Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A+ Certification 220-601 (2006 Objectives) and 220-701 (2009 Objectives) Compared

1. Networking

Basic networking concepts

  • Basics of workgroups and domains
  • Hub, switch and router
  • Common ports: HTTP, FTP, POP, SMTP, TELNET, HTTPS
  • Identify Virtual Private Networks (VPN)
  • Basics class identification

Network types

  • Broadband : fiber
  • Wireless : WEP, WPA, SSID, MAC filtering, DHCP Settings

2. Security

Basics of data sensitivity and data security

  • Compliance
  • Classifications
  • Social engineering

Security features (BIOS Security)

  • Drive lock
  • Passwords
  • Intrusion detection
  • TPM


  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Data wiping / hard drive destruction / hard drive recycling

3. Operating Systems

Additional OS:Windows Vista Home, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate

Compare and contrast the different Windows Operating Systems and their features

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

Command prompt utilities

  • telnet
  • ping
  • ipconfig

Run line utilities

  • msconfig
  • msinfo32
  • Dxdiag
  • Cmd

Installation methods

  • Recover CD
  • Factory recovery partition

Install and configure windows OS

  • User data migration – User State Migration Tool (USMT)
  • Virtual memory

Configure power management

  • Suspend
  • Wake on LAN
  • Sleep timers
  • Hibernate
  • Standby

Demonstrate safe removal of peripherals

4. Hardware or Personal Computer components

Blu-Ray optical drive

Removable Storage: Hot swappable devices and non-hot swappable devices

Motherboard characteristics

I/O interfaces : USB 1.1 and 2.0,PS/2

Memory slots

  • SIMM

Bus slots


Contrast RAID (levels 0, 1, 5)

Power supplies types

  • Voltage selector switch
  • Pins (20, 24)

CPU characteristics

  • Multicore , Triple and Quad core
  • Onchip Cache : L1 and L2

Memory Types

Single channel vs. dual channel


  • PC100
  • PC133
  • PC2700
  • PC3200
  • DDR3-1600
  • DDR2-667

Input devices

KVM switch

5. Troubleshooting, Repair and Maintenance

Common hardware and operating system symptoms and their causes

Hardware related symptoms

  • Excessive heat
  • Noise
  • Odors
  • Status light indicators
  • Alerts
  • Visible damage (e.g. cable, plastic)

Use documentation and resources

  • User / installation manuals
  • Internet / web based
  • Training materials

6. Communication and Professionalism

Set and meet expectations / timeline and communicate status with the customer

  • Offer different repair / replacement options if applicable
  • Provide proper documentation on the services provided
  • Follow up with customer / user at a later date to verify satisfaction

7.Safety and Environmental Procedures


  • Network interference
  • Magnets


  • Cordless phone interference
  • Microwaves

Electrical safety

  • CRT
  • Power supply
  • Inverter
  • Laser printers
  • Matching power requirements of equipment with power distribution and UPSs

Cable management

  • Avoiding trip hazards
  • Physical safety
  • Heavy devices
  • Hot components

Topics Removed

  1. Networking Removed topics

  1. Basic networking concepts

  • Cabling
  • Protocols (all other than TCP/IP, NetBIOS)
  • Connectors (all other than RJ45 and RJ11)
  1. Network types

  • ISDN
  • Infra red
  • VOIP
  1. All topics under these subheadings

i. Install, configure, optimize and upgrade networks

ii. Identify tools, diagnostic procedures and troubleshooting techniques for networks

2. Security Removed topics

  • Access points
  • Describe importance and process of incident reporting
  • Recognize and respond appropriately to social engineering situations
  • Perform preventive maintenance for computer security

3.OS Removed topics

  • Identify names, purposes and characteristics of the primary operating system components including registry, virtual memory and file system
  • Identify the names, locations, purposes and characteristics of operating system files for






Registry data files

4. Laptops and Portable Devices

Identifyand distinguish between mobile and desktop motherboards and processors including throttling, power management and WiFi


  • Solid Ink
  • Interfaces used by printers and scanners
  • Basic concepts of installing, configuring, optimizing and upgrading printers and scanners
  • Tools, basic diagnostic procedures for printers and scanners