CompTIA A+ Study Notes (220-1101)

Table of Contents

Installing Hardware & Display Components

Hardware and Device Replacement

  • RAM: system memory or desk of PC, fast access, low amount = lower access speeds, volatile.
  • Storage: file cabinet of PC, slower access, static (non-volatile).
  • Check MoBo user guide to ensure RAM amount, form-factor etc.
  • GPU/Video Card: processes video and connects to external monitors.
  • CPU: brain of PC.

DC Jack Replacement Research – https://youtu.be/zFuu8LSaAQE

Hard Drive Migration

  • SSD: non-volatile flash memory for storage, faster, reliable, less power, quieter, smaller.
  • Upgrading: check form factor, check cables, install OS.
  • Cloning: specific software copies drive.

HDD/SSD Replacement

  • Prepare: back up data, create a recovery disk, have the right tools.
  • Remove drive: power down, anti-static mat, open PC, disconnect cables etc.
  • Install new drive: reverse remove process.

mSATA: mini Serial Advanced Technology Attachment

Wireless Cards

  • USB: no cables, no install, no upgrade needed.
  • Bluetooth: peripharel, personal area network (pan), PC (PCMCIA) card/slot, USB dongle.
  • Mini PCI: 124-pin edge connector, square shape, older.
  • *Mini PCIe: 54-pin. rectangular, any device on architecture works.
  • Cellular: anywhere access, built-in mobile broadband, USB.
  • Replacing: turn off, remove card, remove screws. Reverse process to complete.

PCIe: Peripheral Component Interconnect (Express)

Physical Privacy and Security Components

Biometrics: fingerprint, voice, facial etc.

  • Fingerprints: most common, scanning pad, stored in secure DB.
  • Facial: identify a face, requires a camera, verification based on math DB.
  • Iris/retinal: typically external device, physical access to facilities.
  • Voice: less common, easier to hack.
  • NFC: extension of RFID, very short, quick sync, payments.
    • NFC vs BT: no pairing, short-range security, less interference.

NFC: Near Field Communication RFID: Radio Frequency Identification

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)

Common in laptop/flat panels, replaced CRTs

  • Design: liquid crystal, between plastic, light source, divided into tiny squares or pixels.
  • Scenes: 32-bit colour (16 million), pixel high by wide resolutions, DPI means pixels per inch.
  • Lighting: Cold cathode fluorescent light (CCFL) or Light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
    • CCFL: requires inverters DC to AC.
    • LED: uses DC
  • Performance: Response time (ms).
  • LCD Versions: In-plane switching (IPS), super plane to line switching (PLS), Vertical Alignment (VA), twisted nematic (TN), transistor translator logic (TTL).
    • IPS: best overall.
    • PLS: by Samsung, more power, brighter.
    • VA: inbetween IPS and PLS
    • TN: for gamers.
    • TTL: digital signals only, not common.

Pixels: Picture Elements DPI: Dots per inch – used in printing. PPI: Pixel per inch – used in monitors/screens.

Organic Light-emitting Diode (OLED)

Organic compounds, passing electricity through light through TFT, anode/cathode.

  • Passive-matrix OLED (PMOLED) or Active-matrix OLEX (AMOLED).
    • PMOLED: one row at a time without using TFT, pixels off most of the time, decreases life.
    • AMOLED: brighter, better option.
  • OLED vs LED LCD: controlled on a pixel-by-pixel basis, compared to edge lighting.
  • Colour:
  • Viewing Angles: OLED is better, IPS LCD is better.
  • Brightness: LED LCD is better, nits or lumen is higher the brighter.
  • Contrast: measured in contrast ratio, OLED offers higher contrast.

Mobile Display Components

  • LCD Advantages: lightweight, low power consumption, inexpensive.
  • LCD Disadvantages: no true black, colour matching, losing backlight.
  • OLED: expensive, increase battery use.
  • Touchscreen: digitzier fingers.
  • Antenna: in-screen, multiple types.
  • Webcam: standard in laptops/phones, built-in sound.
  • Microphone: integrated, general purpose-fit.

Wi-Fi Antenna Connectors

  • Location: wrapped around laptop displays, more durable, improves range and performance.
  • Poor Performance: antenna booster, range extender or change location of devices.

Webcams and Microphones

Video comms, image quality, frame rate.

  • USB Webcams: portability, compatibility, attachments.
  • Microphone: embedded in the case, more sensitive, noise/quality. Headset, drivers/apps.

Laptop Screen Inverters

CCFL: LCD monitors, neon signs, computer case lighting.

  • A small tube, less damaged, uses defues to spread light.
  • Needs inverter, increases weight and temperature.

LEDs: Semiconductor emits light, panel backlight, fibre optics and indicator lights.

  • Doesn’t need an inverter, efficient, minimal heat, long life, quality.

Digitizers and Touchscreen

Digitizer: any device taking analogue input and outputting digital signals. Process of digitization.

