As each instruction in the process
executes, it is either found in physical memory or is not found (called a page fault).
When a page fault occurs, the page that is needed must be moved from the hard disk
into physical memory before the instruction can be executed. To make room for the
new page, the operating system may need to decide which page to move out of
physical memory. This is called swapping. A page fault is time-consuming because
retrieving data from the hard disk is orders of magnitude slower than obtaining it
directly from the physical memory. Operating systems attempt to minimize the
number of page faults by swapping multiple pages at once. This becomes a trade-off
between operating system overhead and the time saved by minimizing page faults,
which is affected by the size of each process's working set.

The operating system takes care of swapping and translating from virtual address
space to physical address space. This means that the developer has a flat address
space at his disposal. With a virtual memory scheme, the amount of memory
available to a developer is seemingly limited only by the amount of hard drive space.
In essence, virtual memory has much more memory available than physical memory
alone because it removes the restriction that an entire process must be loaded into
memory at one time.

• How does an operating system manage memory?

• What is virtual memory?

• How do you set the swap space for my operating system?

1. On UNIX
2. On Linux
3. In Windows(9x,NT,2000,XP)

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File System and File System Recovery


The hard disk is, of course, a medium for storing information. Hard disks grow in size
every year, and as they get larger, using them in an efficient way becomes more
difficult. The file system is the general name given to the logical structures and
software routines used to control access to the storage on a hard disk system.
Operating systems use different ways of organizing and controlling access to data on
the hard disk, and this choice is basically independent of the specific hardware being
used--the same hard disk can be arranged in many different ways, and even multiple
ways in different areas of the same disk. The information in this section in fact
straddles the fine line between hardware and software, a line which gets more and
more blurry every year.

The operating system is the large, relatively complex, low-level piece of software that
interfaces your hardware to the software applications you want to run. The operating
system you use is closely related to the file system that manages your hard disk
data. The reason is a simple one: different operating systems use different file
systems. Some are designed specifically to work with more than one, for
compatibility reasons; others work only with their own file system.

1. What is a File system?


2. List and explain the file system or systems that can be used for
• MS DOS
• MS Windows 3.x
• MS Windows 9x
• MS Windows NT
• MS windows 2000/XP
• Unix
• Linux
• OS/2
3. What is the different between NTFS and FAT-16 FAT-32?
4. What is the minimum and the maximum partition size of each file system?
5. List the features of NTFS.
6. What are the advantages and disadvantages in each File System?
7. How you convert FAT to NTFS?

Hard drives can fail for many reasons and you may be a candidate for hard drive
recovery if you hear clicking, clunking, whirring, or ticking noises coming from your
drive and or absolutely no noise at all. Drives often have read/write head failures
causing that sound and if you hear it shut your system down right away and contact
us for more information. In the interim, do not attempt to restart or power up the drive
again as the read/write heads may touch the sensitive platters (where the data is
stored) inside the drive and cause irreparable damage.

You may also have a failed or failing hard drive if you get a blue screen, see error
codes of "No Operating System Found", "Hard drive not found", "Head select error",
"Drive read failure", "Drive write failure", "Bad track error", "Bad sector error" are
some of the most common but there are many others.

• List the utilities that you can recover the data in this kind of situations.
• What are the fault tolerance methods con be used to protect your data?

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PRACTICE LAB 2

Software Installation and Preventive Maintenance

Pre-installation Planning

Make sure you meet the minimum system requirements.

This sounds like a no-brainer, but it happens all the time. Sure, you can squeak
Windows 2000 on a system that has less than the minimum hardware requirements,
but you won't be happy with the performance. You'll want at least a Pentium 133 with
64Mb of RAM and 1GB of free disk space for Windows 2000 Professional. For
Windows 2000 Server and Advanced Server you'll want 256Mb of RAM. Remember:
Windows 2000 was built for tomorrow's hardware, not todays. If you can afford it,
you'll be much happier if you upgrade to a new workstation or server with a 500 MHz
processor and the entire RAM you can afford.

Document your Hardware and see if an updated Windows 2000 driver exists.

If you don't already know every inch of your workstation or server, it's much easier to
figure out your exact hardware configuration when Windows NT/95/98 is still
installed. Do this first, and download the new Windows 2000 drivers before you start
your installation. At the very least, download your SCSI, Video, Network Interface
Card, and Modem drivers so you'll be able to get the rest later.

Check the Hardware Compatibility List

Many people skip this step and just proceed anyway, but you could be making a big
mistake. Windows NT and Windows 2000 are a lot less flexible when it comes to
hardware than Windows 95/98. The HCL exists for a reason. Check it first.

Uninstall Anti-Virus software and Third party Utilities


Anti-Virus programs and Disk/System Utilities (like Norton) can cause a number of
issues during the upgrade process. Don't assume that utilities built for Windows
95/98 and older versions of Windows NT will work with Windows 2000. Uninstall
them, check with the vendor, and be careful when your reinstall.

If you must upgrade, backup your data first.


I know it sounds like common sense, but I've heard lots of stories from people who
have tried to upgrade their Operating Systems without a backup. Sad but true.

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Choose your File System

When upgrading your Operating System, you have a few choices to make and some
pre-configuration to do. First off, try to choose which file system you'll want installed.
Microsoft recommends NTFS over FAT or FAT32, but that's up to you. If you choose
FAT or FAT32 initially, you can upgrade to NTFS after the installation using NT's
CONVERT utility. But you can't go back.

Disable Disk Mirroring.

If you’re running NT Server, disable any mirroring during the installation. You can re-
enable it after the installation is complete.

Disconnect Uninterruptible Power Supplies.

Windows 2000 features plug and play which will attempt to discover the function of
any hardware connected to the system. If your UPS connects to your Workstation or
Server using a serial cable, disconnect it before starting your installation.

Give Windows 2000 its own separate partition

Experienced NT Admins swear by this. Give Windows 2000 its own partition of at
least 2 GB, or 4GB if you can afford it. If you install Windows 2000 on C:\, then install
your applications on D:\ with data and other file storage on subsequent drives. This
will simplify some backup strategies, give the registry and system files some
breathing room, and leaves room for Service Packs and updates. It also leaves room
for larger crash dump files, since your dump file will equal your physical memory +
1Mb.

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Preventive Maintenance

Much as the name implies, preventive maintenance, often abbreviated PM, refers to
performing proactive maintenance in order to prevent system problems. This is
contrasted to diagnostic or corrective maintenance, which is performed to correct an
already-existing problem. Anyone who has ever owned or cared for a car knows all
about what preventive maintenance is. After all, you don't change your oil and air
filter in response to a problem situation (normally), you do it so that your engine will
last and you won't have car troubles down the road (no pun intended :^)).

This chapter discusses some of the general concepts regarding preventive


maintenance, the different types that are relevant to PCs, and how to set up a
preventive maintenance schedule. The schedule can be considered a summary of
preventive maintenance activities.

Some types of preventive maintenance need to be performed more often than others.
The frequency of preventive maintenance depends on the nature of the activity;
some things just need to be addressed more often than others. It also depends a lot
on what your PC is being used for.

The interval for preventive maintenance on PCs can be determined based on


elapsed time or on usage metrics. This is similar to how your car's oil and filter should
be changed "every 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first". PC maintenance
activities are usually specified as time-based, because this is easier (a PC has no
odometer) but they should be performed more frequently depending on prevailing
conditions. A PC used on the manufacturing floor of a steel mill needs to be cleaned
more often than one being used in a hospital. A disk that is doing heavy Internet file
transfers needs virus checking much more often than one that is used standalone
and has no modem or floppy disk.

One enemy of preventive maintenance is simply remembering to do. It's one thing to
say "I will clean the read/write heads on my floppy disk every six months", and even
to mean it. But how will you remember when the six months are up? One way to
address this problem is through the use of a preventive maintenance schedule, which
will remind you of when do perform key maintenance activities on your PC.

Checking all hard disks for read errors.


Log in to your windows 9x Machine.

Go to Startà Program Files à Ms DOS

Type the command Scandisk

Checking the file system for errors


Log in to your windows 9x, NT, 2000, XP Machine.

Go to Startà Run àCmdà Type the command chkdsk à Press Enter.

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Defragmentation of all hard disk volumes

To analyze the disk

Log in to your windows 9x, NT, 2000, XP Machine.

Go to Startà Run àCmdà Type the command defrag [Drive Letter] –a

To analyze and defragment.

Log in to your windows 9x, NT, 2000, XP Machine.

Go to Startà Run àCmdà Type the command defrag [Drive Letter] –f

Cleaning the Disk.

Log in to your windows 9 xs, NT, 2000, XP Machine

Click on the Start button;à choose Programs,à then Accessories,à then System
Tools,à then Disk Cleanup.

You will be presented with a screen that shows you exactly which files are no longer
needed and exactly how much room they are taking up on your hard disk. Click on
what you want to delete, and Windows will remove those items when you click on
OK.

Removing Old Programs

You can use the Add/Remove Programs option in the Control Panel to remove the
program. If the program you want to delete is not listed on the Add/Remove Program
screen, you will have to remove it manually. When you install a program, often files
are scattered in many different areas. Therefore the best way to remove a program is
to purchase an uninstall program such as Cleansweep by Quarterdeck. When you
purchase an uninstaller, make sure that you buy the version that is specifically written
for your operating system.

