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Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1050 GLOSSARY
10BaseT Ethernet LAN designed to run on UTP cabling. 10BaseT runs at 10 megabits per second. The
maximum length for the cabling between the NIC and
the hub (or switch, repeater, etc.) is 100 meters. It uses
baseband signaling. No industry standard spelling exists, so sometimes written 10BASE-T or 10Base-T.
100BaseT Generic term for an Ethernet cabling system designed to run at 100 megabits per second on UTP
cabling. It uses baseband signaling. No industry standard spelling exists, so sometimes written 100BASE-T
1000BaseT Gigabit Ethernet on UTP. 2.1 Speaker setup consisting of two stereo speakers
combined with a subwoofer.
3.5-inch floppy drive All modern floppy disk drives are
of this size; the format was introduced in 1986 and is one of
the longest surviving pieces of computer hardware.
34-pin ribbon cable
drives. Type of cable used by floppy disk 3-D graphics Video technology that attempts to create images with the same depth and texture as objects
seen in the real world.
40-pin ribbon cable Type of cable used to attach EIDE
devices (such as hard drives) or ATAPI devices (such
as optical drives) to a system.
5.1 speaker system Four satellite speakers plus a center speaker and a subwoofer.
8.3 naming system File-naming convention that specified a maximum of eight characters for a filename, followed by a 3-character file extension. Has been
replaced by LFN (long filename) support.
80-wire ribbon cable Type of cable used to attach fast
EIDE devices (such as ATA/100 hard drives) or ATAPI
devices (such as optical drives) to a system.
802.11a Wireless networking standard that operates
in the 5-GHz band with a theoretical maximum
throughput of 54 Mbps. 1050 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:25 PM 802.11b Wireless networking standard that operates
in the 2.4-GHz band with a theoretical maximum
throughput of 11 Mbps.
802.11g Wireless networking standard that operates
in the 2.4-GHz band with a theoretical maximum
throughput of 54 Mbps and is backward compatible
802.11n Wireless networking standard that can operate
in both the 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands and uses MIMO
to achieve a theoretical maximum throughput of 100+
A/V sync Process of synchronizing audio and video. AC (alternating current) Type of electricity in which
the flow of electrons alternates direction, back and
forth, in a circuit.
AC’97 Sound card standard for lower-end audio devices; created when most folks listened to stereo sound
access control Security concept using physical security, authentication, users and groups, and security
ACPI (advanced configuration and power interface)
Power management specification that far surpasses its
predecessor, APM, by providing support for hotswappable devices and better control of power modes.
activation Process of confirming that an installed
copy of a Microsoft product (most commonly Windows
or a Microsoft Office application) is legitimate. Usually
done at the end of software installation.
active matrix Type of liquid crystal display that replaced the passive matrix technology used in most portable computer displays. Also called TFT (thin film
active partition On a hard drive, primary partition
that contains an operating system.
active PFC (power factor correction) Circuitry
into PC power supplies to reduce harmonics. built Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1051 ad hoc mode Decentralized wireless network mode,
otherwise known as peer-to-peer mode, where each
wireless node is in direct contact with every other
Add or Remove Programs Applet allowing users to
manually add or remove a program from the system.
address bus Wires leading from the CPU to the memory controller chip (usually the Northbridge) that enable the CPU to address RAM. Also used by the CPU
for I/O addressing. An internal electronic channel
from the microprocessor to random access memory,
along which the addresses of memory storage locations
are transmitted. Like a post office box, each memory location has a distinct number or address; the address
bus provides the means by which the microprocessor
can access every location in memory.
address space Total amount of memory addresses
that an address bus can contain.
administrative shares Administrator tool to give local
admins access to hard drives and system root folders. 66 MHz and yields a throughput of at least 254 Mbps.
Later versions (2×, 4×, 8×) give substantially higher
algorithm Set of rules for solving a problem in a given
number of steps.
ALU (arithmetic logic unit) CPU logic circuits that
perform basic arithmetic (add, subtract, multiply, and
AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) CPU and chipset
manufacturer that competes with Intel. Produces the
popular Phenom, Athlon, Sempron, Turion, and
Duron microprocessors; also produces video card processors under its ATI brand.
AMI (American Megatrends, Inc) Major producer of
BIOS software for motherboards, as well as many other
computer-related components and software.
amperes (amps or A)
or electrical current.
amplitude Unit of measure for amperage, Loudness of a sound card. Administrative Tools Group of Control Panel applets,
including Computer Management, Event Viewer, and
Reliability and Performance Monitor. AMR (audio/modem riser) Proprietary slot used on
some motherboards to provide a sound inference–free
connection for modems, sound cards, and NICs. Administrator account User account, created when
the OS is first installed, that is allowed complete, unfettered access to the system without restriction. analog Device that uses a physical quantity, such as
length or voltage, to represent the value of a number.
By contrast, digital storage relies on a coding system of
numeric units. Administrators group List of members with complete
ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) Fully digital, dedicated connection to the telephone system that
provides average download speeds of 7 Mbps and upload speeds of 512 Kbps.
Advanced Startup Options menu Menu that can be
reached during the boot process that offers advanced
OS startup options, such as boot in Safe mode or boot
into Last Known Good Configuration.
adware Type of malicious program that downloads
ads to a user’s computer, generating undesirable network traffic. anti-aliasing In computer imaging, blending effect
that smoothes sharp contrasts between two regions—
e.g., jagged lines or different colors. Reduces jagged
edges of text or objects. In voice signal processing, process of removing or smoothing out spurious frequencies from waveforms produced by converting digital
signals back to analog.
anti-static bag Bag made of anti-static plastic into
which electronics are placed for temporary or longterm storage. Used to protect components from electrostatic discharge. Aero The Windows Vista desktop environment.
Aero adds some interesting aesthetic effects such as
window transparency and Flip 3D. anti-static mat Special surface on which to lay electronics. These mats come with a grounding connection
designed to equalize electrical potential between a
workbench and one or more electronic devices. Used to
prevent electrostatic discharge. AGP (accelerated graphics port) 32/64-bit expansion
slot designed by Intel specifically for video that runs at anti-static wrist strap Special device worn around the
wrist with a grounding connection designed to equalize Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:25 PM 1051 Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1052 electrical potential between a technician and an electronic device. Used to prevent electrostatic discharge.
antivirus program Software designed to combat viruses by either seeking out and destroying them or passively guarding against them.
API (application programming interface) Software
definition that describes operating system calls for application software; conventions defining how a service
APIPA (Automatic Private IP Addressing) Feature of
Windows that automatically assigns an IP address to
the system when the client cannot obtain an IP address
APM (advanced power management) BIOS routines
that enable the CPU to turn on and off selected peripherals.
applet Generic term for a program in the Windows
archive To copy programs and data onto a relatively
inexpensive storage medium (disk, tape, etc.) for longterm retention.
archive attribute Attribute of a file that shows
whether the file has been backed up since the last
change. Each time a file is opened, changed, or saved,
the archive bit is turned on. Some types of backups turn
off this archive bit to indicate that a good backup of the
file exists on tape.
ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) Protocol in the
TCP/IP suite used with the command-line utility of the
same name to determine the MAC address that corresponds to a particular IP address.
ASCII (American Standard Code for Information
Interchange) Industry-standard 8-bit characters used
to define text characters, consisting of 96 upper- and
lowercase letters, plus 32 nonprinting control characters, each of which is numbered. These numbers were
designed to achieve uniformity among computer devices for printing and the exchange of simple text documents.
aspect ratio Ratio of width to height of an object.
Standard television has a 4:3 aspect ratio.
ASR (Automated System Recovery) Windows XP tool
designed to recover a badly corrupted Windows system; similar to ERD. 1052 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:25 PM assertive communication Means of communication
that is not pushy or bossy but is also not soft. Useful in
dealing with upset customers as it both defuses their
anger and gives them confidence that you know what
AT (advanced technology) Model name of the secondgeneration, 80286-based IBM computer. Many aspects
of the AT, such as the BIOS, CMOS, and expansion bus,
have become de facto standards in the PC industry. The
physical organization of the components on the motherboard is called the AT form factor.
ATA (AT attachment) Type of hard drive and controller designed to replace the earlier ST506 and ESDI
drives without requiring replacement of the AT
BIOS—hence, AT attachment. These drives are more
popularly known as IDE drives. (See IDE.) The ATA/33
standard has drive transfer speeds up to 33 MBps; the
ATA/66 up to 66 MBps; the ATA/100 up to 100 MBps;
and the ATA/133 up to 133 MBps. (See Ultra DMA.)
ATA/ATAPI-6 Also known as ATA-6 or “Big Drive.”
Replaced the INT13 extensions and allowed for hard
drives as large as 144 petabytes (144 million GBs).
ATAPI (ATA packet interface) Series of standards
that enable mass storage devices other than hard drives
to use the IDE/ATA controllers. Popular with optical
drives. (See EIDE.)
ATAPI-compliant Devices that utilize the ATAPI
standard. (See ATAPI.)
Athlon Name used for a popular series of CPUs manufactured by AMD.
ATTRIB.EXE Command used to view the specific
properties of a file; can also be used to modify or remove
file properties, such as read-only, system, or archive.
attributes Values in a file that determine the hidden,
read-only, system, and archive status of the file.