  • Tablets/Phones: finger, stylus etc. are inputs.
  • Touch Screens: laptops, monitors, kiosks etc.
    • Formats: built-in or standalone.

Digitizer Example: Microphones use a thin, metal diaphragm that vibrates in response to sound waves, then passed to a recording device.

CompTIA A+ Core 1: Mobile Device Accessories & Network

Universal Serial Bus (USB)

Standard connection interface

  • v1.1: low speed 1.5 Mbps 3m or high speed, 12Mbps 5m.
  • v2.0 480Mbps 5m – FireWire by Apple.
  • Standard-A, Standard-B, Mini-B, Micro-B.
  • v3.0: 5Gbps 3m – blue lining, backward compatibly.
  • v3.1: 10Gbps Type A or C, and v3.2: 10/20Gbps.
  • USB-C 24 pins, double-sided – does not mean USB 3.1 or 3.2 speeds.

Lightening Connections

Apple Proprietary connection

  • 8 pins per side, double-sided.
  • Built-in device auth – checks if Apple device, non-apple lightning cables.
  • MFi Certs: stringent manufacturers to be Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod.

Serial Interface Types

1952 Dsub, looks like uppercase ‘D’ – RS-232 serial communications or com points.

  • Naming: DE-9P – Dsub, E size – 9 number of pins or sockets, P pins or S sockets (male/female).
  • DA-15: 8/7 pin layout for game controllers.
  • DC-37: aerospace etc.
  • DD-50: 17-16-17 pin for Fast-SCSI equipment (Small Computer System Interface).
  • DE-9 (DB-9): comms, old networks, standard mouse – legacy.

Near-field Communication, Bluetooth, Hotposts

Mobile Device Accessories

  • Headsets: audio, handsfree, wired/wireless, 3.5 jack (tip ring sleeve), USB.
  • Speakers: external, wired/wireless, stereo sound.
  • Webcams: embedded or external.

Docking Station and Port Replicators

Makes connections easier to devices e.g. laptops.

  • Features: single dedicated connections, extra and varied.
  • Compatibility: manufacture specific, proprietary ports.
  • More: number/types of ports, design, ease of design/use.
  • Types: state of laptop.
    • Cold: must power down the device.
    • Warm: sleep-like mode or some interference.
    • Hot: plug-n-play, quick install.
  • Port replicator: similar, smaller, lighter, portable.
    • More universal connects via built-in device connection like USB.
    • Converts some connections e.g. Micro-DVI to DVI.

Wireless and Cellular Data Networks

Global System for Mobile communication (GSM)

  • Series of Gateways, repeaters, relays – mobile to cell towers.
  • Functionality: voice calls, transfer data, roaming – cells from other providers.
  • Networks: 3G (2Mbps), 4G/LTE (30Mbps), 5G (1Gbps) Generation – data speeds improve.
  • CDMA Code Division Multiple Access: provides multiple connections to devices aka multiplexing.
  • SIM Subscriber Identity Module: identifies the device to the GSM network.
  • Aeroplane mode: on/off feature for wireless.
  • Tethering (mobile hotspot): enables network connection to one (or more) devices.
  • Preferred Roaming Lists (RPL): network changes or new towers for providers.
  • IMEI International Mobile Equipment Identity: provider to the device (this locks phones).
  • IMSI International Mobile Subscriber Identity: provider to subscriber.

Bluetooth Connectivity

Location Services

Global Positioning System (GMS), uses radio nav systems, geolocation satellites, incoming data.

  • Atomic clock 20k’s away @14k ks/per hour fast (time dilation effect, theory of relativity).
  • Receiver GPS, standard triangulation, up/down/forward/back/up/down.
  • Location Services: AssistedGPS (uses internet data i/e/ pinging).
    • Apps: check-in, logging real-time movement, mapping, correct time/date, image metadata.
  • Considerations: data privacy sharing, family member locations.

Mobile Device Management (MBM)

Corporate devices, optimising functionality, protect corporate data/network.

  • Support: broad devices phones/tablets/OSs etc.
  • Works: MDM agent (Google/Microsoft) and MDM server, policy config, app deployment.
    • Device config, remote wipe, p/w enforce, tracking, encryption, allow/block list.
  • Mobile Application Management (MAM): overlap, lifecycle, installing/updating/deleting apps…
    • Features: self-service portal, automatic app distro, seamless install/update/delete apps…

Mobile Device Synchronization

Same user, multiple devices, same experience.

  • ActiveSync:
  • Sync to Cloud: mail (exchange/O365), data (G Drive/OneDrive/iCloud).
  • Desktop: software (FreeFileSync/iTunes).
  • Car via BT: iOS/Android Auto.
  • Connections: USB, wireless/wifi, BT.
About The Author
Ashley Ball

Ashley Ball

“Learn, create, share, repeat.” • IT teacher, former web designer, learning CyberSec • Road to #100DaysOfHacking on Hackers Learning Path.
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