When uninstalling programs, it is always smart to first back up your hard disk. Also,
remove one program at a time. Remove a program, make sure that everything is still
working properly, then go back and delete the next program.

No matter which operating system you use, you must occasionally go through the
documents that you have created, like letters, spreadsheets, pictures, etc., to weed
out unnecessary files. Delete any file you will not need in the future. If you are
hesitant about deleting a file, you can copy it to a floppy disk, delete it from your hard
disk, and keep the floppy as an archival copy.

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Scanning all hard disks and files for viruses.

According to Fred Cohen's well-known definition, a computer virus is a computer


program that can infect other computer programs by modifying them in such a way
as to include a (possibly evolved) copy of itself. Note that a program does not have to
perform outright damage (such as deleting or corrupting files) in order to be called a
"virus". However, Cohen uses the terms within his definition (e.g. "program" and
"modify") a bit differently from the way most anti-virus researchers use them, and
classifies as viruses some things which most of us would not consider viruses.

Many people use the term loosely to cover any sort of program that tries to hide its
(malicious) function and tries to spread onto as many computers as possible. (See
the definition of "Trojan".) Be aware that what constitutes a "program" for a virus to
infect may include a lot more than is at first obvious - don't assume too much about
what a virus can or can't do!

These software "pranks" are very serious; they are spreading faster than they are
being stopped, and even the least harmful of viruses could be fatal. For example, a
virus that stops your computer and displays a message, in the context of a hospital
life-support computer, could be fatal. Even those who created the viruses could not
stop them if they wanted to; it requires a concerted effort from computer users to be
"virus-aware", rather than the ignorance and ambivalence that have allowed them to
grow to such a problem.

Install a Proper Virus Guard and Install the Latest updates.

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PRACTICE LAB 3

Troubleshooting Tools

Microsoft Diagnostics
Software utility named msd.exe that was included with Microsoft Windows 3.x that
listed computer system information. Below is a listing of information available through
Microsoft diagnostics:

• Computer brand and processor information


• Memory (Total, EMS, and XMS)
• Video (Type such as VGA and manufacturer)
• Network
• Operating System versions
• Type of Mouse if installed
• Disk drives (and partitions)
• LPT ports
• COM ports
• IRQ status
• TSR programs
• Device drivers
• Other adapters

Download the MSD.EXE from ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/softlib/mslfiles/msdzip.exe


Double Click on it and Press “Y”
Check your systems above configurations.

How to Generate MSD Reports


An MSD report is a diagnostics report that lets us know what system type you have
and how it is setup. To run an MSD report, go to the C:\WINDOWS> prompt and type
MSD. Once in the diagnostics:

1. Press Alt F to access the file menu


2. Press P for Print Report
3. Press the space bar to place an X in the Report All column
4. Press Enter to continue with the report
5. Type in your information using the TAB key to move to the next line. DO NOT
PRESS ENTER UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED ALL INFORMATION. (If
you do you will either need to rerun the report or include all customer
information on a sheet with your report).
6. Press Enter once you complete customer information.
7. Press Alt F again and X to exit the MSD program .

Device Manager
First introduced with the release of Microsoft Windows 95 the Windows device
manager is a program that allows a user to view hardware devices and their status.
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Device manager is available in Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME,
Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

To start Device Manager:

1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.


2. Click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
3. Click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.

Troubleshooting Information

If there is a problem with a device, it is listed in the hardware tree. Also, the problem
device has a symbol that indicates the type of problem:

A black exclamation point (!) on a yellow field indicates the device is in a problem
state. Note that a device that is in a problem state can be functioning.

A problem code explaining the problem is displayed for the device.

A red "X" indicates a disabled device. A disabled device is a device that is physically
present in the computer and is consuming resources, but does not have a protected-
mode driver loaded.

A blue "i" on a white field on a device resource in Computer properties indicates that
the Use automatic settings feature is not selected for the device and that the
resource was manually selected. Note that this does not indicate a problem or
disabled state.

A green question mark "?" in Device Manager means that a compatible driver for this
device is installed, indicating the possibility that all of the functionality may not be
available. Note that this applies only to Windows Millennium Edition (Me).

NOTE: Some sound cards and video adapters do not report all of the resources that
they use to Windows. This can cause Device Manager to show only one device in
conflict, or no conflicts at all. This can be verified by disabling the sound card, or by
using the standard VGA video driver to see if the conflict is resolved. Note that this is
a known problem with S3 video adapters and 16-bit Sound Blaster sound cards, or
those sound cards that are using Sound Blaster emulation for Sound Blaster
compatibility.

When you double click a specific device in Device Manager, you see a property
sheet. The property sheet has a General tab.

NOTE: Some devices may have other tabs besides the General tab. Not all property
sheets have the same tabs; some devices may have a Resources tab, Driver tab,
and Settings tab, or some combination of these.

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At the top of the property sheet, there is a description of the device. When you click
the Resources tab, the window in the middle of the tab indicates which resource
types are available for the selected device.

The list box at the bottom contains a Conflicting device list. This list indicates a
conflict with an error code.

For example, to edit the Input/Output Range setting:

1. Click the Use automatic settings check box to clear it.


2. Click Change Setting.
3. Click the appropriate I/O range for the device.

NOTE: To disable a device in Device Manager, right-click the device, and then click
Disable.

Control Panel Applets


The control panels in Windows contain many of the operating system's im portant
settings. You should be familiar with what options can be located in each of the
control panels and how to change them. The best way to learn is just to browse the
control panels on your computer. Below is a list of the more important Windows
control panels. Control panels are named slightly differently in every version of
Windows, but the options are generally similar.

Add New Hardware


Also called Add Hardware. This control panel is used for adding new hardware.
Often, Windows will automatically detect new hardware and guide you through the
installation process. If it does not, use this control panel to install the hardware.

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Let the Add New Hardware Wizard resolve your device problems
If you are having problems with a particular device after installing Windows 98 or
other software, try removing it and then let Windows 98 reinstall the device.
Here's how to do it:
1. On the Start menu, point to Settings, point to Control Panel, and then
double-click the System icon.
2. Click the Device Manager tab.
(The problem category should automatically open and a symbol should
indicate which device is faulty. If it's not working properly, there will be a
yellow circle with a black exclamation point inside it; if it's not working at all,
there will be a red X.

3. Click once on the problem item to highlight it, and then click Remove.
4. During start up, Windows 98 should detect as missing the device you just
removed and automatically run the Add New Hardware Wizard. If you recently
downloaded new drivers from any of your hardware manufacturers’ sites, or
from Windows Update, be sure to use the wizard's Have Disk option to
ensure that Windows 98 installs the new drivers and not any old ones.
5. Hint: When you download new drivers from hardware manufacturers or
Windows Update, copy them to a floppy disk and label them. This way, if you
ever need to re-install them, and don't have access to the Internet, they are
right where you need them.

Add/Remove Programs
This control panel is the appropriate place to uninstall programs that did not come
with their own uninstaller. Simply deleting files or folders is not a good way to remove
an unwanted program. This control panel also allows you to control which Windows
Components are installed - you can free up resources by removing unnecessary
components .

To add a program from a CD or floppy disk

1. Open Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.


2. Click Add New Programs, and then click CD or Floppy.
3. Follow the instructions on your screen.

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Note

• To open a Control Panel item, click Start, point to Settings, click Control
Panel, and then double-click the appropriate icon.
• When using Add/Remove Programs, you can install only programs that
were written for Windows operating systems.
• When you open a program, or try to perform a task within a program, you
may see a dialog box indicating that the program is being installed or
updated by Windows Installer. This can occur if your administrator has set
up the program to install this way, if program files have been deleted or
corrupted, or if you are trying to use a program feature that was not
installed during setup. If the program was installed from a CD-ROM, or if
you are no longer connected to the network, Windows Installer may ask
you for the CD-ROM. When Windows Installer finishes, the program or
feature you are trying to use starts

To change or remove a program

1. Open Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.


2. Click Change or Remove Programs, then click the program you want
to change or remove.
3. Click the appropriate button:
• To change a program, click Change/Remove or Change.
• To remove a program, click Change/Remove or Remove.

Caution

• When you click Change/Remove, some programs may be removed


without prompting you further.

Note

• To open a Control Panel item, click Start, point to Settings, click Control
Panel, and then double-click the appropriate icon.
• When using Add/Remove Programs, you can remove only programs that
were written for Windows operating systems. For other programs, check
the documentation to see if other files (such as .ini files) should be
removed.
• When you open a program, or try to perform a task within a program, you
may see a dialog box indicating that the program is being installed or
updated by Windows Installer. This can occur if your administrator has set
up the program to install this way, if program files have been deleted or
corrupted, or if you are trying to use a program feature that was not
installed during setup. If the program was installed from a CD-ROM, or if
you are no longer connected to the network, Windows Installer may ask
you for the CD-ROM. When Windows Installer finishes, the program or
feature you are trying to use starts.
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To add or remove a Windows 2000 component

1. Open Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.


2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
3. Follow the instructions in the Windows Components wizard.