ATX (AT eXtended) Popular motherboard form factor that generally replaced the AT form factor.
authentication Any method a computer uses to determine who can access it.
authorization Any method a computer uses to determine what a specific user can do.
autodetection Process through which new disks are
automatically recognized by the BIOS. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1053 Automatic Updates Feature allowing updates to Windows to be retrieved automatically over the Internet.
AutoPlay Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 setting, along
with autorun.inf, enabling Windows to automatically
detect media files and begin using them. (See
AUTORUN.INF File included on some media that automatically launches a program or installation routine
when the media is inserted/attached to a system.
autosensing Better quality sound cards use
autosensing to detect a device plugged into a port and
to adapt the features of that port.
auto-switching power supply Type of power supply
able to detect the voltage of a particular outlet and adjust accordingly.
motherboards. Major producer of BIOS software for backlight One of three main components used in
LCDs to illuminate an image.
backside bus Set of wires that connect the CPU to
Level 2 cache. First appearing in the Pentium Pro, all
modern CPUs have a backside bus. Some buses run at
the full speed of the CPU, whereas others run at a fraction. Earlier Pentium IIs, for example, had backside
buses running at half the speed of the processor. (See
also frontside bus and external data bus.)
Backup or Restore Wizard Utility contained within
Windows that allows users to create system backups
and set system restore points.
ball mouse Input device that enables users to manipulate a cursor on the screen by using a ball and sensors
that detect the movement and direction of the ball.
bandwidth Piece of the spectrum occupied by some
form of signal, such as television, voice, fax data. Signals require a certain size and location of bandwidth to
be transmitted. The higher the bandwidth, the faster
the signal transmission, allowing for a more complex
signal such as audio or video. Because bandwidth is a
limited space, when one user is occupying it, others
must wait their turn. Bandwidth is also the capacity of
a network to transmit a given amount of data during a
bank Total number of SIMMs or DIMMs that can be
accessed simultaneously by the chipset. The “width” of Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:25 PM the external data bus divided by the “width” of the
SIMM or DIMM sticks. DIMM slots must be populated
to activate dual- or triple-channel memory.
bar code reader Tool to read Universal Product Code
(UPC) bar codes.
basic disks Hard drive partitioned in the “classic”
way with a master boot record (MBR) and partition table. (See also dynamic disks.)
baud One analog cycle on a telephone line. In the
early days of telephone data transmission, the baud
rate was often analogous to bits per second. Due to advanced modulation of baud cycles as well as data compression, this is no longer true.
BD-RE (Blu-ray Disc-REwritable) Blu-ray Disc equivalent of the rewritable DVD, allows writing and rewriting several times on the same BD. (See Blu-ray Disc.)
BD-ROM Blu-ray Disc equivalent of a DVD-ROM or
CD-ROM. (See Blu-ray Disc.)
beaming Term used to describe transferring data
from one PDA to another by means of IrDA.
beep codes Series of audible tones produced by a
motherboard during the POST. These tones identify
whether the POST has completed successfully or
whether some piece of system hardware is not working
properly. Consult the manual for your particular motherboard for a specific list of beep codes.
binary numbers Number system with a base of 2, unlike the number systems most of us use that have bases
of 10 (decimal numbers), 12 (measurement in feet and
inches), and 60 (time). Binary numbers are preferred
for computers for precision and economy. An electronic circuit that can detect the difference between two
states (on–off, 0–1) is easier and more inexpensive to
build than one that could detect the differences among
ten states (0–9).
biometric device Hardware device used to support
authentication; works by scanning and remembering
unique aspects of a user’s various body parts (e.g., retina, iris, face, or fingerprint) by using some form of
sensing device such as a retinal scanner.
BIOS (basic input/output system) Classically,
software routines burned onto the system ROM of a PC.
More commonly seen as any software that directly controls a particular piece of hardware. A set of programs
encoded in read-only memory (ROM) on computers. 1053 Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1054 These programs handle startup operations and lowlevel control of hardware such as disk drives, the keyboard, and monitor.
bit Single binary digit. Also, any device that can be in
an on or off state.
BitLocker Drive Encryption Drive encryption software offered in Windows Vista/7 Ultimate and Enterprise editions. BitLocker requires a special chip to
validate hardware status and to ensure that the computer hasn’t been hacked.
bit depth Number of colors a video card is capable of
producing. Common bit depths are 16-bit and 32-bit,
representing 65,536 colors and 16.7 million colors, respectively. bootstrap loader Segment of code in a system’s BIOS
that scans for an operating system, looks specifically
for a valid boot sector, and, when one is found, hands
control over to the boot sector; then the bootstrap
loader removes itself from memory.
bps (bits per second) Measurement of how fast data
is moved from one place to another. A 56K modem can
move ~56,000 bits per second.
broadband Commonly understood as a reference to
high-speed, always-on communication links that can
move large files much more quickly than a regular
browser Program specifically designed to retrieve,
interpret, and display Web pages. Bluetooth Wireless technology designed to create small
wireless networks preconfigured to do specific jobs, but
not meant to replace full-function networks or Wi-Fi. BSoD (Blue Screen of Death) Infamous error screen
that appears when Windows encounters an unrecoverable error. Blu-ray Disc (BD) Optical disc format that stores 25 or
50 GB of data, designed to be the replacement media
for DVD. Competed with HD DVD. BTX (Balanced Technology eXtended) Motherboard
form factor designed as an improvement over ATX. boot To initiate an automatic routine that clears the
memory, loads the operating system, and prepares the
computer for use. Term is derived from “pull yourself
up by your bootstraps.” PCs must do that because
RAM doesn’t retain program instructions when power
is turned off. A cold boot occurs when the PC is physically switched on. A warm boot loads a fresh OS without turning off the computer, lessening the strain on
the electronic circuitry. To do a warm boot, press the
CTRL-ALT-DELETE keys twice in rapid succession (the
boot sector First sector on a PC hard drive or floppy
disk, track 0. The boot-up software in ROM tells the
computer to load whatever program is found there. If a
system disk is read, the program in the boot record directs the computer to the root directory to load the operating system. buffered/registered DRAM Usually seen in motherboards supporting more than four sticks of RAM, it is
required to address interference issues caused by the
buffer underrun Inability of a source device to provide a CD-burner with a constant stream of data while
burning a CD-R or CD-RW.
bug Programming error that causes a program or a
computer system to perform erratically, produce incorrect results, or crash. The term was coined when a real
bug was found in one of the circuits of one of the first
burn Process of writing data to a writable optical
disc, such as a DVD-R.
burn-in failure Critical failure usually associated
with manufacturing defects. BOOT.INI Text file used during the boot process that
provides a list of all OSs currently installed and available for NTLDR. Also tells where each OS is located on
the system. Used in Windows XP and earlier Microsoft
operating systems. bus Series of wires connecting two or more separate
electronic devices, enabling those devices to communicate. bootable disk Disk that contains a functional operating system; can also be a floppy disk, USB thumb drive,
or optical disc. bus topology Network configuration wherein all computers connect to the network via a central bus cable. 1054 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:25 PM bus mastering Circuitry allowing devices to avoid
conflicts on the external data bus. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1055 byte Unit of eight bits; fundamental data unit of personal computers. Storing the equivalent of one character, the byte is also the basic unit of measurement for
CAB files Short for cabinet files. These files are compressed and most commonly used during OS installation to store many smaller files, such as device drivers.
cache (disk) Special area of RAM that stores the data
most frequently accessed from the hard drive. Cache
memory can optimize the use of your systems.
cache (L1, L2, L3, etc.) Special section of fast memory, usually built into the CPU, used by the onboard
logic to store information most frequently accessed by
calibration Process of matching the print output of a
printer to the visual output of a monitor.
card reader Device with which you can read data
from one of several types of flash memory.
card services Uppermost level of PCMCIA services.
Card services level recognizes the function of a particular PC Card and provides the specialized drivers necessary to make the card work. (See also socket services.)
CardBus 32-bit PC cards that can support up to eight
devices on each card. Electrically incompatible with
earlier PC cards (3.3 V versus 5 V).
CAT 5 Category 5 wire; a TIA/EIA standard for UTP
wiring that can operate up to 100 megabits per second.
CAT 5e Category 5e wire; TIA/EIA standard for UTP
wiring that can operate up to 1 gigabit per second.
CAT 6 Category 6 wire; TIA/EIA standard for UTP
wiring that can operate up to 10 gigabits per second.
catastrophic failure Occurs when a component or
whole system will not boot; usually related to a manufacturing defect of a component. Could also be caused
by overheating and physical damage to computer components.
CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamp) Light technology used in LCDs and flatbed scanners. CCFLs use relatively little power for the amount of light they
CD (CHDIR) DOS shorthand for “Change Directory.”
Allows you to change the focus of the command
prompt from one directory to another. Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:25 PM CD (compact disc) Originally designed as the replacement for vinyl records, CDs have become the primary method of long-term storage of music and data.
CD quality CD-quality audio has a sample rate of 44.4
KHz and a bit rate of 128 bits.
CD-DA (CD-digital audio) Special format used for
early CD-ROMs and all audio CDs; divides data into
variable length tracks. A good format to use for audio
tracks but terrible for data because of lack of error
CD-R (compact disc recordable) CD technology that
accepts a single “burn” but cannot be erased after that
CD-ROM (compact disc/read only memory) Readonly compact storage disk for audio or video data. Recordable devices, such as CD-Rs, are updated versions
of the older CD-ROM players. CD-ROMs are read by
using CD-ROM drives.
