A+™ Certification : Operating Systems

Introductions: A+ Certification consists of A+ Essentials exam and A+ Practical Applications exam. CompTIA frequently revises the certification objectives in line with the developments taking place from time to time. For example, recent Operating Systems questions include Windows Vista and Windows 7 questions.

2. Installation, Configuration, and Upgrading

2.1 Identify the procedures for installing Windows 9x/Me, Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows XP, and bringing the operating system to a basic operational level.

  • Verify hardware compatibility and minimum requirements
  • Determine OS installation options
    • Installation type (typical, custom, other)
    • Network configuration
    • File system type
    • Dual Boot Support
  • Disk preparation order (conceptual disk preparation)
    • Start the installation
    • Partition
    • Format drive
  • Run appropriate set up utility
    • Setup
    • Winnt
  • Installation methods
    • Bootable CD
    • Boot floppy
    • Network installation
    • Drive Imaging
  • Device Driver Configuration
    • Load default drivers
    • Find updated drivers
  • Restore user data files (if applicable)
  • Identify common symptoms and problems

2.2 Identify steps to perform an operating system upgrade from Windows 9.x/ME, Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows XP. Given an upgrade scenario, choose the appropriate next steps.

  • Upgrade paths available
  • Determine correct upgrade startup utility (e.g. WINNT32 vs WINNT)
  • Verify hardware compatibility and minimum requirements
  • Verify application compatibility
  • Apply OS service packs, patches, and updates
  • Install additional Windows components

2.3 Identify the basic system boot sequences and boot methods, including the steps to create an emergency boot disk with utilities installed for Windows 9x/Me, Windows NT 4.0 Workstation, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows XP.

  • Boot Sequence
    • Files required to boot
    • Boot steps (9.x, NT-based)
  • Alternative Boot Methods
    • Using a Startup disk
    • Safe/VGA-only mode
    • Last Known Good configuration
    • Command Prompt mode
    • Booting to a system restore point
    • Recovery Console
    • Boot.ini switches
    • Dual Boot
  • Creating Emergency Disks with OS Utilities
  • Creating emergency repair disk (ERD)

2.4 Identify procedures for installing/adding a device, including loading, adding, and configuring device drivers, and required software.

  • Device Driver Installation
    • Plug and Play (PNP) and non-PNP devices
    • Install and configure device drivers
    • Install different device drivers
    • Manually install a device driver
    • Search the Internet for updated device drivers
    • Using unsigned drivers (driver signing)
  • Install Additional Windows components
  • Determine if permissions are adequate for performing the task

2.5 Identify procedures necessary to optimize the operating system and major operating system subsystems.

  • Virtual Memory Management
  • Disk Defragmentation
  • Files and Buffers
  • Caches
  • Temporary file management


  • http://www.cs.mun.ca/~paul/cs3725/material/web/notes/node11.html
  • http://www.easydos.com/
  • http://www.cae.wisc.edu/site/public/?title=winnt2kupgrade
  • http://www.comptia.org
  • http://networking.ringofsaturn.com/Certifications/aplusos.php
  • http://searchwincomputing.techtarget.com/

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