Note

• You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the


Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer
is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you
from completing this procedure.
• To open a Control Panel item, click Start, point to Settings, click Control
Panel, and then double-click the appropriate icon.
• Certain Windows Components require configuration before they can be
used. If you installed one or more of these components, but did not
configure them, when you click Add/Remove Windows Components, a
list of components that need to be configured is displayed. To configure a
component, click Configure, and then follow the instructions on the
screen. To add a new component, click Components, and follow the
instructions in the Windows Components wizard.

Display
This control panel allows you to control the appearance of your computer. You can
change your background wallpaper and screen saver, select the display resolution
and change the color scheme.

1. To access display settings click on Start>Settings>Control Panel.


2. Select "Display" and choose the Settings Tab.
3. Do not use 256 colors as your graphics setting. You should choose to use at
least "high color".
4. Using 256 colors can result in colors not being displayed properly.

Modems
Also called Phone and Modem Options. Here, you can configure your modem
settings and dialing options (including configuring for long distance or calling card
dialing).

Network
Also called Network Connections. This control panel allows you to configure your
network settings. Please see the section on Networking for Princeton-specific
configuration information.

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Configuring the Network Adapter Software

1. Open the Control Panel (click on Start --> Settings) and double-click on the
Network icon.
2. You need to run Add/Remove Programs and Windows Setup, which are both
available in the Control Panel window, to install network support.
3. Click on the Add button and double-click on Adapter.
4. Select your Ethernet adapter manufacturer and type from the list. If you wish
to use a network adapter that is not listed, contact the manufacturer for a
Windows compliant driver.
5. The Network Control Panel will display several protocols and clients, such as
Client for Microsoft Networks, Client for NetWare Networks, IPX/SPX-
compatible Protocol, and NetBEUI.

Installing the TCP/IP Protocol

1. Click on the Add button from the Network Control Panel again to add a new
Protocol.
2. Select Manufacturer Microsoft and Network Protocol TCP/IP.
3. Click OK to close the Network Control Panel.
4. Unless you did a full installation of Windows, you will be prompted for the
Windows installation disks. In some cases, the installation will require the
Windows disks even if you did a full installation. Be sure to use the
appropriate version of the Windows CD. New hard disks may come with the
"B" version (OSR2) of Windows 95 or with Windows 98. Mixing versions can
render the PC unbootable.
5. When the installation program finishes copying the files, restart your PC

Configuring TCP/IP Properties

1. Open the Control Panel (click on Start -> Settings) and double-click on the
Network icon.
2. In the Network dialog box, click the Configuration tab if it isn't already
selected.
3. In the list of network components installed, select the entry for the TCP/IP
protocol and your network adapter Then, click the Properties button.
4. Click on the IP Address tab (if it isn't already selected) and verify that the
default Obtain an IP address automatically is selected.
5. Click on the DNS Configuration tab and enter the following information:
1. Click on the Enable DNS option button.
2. In the Host field, enter the host name for your PC which you received
during registration
3. In the Domain field, enter: dur.ac.uk (For this contact your network
Administrator)
4. In the DNS Server Search Order field, enter the following IP
addresses, clicking the Add button after entering each one:
203.115.0.19 and 203.115.0.1(For this contact your network
Administrator)
5. In the Domain Suffix Search Order, enter: dur.ac.uk (For this contact
your network Administrator)

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6. Click OK, and then click OK in the Network dialog box.


7. Click Yes when prompted to restart your PC.

Users
Also called User Accounts. This control panel is used for creating and modifying local
user accounts, setting and changing passwords.

1. Login as Administrator.
2. Select Start/Programs/Administrative Tools/Computer Management.
3. From the Computer Management snap-in open the System Tools/Local
Users and Groups node. Right-click on the Users node and select New
User…. The New User dialog box should appear.
4. Enter your username (first initial lastname, e.g. dglazer), full name and
password/confirm password.
5. Uncheck the default selection of “User must change password at next logon”.
6. Press Create button.
7. Press Close to exit the window. The new user now appears in the right pane
of the Computer Management snap-in.

Power Management
Also called Power Options. In this control panel are the options for power saving
features (which are especially important on a laptop). You can have your computer
go into "sleep" or "hibernate" mode and shut off its monitor or hard drive, saving
power when you are away from the computer.

1. Select Start > Settings > Control Panel from the Start Menu.
2. Double click the Display icon in the Control Panel window.
3. In the Display Properties dialog, click the Screen Saver tab, then click the
Power button in the Energy saving features of monitor box.
4. Under Power Schemes, select Home/Office Desk.
Note: Some of the options shown here, such as System Standby and System
Hibernates, may not appear on your computer. If this is the case, simply skip
the steps that do not apply to you. The options available may vary depending
on your computer's capabilities.
5. Set Turn Off Monitor after 10 minutes.
6. Set Turn Off Hard Drives to Never.
7. Set System Standby to Never.
8. Set System Hibernates to Never.
9. Click OK.

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System
This control panel contains the system's general information. It tells you the exact
version of your operating system as well as how much RAM the system has. It also
provides a Device Manager for viewing what hardware or virtual devices may be
causing problems (the Device Manager also allows you to update hardware drivers).
More advanced system configuration tools can be found in this control panel, though
changing them is not recommended without a full understanding of their effects.

System Configuration Editor


Configuration Editor allows you to examine and edit your system files (config.sys,
win.ini, etc.) all in one place with a clean, orderly, tabbed document interface. Just
click on the tab to go from one file to another. You already have System
Configuration Editor (sysedit.exe), which comes with windows, but it uses the
awkward multi-window approach. Compare the two and you'll see why Configuration
Editor is easier to use.

1) Click the "Start" button.


2) Select Run from the pop-up menu
3) Type SYSEDIT in the white text box
4) A new window will open which will have within it four other windows,
each one containing a file.
5) You can simply click on the title of any of the windows and that will
change the focus to that window and then by clicking anywhere within
that window you can modify the contents.
6) If any changes were made, the computer will present you with a
warning pop-up window asking if you want to save the changes. You
click on the "Yes" button to continue. At that time the files will be
saved and the sysedit program will close.
7) The changes will take effect the next time you reboot your computer.
A similar method for making changes to the above files from within
DOS is to use the EDIT function.
This would be done by going to a DOS prompt and typing the
command
EDIT autoexec.bat <enter>
A DOS based window would open allowing you to make changes.
When you are done you would use a similar method of exiting by
selecting File Exit from the top menu.

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PC Tools
List and experience third party tools for
1. Disk defragmenting
2. Disk Cleaning
3. Disk Partitioning.
4. Software and operating system deploying.
5. Operating system restoring.
6. Back up

FDISK is often the tool of choice for ex-DOS users when managing drive partitions.
This tool works great as long as you are working with all primary partitions or only
FAT, FAT32, and OS/2's HPFS. FDISK is not even able to recognize NTFS-
formatted extended partitions. So, if you need to delete such a partition, you either
need to have access to a Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP OS on the
same system as the hard drive in question, and boot into the setup routines of one of
these three OSes to use the text-based partition configuration tool, or use a third
party tool. I've already mentioned Partition Magic, but there is another tool you may
want to look at: DELPART. DELPART is a DOS based tool from Windows NT 3.51;
you can find it floating around the Internet with a quick search on "delpart". This too
can delete any and all partitions on a hard drive, thus making way for easy re-
partitioning and new OS installation.

• Use FDISK to partition a Hard disk


• Use DELPART to partition a Hard disk

Norton Utilities
Norton Utilities is a group of programs that let you do everything from deleting items
so that they cannot be recovered to watching your system for problems. It will find
and fix problems associated with hardware or software, help you recover files you
accidentally erased, and monitor your system at all times. This series will explain to
you how to accomplish all of these tasks and more.
Experience the following Norton utilities.

Install Norton utilities

Set Up Your Options

Step 1: Start Norton System Works


Double-click the Norton System Works icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Click Options


Click the Options button and then choose the Norton Utilities submenu. This will take
you to the options screen for setting up the software.

Step 3: Tabs
There are six different tabs that you can set options for. The tabs are General
Settings, Startup Programs, WipeInfo Settings, System Check Scheduler, Recycle
Bin, and Norton Protection. Click the tab for the one that you want to change the
options for.
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Step 4: General and Startup


The General tab lets you specify if you want to see introductions and splash screens
before starting any of the programs. The Startup tab lets you decide which of the
programs will be run on startup.

Step 5: WipeInfo and Norton Protection


The WipeInfo tab sets up what type of deletion you want when you delete a file. You
can set it up to write over the information once or several times. The Norton
Protection tab is used to set the number of days before files that were deleted under
DOS will be protected.

Step 6: Recycle Bin and Scheduler


The Recycle Bin tab lets you decide what will open when you double-click the recycle
bin and also what the recycle bin will look like on your desktop. The System Check
Scheduler tab lets you set up when you certain events to be performed.

Conducting a Checkup

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Find & Fix Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Find and Fix Problems submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton System Check


Click on the Norton System Check menu located on the right side of the window. This
will start the program.

Step 4: Start Diagnosing


Put a checkmark into each of the categories that you want the software to check.
When you've finished deciding which categories click the Next button and the
software will start analyzing your system.