CD-RW (compact disc rewritable) CD
that accepts multiple reads/writes like a hard drive.
Celeron Lower-cost brand of Intel CPUs. Cellular WAN Technology that allows laptops and
other mobile devices to access the Internet over a cell
cellular wireless networks Networks that enable cell
phones, PDAs, and other mobile devices to connect to
Centrino Marketing name for an Intel laptop solution
including the mobile processor, support chips and
printers. Connector used with older certification License that demonstrates competency
in some specialized skill.
Certified Cisco Network Associate (CCNA) One of the
certifications demonstrating a knowledge of Cisco networking products.
CHAP (Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol)
Common remote access protocol; serving system challenges the remote client, usually by means of asking for
chassis intrusion detection Feature offered in some
chassis that trips a switch when the chassis is opened.
1055 Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1056 chipset Electronic chips, specially designed to work
together, that handle all of the low-level functions of a
PC. In the original PC, the chipset consisted of close to
30 different chips; today, chipsets usually consist of
one, two, or three separate chips embedded into a
CHKDSK (Checkdisk) Hard drive error detection and,
to a certain extent, correction utility in Windows. Originally a DOS command (CHKDSK.EXE); also the executable for the graphical Error-checking tool.
clean installation Operating system installed on a
fresh drive, following a reformat of that drive. Often
the only way to correct a problem with a system when
many of the crucial operating system files have become
client Computer program that uses the services of
another computer program. Software that extracts information from a server; your auto-dial phone is a client, and the phone company is its server. Also, a
machine that accesses shared resources on a server. CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor)
Originally, the type of non-volatile RAM that held information about the most basic parts of your PC, such
as hard drives, floppies, and amount of DRAM. Today,
actual CMOS chips have been replaced by Flash-type
non-volatile RAM. The information is the same, however, and is still called CMOS—even though it is now
almost always stored on Flash RAM.
CMOS setup program Program enabling you to access and update CMOS data.
CNR (Communications and Network Riser) Proprietary slot used on some motherboards to provide a
sound inference–free connection for modems, sound
cards, and NICs.
coaxial cable Cabling in which an internal conductor
is surrounded by another, outer conductor, thus sharing the same axis. client/server Relationship in which client software
obtains services from a server on behalf of a person. code Set of symbols representing characters (e.g.,
ASCII code) or instructions in a computer program (a
programmer writes source code, which must be translated into executable or machine code for the computer
to use). client/server network Network that has dedicated
server machines and client machines. codec (compressor/decompressor) Software that compresses or decompresses media streams. Single charge to the clock wire of a CPU. color depth Term to define a scanner’s ability to produce color, hue, and shade. clock cycle clock-multiplying CPU CPU that takes the incoming
clock signal and multiples it inside the CPU to let the
internal circuitry of the CPU run faster.
clock speed Speed at which a CPU executes instructions, measured in MHz or GHz. In modern CPUs, the
internal speed is a multiple of the external speed. (See
also clock-multiplying CPU.)
clock (CLK) wire Charge on the CLK wire to tell the
CPU that another piece of information is waiting to be
cluster Basic unit of storage on a floppy or hard disk.
Multiple sectors are contained in a cluster. When Windows stores a file on a disk, it writes those files into
dozens or even hundreds of contiguous clusters. If
there aren’t enough contiguous open clusters available,
the operating system finds the next open cluster and
writes there, continuing this process until the entire file
is saved. The FAT or MFT tracks how the files are distributed among the clusters on the disk. 1056 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:26 PM COM port(s) Serial communications ports available
on your computer. When used as a program extension,
.COM indicates an executable program file limited to
command A request, typed from a terminal or embedded in a file, to perform an operation or to execute a
mands. Text prompt for entering com- command-line interface User interface for an OS devoid of all graphical trappings.
Compact Flash (CF) One of the older but still popular
flash media formats. Its interface uses a simplified PC
Card bus, so it also supports I/O devices.
compatibility modes Feature of Windows 2000 and
beyond to allow software written for previous versions
of Windows to operate in newer operating systems. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1057 compliance Concept that members of an organization
must abide by the rules of that organization. For a technician, this often revolves around what software can or
cannot be installed on an organization’s computer.
component failure Occurs when a system device fails
due to manufacturing or some other type of defect.
compression Process of squeezing data to eliminate
redundancies, allowing files to use less space when
stored or transmitted.
CompTIA A+ 220-701 (Essentials) One half of the
CompTIA A+ exam, concentrating on understanding
terminology and technology, how to do fundamental
tasks, and basic Windows operating system support.
CompTIA A+ 220-702 (Practical Application) Other
half of the CompTIA A+ exam, covering advanced
troubleshooting and configuration.
CompTIA A+ certification Industry-wide,
vendorneutral computer certification program that demonstrates competency as a computer technician.
CompTIA Network+ certification Industry-wide,
vendor-neutral certification for network technicians,
covering network hardware, installation, and troubleshooting.
Computer (Vista) Default interface in Windows Vista
and 7 for Windows Explorer; displays drives and network locations. (See My Computer.)
Computer Administrator One of three types of user
accounts, the Administrator account has access to all
resources on the computer.
Computer Management Applet in Windows’ Administrative Tools that contains several useful snap-ins,
such as Device Manager and Disk Management.
computing process Four parts of a computer’s operation: input, processing, output, and storage.
Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)
Nonprofit IT trade association that administers the
CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ exams.
conditioning charger Battery charger that contains intelligent circuitry that prevents portable computer batteries from being overcharged and damaged.
connectors Small receptacles used to attach cables to
a system. Common types of connectors include USB,
PS/2, and DB-25. Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:26 PM consumables Materials used up by printers, including paper, ink, ribbons, and toner cartridges.
container file File containing two or more separate,
compressed tracks, typically an audio and a moving
picture track. Also known as a wrapper.
context menu Small menu brought up by right-clicking
on objects in Windows.
Control Panel Collection of Windows applets, or
small programs, that can be used to configure various
pieces of hardware and software in a system.
controller card Card adapter that connects devices,
such as a disk drive, to the main computer bus/
convergence Measure of how sharply a single pixel
appears on a CRT; a monitor with poor convergence
produces images that are not sharply defined.
copy backup Type of backup similar to Normal or
Full, in that all selected files on a system are backed up.
This type of backup does not change the archive bit of
the files being backed up.
COPY command Command in the command line interface for making a copy of a file and pasting it in another location.
core Name used for the family of Intel CPUs that succeeded the Pentium 4.
counter Used to track data about a particular object
when using the Performance console.
CPU (central processing unit) “Brain” of the computer. Microprocessor that handles primary calculations for the computer. CPUs are known by names such
as Pentium 4 and Athlon.
CRC (cyclic redundancy check) Very accurate mathematical method used to check for errors in long streams
of transmitted data. Before data is sent, the main computer uses the data to calculate a CRC value from the
data’s contents. If the receiver calculates a CRC value
different from the received data, the data was corrupted during transmission and is resent. Ethernet
packets have a CRC code.
C-RIMM or CRIMM (continuity RIMM) Passive device
added to populate unused banks in a system that uses
Rambus RIMMs. 1057 Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1058 crossover cable Special UTP cable used to connect
hubs or to connect network cards without a hub. Crossover cables reverse the sending and receiving wire
pairs from one end to the other. DC (direct current) Type of electricity in which the
flow of electrons is in a complete circle in one direction.
DDR SDRAM (double data rate SDRAM) Type
DRAM that makes two processes for every clock cycle.
(See also DRAM.) CRT (cathode ray tube) Tube of a monitor in which
rays of electrons are beamed onto a phosphorescent
screen to produce images. Also a shorthand way to describe a monitor that uses CRT rather than LCD technology. DDR2 SDRAM Type of SDRAM that sends four bits of
data in every clock cycle. (See also DDR SDRAM.) CSMA/CA (carrier sense multiple access with collision
avoidance) Networking scheme used by wireless devices to transmit data while avoiding data collisions,
which wireless nodes have difficulty detecting. debug To detect, trace, and eliminate errors in computer programs. CSMA/CD (carrier sense multiple access with collision
detection) Networking scheme used by Ethernet devices to transmit data and resend data after detecting
cylinder Single track on all the platters in a hard
drive. Imagine a hard drive as a series of metal cans,
nested one inside another; a single can would represent
daily backup Backup of all files that have been
changed on that day without changing the archive bits
of those files. Also called daily copy backup.
Daisy-chaining Method of connecting several devices
along a bus and managing the signals for each device.
data classification System of organizing data according to its sensitivity. Common classifications include
public, highly confidential, and top secret.
data structure Scheme that directs how an OS stores
and retrieves data on and off a drive. Used interchangeably with the term file system. (See also file
DB connectors D-shaped connectors used for a variety of connections in the PC and networking world.
Can be male (with prongs) or female (with holes) and
have a varying number of pins or sockets. Also called
D-sub, D-subminiature, or D-shell connectors.
DB-15 A two- or three-row DB connector (female)
used for 10Base5 networks, MIDI/joysticks, and analog video.
