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Updated for 2012

This course will be retired in 472 days. If you have questions, please contact us.

Note: The exam associated with this course retires June 30, 2016. However, this course still retains value as a training resource. For our most up-to-date training, see Anthony Sequeira's CompTIA A+ 220-901 and CompTIA A+ 220-902 courses....
Note: The exam associated with this course retires June 30, 2016. However, this course still retains value as a training resource. For our most up-to-date training, see Anthony Sequeira's CompTIA A+ 220-901 and CompTIA A+ 220-902 courses.

A+ certification is your critical first step as you move into IT. Make sure you're ready for the required exams by watching this CompTIA A+ course from tech guru, James Conrad, for the 220-801 and 220-802 exams.

James takes you into the PC hardware nitty-gritty, and backs it up with abundant product photos with this A+ training. He also grounds you in networking technology and covers essential Windows topics you'll use every day (like backup, recovery and storage).

By the time you finish this course, you'll be ready for the 220-801 and 220-802 exams, and have the technical knowledge you need as you take your next big step into computer technology.

Recommended Experience
  • Basic computer and Internet usage skills
Recommended Equipment
  • Computers
  • Basic router and switch
Related Certifications
  • CompTIA A+
Related Job Functions
  • Technical Support Specialist
  • Field Service Technician
  • IT Support Technician
  • IT Support Administrator
James Conrad has been a CBT Nuggets trainer since 2003 and holds a variety of certifications including CompTIA A+, Server+; Certified Ethical Hacker; Microsoft MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, and MCTS.

All trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective holders.
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1. Introduction (10 min)
2. PC Overview (25 min)
3. Tools and ESD (39 min)
4. Motherboards Part 1: Architecture and Form Factors (29 min)
5. Motherboards Part 2: Tour of Parts and Components (35 min)
6. Motherboards Part 3: Assembly/Disassembly, Diagnose/Repair (32 min)
7. BIOS (45 min)
8. Buses and Expansion Slots (44 min)
9. Resources and Ports (51 min)
10. Peripherals and Input (26 min)
11. Audio, Video, and Cameras (51 min)
12. Storage Part 1 (32 min)
13. Storage Part 2 (37 min)
14. Storage Part 3 (48 min)
15. Storage Part 4 (26 min)
16. Memory (51 min)
17. CPU Part 1 (24 min)
18. CPU Part 2 (29 min)
19. Power (60 min)
20. Printers Part 1: Types (35 min)
21. Printers Part 2: Connections, Installation, Sharing (41 min)
22. Printers Part 3: Maintenance and Troubleshooting (32 min)
23. Laptops Part 1 (49 min)
24. Laptops Part 2 (32 min)
25. Installation Part 1 (33 min)
26. Installation Part 2 (45 min)
27. Interface and Compatibility (46 min)
28. Windows Files (42 min)
29. Users, Groups, and File Resources (50 min)
30. Windows Tools and Diagnostics Part 1 (50 min)
31. Windows Tools and Diagnostics Part 2 (58 min)
32. Windows Troubleshooting Part 1 (44 min)
33. Windows Troubleshooting Part 2 (20 min)
34. Troubleshooting and Procedure (53 min)
35. Networking Part 1 (40 min)
36. Networking Part 2 (21 min)
37. Networking Part 3 (49 min)
38. Networking Part 4 (37 min)
39. Networking Part 5 (21 min)
40. Networking Part 6 (67 min)
41. Networking Part 7 (33 min)
42. Security Part 1 (44 min)
43. Security Part 2 (19 min)
44. Customer Service (23 min)
45. Windows 7 (38 min)
46. IPv6 (22 min)
47. 2012 Update: Troubleshooting Part 1 (36 min)
48. 2012 Update: Troubleshooting Part 2 (51 min)
49. 2012 Update: Hardware (25 min)
50. 2012 Update: Sockets and CPUs (19 min)
51. 2012 Update: Display (21 min)
52. 2012 Update: Networking (31 min)
53. 2012 Update: Evaluating Custom Configurations (26 min)
54. 2012 Update: Laptops and Printers (24 min)
55. 2012 Update: Virtualization (27 min)
56. 2012 Update: Mobile Devices (46 min)
57. 2012 Update: Dealing with Prohibited Content/Activity (26 min)
58. 2012 Update: Security (34 min)



Hello. My name is James Conrad, and it's my pleasure to be with you here on this journey with the CompTIA A+ exams for both the 2009 and the 2012 versions. I have both of these exams covered for specific reasons. One of those is that I already recorded all of the 2009 exam objectives.


We have very complete coverage of this, and it was probably the longest series I've ever done because there's so much content. Well, when the 2012 version of the exam came out, I looked at all the exam objectives, and I said, hey, most of these are the same.