Step 5: Fix Problems


After the software has finished scanning the system, click the Finish button and a list
of the problems that were found will be displayed. To repair the items, highlight the
ones that you want to repair and click the Repair button. If you want to repair each
item individually, double-click one of the items and you'll be asked if you want to
repair each item or have the software do it automatically.

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Finding Windows Problems

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Find & Fix Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Find and Fix Problems submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton WinDoctor


Click on the Norton WinDoctor menu located on the right side of the window. This will
start the program. This program will check the windows registry file to ensure that all
of the entries are correct.

Step 4: Choose Tests to Run


You can decide to run all of the tests which are the recommended option or you can
choose to only run some of the tests. You make your choice. If you decide to choose
the tests, remove the checkmark from the tests that you don't want to perform.

Step 5: Fix Found Problems


If any problems were found to exist during the testing they will be shown to you when
you click the Finish button. To fix a problem, highlight the problem that you want to fix
and click the Repair button. The software will automatically make the repairs for you.

Diagnose and Repair

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Find & Fix Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Find and Fix Problems submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton Disk Doctor


Click on the Norton Disk Doctor menu located on the right side of the window. This
will start the program. This program will test the integrity of the hard drive.

Step 4: Set Options


By clicking the Options button, you can set what will happen when the program runs.
There are four tabs available. The most important one is the General tab. The other
three tabs are for appearances, how many times the disk will be scanned, and tests
that should be skipped. On the General tab, you need to decide about your repair
options. Yo u can have the software automatically fix the problems, skip the problem,
or prompt you for action to take.

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Step 5: Diagnose the Disk


Click the Diagnose button and the process will begin. A list of what is being checked
will be displayed and a checkmark will be put next to the category when the check
has been completed.

Step 6: Viewing Results


After the completion of the scanning, a list of the results that were found will be
displayed. If there are any problems, follow the instructions for fixing the problem.

Restoring Deleted Files

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Find & Fix Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Find and Fix Problems submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute UnErase Wizard


Click on the UnErase Wizard menu located on the right side of the window. This will
start the program. This program will let you recover any files that have been deleted.
It may even be able to recover files that have been deleted from the Recycle Bin.

Step 4: Find Files


When you first bring up the UnErase Wizard, you'll have to choose what types of files
you want the software to look for. You can choose Recently deleted files, Protected
files, and Files meeting your criteria. When you've decided this, click the Next button.

Step 5: Choose a File


Highlight the file that you want to recover. Once you've highlighted this file, click the
Recover button. If you want to recover more files or try to find files that meet certain
criteria click the Next button to continue with the process.

Undoing Fixes

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Find & Fix Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Find and Fix Problems submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Run a Program


Norton System Check, Norton WinDoctor, and Norton Disk Doctor each have the
ability to undo fixes that have been made. Execute the one that you want to undo the
changes in.
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Step 4: History Report


When the first screen is displayed, click the Cancel button. You'll know be shown the
problems screen. Click on the History icon and the history report will be displayed.
This shows all of the problems that have been fixed in the past.

Step 5: Undo the Fix


Highlight the problem that you want to undo and click the Undo icon. You'll be asked
if you're sure you want to undo the fix. If you do want to undo it, click the Yes button.
If not, click the No button.

Speeding Up Your Computer

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Click Improve Performance


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Improve Performance submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Speed Disk


Click on the Speed Disk menu located on the right side of the window. This will start
the program which will help defragment your hard drive and move the files around so
that your computer will operate more efficiently.

Step 4: Recommended Action


After the program is started, the hard drive will be analyzed. The software will let you
know what was found and will show you how fragmented the drive is and give you a
recommendation as what should be done. Choose which option you want and click
the Start button when you're ready to defragment your drive. Depending on the size
of your hard drive and the amount of fragmentation, it may take a while for the entire
process to complete.

Optimizing the Registry File

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Click Improve Performance


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Improve Performance submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Optimization Wizard


Click on the Norton Optimization Wizard menu located on the right side of the
window. This will start the program. This program will look at the registry file and try
to minimize its size and rearranging its structure so as to increase the access speed.
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Step 4: Optimization Choices


The wizard will walk you through the choices for optimizing the files. You can
optimize two files, the swap file and the registry file. Click the Next button and choose
if you want to optimize these files.

Step 5: Optimize the System


After you've chosen which of the two options to optimize you'll need click the Reboot
button. After the files have been optimized, the system will automatically reboot itself
to finish the process. Make sure that you've saved all of your files before clicking the
Reboot button

Add Sensor to System Doctor

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Preventive Maintenance


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Preventive Maintenance submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton System Doctor


Click on the Norton System Doctor menu located on the right side of the window.
This will start the program. This program will continuously monitor your computer for
problems and let you know before they happen.

Step 4: Sensor List


Click on the Sensors menu and choose the category that you want to add. There are
six different categories that you can add from. When you move to a submenu, you'll
have further choices to make. Choose the one that you want and it will be added to
the Norton System Doctor window.

System Doctor Sensor Editing

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Preventive Maintenance


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Preventive Maintenance submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton System Doctor


Click on the Norton System Doctor menu located on the right side of the window.
This will start the program. This program will continuously monitor your computer for
problems and let you know before they happen.

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Step 4: Choose the Sensor


Right-click the sensor that you want to change the properties for. You'll get a menu of
selections. Choose the top menu item labeled Properties. and you'll get the
properties box. You'll now be able to change the settings for that sensor.

Step 5: Other Menu Items


When you right-click a sensor there are several different menu items. Update the
status of the sensor immediately. If you want to remove a sensor, click the Remove
menu. To find out information about the sensor click the Sensor Information menu.
Some of the sensors have programs associated with them. If this sensor is one, you
can click the Open program name menu item.

Permanently Deleting Data

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Preventive Maintenance


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Preventive Maintenance submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton WipeInfo


Click on the Norton WipeInfo menu located on the right side of the window. This will
start the program. This program will delete files from your computer so that you can't
recover them, even with undo. You can also clear the free space on your hard drive.

Step 4: Choose the Type of Deletion


You've got three choices as to what you want to wipe clean. You can choose either
files, folders, or free space. When you make your choice click the Next button to
continue with the process.

Step 5: Select Files, Folders or Space


Depending on the choice you made in the previous step, you'll need to choose which
files or folders to delete. If you had chosen free space you need to decide which hard
drives to clean.

Step 6: Wipe Options


Choose the type of wipe that you want to accomplish. The Fast Wipe will write over
the space once. The Government Wipe will write over the space with digits the
specified number of times. The more times that the space is written over, the harder
it would be to recover the file.

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Imaging Your Drive

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Preventive Maintenance


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Preventive Maintenance submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Image


Click on the Image menu located on the right side of the window. This will start the
program. This program takes a picture of your hard drive and keeps that information.
This information is used when trying to rebuild deleted files or if there is a problem
with the structure of your folders.

Step 4: Setting Options


Click the Options button and you'll be taken to the options screen. Here you can set
the software up to create an image every time that the computer starts. You also can
tell it what drives to image.

Step 5: Create an Image


Choose which drives you want to image and click the Image button. The software will
start creating the image and a progress bar will be displayed at the bottom of the
window showing the status.

Diagnose Hardware Problems

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Troubleshoot Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Troubleshoot submenu. This will give you access to four different utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton Diagnostics


Click on the Norton Diagnostics menu located on the right side of the window. This
will start the program. This program will complete eleven different tests to analyze
your hardware for possible problems.

Step 4: Conducting the Tests


On the left side of the window is a section that lists all of the tests that are available.
If you want to conduct all of the tests, highlight Do All Tests and click the Test button.
If you only want to conduct a test on a specific piece of hardware, highlight that
hardware item and click the Test button.

Step 5: View the Results


During the course of the testing, you'll see the results displayed in the window. You
can see what test was performed and if the component passed the test.
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Identifying My Equipment

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Troubleshoot Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Troubleshoot submenu. This will give you access to four different utilities.

Step 3: Execute System Information


Click on the System Information menu located on the right side of the window. This
will start the program. This program will give you a list of everything that you need to
know about your computer and some things you don't. It may be a helpful thing to
know if you ever want to upgrade certain components.

Step 4: View the Information


There are nine tabs located across the top of the window. Click on the tab that you
want to find out information about and it will be displayed. The nine tabs are System,
Display, Printer, Memory, Drive, Input, Multimedia, Network, and Internet .

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Anti-Virus Software
1)
• List the New features of Norton Antivirus software.
• List the system requirements of Norton Antivirus .
• Install Norton .
• Update manually downloading the definitions from the web.
• Configure Live updates.

2) CONFIGURING MCAFEE TO AUTOMATICALLY UPDATE AND SCAN HARD


DRIVE:

• Go to the Windows “Start” button. The console should be located at:


• Programs à Network Associates à Virus Console
• Once it is open, double click on “Auto Upgrade”.
• When the “Task Properties” box opens click on the “Schedule” tab at the top.
• Choose “Enable”, “Weekly”
• Then choose a time when you want your computer to upgrade to the newest
version. This one is set for 2:00 on Wednesdays and should be set to update
once a week.