DB-25 connector DB connector (female), commonly
referred to as a parallel port connector. 1058 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:26 PM DDR3 SDRAM Type of SDRAM that transfers data at
twice the rate of DDR2 SDRAM. decibels Unit of measurement typically associated
with sound. The higher the number of decibels, the
louder the sound.
dedicated server Machine that is not used for any client functions, only server functions.
default gateway In a TCP/IP network, the nearest
router to a particular host. This router’s IP address is
part of the necessary TCP/IP configuration for communicating with multiple networks using IP.
definition file List of virus signatures that an
antivirus program can recognize.
defragmentation (DEFRAG) Procedure in which all the
files on a hard disk are rewritten on disk so that all parts
of each file reside in contiguous clusters. The result is an
improvement in disk speed during retrieval operations.
Degauss Procedure used to break up the electromagnetic fields that can build up on the cathode ray tube of
a monitor; involves running a current through a wire
loop. Most monitors feature a manual degaussing tool.
DEL (Erase) command Command in the command
line interface used to delete/erase files.
desktop User’s primary interface to the Windows operating system.
desktop extender Portable computer that offers some
of the features of a full-fledged desktop computer but
with a much smaller footprint and lower weight.
desktop replacement Portable computer that offers
the same performance as a full-fledged desktop computer; these systems are normally very heavy to carry
and often cost much more than the desktop systems
they replace. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1059 device driver Program used by the operating system
to control communications between the computer and
Device Manager Utility that enables techs to examine
and configure all the hardware and drivers in a Windows PC.
DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) Protocol that enables a DHCP server to set TCP/IP settings
automatically for a DHCP client.
differential backup Similar to an incremental backup.
Backs up the files that have been changed since the last
backup. This type of backup does not change the state
of the archive bit.
electronically. Camera that simulates film technology digital certificate Form in which a public key is sent
from a Web server to a Web browser so that the
browser can decrypt the data sent by the server.
digital zoom Software tool to enhance the optical
zoom capabilities of a digital camera.
digitally signed driver All drivers designed specifically for Windows are digitally signed, meaning they
are tested to work stably with these operating systems.
DIMM (dual inline memory module) 32- or 64-bit type
of DRAM packaging, similar to SIMMs, with the distinction that each side of each tab inserted into the system performs a separate function. DIMMs come in a
variety of sizes, with 184- and 240-pin being the most
common on desktop computers.
dipole antennae Standard straight-wire antennae
that provide the most omnidirectional function.
DIR command Command used in the command-line
interface to display the entire contents of the current
directory Another name for a folder. directory service Centralized index that each PC accesses to locate resources in the domain.
DirectX Set of APIs enabling programs to control
multimedia, such as sound, video, and graphics. Used
in Windows Vista to draw the Aero desktop.
Disk Cleanup Utility built into Windows that can
help users clean up their disks by removing temporary
Internet files, deleting unused program files, and more. Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:26 PM disk cloning Taking a PC and making duplicates of
the hard drive, including all data, software, and configuration files and transferring it to another PC. (See image installation.)
disk duplexing Type of disk mirroring using two separate controllers rather than one; faster than traditional
Disk Management Snap-in available with the Microsoft
Management Console that enables techs to configure the
various disks installed in a system; available in the Computer Management Administrative Tool.
disk mirroring Process by which data is written simultaneously to two or more disk drives. Read and
write speed is decreased but redundancy in case of catastrophe is increased.
disk quota Application allowing network administrators to limit hard drive space usage.
disk striping Process by which data is spread among
multiple (at least two) drives. Increases speed for both
reads and writes of data. Considered RAID level 0 because it does not provide fault tolerance.
disk striping with parity Method for providing fault
tolerance by writing data across multiple drives and
then including an additional drive, called a parity
drive, that stores information to rebuild the data contained on the other drives. Requires at least three physical disks: two for the data and a third for the parity
drive. This provides data redundancy at RAID levels
3–5 with different options.
disk thrashing Hard drive that is constantly being accessed due to lack of available system memory. When
system memory runs low, a Windows system will utilize hard disk space as “virtual” memory, thus causing
an unusual amount of hard drive access.
display adapter Handles all the communication between the CPU and the monitor. Also known as a video
Display applet Tool in Windows 2000 and Windows
XP used to adjust display settings, including resolution, refresh rate, driver information, and color depth.
DMA (direct memory access) modes Technique that
some PC hardware devices use to transfer data to and
from the memory without using the CPU. 1059 Color profile: Disabled
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devices and handles DMA requests.
DNS (domain name system) TCP/IP name resolution
system that translates a host name into an IP address.
DNS domain Specific branch of the DNS name space.
First-level DNS domains include .COM, .GOV, and .EDU.
docking station Device that provides a portable computer extra features such as a DVD drive or PC Card, in
addition to legacy and modern ports. Similar to a port
document Steps a technician uses to a solve a problem: To record the relevant information. For a technician, this would be recording each troubleshooting job:
what the problem was, how it was fixed, and other
Documents folder Windows Vista/7 folder for storing user-created files. Replaces the My Documents
folder previously used in Windows 2000/XP. (See My
Dolby Digital Technology for sound reductions and
channeling methods used for digital audio.
domain Groupings of users, computers, or networks.
In Microsoft networking, a domain is a group of computers and users that share a common account database, called a SAM, and a common security policy. On
the Internet, a domain is a group of computers that
share a common element in their hierarchical name.
Other types of domains exist—e.g., collision domain,
domain-based network Network that eliminates the
need for logging in to multiple servers by using domain
controllers to hold the security database for all systems.
DOS (Disk Operating System) First popular operating
system available for PCs. A text-based, single-tasking
operating system that was not completely replaced until the introduction of Windows 95.
dot pitch Value relating to CRTs, showing the diagonal
distance between phosphors measured in millimeters.
dot-matrix printer Printer that creates each character
from an array of dots. Pins striking a ribbon against the
paper, one pin for each dot position, form the dots. May
be a serial printer (printing one character at a time) or a
line printer. 1060 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:26 PM double-sided RAM RAM stick with RAM chips soldered to both sides of the stick. May only be used with
motherboards designed to accept double-sided RAM.
DPI (dots per inch) Measure of printer resolution that
counts the dots the device can produce per linear (horizontal) inch.
DPMS (Display Power-Management Signaling) Specification that can reduce CRT power consumption by 75
percent by reducing/eliminating video signals during
DRAM (dynamic random access memory or dynamic
RAM) Memory used to store data in most personal
computers. DRAM stores each bit in a “cell” composed
of a transistor and a capacitor. Because the capacitor in
a DRAM cell can only hold a charge for a few milliseconds, DRAM must be continually refreshed, or rewritten, to retain its data.
DriveLock CMOS program enabling you to control
the ATA security mode feature set. Also known as drive
driver signing Digital signature for drivers used by
Windows to protect against potentially bad drivers.
DS3D (DirectSound3D) Introduced with DirectX 3.0,
DS3D is a command set used to create positional audio,
or sounds that appear to come from in front, in back, or
to the side of a user. (See also DirectX.)
DSL (digital subscriber line) High-speed Internet connection technology that uses a regular telephone line
for connectivity. DSL comes in several varieties, including asynchronous (ADSL) and synchronous
(SDSL), and many speeds. Typical home-user DSL connections are ADSL with a download speed of 7 Mbps
and an upload speed of 512 Kbps.
D-subminiature See DB connectors. DTS (Digital Theatre Systems) Technology for sound
reductions and channeling methods, similar to Dolby
dual boot Refers to a computer with two operating
systems installed, enabling users to choose which operating system to load on boot. Can also refer to kicking a
device a second time just in case the first time didn’t
work. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1061 DualView Microsoft feature enbling Windows to use
two or more monitors simultaneously.
dual-channel architecture Using two sticks of RAM
(either RDRAM or DDR) to increase throughput.
dual-channel memory Form of DDR, DDR2, and
DDR3 memory access used by many motherboards
that requires two identical sticks of DDR, DDR2, or
dual-core Dual-core CPUs have two execution units
on the same physical chip but share caches and RAM.
dual-scan passive matrix Manufacturing technique
for increasing display updates by refreshing two lines
at a time.
dumpster diving To go through someone’s trash in
search of information.
DUN (Dial-Up Networking) Software used by Windows to govern the connection between the modem
and the ISP.
duplexing Similar to mirroring in that data is written
to and read from two physical drives, for fault tolerance. Separate controllers are used for each drive, both
for additional fault tolerance and additional speed.
Considered RAID level 1. Also called disk duplexing or
CPUs. Lower-cost version of AMD’s Athlon series of DVD (digital versatile disc) Optical disc format that
provides for 4–17 GB of video or data storage.
DVD-RW DVD equivalent of the standard CDRewritable DVD media. DVD-Video DVD format used exclusively to store
digital video; capable of storing over 2 hours of highquality video on a single DVD. dye-sublimation printers Printer that uses a roll of
heat-sensitive plastic film embedded with dyes, which
are vaporized and then solidified onto specially coated
paper to create a high-quality image.
dynamic disks Special feature of Windows that enables users to span a single volume across two or more
drives. Dynamic disks do not have partitions; they
have volumes. Dynamic disks can be striped, mirrored,
and striped or mirrored with parity.
EAX (Environment Audio eXtensions) 3-D
technology developed by Creative Labs but now supported by most sound cards.
