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Week 1

(Covers Chapters 1 and 2) In Upgrading and Repairing PC's

Building Skills


This week's goal is to give you a general understanding of the history of PCs and basic system architecture, and the differences between the PC/XT and the AT type computers. You'll also learn about electrostatic discharge (ESD) and how to safely work on your computer.

The following exercises will help you build your skills in working with computers.

Exercise 1: Reading Assignment

Read Chapters 1 and 2 of the textbook.

Exercise 2:


Exercise 3:

Using SANDRA 1.1 to view a systems configuration.

Exercise 2: Using UPGRADE.HLP

This exercise uses the help file UPGRADE.HLP. UPGRADE.HLP, which works with Windows 3.x, Windows 9x, Windows 2000 and Windows NT, is a hypertext utility that enables you to search for and print computer terms and concepts. What is hypertext? Hypertext is the linking of related information. For example, selecting a word in a sentence retrieves information about that word, if it exists. In UPGRADE.HLP, such cross-references are highlighted. When you select a highlighted word or phrase, you are either shown or taken to its definition. Hypertext is ideal for quickly finding definitions of unfamiliar words or phrases. Hypertext is often likened to a deck of index cards through which you can move.

UPGRADE.HLP is found on the Student Resource CD-ROM in the back of this workbook. You can use this help file directly from the CD-ROM, or you can copy the file to a directory on the hard drive.


The programs that are found on the CD-ROM work much faster when they are copied to and used from the hard drive.

The UPGRADE.HLP file is used throughout this workbook as a reference tutorial to help you become familiar with the terms introduced in each chapter. You can use the UPGRADE.HLP file to look up the definitions of the terms listed in each chapter.

This exercise helps you become familiar with the computer (the system unit, monitor, and keyboard), and comfortable with using software (the instructions that tell the computer what to do).


Check off each step as you complete it.

1.         With the computer turned on and Windows running, copy the file UPGRADE.HLP to your root, or top, directory of the hard drive. (In Windows 95, directories are called folders.)

For example, open File Manager (Windows 3.x, Windows NT 3.x) or Windows Explorer (Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.x) and copy the file UPGRADE.HLP from the CD-ROM to the root directory (typically drive C:\).

2.         Open the Windows help file UPGRADE.HLP.

After copying the UPGRADE.HLP file to your hard drive, find it and double-click on it from your File Manager or Windows Explorer directory. Because the file ends with the three-letter extension .HLP, Windows knows to start WINHELP.EXE, the Windows Help utility. The program starts with a main menu screen (see Figure 1.1).

Figure 1.1

The UPGRADE.HLP help file.

If you are running the program from the CD-ROM drive, it takes a few moments longer to load the program than it might from a hard drive. The speed of UPGRADE.HLP is also affected by the speed of the computer's central processing unit (CPU).

1.         Examine the main screen, reading the titles and text.

Note the four columns of letters onscreen. Each represents words that start with that letter. Read the introductory text and instructions.

2.         Now it's time to experiment with the help file.

Notice that each of the letters is underlined, and in a different color than the rest of the screen. When you click that letter, you can access the glossary terms beginning with that letter. Now, press B or click the Back button. This takes you back to the previous menu; in this case, you are returned to the main screen.

3.         Select a term in which you are interested.

First select the letter of the term you seek and then select it from the subsequent screen. Use the Page Down/Page Up keys to display more terms than can fit on one screen. Double-clicking the term displays it. When you have finished reading about that topic, press B or click the Back button repeatedly until you return to the main screen.

4.         Now search for a specific phrase (see Figure 1.2).

Press S or click the Search button to open the Index window. Notice that you have two choices: You can enter the first few letters of a specific phrase, or you can select an index entry from the bottom window.

Figure 1.2

Press S to search for a specific word.

1.         Enter a search word. Type processor and press Enter.

Text about processors is displayed.

2.         Repeat the search, but instead of using processor, simply type the word fragment pro and press Enter.

Note that all topics that begin with the fragment pro are displayed.

3.         Press S (search). Do not enter a search word.

A list of all index entries appears. Press Tab until you are in the list of entries. Press Page Down until you can see the word CPU. Use the up and down arrow keys to highlight this word, and then press Enter. Note that some of the words, such as 80486SX, are green and underlined. Press Tab to move to the word 80486SX, and then press Enter. You are taken to the definition for 486SX. This "jump" demonstrates the hypertext feature of UPGRADE.HLP. After you read the definition, press B. You are returned to the CPU definition.

4.         Print the topic.

Select and view the term DSP. From the File menu, select Print Topic to print the definition. If you need to change the default printer, select it from the "Name" drop-down box.

5.         Press S to search. Select and view the term IBM AT. Read the definition.

6.         From the Bookmark pull-down menu, select Define to mark the record for later review.

Windows automatically names the bookmark; however, you can enter a different word or phrase to easily remember what was marked. When finished naming your bookmark, press Enter.

7.         Press S to search. Select and view the term Pentium. Read the definition.

8.                   Select and view the term cluster. Read the definition.

9.         Select Bookmark and place a bookmark on cluster. Press B (Back) to return to the main menu.

10.        Click Bookmark.

Note that your bookmarks are numbered.

11.        Select your first bookmark for IBM AT.

You are automatically returned to that definition. The Bookmark feature enables you to mark several screens that you might want to return to later for further study or printing.


To delete a bookmark, choose Define from the Bookmark menu and highlight the bookmark you want to delete. Click Delete from the right column of buttons.

1.         Search for the term Wide SCSI. From the Edit menu, select Annotate.

In addition to bookmarks, you also can add your own notes or opinions. This is called annotation.

2.         Enter some notes about this term and choose Save.

Note the paper clip symbol that appears next to the term. This indicates that you have attached your own notes to this help topic. By clicking this symbol, you are taken to your notes.


To delete an annotation, click the paper clip symbol and then click the Delete button.

1.         You also can copy the text in the UPGRADE.HLP file to the Windows Clipboard for use in a word processor.

Search for the term zip drive. Highlight a portion of the text with your mouse and, from the Edit pull-down menu, choose Copy. Open the Windows Notepad or your favorite word processor. From the Edit menu, choose Paste, and the text is pasted into your document.

2.         Perform another search; scroll through the index until you find a term that interests you and then select that term. Continue to browse as long as you want.

3.         When you are ready to exit, press Alt+F4 or, from the File pull-down menu, choose Exit.

You are returned to the Windows screen.

Coming to Terms

Using the UPGRADE.HLP file, locate each of the following terms and, in your own words, write a short definition for each.

1.         bit

2.         vacuum tube

3.         CD-ROM

4.         software

5.         hardware

6.         backup

7.         Pentium

8.         DOS

9.         Windows

10.        transistor

11.        integrated circuit

12.        virus

13.        CP/M

14.        IBM PC

15.        Apple II

16.        Altair

17.        8088

18.        BIOS

19.        Apple

20.        RAM

21.        ROM

22.        CPU

23.        AT

24.        PC/XT

25.        ISA

26.        MCA

27.        32-bit

28.        VLBus

29.        EISA

30.        PCI

31.        UART

32.        CMOS

33.        documentation

34.        AGP

35.        super I/O chip

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