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SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT


Ministry of Tertiary Education & Training

National Diploma in Information & Communication Technology

Computer Maintenance
& Troubleshooting
Assignments
211

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ASSIGNMENT 1

Safety from Statis Electricity


Many of the components making up the motherboard are susceptible to ESD, as a
necessary precaution always wear a grounded wrist strap and if the motherboard is
to be worked on out of the computer chassis, place the board on a grounded rubber
mat. These precautions should ensure that no extraneous static voltages are
inadvertently applied to board components.

Ensure that motherboard documentation and layout details are on hand while
working on the board. You should check to make sure that the board layout is the
same as the one you are working on before removing any cables or items from the
motherboard.

To remove a motherboard, first remove the mains power cable. Then remove all
external cables to board connectors. Remove all other parts obstructing clear access
to the board fixings; such as power supply, expansion cards, bus extenders and
chassis bars. Note down where each item was removed and any specific details;
such as which slot an expansion card was removed from.

Before removing any set of cables, ribbon connector or wire going to the
motherboard, note their colour, distinguishing features and their orientation with
board connectors and pins. Be sure to note where the other end of the cable, wire or
ribbon is also attached for reference. This will ensure that all connectors can be
returned to their previous location correctly.

It may be necessary to remove a processor cooling fan. Either choose to just remove
the supply to the internal power, leaving the fan in place, or determine how the fan is
attached to the processor heat conducting fitting. Often there are several screws
located in the cooling fins which you will need to remove before the fan unit can be
taken out.

Once the complete board can be viewed, note down any chip switch settings and the
configuration of jumpers. Moving the board could dislodge one or several jumpers or
switches, take your time.

Physically the board is quite strong when mounted in the computer. Depending on
the motherboard design, there will be a mix of small plastic pillars supporting the
board and a number of screws to give a firm fitting and to ensure a good electrical
connection to the chassis metalwork. By raising the motherboard from the chassis in
this way, none of the electrical contacts resulting from the soldered components can
short circuit through the chassis metalwork.

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Task 1
Discuss that how EMI and ESD harmful to your computers.

Task 2
Prepare documentation about your plan.

Including:
• Prevention tools and the way you should use them.
• Justify how practical your proposals

Propose a better EMI prevention procedure that you can follow when you are
repairing a computer

Prepare documentation about your plan.

Task 3
Discuss your idea what kind of EMI and ESD prevention methods that can be used

• By the manufacture to designing PCB s


• By the technician when he is repairing or assembling
• By the user while that person is working on it.

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ASSIGNMENT 2

Computer Performances
You are the administrator of four Windows 2000 Server computers in the sales
department. Each server has a single Pentium III-600 processor, 192 MB of RAM,
and a single 30-GB hard disk. All computers have 100-Mbps network adapter cards.
Users in the sales department report that when they attempt to access files or submit
print jobs to a server named ServerA, performance becomes very slow. You use
system Monitor to monitor ServerA and discover the information that is shown in the
following table:

1. List the Minimum hardware requirement for

a. Windows 2000 professional


b. Windows 2000 server
c. Windows 2000 advanced server
d. Windows 2000 Data center server.

2. List the recommended hardware requirements for above operating systems.

3. What is symmetric multiprocessing?

4. Discuss the ways that you can improve the performances in your Server A.

5. How your hard disk performance can effect to the performance of your
machine?

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ASSIGNMENT 3

Troubleshooting Tools

Microsoft Diagnostics
Software utility named msd.exe that was included with Microsoft Windows 3.x that
listed computer system information. Below is a listing of information available through
Microsoft diagnostics:

• Computer brand and processor information


• Memory (Total, EMS, and XMS)
• Video (Type such as VGA and manufacturer)
• Network
• Operating System versions
• Type of Mouse if installed
• Disk drives (and partitions)
• LPT ports
• COM ports
• IRQ status
• TSR programs
• Device drivers
• Other adapters

Download the MSD.EXE from ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/softlib/mslfiles/msdzip.exe


Double Click on it and Press “Y”
Check your systems above configurations.

How to Generate MSD Reports


An MSD report is a diagnostics report that lets us know what system type you have
and how it is setup. To run an MSD report, go to the C:\WINDOWS> prompt and type
MSD. Once in the diagnostics:

8. Press Alt F to access the file menu


9. Press P for Print Report
10. Press the space bar to place an X in the Report All column
11. Press Enter to continue with the report
12. Type in your information using the TAB key to move to the next line. DO NOT
PRESS ENTER UNTIL YOU HAVE COMPLETED ALL INFORMATION. (If
you do you will either need to rerun the report or include all customer
information on a sheet with your report).
13. Press Enter once you complete customer information.
14. Press Alt F again and X to exit the MSD program .

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Device Manager
First introduced with the release of Microsoft Windows 95 the Windows device
manager is a program that allows a user to view hardware devices and their status.
Device manager is available in Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME,
Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

To start Device Manager:

4. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.


5. Click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.
6. Click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager.

Troubleshooting Information

If there is a problem with a device, it is listed in the hardware tree. Also, the problem
device has a symbol that indicates the type of problem:

A black exclamation point (!) on a yellow field indicates the device is in a problem
state. Note that a device that is in a problem state can be functioning.

A problem code explaining the problem is displayed for the device.

A red "X" indicates a disabled device. A disabled device is a device that is physically
present in the computer and is consuming resources, but does not have a protected-
mode driver loaded.

A blue "i" on a white field on a device resource in Computer properties indicates that
the Use automatic settings feature is not selected for the device and that the
resource was manually selected. Note that this does not indicate a problem or
disabled state.

A green question mark "?" in Device Manager means that a compatible driver for this
device is installed, indicating the possibility that all of the functionality may not be
available. Note that this applies only to Windows Millennium Edition (Me).

NOTE: Some sound cards and video adapters do not report all of the resources that
they use to Windows. This can cause Device Manager to show only one device in
conflict, or no conflicts at all. This can be verified by disabling the sound card, or by
using the standard VGA video driver to see if the conflict is resolved. Note that this is
a known problem with S3 video adapters and 16-bit Sound Blaster sound cards, or
those sound cards that are using Sound Blaster emulation for Sound Blaster
compatibility.

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When you double click a specific device in Device Manager, you see a property
sheet. The property sheet has a General tab.

NOTE: Some devices may have other tabs besides the General tab. Not all property
sheets have the same tabs; some devices may have a Resources tab, Driver tab,
and Settings tab, or some combination of these.

At the top of the property sheet, there is a description of the device. When you click
the Resources tab, the window in the middle of the tab indicates which resource
types are available for the selected device.

The list box at the bottom contains a Conflicting device list. This list indicates a
conflict with an error code.

For example, to edit the Input/Output Range setting:

4. Click the Use automatic settings check box to clear it.


5. Click Change Setting.
6. Click the appropriate I/O range for the device.

NOTE: To disable a device in Device Manager, right-click the device, and then click
Disable.

Control Panel Applets


The control panels in Windows contain many of the operating system's important
settings. You should be familiar with what options can be located in each of the
control panels and how to change them. The best way to learn is just to browse the
control panels on your computer. Below is a list of the more important Windows
control panels. Control panels are named slightly differently in every version of
Windows, but the options are generally similar.

Add New Hardware


Also called Add Hardware. This control panel is used for adding new hardware.
Often, Windows will automatically detect new hardware and guide you through the
installation process. If it does not, use this control panel to install the hardware.

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Let the Add New Hardware Wizard resolve your device problems
If you are having problems with a particular device after installing Windows 98 or
other software, try removing it and then let Windows 98 reinstall the device.
Here's how to do it:
6. On the Start menu, point to Settings, point to Control Panel, and then
double-click the System icon.
7. Click the Device Manager tab.
(The problem category should automatically open and a symbol should
indicate which device is faulty. If it's not working properly, there will be a
yellow circle with a black exclamation point inside it; if it's not working at all,
there will be a red X.

8. Click once on the problem item to highlight it, and then click Remove.
9. During start up, Windows 98 should detect as missing the device you just
removed and automatically run the Add New Hardware Wizard. If you recently
downloaded new drivers from any of your hardware manufacturers’ sites, or
from Windows Update, be sure to use the wizard's Have Disk option to
ensure that Windows 98 installs the new drivers and not any old ones.
10. Hint: When you download new drivers from hardware manufacturers or
Windows Update, copy them to a floppy disk and label them. This way, if you
ever need to re-install them, and don't have access to the Internet, they are
right where you need them.

Add/Remove Programs
This control panel is the appropriate place to uninstall programs that did not come
with their own uninstaller. Simply deleting files or folders is not a good way to remove
an unwanted program. This control panel also allows you to control which Windows
Components are installed - you can free up resources by removing unnecessary
components .

To add a program from a CD or floppy disk

4. Open Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.


5. Click Add New Programs, and then click CD or Floppy.
6. Follow the instructions on your screen.

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Note

• To open a Control Panel item, click Start, point to Settings, click Control
Panel, and then double-click the appropriate icon.
• When using Add/Remove Programs, you can install only programs that
were written for Windows operating systems.
• When you open a program, or try to perform a task within a program, you
may see a dialog box indicating that the program is being installed or
updated by Windows Installer. This can occur if your administrator has set
up the program to install this way, if program files have been deleted or
corrupted, or if you are trying to use a program feature that was not
installed during setup. If the program was installed from a CD-ROM, or if
you are no longer connected to the network, Windows Installer may ask
you for the CD-ROM. When Windows Installer finishes, the program or
feature you are trying to use starts

To change or remove a program

4. Open Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.


5. Click Change or Remove Programs, then click the program you want
to change or remove.
6. Click the appropriate button:
• To change a program, click Change/Remove or Change.
• To remove a program, click Change/Remove or Remove.