ECC (error correction code) Special software, embedded on hard drives, that constantly scans the drives for
ECC RAM/DRAM (error correction code DRAM) RAM
that uses special chips to detect and fix memory errors.
Commonly used in high-end servers where data integrity is crucial.
effective permissions User’s combined permissions
granted by multiple groups.
EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) Firmware created
by Intel and HP that replaced traditional 16 bit BIOS
and added several new enhancements.
EFS (encrypting file system)
EIA/TIA Encryption tool found in See TIA/EIA. EIDE (enhanced IDE) Marketing concept of hard
drive–maker Western Digital, encompassing four improvements for IDE drives, including drives larger
than 528 MB, four devices, increase in drive throughput, and non–hard drive devices. (See ATAPI, PIO
electrostatic discharge (ESD) Movement of electrons
from one body to another. A real menace to PCs, as it
can cause permanent damage to semiconductors. DVI (Digital Visual Interface) Special video connector designed for digital-to-digital connections; most
commonly seen on PC video cards and LCD monitors.
Some versions also support analog signals with a special adapter. eliciting answers Communication strategy designed
to help techs understand a user’s problems better.
Works by listening to a user’s description of a problem
and then asking cogent questions. Dxdiag (DirectX Diagnostics) Diagnostic tool for getting information about and testing a computer’s
DirectX version. e-mail (electronic mail) Messages, usually text, sent
from one person to another via computer. Can also be
sent automatically to a group of addresses (mailing list). Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:26 PM 1061 Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1062 electromagnetic interference (EMI) Electrical interference from one device to another, resulting in poor performance of the device being interfered with.
Examples: Static on your TV while running a blow
dryer, or placing two monitors too close together and
getting a “shaky” screen.
emergency repair disk (ERD) Saves critical boot files
and partition information and is the main tool for fixing boot problems in Windows 2000.
encryption Making data unreadable by those who do
not possess a key or password.
erase lamp Component inside laser printers that uses
light to make the coating of the photosensitive drum
error-checking Windows XP/Vista/7 name for the
Checkdisk and ScanDisk tools.
eSATA Serial ATA-based connector for external hard
drives and optical drives.
escalate Process used when person assigned to repair
a problem is not able to get the job done, such as sending the problem to someone else.
Ethernet Name coined by Xerox for the first standard of
network cabling and protocols. Based on a bus topology.
Ethic of Reciprocity Golden Rule: Do unto others as
you would have them do unto you.
EULA (end-user license agreement) Agreement that
accompanies a piece of software, to which user must
agree before using the software. Outlines the terms of
use for the software and also lists any actions on the
part of the user that violate the agreement.
event auditing Feature of Event Viewer’s Security
section that creates an entry in the Security Log when
certain events happen, such as a user logging on. at a percentage of the main system speed (8.33–133
expansion bus crystal
pansion bus. Controls the speed of the ex- expansion slots Connectors on a motherboard that
enable users to add optional components to a system.
(See also AGP and PCI.
Serial PC Card designed to replace CardBus PC
Cards. ExpressCards connect to either a Hi-Speed USB
(480 Mbps) or PCI Express (2.5 Gbps) bus.
extended partition Type of non-bootable hard disk
partition. May only have one extended partition per
disk. Purpose is to divide a large disk into smaller partitions, each with a separate drive letter.
extension Three or four letters that follow a filename
and identify the type of file. Common file extensions
are .ZIP, .EXE, and .DOC.
external data bus (EDB) Primary data highway of all
computers. Everything in your computer is tied either
directly or indirectly to the external data bus. (See also
frontside bus and backside bus.)
fast user switching Account option that is useful
when multiple users share a system; allows users to
switch without logging off.
FAT (file allocation table) Hidden table that records
how files on a hard disk are stored in distinct clusters;
the only way DOS knows where to access files. Address
of first cluster of a file is stored in the directory file. FAT
entry for the first cluster is the address of the second
cluster used to store that file. In the entry for the second
cluster for that file is the address for the third cluster,
and so on until the final cluster, which gets a special endof-file code. There are two FATs, mirror images of each
other, in case one is destroyed or damaged. Event Viewer Utility made available as an MMC
snap-in that enables users to monitor various system
events, including network bandwidth usage and CPU
utilization. FAT32 File allocation table that uses 32 bits for addressing clusters. Commonly used with Windows 98 and
Windows Me systems. Some Windows 2000 Professional
and Windows XP systems also use FAT32, although most
modern Windows systems use the more robust NTFS. EXPAND Command-line utility program included
with Windows used to access files within CAB files. FDISK
dows. expansion bus Set of wires going to the CPU, governed by the expansion bus crystal, directly connected to
expansion slots of varying types (PCI, AGP, PCIe, etc.).
Depending on the type of slots, the expansion bus runs fiber optics High-speed channel for transmitting
data, made of high-purity glass sealed within an
opaque tube. Much faster than conventional copper
wire such as coaxial cable. 1062 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
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Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1063 file Collection of any form of data that is stored beyond the time of execution of a single job. A file may
contain program instructions or data, which may be
numerical, textual, or graphical information.
file allocation unit
cluster.) Another term for cluster. (See also file association Windows term for the proper program to open a particular file; for example, file association for opening .MP3 programs might be Winamp.
file format How information is encoded in a file. Two
primary types are binary (pictures) and ASCII (text),
but within those are many formats, such as BMP and
GIF for pictures. Commonly represented by a suffix at
the end of the filename; for example, .txt for a text file or
.exe for an executable.
file server Computer designated to store software,
courseware, administrative tools, and other data on a
local- or wide-area network. It “serves” this information to other computers via the network when users enter their personal access codes. flatbed scanner Most popular form of consumer
scanner; runs a bright light along the length of the tray
to capture an image.
FlexATX Motherboard form factor. Motherboards
built in accordance with the FlexATX form factor are
very small, much smaller than microATX motherboards.
Flip 3D In the Aero desktop environment, a threedimensional replacement for ALT-TAB. Accessed by
pressing the WINDOWS KEY-TAB key combination.
floppy disk Removable storage media that can hold
between 720 KB and 1.44 MB of data.
floppy drive System hardware that uses removable
3.5-inch disks as storage media.
flux reversal Point at which a read/write head detects a change in magnetic polarity.
FM synthesis Producing sound by electronic emulation of various instruments to more-or-less produce
music and other sound effects. file system Scheme that directs how an OS stores and
retrieves data on and off a drive; FAT32 and NTFS are
both file systems. Used interchangeably with the term
“data structure.” (See also data structure.) folders list Toggle button in Windows Explorer for
Windows 2000 and XP that displays the file structure
on the left side of the window. In Windows Vista and 7,
the folders list is active by default. filename Name assigned to a file when the file is first
written on a disk. Every file on a disk within the same
folder must have a unique name. Filenames can contain any character (including spaces), except the following: \ / : * ? “ < > | form factor Standard for the physical organization of
motherboard components and motherboard size. Most
common form factors are ATX and BTX. firewall Device that restricts traffic between a local
network and the Internet.
FireWire (IEEE 1394) Interconnection standard to
send wide-band signals over a serialized, physically
thin connector system. Serial bus developed by Apple
and Texas Instruments; enables connection of 60 devices
at speeds up to 800 megabits per second.
firmware Embedded programs or code stored on a
ROM chip. Generally OS-independent, thus allowing devices to operate in a wide variety of circumstances without direct OS support. The system BIOS is firmware.
Flash ROM ROM technology that can be electrically
reprogrammed while still in the PC. Overwhelmingly
the most common storage medium of BIOS in PCs today, as it can be upgraded without a need to open the
computer on most systems. Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:27 PM FORMAT command Command in the command line
interface used to format a storage device.
formatting Magnetically mapping a disk to provide a
structure for storing data; can be done to any type of
disk, including a floppy disk, hard disk, or other type
of removable disk.
FPU (floating point unit) Formal term for math
coprocessor (also called a numeric processor) circuitry inside a CPU. A math coprocessor calculates by using a
floating point math (which allows for decimals). Before
the Intel 80486, FPUs were separate chips from the CPU.
fragmentation Occurs when files and directories get
jumbled on a fixed disk and are no longer contiguous.
Can significantly slow down hard drive access times
and can be repaired by using the DEFRAG utility included with each version of Windows. (See also
defragmentation (DEFRAG).) 1063 Color profile: Disabled
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low. Measure of a sound’s tone, either high or frontside bus Wires that connect the CPU to the main
system RAM. Generally running at speeds of 66–133
MHz. Distinct from the expansion bus and the backside
bus, though it shares wires with the former.
front-view projector Shoots the image out the front
and counts on you to put a screen in front at the proper
FRU (field replaceable unit) Any part of a PC that is
considered to be replaceable “in the field,” i.e., a customer location. There is no official list of FRUs—it is
usually a matter of policy by the repair center.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) Rules that enable two
computers to talk to one another during a file transfer.
Protocol used when you transfer a file from one computer to another across the Internet.
fuel cells Power source that uses chemical reactions
to produce electricity. Lightweight, compact, and stable devices expected to replace batteries as the primary
power source for portable PCs.
full-duplex Any device that can send and receive
Full-Speed USB USB standard that runs at 12 Mbps. fuser assembly Mechanism in laser printers that uses
two rollers to fuse toner to paper during the print process.
gain Ratio of increase of radio frequency output provided by an antenna, measured in decibels (dB).