There is, of course, updated content. In fact, the last 12 Nuggets of this whole series address all of the updated issues that we need to address for the 2012. But there was no sense in recreating the wheel for stuff that I'd already recorded, so that's why we have the update there.


I do recommend that you watch everything straight through from the beginning to the end. That's because you need to establish a sense of context, and there might be something said in a later video that was referenced in an earlier one. Most of them are fairly self-supporting and could stand on their own.


But I wouldn't want you to miss out on anything, so I want to make sure that you get the coverage that you need for these. Another thing I want to point out is that we actually have four exams covered here. And that would be the 220-701 and 702 and the 220-801 and 802.


OK? This is for the 2012 version, and this one here is for the 2009 version. I want to point out I did not separate these videos to each exam. The reason for that is because there's a lot of content that crosses over. For example, there's Windows content on all four of these exams.


So rather than covering Windows for this exam and Windows for that exam and Windows for this exam and Windows for that exam, I just covered Windows. And it really covers all four of the exams. Similarly, with various types of hardware, such as CPUs or motherboards or whatever, those things are covered in most of the exams as well, in one way or the other.


I see some people try to split that kind of thing off, and I don't think it really makes a whole lot of sense. It's much better to get a comprehensive view of all of the topics and to go straight through. And then to get the updated material for the 2012, they're in the last 12 videos at the end.


All right. Let's go ahead and take a look here at specific ideas that we'll cover in these exams. One of those would be a PC overview. And I do that for those of you that may be career changers, for example, or have not had previous professions in the IT field.


And you might need to get some baseline terminology and just a good overview of a PC before we delve in too far, so that you don't have something that just kind of escapes you and you're not really sure what I was talking about, in terms of various components.


We'll also take a look at various tools that you can use to repair your computer as well as precautions for electrostatic discharge. You can damage a component of a computer by static electricity, and you might not even feel the shock. So you have to very carefully protect those components.


Then we look at motherboards. Motherboards is kind of the Grand Central Station of your computer. And everything comes, one way or another, through that motherboard. It's a very important part of the whole system, foundational really. And we'll take a look at the various form factors and other aspects of it there.


Then we'll look at the BIOS, or Basic Input/Output System. This is a fundamental operating system that allows the computer to get started and to do things such as check out its own hardware and then hand off control to the operating system eventually.


We'll also take a look at BUS and Expansion slots. This is where you can add additional functionality to the motherboard. For example, maybe you don't like the built-in video controller that came with it. It doesn't play your favorite games very well.


You can add an additional video card in an Expansion slot and then get higher-end graphics. And that's just one example. You can do all kinds of things with these expansion slots, and there's many different types. As we continue on with our A+ exam objectives here, we're also going to be looking at various resources on the computer, such as I/O, IRQ, or Interrupt Requests.


Those sorts of things might be terms if you've heard before but not quite understood what they really do. We'll examine that. And then we'll look at the various ports that are available on the computer as well. There's all different sizes and shapes of ports, all serving a different purpose.


So we'll look at what those are for. We'll look at various peripherals, starting with something as simple as the keyboard and the mouse. And everyone's probably used those before. But we'll take a look at some others that are available as well for those input devices also.


We'll look at audio/visual equipment. This is an increasing level of profession for A+ technicians, where you need to know more and more about these types of devices because people are using them so much now. It could be video cameras. It could be still cameras.


We'll look at those. We'll look at storage devices as well. This could be just a hard drive or a CD or a DVD or a Blu-ray disc of some type, flash drives. All different kinds of storage that you can use now, all with different advantages or disadvantages.


And then memory can be very confusing. Because you can't just go down to the computer store and say, hey, I need eight gigs of memory. Well, they'll be asking you all kinds of questions. What kind of memory? I don't know. There's PC2700. There's 16 megahertz memory.


There's DDR3. What is all of this stuff? We'll go over some of those terms, and I have some cheat sheets that will also help you with that. And then moving on with our exam objectives here, we'll take a look at the CPU, or Central Processing Unit. This is mainly the brains of the computer.


It's what does the thinking for the computer. We'll take a look at various power devices, such as the power supply itself, some of the advantages or disadvantages of different ones and how to properly size for the power that you need. It might depend upon whether it's a small computer with simple tasks or a large gaming computer, for example.


We'll look at printers, which can often be a frustration. But we'll see some of the basic mechanics of a printer and how they work and how to maintain those and troubleshoot those as well as laptops. Laptops, again, are increasingly important for the A+ exam and the A+ technician.


Because a lot of folks nowadays don't even have a desktop computer. Folks, a lot of times, are moving to only laptops, because they're so portable, convenient, and really relatively powerful. Also, we'll take a look at various installation methods, because Windows allows you to do many different types of installations using different versions of Windows.


Some of them are more corporate in nature, and some of them are more just a single installation, like you might do in a home or a small office. And then continuing on, we'll also be addressing the interface for Windows, or the UI, which is the User Interface.