Caution

• When you click Change/Remove, some programs may be removed


without prompting you further.

Note

• To open a Control Panel item, click Start, point to Settings, click Control
Panel, and then double-click the appropriate icon.
• When using Add/Remove Programs, you can remove only programs that
were written for Windows operating systems. For other programs, check
the documentation to see if other files (such as .ini files) should be
removed.
• When you open a program, or try to perform a task within a program, you
may see a dialog box indicating that the program is being installed or
updated by Windows Installer. This can occur if your administrator has set
up the program to install this way, if program files have been deleted or
corrupted, or if you are trying to use a program feature that was not
installed during setup. If the program was installed from a CD-ROM, or if
you are no longer connected to the network, Windows Installer may ask
you for the CD-ROM. When Windows Installer finishes, the program or
feature you are trying to use starts.
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To add or remove a Windows 2000 component

4. Open Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.


5. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
6. Follow the instructions in the Windows Components wizard.

Note

• You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the


Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer
is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you
from completing this procedure.
• To open a Control Panel item, click Start, point to Settings, click Control
Panel, and then double-click the appropriate icon.
• Certain Windows Components require configuration before they can be
used. If you installed one or more of these components, but did not
configure them, when you click Add/Remove Windows Components, a
list of components that need to be configured is displayed. To configure a
component, click Configure, and then follow the instructions on the
screen. To add a new component, click Components, and follow the
instructions in the Windows Components wizard.

Display
This control panel allows you to control the appearance of your computer. You can
change your background wallpaper and screen saver, select the display resolution
and change the color scheme.

5. To access display settings click on Start>Settings>Control Panel.


6. Select "Display" and choose the Settings Tab.
7. Do not use 256 colors as your graphics setting. You should choose to use at
least "high color".
8. Using 256 colors can result in colors not being displayed properly.

Modems
Also called Phone and Modem Options. Here, you can configure your modem
settings and dialing options (including configuring for long distance or calling card
dialing).

Network
Also called Network Connections. This control panel allows you to configure your
network settings. Please see the section on Networking for Princeton-specific
configuration information.

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Configuring the Network Adapter Software

6. Open the Control Panel (click on Start --> Settings) and double-click on the
Network icon.
7. You need to run Add/Remove Programs and Windows Setup, which are both
available in the Control Panel window, to install network support.
8. Click on the Add button and double-click on Adapter.
9. Select your Ethernet adapter manufacturer and type from the list. If you wish
to use a network adapter that is not listed, contact the manufacturer for a
Windows compliant driver.
10. The Network Control Panel will display several protocols and clients, such as
Client for Microsoft Networks, Client for NetWare Networks, IPX/SPX-
compatible Protocol, and NetBEUI.

Installing the TCP/IP Protocol

6. Click on the Add button from the Network Control Panel again to add a new
Protocol.
7. Select Manufacturer Microsoft and Network Protocol TCP/IP.
8. Click OK to close the Network Control Panel.
9. Unless you did a full installation of Windows, you will be prompted for the
Windows installation disks. In some cases, the installation will require the
Windows disks even if you did a full installation. Be sure to use the
appropriate version of the Windows CD. New hard disks may come with the
"B" version (OSR2) of Windows 95 or with Windows 98. Mixing versions can
render the PC unbootable.
10. When the installation program finishes copying the files, restart your PC

Configuring TCP/IP Properties

8. Open the Control Panel (click on Start -> Settings) and double-click on the
Network icon.
9. In the Network dialog box, click the Configuration tab if it isn't already
selected.
10. In the list of network components installed, select the entry for the TCP/IP
protocol and your network adapter Then, click the Properties button.
11. Click on the IP Address tab (if it isn't already selected) and verify that the
default Obtain an IP address automatically is selected.
12. Click on the DNS Configuration tab and enter the following information:
1. Click on the Enable DNS option button.
2. In the Host field, enter the host name for your PC which you received
during registration
3. In the Domain field, enter: dur.ac.uk (For this contact your network
Administrator)
4. In the DNS Server Search Order field, enter the following IP
addresses, clicking the Add button after entering each one:
203.115.0.19 and 203.115.0.1(For this contact your network
Administrator)
5. In the Domain Suffix Search Order, enter: dur.ac.uk (For this contact
your network Administrator)

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13. Click OK, and then click OK in the Network dialog box.
14. Click Yes when prompted to restart your PC.

Users
Also called User Accounts. This control panel is used for creating and modifying local
user accounts, setting and changing passwords.

8. Login as Administrator.
9. Select Start/Programs/Administrative Tools/Computer Management.
10. From the Computer Management snap-in open the System Tools/Local
Users and Groups node. Right-click on the Users node and select New
User…. The New User dialog box should appear.
11. Enter your username (first initial lastname, e.g. dglazer), full name and
password/confirm password.
12. Uncheck the default selection of “User must change password at next logon”.
13. Press Create button.
14. Press Close to exit the window. The new user now appears in the right pane
of the Computer Management snap-in.

Power Management
Also called Power Options. In this control panel are the options for power saving
features (which are especially important on a laptop). You can have your computer
go into "sleep" or "hibernate" mode and shut off its monitor or hard drive, saving
power when you are away from the computer.

10. Select Start > Settings > Control Panel from the Start Menu.
11. Double click the Display icon in the Control Panel window.
12. In the Display Properties dialog, click the Screen Saver tab, then click the
Power button in the Energy saving features of monitor box.
13. Under Power Schemes, select Home/Office Desk.
Note: Some of the options shown here, such as System Standby and System
Hibernates, may not appear on your computer. If this is the case, simply skip
the steps that do not apply to you. The options available may vary depending
on your computer's capabilities.
14. Set Turn Off Monitor after 10 minutes.
15. Set Turn Off Hard Drives to Never.
16. Set System Standby to Never.
17. Set System Hibernates to Never.
18. Click OK.

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System
This control panel contains the system's general information. It tells you the exact
version of your operating system as well as how much RAM the system has. It also
provides a Device Manager for viewing what hardware or virtual devices may be
causing problems (the Device Manager also allows you to update hardware drivers).
More advanced system configuration tools can be found in this control panel, though
changing them is not recommended without a full understanding of their effects.

System Configuration Editor


Configuration Editor allows you to examine and edit your system files (config.sys,
win.ini, etc.) all in one place with a clean, orderly, tabbed document interface. Just
click on the tab to go from one file to another. You already have System
Configuration Editor (sysedit.exe), which comes with windows, but it uses the
awkward multi-window approach. Compare the two and you'll see why Configuration
Editor is easier to use.

1) Click the "Start" button.


2) Select Run from the pop-up menu
3) Type SYSEDIT in the white text box
4) A new window will open which will have within it four other windows,
each one containing a file.
5) You can simply click on the title of any of the windows and that will
change the focus to that window and then by clicking anywhere within
that window you can modify the contents.
6) If any changes were made, the computer will present you with a
warning pop-up window asking if you want to save the changes. You
click on the "Yes" button to continue. At that time the files will be
saved and the sysedit program will close.
7) The changes will take effect the next time you reboot your computer.
A similar method for making changes to the above files from within
DOS is to use the EDIT function.
This would be done by going to a DOS prompt and typing the
command
EDIT autoexec.bat <enter>
A DOS based window would open allowing you to make changes.
When you are done you would use a similar method of exiting by
selecting File Exit from the top menu.

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PC Tools
List and experience third party tools for
7. Disk defragmenting
8. Disk Cleaning
9. Disk Partitioning.
10. Software and operating system deploying.
11. Operating system restoring.
12. Back up

FDISK is often the tool of choice for ex-DOS users when managing drive partitions.
This tool works great as long as you are working with all primary partitions or only
FAT, FAT32, and OS/2's HPFS. FDISK is not even able to recognize NTFS-
formatted extended partitions. So, if you need to delete such a partition, you either
need to have access to a Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP OS on the
same system as the hard drive in question, and boot into the setup routines of one of
these three OSes to use the text-based partition configuration tool, or use a third
party tool. I've already mentioned Partition Magic, but there is another tool you may
want to look at: DELPART. DELPART is a DOS based tool from Windows NT 3.51;
you can find it floating around the Internet with a quick search on "delpart". This too
can delete any and all partitions on a hard drive, thus making way for easy re-
partitioning and new OS installation.

• Use FDISK to partition a Hard disk


• Use DELPART to partition a Hard disk

Norton Utilities
Norton Utilities is a group of programs that let you do everything from deleting items
so that they cannot be recovered to watching your system for problems. It will find
and fix problems associated with hardware or software, help you recover files you
accidentally erased, and monitor your system at all times. This series will explain to
you how to accomplish all of these tasks and more.
Experience the following Norton utilities.

Install Norton utilities

Set Up Your Options

Step 1: Start Norton System Works


Double-click the Norton System Works icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Click Options


Click the Options button and then choose the Norton Utilities submenu. This will take
you to the options screen for setting up the software.