GDI (graphical device interface) Component of Windows that utilizes the CPU rather than the printer to
process a print job as a bitmapped image of each page. GPU (graphics processing unit) Specialized processor
that helps CPU by taking over all of the 3-D rendering
grayscale depth Number that defines how many
shades of gray the scanner can save per dot.
grayware Program that intrudes into a user’s computer
experience without damaging any systems or data.
group Collection of user accounts that share the same
Group Policy Means of easily controlling the settings of
multiple network clients with policies such as setting
minimum password length or preventing Registry edits.
type for Windows. Very limited built-in account GUI (graphical user interface) Interface that enables
user to interact with computer graphically, by using a
mouse or other pointing device to manipulate icons
that represent programs or documents, instead of using only text as in early interfaces. Pronounced
HAL (hardware abstraction layer) Part of the Windows OS that separates system-specific device drivers
from the rest of the NT system.
handshaking Procedure performed by modems, terminals, and computers to verify that communication
has been correctly established.
hang When a computer freezes and does not respond
to keyboard commands, it is said to “hang” or to have
hang time Number of seconds a too-often-hung computer is airborne after you have thrown it out a secondstory window. general protection fault (GPF) Error code usually
seen when separate active programs conflict on resources or data. hardware Physical computer equipment such as electrical, electronic, magnetic, and mechanical devices.
Anything in the computer world that you can hold in
your hand. A floppy drive is hardware; Microsoft
Word is not. geometry Numbers representing three values: heads,
cylinders, and sectors per track; define where a hard
drives stores data. hardware protocol Defines many aspects of a network, from the packet type to the cabling and connectors used. giga Prefix for the quantity 1,073,741,824 or for 1 billion.
One gigabyte would be 1,073,741,824 bytes, except
with hard drive labeling, where it means 1 billion
bytes. One gigahertz is 1 billion hertz. HBA (host bus adapter) Connects SATA devices to
the expansion bus. Also known as the SATA controller. 1064 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
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Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1065 HD (Hi-Definition) Multimedia transmission standard that defines high-resolution images and 5.1, 6.1,
and 7.1 sound.
HDA (High-Definition Audio) Intel-designed
standard to support features such as true surround sound
with many discrete speakers.
HDD (hard disk drive) Data-recording system using
solid disks of magnetic material turning at high speeds
to store and retrieve programs and data in a computer.
HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) Single
multimedia connection that includes both high-definition
video and audio. One of the best connections for outputting to television. Also contains copy protection features.
heads Short for read/write heads used by hard
drives to store data.
heat dope See thermal compound. hex (hexadecimal) Base-16 numbering system using
10 digits (0 through 9) and six letters (A through F). In
the computer world, shorthand way to write binary
numbers by substituting one hex digit for a four-digit
binary number (e.g., hex 9 = binary 1001).
hibernation Power management setting in which all
data from RAM is written to the hard drive before going to sleep. Upon waking up, all information is retrieved from the hard drive and returned to RAM.
hidden attribute File attribute that, when used, does
not allow DIR command to show a file. host On a TCP/IP network, single device that has an
IP address—any device (usually a computer) that can
be the source or destination of a data packet. In the
mainframe world, computer that is made available for
use by multiple people simultaneously.
hot-swappable Any hardware that may be attached
to or removed from a PC without interrupting the PC’s
HotSync (synchronization) Program used by PalmOSbased PDAs to synchronize files between a PDA and a
HRR (horizontal refresh rate) Amount of time it takes
for a CRT to draw one horizontal line of pixels on a display.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) ASCII-based,
script-like language for creating hypertext documents
such as those on the World Wide Web.
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) Extremely fast
protocol used for network file transfers in the WWW
HTTPS (HTTP over Secure Sockets Layer) Secure form
of HTTP used commonly for Internet business transactions or any time when a secure connection is required.
(See also HTTP.)
hub Electronic device that sits at the center of a star
topology network, providing a common point for the
connection of network devices. Hubs repeat all information out to all ports and have been replaced by
switches, although the term is still commonly used. hierarchical directory tree Method by which Windows organizes files into a series of folders, called directories, under the root directory. (See also root directory.) hyperthreading CPU feature that enables a single
pipeline to run more than one thread at once. high gloss Laptop screen finish that offers sharper
contrast, richer colors, and wider viewing angles than a
matte finish, but is also much more reflective. I/O (input/output) General term for reading and writing data to a computer. “Input” includes data from a
keyboard, pointing device (such as a mouse), or loaded
from a disk. “Output” includes writing information to a
disk, viewing it on a CRT, or printing it to a printer. high-level formatting
tem on a drive. Format that sets up a file sys- high-voltage anode Component in a CRT monitor
that has very high voltages of electricity flowing
Hi-Speed USB USB standard that runs at 480 Mbps. honesty Telling the truth—a very important thing for
a tech to do. Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:27 PM I/O addressing
tem devices. Using the address bus to talk to sys- I/O advanced programmable interrupt controller
(IOAPIC) Typically located in the Southbridge, the
IOAPIC acts as the traffic cop for interrupt requests to
I/O base address First value in an I/O address range. 1065 Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1066 ICH (I/O controller hub) Official name for Southbridge
chip found in Intel’s chipsets. impact printer Uses pins and inked ribbons to print
text or images on a piece of paper. icon Small image or graphic, most commonly found
on a system’s desktop, that launches a program when
selected. impedance Amount of resistance to an electrical signal on a wire. Relative measure of the amount of data a
cable can handle. ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) Allowing a single
network connection to be shared among several machines. ICS was first introduced with Windows 98. incident report Record of the details of an accident,
including what happened and where it happened. IDE (intelligent drive electronics) PC specification for
small- to medium-sized hard drives in which the controlling electronics for the drive are part of the drive itself, speeding up transfer rates and leaving only a
simple adapter (or “paddle”). IDE only supported two
drives per system of no more than 504 megabytes each,
and has been completely supplanted by Enhanced IDE.
EIDE supports four drives of over 8 gigabytes each and
more than doubles the transfer rate. The more common
name for PATA drives. Also known as integrated drive
electronics. (See PATA.)
Identify the problem. To question the user and find
out what has been changed recently or is no longer
working properly. (One of the steps a technician uses to
a solve a problem.)
IEC-320 Connects the cable supplying AC power
from a wall outlet into the power supply.
IEEE (Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers)
Leading standards-setting group in the United States.
nication. IEEE standard governing parallel commu- incremental backup Backs up all files that have their
archive bits turned on, meaning that they have been
changed since the last backup. Turns the archive bits
off after the files have been backed up.
Information Technology (IT) Field of
their operation, and their maintenance. infrastructure mode Wireless networking mode that
uses one or more WAPs to connect the wireless network nodes to a wired network segment.
inheritance Feature that passes on the same permissions in any sub-folders/files resident in the original
ink cartridge IEEE 1394a FireWire standard that runs at 400 Mbps. IEEE 1394b FireWire standard that runs at 800 Mbps IEEE 802.11 Wireless Ethernet standard more commonly known as Wi-Fi.
image file Bit-by-bit image of data to be burned on
CD or DVD—from one file to an entire disc—stored as
a single file on a hard drive. Particularly handy when
copying from CD to CD or DVD to DVD.
image installation Operating system installation that
uses a complete image of a hard drive as an installation
media. Helpful when installing an operating system on
a large number of identical PCs. 1066 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:27 PM Small container of ink for inkjet printers. inkjet printer Uses liquid ink, sprayed through a series
of tiny jets, to print text or images on a piece of paper.
installation disc Typically a CD-ROM or DVD that
holds all the necessary device drivers.
instruction set All of the machine-language commands that a particular CPU is designed to understand.
integrity IEEE 1394 IEEE standard governing FireWire communication. (See also FireWire.) computers, Always doing the right thing. interface Means by which a user interacts with a
piece of software.
Interrupt 13 (INT13) extensions Improved type of
BIOS that accepts EIDE drives up to 137 GB.
interrupt/interruption Suspension of a process, such
as the execution of a computer program, caused by an
event external to the computer and performed in such a
way that the process can be resumed. Events of this
kind include sensors monitoring laboratory equipment
or a user pressing an interrupt key.
inverter Device used to convert DC current into AC.
Commonly used with CCFLs in laptops and flatbed
scanners. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1067 IP (Internet Protocol) Internet standard protocol that
provides a common layer over dissimilar networks; used
to move packets among host computers and through
gateways if necessary. Part of the TCP/IP protocol suite.
IP address Numeric address of a computer connected
to the Internet. An IPv4 address is made up of 4 octets
of 8-bit binary numbers translated into their shorthand
numeric values. An IPv6 address is 128-bits long. The
IP address can be broken down into a network ID and a
host ID. Also called Internet address.
IPCONFIG Command-line utility for Windows servers and workstations that displays the current TCP/IP
configuration of the machine. Similar to WINIPCFG
IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) Microsoft’s encryption method of choice for networks consisting of multiple networks linked by a private connection, providing
transparent encryption between the server and the
IrDA (Infrared Data Association) Protocol that enables communication through infrared devices, with
speeds of up to 4 Mbps.