And then we'll take a look at some compatibility issues that you have to be aware of as well. This is a big issue, especially when it comes to things such as various applications that may or may not be compatible with the version of Windows that your customer has.


We'll take a look at Windows files, where a lot of those can be found, what some of the different folders, and what their importance is. We'll take a look at users, groups. Users are members of certain groups. And then once they're a member of a certain group, they have access to certain resources, if you've assigned them permission to those.


So we'll look at how that relationship all works together. We'll take a look at Windows tools. Mostly they're useful for troubleshooting and diagnostics, so we'll address those. And then, as well, general Windows troubleshooting. And this is a very broad topic, because there's virtually no end to the amount of troubleshooting that Windows needs at various times.


But I'm going to share with you some of the most common and most powerful methods for troubleshooting a Windows system. And then there's several other things relating to a A+ as well. One of those would be networking, which is a big issue. You're going to do networking in almost any environment you're in.


Whether you're in a corporation or setting up a home PC for a user, everybody's using networking somehow or another, even if it's just to connect to the internet. And you need to be well-versed with all the various aspects of networking. We'll take a look at security as well.


This is a growing concern in any environment, whether it's the home PC or the corporation. And we'll take a look at how to deal with some security issues that you might run into there. Also, customer service is very important. Because, in the past, a lot of technicians have just been very stoic about how they deal with the customer's problems and things.


And although it's not our job to give them a good feeling at all times, we're not their therapist, at the same time it's very important to have good courtesy, politeness, and to give them as good a feeling as we can about the work we've done for that person.


Also, we'll take a look at virtualization. This is really an important exam objective that's new with the 2012 version of this exam. And that's because a lot of people use it nowadays. Sometimes desktop users use it as well as IT department professionals.


So it's a pretty big issue there. And this is where you can run one operating system inside of another. You actually might be able to run multiple operating systems on one computer. Kind of weird, huh? We'll also take a look at some custom configurations.


Different people have different requirements. Someone that works with AutoCAD will have different requirements than someone has an A/V workstation that works with a lot of video editing, for example. We'll take a look at mobile devices. This is going to be the difference between the Android and Apple's iOS.


And this is going to have content on how to configure various components of it, such as how to set up GPS location services, the email accounts on the devices, and things of this nature. Again, a new item. All these things from here down, by the way, are all new with the 2012 exam.


OK? So that's the mobile devices. There's also prohibited content. It's very uncomfortable and sometimes terrible when you are working on someone's computer and you stumble across something that's either against company policy or, even worse, downright illegal.


And we certainly don't want to see that. But if you do see it, you have to know what course of action to take. We don't take the place of law enforcement, but we have to know what course of action to take. So that's very important. And then as far as 2012 goes on troubleshooting, I'm just pointing out some new issues that appear on the exam objectives for troubleshooting with the 2012 version of this exam.


So that'll get you well on your way to being a qualified A+ expert technician. Well, once again, my name is James Conrad. I'm very excited about this series. It's a lot of fun, and it's a good foundation for anybody entering into the IT field. With that, let's go ahead and get started and move on to your next video, which we call Nuggets here in CBT Nuggets parlance.


All right. Let's get started.

PC Overview

Tools and ESD

Motherboards Part 1: Architecture and Form Factors

Motherboards Part 2: Tour of Parts and Components

Motherboards Part 3: Assembly/Disassembly, Diagnose/Repair


Buses and Expansion Slots

Resources and Ports

Peripherals and Input

Audio, Video, and Cameras

Storage Part 1

Storage Part 2

Storage Part 3

Storage Part 4


CPU Part 1

CPU Part 2


Printers Part 1: Types

Printers Part 2: Connections, Installation, Sharing

Printers Part 3: Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Laptops Part 1

Laptops Part 2

Installation Part 1

Installation Part 2

Interface and Compatibility

Windows Files

Users, Groups, and File Resources

Windows Tools and Diagnostics Part 1

Windows Tools and Diagnostics Part 2

Windows Troubleshooting Part 1

Windows Troubleshooting Part 2

Troubleshooting and Procedure

Networking Part 1

Networking Part 2

Networking Part 3

Networking Part 4

Networking Part 5

Networking Part 6

Networking Part 7

Security Part 1

Security Part 2

Customer Service

Windows 7


2012 Update: Troubleshooting Part 1

2012 Update: Troubleshooting Part 2

2012 Update: Hardware

2012 Update: Sockets and CPUs

2012 Update: Display

2012 Update: Networking

2012 Update: Evaluating Custom Configurations

2012 Update: Laptops and Printers

2012 Update: Virtualization

2012 Update: Mobile Devices

2012 Update: Dealing with Prohibited Content/Activity

2012 Update: Security

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Entry 36 hrs 58 videos


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James Conrad
Nugget trainer since 2003