Step 3: Tabs
There are six different tabs that you can set options for. The tabs are General
Settings, Startup Programs, WipeInfo Settings, System Check Scheduler, Recycle
Bin, and Norton Protection. Click the tab for the one that you want to change the
options for.
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Step 4: General and Startup


The General tab lets you specify if you want to see introductions and splash screens
before starting any of the programs. The Startup tab lets you decide which of the
programs will be run on startup.

Step 5: WipeInfo and Norton Protection


The WipeInfo tab sets up what type of deletion you want when you delete a file. You
can set it up to write over the information once or several times. The Norton
Protection tab is used to set the number of days before files that were deleted under
DOS will be protected.

Step 6: Recycle Bin and Scheduler


The Recycle Bin tab lets you decide what will open when you double-click the recycle
bin and also what the recycle bin will look like on your desktop. The System Check
Scheduler tab lets you set up when you certain events to be performed.

Conducting a Checkup

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Find & Fix Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Find and Fix Problems submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton System Check


Click on the Norton System Check menu located on the right side of the window. This
will start the program.

Step 4: Start Diagnosing


Put a checkmark into each of the categories that you want the software to check.
When you've finished deciding which categories click the Next button and the
software will start analyzing your system.

Step 5: Fix Problems


After the software has finished scanning the system, click the Finish button and a list
of the problems that were found will be displayed. To repair the items, highlight the
ones that you want to repair and click the Repair button. If you want to repair each
item individually, double-click one of the items and you'll be asked if you want to
repair each item or have the software do it automatically.

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Finding Windows Problems

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Find & Fix Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Find and Fix Problems submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton WinDoctor


Click on the Norton WinDoctor menu located on the right side of the window. This will
start the program. This program will check the windows registry file to ensure that all
of the entries are correct.

Step 4: Choose Tests to Run


You can decide to run all of the tests which are the recommended option or you can
choose to only run some of the tests. You make your choice. If you decide to choose
the tests, remove the checkmark from the tests that you don't want to perform.

Step 5: Fix Found Problems


If any problems were found to exist during the testing they will be shown to you when
you click the Finish button. To fix a problem, highlight the problem that you want to fix
and click the Repair button. The software will automatically make the repairs for you.

Diagnose and Repair

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Find & Fix Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Find and Fix Problems submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton Disk Doctor


Click on the Norton Disk Doctor menu located on the right side of the window. This
will start the program. This program will test the integrity of the hard drive.

Step 4: Set Options


By clicking the Options button, you can set what will happen when the program runs.
There are four tabs available. The most important one is the General tab. The other
three tabs are for appearances, how many times the disk will be scanned, and tests
that should be skipped. On the General tab, you need to decide about your repair
options. You can have the software automatically fix the problems, skip the problem,
or prompt you for action to take.

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Step 5: Diagnose the Disk


Click the Diagnose button and the process will begin. A list of what is being checked
will be displayed and a checkmark will be put next to the category when the check
has been completed.

Step 6: Viewing Results


After the completion of the scanning, a list of the results that were found will be
displayed. If there are any problems, follow the instructions for fixing the problem.

Restoring Deleted Files

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Find & Fix Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Find and Fix Problems submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute UnErase Wizard


Click on the UnErase Wizard menu located on the right side of the window. This will
start the program. This program will let you recover any files that have been deleted.
It may even be able to recover files that have been deleted from the Recycle Bin.

Step 4: Find Files


When you first bring up the UnErase Wizard, you'll have to choose what types of files
you want the software to look for. You can choose Recently deleted files, Protected
files, and Files meeting your criteria. When you've decided this, click the Next button.

Step 5: Choose a File


Highlight the file that you want to recover. Once you've highlighted this file, click the
Recover button. If you want to recover more files or try to find files that meet certain
criteria click the Next button to continue with the process.

Undoing Fixes

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Find & Fix Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Find and Fix Problems submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Run a Program


Norton System Check, Norton WinDoctor, and Norton Disk Doctor each have the
ability to undo fixes that have been made. Execute the one that you want to undo the
changes in.
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Step 4: History Report


When the first screen is displayed, click the Cancel button. You'll know be shown the
problems screen. Click on the History icon and the history report will be displayed.
This shows all of the problems that have been fixed in the past.

Step 5: Undo the Fix


Highlight the problem that you want to undo and click the Undo icon. You'll be asked
if you're sure you want to undo the fix. If you do want to undo it, click the Yes button.
If not, click the No button.

Speeding Up Your Computer

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Click Improve Performance


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Improve Performance submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Speed Disk


Click on the Speed Disk menu located on the right side of the window. This will start
the program which will help defragment your hard drive and move the files around so
that your computer will operate more efficiently.

Step 4: Recommended Action


After the program is started, the hard drive will be analyzed. The software will let you
know what was found and will show you how fragmented the drive is and give you a
recommendation as what should be done. Choose which option you want and click
the Start button when you're ready to defragment your drive. Depending on the size
of your hard drive and the amount of fragmentation, it may take a while for the entire
process to complete.

Optimizing the Registry File

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Click Improve Performance


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Improve Performance submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Optimization Wizard


Click on the Norton Optimization Wizard menu located on the right side of the
window. This will start the program. This program will look at the registry file and try
to minimize its size and rearranging its structure so as to increase the access speed.
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Step 4: Optimization Choices


The wizard will walk you through the choices for optimizing the files. You can
optimize two files, the swap file and the registry file. Click the Next button and choose
if you want to optimize these files.

Step 5: Optimize the System


After you've chosen which of the two options to optimize you'll need click the Reboot
button. After the files have been optimized, the system will automatically reboot itself
to finish the process. Make sure that you've saved all of your files before clicking the
Reboot button

Add Sensor to System Doctor

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Preventive Maintenance


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Preventive Maintenance submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton System Doctor


Click on the Norton System Doctor menu located on the right side of the window.
This will start the program. This program will continuously monitor your computer for
problems and let you know before they happen.

Step 4: Sensor List


Click on the Sensors menu and choose the category that you want to add. There are
six different categories that you can add from. When you move to a submenu, you'll
have further choices to make. Choose the one that you want and it will be added to
the Norton System Doctor window.

System Doctor Sensor Editing

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Preventive Maintenance


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Preventive Maintenance submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton System Doctor


Click on the Norton System Doctor menu located on the right side of the window.
This will start the program. This program will continuously monitor your computer for
problems and let you know before they happen.

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Step 4: Choose the Sensor


Right-click the sensor that you want to change the properties for. You'll get a menu of
selections. Choose the top menu item labeled Properties. and you'll get the
properties box. You'll now be able to change the settings for that sensor.

Step 5: Other Menu Items


When you right-click a sensor there are several different menu items. Update the
status of the sensor immediately. If you want to remove a sensor, click the Remove
menu. To find out information about the sensor click the Sensor Information menu.
Some of the sensors have programs associated with them. If this sensor is one, you
can click the Open program name menu item.

Permanently Deleting Data

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Preventive Maintenance


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Preventive Maintenance submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton WipeInfo


Click on the Norton WipeInfo menu located on the right side of the window. This will
start the program. This program will delete files from your computer so that you can't
recover them, even with undo. You can also clear the free space on your hard drive.

Step 4: Choose the Type of Deletion


You've got three choices as to what you want to wipe clean. You can choose either
files, folders, or free space. When you make your choice click the Next button to
continue with the process.

Step 5: Select Files, Folders or Space


Depending on the choice you made in the previous step, you'll need to choose which
files or folders to delete. If you had chosen free space you need to decide which hard
drives to clean.

Step 6: Wipe Options


Choose the type of wipe that you want to accomplish. The Fast Wipe will write over
the space once. The Government Wipe will write over the space with digits the
specified number of times. The more times that the space is written over, the harder
it would be to recover the file.

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Imaging Your Drive

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Preventive Maintenance


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Preventive Maintenance submenu. This will give you access to four different
utilities.

Step 3: Execute Image


Click on the Image menu located on the right side of the window. This will start the
program. This program takes a picture of your hard drive and keeps that information.
This information is used when trying to rebuild deleted files or if there is a problem
with the structure of your folders.

Step 4: Setting Options


Click the Options button and you'll be taken to the options screen. Here you can set
the software up to create an image every time that the computer starts. You also can
tell it what drives to image.

Step 5: Create an Image


Choose which drives you want to image and click the Image button. The software will
start creating the image and a progress bar will be displayed at the bottom of the
window showing the status.

Diagnose Hardware Problems

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Troubleshoot Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Troubleshoot submenu. This will give you access to four different utilities.

Step 3: Execute Norton Diagnostics


Click on the Norton Diagnostics menu located on the right side of the window. This
will start the program. This program will complete eleven different tests to analyze
your hardware for possible problems.

Step 4: Conducting the Tests


On the left side of the window is a section that lists all of the tests that are available.
If you want to conduct all of the tests, highlight Do All Tests and click the Test button.
If you only want to conduct a test on a specific piece of hardware, highlight that
hardware item and click the Test button.

Step 5: View the Results


During the course of the testing, you'll see the results displayed in the window. You
can see what test was performed and if the component passed the test.
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Identifying My Equipment

Step 1: Start Norton SystemWorks


Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon located on the desktop. You can also
click the Start button, then Programs, then Norton SystemWorks, then Norton
SystemWorks.