IRQ (interrupt request) Signal from a hardware device, such as a modem or a mouse, indicating that it
needs the CPU’s attention. In PCs, IRQs are sent along
specific IRQ channels associated with a particular device. IRQ conflicts were a common problem in the past
when adding expansion boards, but the plug-and-play
specification has removed this headache in most cases.
ISA (industry standard architecture) Industry Standard Architecture design was found in the original
IBM PC for the slots that allowed additional hardware
to be connected to the computer’s motherboard. An 8bit, 8.33-MHz expansion bus was designed by IBM for
its AT computer and released to the public domain. An
improved 16-bit bus was also released to the public domain. Replaced by PCI in the mid-1990s.
ISDN (integrated services digital network) CCITT
(Comité Consultatif Internationale de Télégraphie et
Téléphonie) standard that defines a digital method for
communications to replace the current analog telephone system. ISDN is superior to POTS telephone
lines because it supports up to 128 Kbps transfer rate
for sending information from computer to computer. It
also allows data and voice to share a common phone
line. DSL reduced demand for ISDN substantially. (See
also POTS.) Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:27 PM ISO 9660 CD format to support PC file systems on
CD media. Supplanted by the Joliet format.
ISO file Complete copy (or image) of a storage media
device, typically used for optical discs.
ISP (Internet service provider) Company that provides access to the Internet, usually for money.
jack (physical connection) Part of a connector into
which a plug is inserted. Also referred to as ports.
Joliet Extension of the ISO 9660 format. Most popular
CD format to support PC file systems on CD media.
joystick Peripheral often used while playing computer games; originally intended as a multipurpose input device.
joule Unit of energy describing (in this book) how much
energy a surge suppressor can handle before it fails.
jumper Pair of small pins that can be shorted with a
shunt to configure many aspects of PCs. Usually used
in configurations that are rarely changed, such as master/
slave settings on IDE drives.
Kerberos Authentication encryption developed by
MIT to enable multiple brands of servers to authenticate multiple brands of clients.
kernel Core portion of program that resides in memory and performs the most essential operating system
keyboard Input device. Three common types of keyboards: those that use a mini-DIN (PS/2) connection,
those that use a USB connection, and those that use
Knowledge Base Large collection of documents and
FAQs that is maintained by Microsoft. Found on
Microsoft’s Web site, the Knowledge Base is an excellent place to search for assistance on most operating
KVM (keyboard, video, mouse switch) Hardware device that enables multiple computers to be viewed and
controlled by a single mouse, keyboard, and screen.
LAN (local area network) Group of PCs connected
via cabling, radio, or infrared that use this connectivity
to share resources such as printers and mass storage.
laptop Traditional clamshell portable computing device with built-in LCD monitor, keyboard, and trackpad. 1067 Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1068 laser Single-wavelength, in-phase light source that is
sometimes strapped to the head of sharks by bad guys.
Note to henchmen: Lasers should never be used with
sea bass, no matter how ill-tempered they might be.
laser printer Electro-photographic printer in which a
laser is used as the light source.
Last Known Good Configuration Option on the Advanced Startup Options menu that allows your system
to revert to a previous configuration to troubleshoot
and repair any major system problems.
latency Amount of delay before a device may respond to a request; most commonly used in reference
LBA (logical block addressing) Translation
(algorithm) of IDE drives promoted by Western Digital as a
standardized method for breaking the 504-MB limit in
IDE drives. Subsequently universally adopted by the
PC industry and now standard on all EIDE drives.
LCD (liquid crystal display) Type of display commonly used on portable PCs. Also have mostly replaced CRTs as the display of choice for most desktop
computer users, due in large part to rapidly falling
prices and increasing quality. LCDs use liquid crystals
and electricity to produce images on the screen.
LED (light-emitting diode) Solid-state device that vibrates at luminous frequencies when current is applied.
Level 1 (L1) cache First RAM cache accessed by the
CPU, which stores only the absolute most-accessed programming and data used by currently running threads.
Always the smallest and fastest cache on the CPU.
Level 2 (L2) cache Second RAM cache accessed by
the CPU. Much larger and often slower than the L1
cache, and accessed only if the requested program/
data is not in the L1 cache.
Level 3 (L3) cache Third RAM cache accessed by the
CPU. Much larger and slower than the L1 and L2 caches,
and accessed only if the requested program/data is not
in the L2 cache. Seen only on high-end CPUs.
Li-Ion (lithium-ion) Battery commonly used in portable PCs. Li-Ion batteries don’t suffer from the memory
effects of NiCd batteries and provide much more
power for a greater length of time. 1068 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:28 PM limited account/user User account in Windows XP
that has limited access to a system. Accounts of this
type cannot alter system files, cannot install new programs, and cannot edit settings by using the Control
Linux Open-source UNIX-clone operating system. Local Security Settings Windows tool used to set local
security policies on an individual system.
local user account
system. List of users allowed access to a Local Users and Groups Tool enabling creation and
changing of group memberships and accounts for users.
log files Files created in Windows to track the progress of certain processes.
logical drives Sections of a hard drive that are formatted and assigned a drive letter, each of which is presented to the user as if it were a separate drive.
login screen First screen of the Windows interface,
used to log in to the computer system.
loopback plug Device used during loopback tests to
check the female connector on a NIC.
Low-Speed USB USB standard that runs at 1.5 Mbps. LPT port Commonly referred to as a printer port;
usually associated with a local parallel port.
LPX First slimline form factor; replaced by NLX form
lumens Unit of measure for amount of brightness on
a projector or other light source.
Mac (Also Macintosh.) Apple Computers’ flagship
operating system, currently up to OS Xv10.6 “Snow
Leopard” and running on Intel-based hardware.
MAC (Media Access Control) address Unique 48-bit
address assigned to each network card. IEEE assigns
blocks of possible addresses to various NIC manufacturers to help ensure that the address is always unique.
The Data Link layer of the OSI model uses MAC addresses for locating machines.
MAC address filtering Method of limiting wireless
network access based on the physical, hard-wired address of the units’ wireless NIC. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1069 machine language Binary instruction code that is understood by the CPU. MFT (master file table) Enhanced file allocation table
used by NTFS. (See also FAT.) maintenance kits Commonly replaced printer components provided by many manufacturers. microATX Variation of the ATX form factor, which
uses the ATX power supply. MicroATX motherboards
are generally smaller than their ATX counterparts but
retain all the same functionality. mass storage Hard drives, CD-ROMs, removable media drives, etc.
matte Laptop screen finish that offers a good balance
between richness of colors and reflections, but washes
out in bright light. microBTX Variation of the BTX form factor. MicroBTX
motherboards are generally smaller than their BTX
counterparts but retain all the same functionality. MBR (master boot record) Tiny bit of code that takes
control of the boot process from the system BIOS. microprocessor “Brain” of a computer. Primary computer chip that determines relative speed and capabilities of the computer. Also called CPU. MCC (memory controller chip) Chip that handles
memory requests from the CPU. Although once a special chip, it has been integrated into the chipset on all
PCs today. Microsoft Windows Logo Program Testing program
for hardware manufacturers, designed to ensure compatibility with the Windows OS. mega- Prefix that usually stands for the binary quantity 1,048,576 (220). One megabyte is 1,048,576 bytes.
One megahertz, however, is a million hertz. Sometimes
shortened to Meg, as in “a 286 has an address space of
16 Megs.” MIDI (musical instrument digital interface) Interface
between a computer and a device for simulating musical instruments. Rather than sending large sound samples, a computer can simply send “instructions” to the
instrument describing pitch, tone, and duration of a
sound. MIDI files are therefore very efficient. Because a
MIDI file is made up of a set of instructions rather than
a copy of the sound, modifying each component of the
file is easy. Additionally, it is possible to program
many channels, or “voices” of music to be played simultaneously, creating symphonic sound. megapixel Term used typically in reference to digital
cameras and their ability to capture data. migration Moving users from one operating system
or hard drive to another. memory Device or medium for temporary storage of
programs and data during program execution. Synonymous with storage, although it most frequently refers
to the internal storage of a computer that can be directly addressed by operating instructions. A computer’s temporary storage capacity is measured in
kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB), or gigabytes (GB) of
RAM (random-access memory). Long-term data storage on disks is also measured in kilobytes, megabytes,
gigabytes, and terabytes. MIMO (multiple in/multiple out) Feature of 802.11n
devices that enables the simultaneous connection of up
to four antennae, allowing for increased throughput. MCH (memory controller hub) Intel-coined name for
what is now commonly called the Northbridge.
MD (MKDIR) command Command in the command
line interface used to create directories. memory addressing Taking memory address from
system RAM and using it to address nonsystem RAM
or ROM so the CPU can access it.
Memory Stick Sony’s flash memory card format;
rarely seen outside of Sony devices.
mesh topology Network topology where each computer has a dedicated line to every other computer, most
often used in wireless networks.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:28 PM mini-audio connector Very popular, 1/8-inch diameter connector used to transmit two audio signals; perfect for stereo sound.
mini connector One type of power connector from a
PC power supply unit. Supplies 5 and 12 volts to peripherals. Also known as a floppy connector,
laptops. Specialized form of PCI designed for use in mini power connector Connector used to provide
power to floppy disk drives.
nini-DIN Small connection most commonly used for
keyboards and mice. Many modern systems implement
USB in place of mini-DIN connections. Also called PS/2. 1069 Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1070 mirrored volume Volume that is mirrored on another
volume. (See also mirroring.) about a motherboard, including the type of memory and
type of CPU that should be used with the motherboard. mirroring Reading and writing data at the same time
to two drives for fault tolerance purposes. Considered
RAID level 1. Also called drive mirroring. mount point Drive that functions like a folder
mounted into another drive. MMC (Microsoft Management Console) Means
managing a system, introduced by Microsoft with Windows 2000. The MMC allows an Administrator to customize management tools by picking and choosing from
a list of snap-ins. Available snap-ins include Device Manager, Users and Groups, and Computer Management.
