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A+ Hardware Service and Maintenance
Course Syllabus



Courses: CET1178c and EEV0852
Instructor: Prof. Brian Robinson

Office Hours: TBA, in Room 6360
Department Office:Room 6306
Department Telephone: (305)237-2226



Course Description: A continuation of microcomputer service and maintenance: Addresses, hardware faults, board changing, system configuration, memory expansion and upgrading. changing components and parts will be addressed.

Coverage: Students will assemble multimedia computers with CD-ROM drives, sound cards, pointing devices, and network cards and their device drivers; examine, allocate and resolve system resources including IRQs, DMAs and I/O Addresses; learn the usage of various advanced troublshooting tools including the digital multimeter and the POST Error Diagnostic card; perform comprehensive hardware troubleshooting; and find drivers and technical support on the Internet.

Curriculum Outline
  • Lecture #1: IRQ's - Define and describe the functionality of the Interrupt Requests within the PC, etc

  • Lecture #2: External Ports - Define and describe the standard external peripheral expansion bus interfaces and buses including serial, parallel, USB and FireWire, etc.

  • Lecture #3: I/O Addresses - define and describe the functionality of the I/O address as a system resource, etc.

  • Lecture #4: DMA's - define and describe the functionality of the DMA as a system resource, etc.

  • Lecture #5: CPU's - continue building a complete understanding of the microprocessor that began in CET1171, list and describe features of the Pentium processors from the first Pentium to the latest Core 2 Duo and Extreme Editions, etc.

  • Lecture #6: Video Controllers - define and describe how the video controller and the display work, etc.

  • Lecture #7: CPU Form Factors - Define and describe the form factors and mounting systems of the CPU from the 8088 to the latest Socket T LGA775 based systems, etc.

  • Lecture #8: Troubleshooting Startup - Develop a foundational troubleshooting hierarchical approach to determining the cause for a system startup failure, etc.

  • Lecture #9: Troubleshooting the "Dead" PC - Develop a foundational troubleshooting hierarchical approach for determining the cause for a system to fail with no output to the display, etc.

  • Lecture #10: Motherboard Form Factors - define and describe the motherboard form factors from the original IBM AT to the latest variations of the ATX form factors, etc.

  • Lecture #11: Using the Digital Multimeter - define and describe electrical units of measure and their properties, describe the usage of the DMM to measure these units and the usages of the DMM to the PC repair technician, etc.

  • Lecture #12: ATA Controllers and HDD Translations - define the ATA controller and cover its evolution through the seven specifications of the parallel ATA through the two specifications of Serial ATA, define and descibe some highlight BIOS solutions to overcoming the inherent limitation to accessing large hard drives, etc.

  • Lecture #13: Optical Storage Technologies - Define and describe the priniciples and functionality of Compact Disc and Digital Versatile Disc storage technologies implemented in the PC, etc.

  • Lecture #14: Introduction to Laptops - Define and describe portable PC's and their associated technologies including technologies that emerged in the protables that have become standard in the desktops, etc.

Course Skills & Objectives: Students shall learn to assemble and disassemble multimedia computers and troubleshoot all components; perform advanced maintenance and servicing of computers; develop their troubleshooting skills; learn to use various advanced tools; download drivers and obtain tech support on the Internet; complete a Technical Notebook.

Textbook: A+ Certification Concepts and Practice, 4th Ed. By Charles J. Brooks ISBN:0-13-114772-2

Recommended Reading:
Upgrading and Repairing PC's by Scott Mueller ISBN: 1572316446
Pocket PCRef, 12th Ed. By Thomas Glover & Millie Young ISBN:1885071388

Toolkit with #2 Phillips screwdriver; Anti-static (ESD) wrist strap; email account; and 3-Ring Notebook with 8+ dividers and storage sheets for CDROMs and diskettes.

Technical Notebook:
Students are required to compile a Technical Notebook containing DOS and Windows boot diskettes; tool list; computers and components data sheets; IRQ, DMA, I/O Address and Memory tables; POST and error codes; BIOS configuration references; computer assembly notes; hard drive tables; CMOS settings; wiring and pinouts charts; contact information for computer companies; troubleshooting and repair methodology charts; and a Glossary.

Grading Scale: Grades are based upon the following: A=90-100% B=80-89% C=70-79% D=60-69% F=59% and below

PSAV Students: Students enrolled in EEV 0852 are required to complete 35 hours of additional computer assignments and exercises in the Campus Computer Courtyard, the Homestead Workshop, or at an approved alternate location. Assignments shall constitute 5% of the total grade.

Class Grade Computation: The final grade for the class will be based on the following:
    3 pts/week X 16 weeks = 48 + 2 free points = Worth up to 50 points
    Pop quiz scores may be included in the attendance grade.
FINAL EXAM Part #1 (Written): Computer Concepts and Terminology
    System Resources; File systems; ATA controllers and translations
    PC error message interpretation; "dead" PC troubleshooting
Worth 25 pts
FINAL EXAM Part #2 (Practical): Technical Skills
    Visual Identification of various systems' hardware problems
    Troubleshoot and repair a system with hardware configuration and/or physical
      system damage
Worth 25 pts
TOTAL: 100 pts

Course Policy:
I. Attendance: Lectures and labs contain material which is not contained in the textbook so class attendance is required. Students who miss more than Three (3) classes without prior arrangement with the professor will be dropped one (1) grade letter or may be purged from class.

II. Grades: College policy for dropping a course is followed: if you do not drop a failing course, you will receive an F instead of a W. To receive an Incomplete instead of an F, a student must (a) have an acceptable excuse; (b) be passing the Course; (c) make written arrangements prior to the Final Exam; and (d) complete the missing work outside of class (an Incomplete does not entitle the Student to re-take the course).

III. Conduct: Students are expected to conduct themselves responsibly and professionally, to participate in lab work and class discussions, complete the Reading Assignments, and assist classmates with acquiring skills.

IV. Electronic Communication: All forms of electronic communication devices must be turned OFF prior to the start of each class. Interruptions caused by cellular telephones or beepers are considered obnoxious and will not be tolerated at all. The first infraction will result in an immediate loss of 10pts = 1 LETTER GRADE. Repeated infractions will result in a meeting with the department chairperson or Dean for the purposes of expulsion from the class.