Step 2: Choose Troubleshoot Submenu


On the left side of the screen are the menu items. Click the Norton Utilities menu and
then the Troubleshoot submenu. This will give you access to four different utilities.

Step 3: Execute System Information


Click on the System Information menu located on the right side of the window. This
will start the program. This program will give you a list of everything that you need to
know about your computer and some things you don't. It may be a helpful thing to
know if you ever want to upgrade certain components.

Step 4: View the Information


There are nine tabs located across the top of the window. Click on the tab that you
want to find out information about and it will be displayed. The nine tabs are System,
Display, Printer, Memory, Drive, Input, Multimedia, Network, and Internet .

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Anti-Virus Software
1)
• List the New features of Norton Antivirus software.
• List the system requirements of Norton Antivirus .
• Install Norton .
• Update manually downloading the definitions from the web.
• Configure Live updates.

2) CONFIGURING MCAFEE TO AUTOMATICALLY UPDATE AND SCAN HARD


DRIVE:

• Go to the Windows “Start” button. The console should be located at:


• Programs à Network Associates à Virus Console
• Once it is open, double click on “Auto Upgrade”.
• When the “Task Properties” box opens click on the “Schedule” tab at the top.
• Choose “Enable”, “Weekly”
• Then choose a time when you want your computer to upgrade to the newest
version. This one is set for 2:00 on Wednesdays and should be set to update
once a week.

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Computer Maintenance & Troubleshooting

ASSIGNMENT 4

VGA Troubleshooting
You install Windows 2000 Professional on a computer that has a non-plug and play
video adapter. You want to configure the video adapter to use 16-bit color and 1024 x
768 resolution. The color setting for the video adapter is set to 16 colors, and you
cannot change that setting. The video adapter properties are shown in the (default
monitor) and VGA properties dialog box in the
exhibit.

1. List the types of display adapters.


2. Discuss that how you install VGA card driver. (In any platform)
3. Discuss how the display frequency of your monitor effecting to ergonomics.
4. Discuss the matter in the above scenario and discuss that how you
troubleshoot that.

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ASSIGNMENT 5

Obtaining and Calculating Power Supply Data


Over time, there have been at least six different standard power supplies for personal
computers. Recently, the industry has settled on using ATX-based power supplies.
ATX is an industry specification that means the power supply has the physical
characteristics to fit a standard ATX case and the electrical characteristics to work
with an ATX motherboard.

PC power-supply cables use standardized, keyed connectors that make it difficult to


connect the wrong ones. Also, fan manufacturers often use the same connectors as
the power cables for disk drives, allowing a fan to easily obtain the 12 volts it needs.
Color-coded wires and industry standard connectors make it possible for the
consumer to have many choices for a replacement power supply.

Objective : Determine the power output required for a computer.

This task requires:


• a computer to be shared between two students;

• a grounded rubber mat to place the computer on would be useful with some
clear working area in which to place removed items from the computer.

• Students will need to remove at least one panel from the computer case in
order to access the power supply unit.

• Each pair of students should then:


o note down all devices within the computer that require power (this list
will be used as part of the Student Exercises outside class to
determine each device’s power needs according to reference articles).
o using the voltage and maximum loading figures quoted oil the PSU
labeling, calculate the total power output (using the schema shown in
the visual which is repeated below for convenience). Compare to the
rated value of the PSU.

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SKILLS DEVELOPMENT PROJECT


Ministry of Tertiary Education & Training

National Diploma in Information & Communication Technology

Computer Maintenance
& Troubleshooting
Case Studies
211

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CASE STUDY 1

Technical Support

Introduction
You are the senior technical support manager at a large multinational company with
over 5,000 users online at any onetime. Over the last few months the workload of the
support department has increased dramatically following the introduction of several
new systems. As a result the users have to wait longer and longer in order to get
their outstanding problems resolved. This is leading to frustration and the
management is concerned that productivity is being adversely affected.
In the circumstances it has been decided that a totally new approach to providing
technical support to users is required and the latest technology should be employed
wherever possible to reduce the waiting times and speed up responses to problems.

Aims
• To produce a feasibility report outlining the case for the installation of a
technical support system within the company.
• To select a suitable solution and to produce a detailed specification.
• To develop a comprehensive project plan for its implementation.

These three documents (feasibility report, detailed specification and project plan) will
form the basis of a presentation to the management in order to convince them that
the proposed Solutions are justifiable and practical.

Task 1
Evaluate the benefits of revising the current technical support infrastructure for the
company in the form of a feasibility report to include the following:

• An analysis of the basic problems that are likely to be encountered when


supporting a large number of online users and to assess potential
requirements.

• A brief overview of current Help Desk technologies (both hardware and


software).

• A coherent argument as to the advantages and possible disadvantages of


implementing a computerized Help Desk within the company.

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Task 2
Using the Internet and any other resources available, carry out research into what
Help Desk systems are currently available. Select ONE suitable solution and produce
a detailed specification for each of the components (both hardware and software)
required to implement a new Technical Support solution. The specification document
should include the following:

• Your analysis of the requirements.


• Full details of the system configuration.
• Estimated costs for the provision of appropriate hardware and software.

Guidance
Consult with your tutor during and after familiarizing yourself with the tasks required
and producing a formal action plan in order to reach the assignment objective.

During the design stages discuss the reasons for the choices you are making with
your tutor who may give advice on the advantages and limitations of your approach.

Submission Requirements All documentation outlined in the tasks produced by the


student should be signed and dated by your tutor.

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CASE STUDY 2

PC Upgrading
The following equipment will be required:
• A PC system with the following minimum specification:
• Motherboard with IDE support or separate IDE expansion card
• Intel Pentium 120Mhz or equivalent processor
• VGA graphics adapter
• 32Mb RAM
• 500Mb hard disk (with a suitable operating system installed)
• floppy disk drive
• parallel port
• monitor
• keyboard
• mouse
• 1 x CD.ROM drive with appropriate driver disks.
• 1 x Motherboard suitable for the proposed processor and memory upgrade.
• 1 x Power Supply Unit of suitable wattage for the proposed upgraded system.
• 1 x Intel Pentium Ill, Celeron, or AMD processor (minimum 500 MHz See note
below.

NOTE: Before commencing this practical assignment the tutor/lecturer must ensure
that the system unit case is appropriate for the Task in hand. In particular, the
tutor/lecturer should check that the motherboards supplied to the candidates are the
correct format and that they can be fined into the system units correctly.

• 1 x Windows 95 or 98 CD-ROM master disk.


• Appropriate driver software for new components fitted to the system.

NOTE: The candidates should work in pairs. In order to avoid any health and safety
issues a single candidate should not be allowed to conduct the practical project in
isolation.

Assignment
You are responsible for providing technical support for a medium sized company
which currently has a number of rather old PCs. Rather than replace these with
completely new systems it has been decided to upgrade the system units to enable
them to run the latest software applications more efficiently. The upgrade to each PC
will consist of the installation of faster processors, larger memory and CD-ROM
drives. However, in order to perform such an upgrade the motherboard and Power
Supply Unit (PSU) will need to be replaced as the existing motherboard is incapable
of supporting a higher class of processor.

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Task 1
Candidates should start by familiarizing themselves with the equipment supplied and
producing a formal action plan in order to reach the assignment objective. Notes
should be made throughout the project in order to document the procedures carried
out.

Task 2
The candidates will be expected to carry out the following procedures within the
allotted timescale:
• Disassemble the PC system unit and remove the existing motherboard and
PSU.
• Fit the replacement PSU, motherboard and new processor.
• Install new memory modules.
• Install the CD-ROM drive.
• Reassemble the system unit installing the remaining system components as
required.
• Connect all peripherals to system unit.
• Start the PC and enter the system BIOS.
• Adjust any BIOS settings as necessary.
• Install any appropriate driver software for the CD-ROM drive.
• Use the Windows 95 or 98 master disk to re-install or update any operating
system components as necessary.
• Test the system to ensure that all components and peripherals (both new and
old) are working correctly.

Task 3
Produce a formal project report detailing the Tasks carried out and the procedures
followed.

Task 4
Produce suitable test documents printed from each PC s howing the new specification
of the system (processor type and speed, amount of memory installed, and CD-ROM
drive fitted).

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Guidance
Consult with your tutor/lecturer during and after familiarizing yourself with the
equipment supplied and producing a formal action plan in order to reach the
assignment objective.

During the practical stages discuss the reasons for the choices you are making with
your tutor/lecturer who may give advice on the advantages and limitations of your
approach.

If you have any doubts about the safety aspects of any particular procedures then
these should be discussed with your tutor before implementation and noted in your
documentation.

Submission Requirements
1. All documentation outlined i.e. a formal action plan of Tasks, a formal project
report, and printed test documents produced should be signed and dated by
your tutor/lecturer.

2. The main assessment criteria for this practical project will be the successful:
1. upgrading of the PC system.

2. the printout detailing the new system specification.

3. The highly practical nature of the project means that tutors/lecturers must
observe the candidates during the exercise in order to be able to carry out a
thorough assessment. In addition, the examiner should be responsible for
overall safety during the exercise and if necessary take appropriate action to
avoid any potential accidents.

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