MMX (multimedia extensions) Specific CPU instructions that enable a CPU to handle many multimedia
functions, such as digital signal processing. Introduced
with the Pentium CPU, these instructions are used on
all ×86 CPUs.
mode Any single combination of resolution and color
depth set for a system.
modem (modulator/demodulator) Device that converts a digital bit stream into an analog signal (modulation) and converts incoming analog signals back into
digital signals (demodulation). Analog communications channel is typically a telephone line, and analog
signals are typically sounds.
module Small circuit board that DRAM chips are attached to. Also known as a “stick.”
Molex connector Computer power connector used
by CD-ROM drives, hard drives, and case fans. Keyed
to prevent it from being inserted into a power port improperly.
monaural Describes recording tracks from one source
(microphone) as opposed to stereo, which uses two
monitor Screen that displays data from a PC. Can use
either a cathode ray tube (CRT) or a liquid crystal display (LCD) to display images.
motherboard Flat piece of circuit board that resides
inside your computer case and has a number of connectors on it. You can use these connectors to attach a variety of devices to your system, including hard drives,
CD-ROM drives, floppy disk drives, and sound cards.
motherboard book Valuable resource when installing
a new motherboard. Normally lists all the specifications 1070 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:28 PM mouse Input device that enables users to manipulate
a cursor on the screen to select items.
MOVE command Command in the command line interface used to move a file from one location to another.
MP3 Short for MPEG, Layer 3. MP3 is a type of compression used specifically for turning high-quality digital audio files into much smaller, yet similar sounding,
MPA (Microsoft Product Activation) Introduced by
Microsoft with the release of Windows XP, Microsoft
Product Activation prevents unauthorized use of
Microsoft’s software by requiring users to activate the
MPEG-2 (Moving Pictures Experts Group) Standard of
video and audio compression offering resolutions up
to 1280 × 720 at 60 frames per second.
MPEG-4 (Moving Pictures Experts Group) Standard of
video and audio compression offering improved compression over MPEG-2.
MS-CHAP Microsoft’s variation of the CHAP protocol, which uses a slightly more advanced encryption
protocol. Windows Vista uses MS-CHAP v2 (version
2), and does not support MS-CHAP v1 (version 1).
MSCONFIG (System Configuration Utility) Executable
file that runs the Windows System Configuration Utility,
which enables users to configure a system’s boot files
and critical system files. Often used for the name of the
utility, as in “just run MSCONFIG.”
MSDS (material safety data sheet) Standardized form
that provides detailed information about potential environmental hazards and proper disposal methods associated with various PC components.
MSINFO32 Provides information about hardware resources, components, and the software environment.
Also known as System Information.
multiboot OS installation in which multiple operating systems are installed on a single machine. Can also
refer to kicking a device several times in frustration. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1071 multimedia extensions Originally an Intel CPU enhancement designed for graphics-intensive applications (such as games). It was never embraced but
eventually led to improvements in how CPUs handle
multimeter Device used to measure voltage, amperage, and resistance.
multisession drive Recordable CD drive capable of
burning multiple sessions onto a single recordable disc.
A multisession drive also can close a CD-R so that no
further tracks can be written to it.
multitasking Process of running multiple programs
or tasks on the same computer at the same time.
Music-CD-R CD using a special format for home recorders. Music CD-R makers pay a small royalty to
avoid illegal music duplication.
My Computer Applet that allows users to access a
complete list of all fixed and removable drives contained within a system.
My Documents Introduced with Windows 98 and
used in Windows 2000 and Windows XP, the My Documents folder provides a convenient place for users to
store their documents, log files, and any other type of
My Network Places Folder in Windows XP that enables users to view other computers on their network
native resolution Resolution on an LCD monitor that
matches the physical pixels on the screen. CRTs do not
have fixed pixels and therefore do not have a native
NET Command in Windows that allows users to
view a network without knowing the names of the
other computers on that network.
NetBIOS (Network Basic Input/Output System) Protocol that operates at the Session layer of the OSI sevenlayer model. This protocol creates and manages connections based on the names of the computers involved.
network Collection of two or more computers interconnected by telephone lines, coaxial cables, satellite
links, radio, and/or some other communication technique. Group of computers that are connected and that
communicate with one another for a common purpose. Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:28 PM Also, the name of Vista’s version of the My Network
network ID Number that identifies the network on
which a device or machine exists. This number exists in
both IP and IPX protocol suites.
network. Printer that connects directly to a NIC (network interface card) Expansion card that enables a PC to physically link to a network.
NiCd (nickel-cadmium) Battery that was used in the
first portable PCs. Heavy and inefficient, these batteries also suffered from a memory effect that could drastically shorten the overall life of the battery. (See also
NiMH (nickel metal hydride) Battery used in portable
PCs. NiMH batteries had fewer issues with the memory
effect than NiCd batteries. NiMH batteries have been replaced by lithium-ion batteries. (See also NiCd, Li-Ion.)
nit Value used to measure the brightness of an LCD
displays. A typical LCD display has a brightness of between 100 and 400 nits.
NLQ (near-letter quality) Designation for dot-matrix
printers that use 24-pin printheads.
NLX Second form factor for slimline systems. Replaced the earlier LPX form factor. (NLX apparently
stands for nothing; it’s just a cool grouping of letters.)
NMI (non-maskable interrupt) Interrupt code sent to
the processor that cannot be ignored. Typically manifested as a BSOD.
NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) Protocol
run by news servers that enable newsgroups.
non-system disk or disk error Error that occurs during
the boot process. Common causes for this error are
leaving a non-bootable floppy disk, CD, or other media
in the drive while the computer is booting.
nonvolatile Memory that retains data even if power
normal backup Full backup of every selected file on a
system. Turns off the archive bit after the backup.
Northbridge Chip that connects a CPU to memory,
the PCI bus, Level 2 cache, and AGP activities. Communicates with the CPU through the frontside bus.
Newer CPUs feature an integrated Northbridge.
1071 Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1072 NOS (network operating system) Standalone operating system or part of an operating system that provides
basic file and supervisory services over a network. Although each computer attached to the network has its
own OS, the NOS describes which actions are allowed
by each user and coordinates distribution of networked files to the user who requests them.
notification area Contains icons representing background processes, the system clock and volume control.
Located by default at the right edge of the Windows
taskbar. Most users call this area the system tray. optical drive Drive used to read/write to optical
discs, such as CDs or DVDs.
optical mouse Pointing device that uses light rather
than electronic sensors to determine movement and direction the mouse is being moved.
optical resolution Resolution a scanner can achieve
mechanically. Most scanners use software to enhance
optical zoom Mechanical ability of most cameras to
“zoom” in as opposed to the digital ability. NSLOOKUP Command line program in Windows
used to determine exactly what information the DNS
server is providing about a specific host name. option ROM Alternative way of telling the system
how to talk to a piece of hardware. Option ROM stores
BIOS for the card onboard a chip on the card itself. NTDETECT.COM One of the critical Windows NT/
2000/XP startup files. OS (operating system) Series of programs and code
that create an interface so users can interact with a system’s hardware, for example, DOS, Windows, and Linux. NTFS (NT file system) Robust and secure file system
introduced by Microsoft with Windows NT. NTFS provides an amazing array of configuration options for user
access and security. Users can be granted access to data
on a file-by-file basis. NTFS enables object-level security,
long filename support, compression, and encryption.
NTFS permissions Restrictions that determine the
amount of access given to a particular user on a system
NTLDR Windows NT/2000/XP boot file. Launched
by the MBR or MFT, NTLDR looks at the BOOT.INI
configuration file for any installed operating systems.
NVIDIA One of the foremost manufacturers of
graphics cards and chipsets.
object System component that is given a set of characteristics and can be managed by the operating system
as a single entity.
object access auditing Feature of Event Viewer’s Security section that creates an entry in the Security Log
when certain objects are accessed, such as a file or
ance. Electronic measurement of a cable’s imped- OpenGL One of two popular APIs used today for video
cards. Originally written for UNIX systems but now
ported to Windows and Apple systems. (See also DirectX.)
optical disc/media Types of data discs (such as DVDs,
CDs, Blu-ray Discs, etc.) that are read by a laser. 1072 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:28 PM OS X Current operating system on Apple Macintosh
computers. Based on a UNIX core, early versions of OS
X ran on Motorola-based hardware; current versions
run on Intel-based hardware. Pronounced “ten” rather
OSI seven-layer model Architecture model based on
the OSI protocol suite that defines and standardizes the
flow of data between computers. The seven layers are:
Layer 1 The Physical layer Defines hardware connections and turns binary into physical pulses (electrical or
light). Repeaters and hubs operate at the Physical layer.
Layer 2 The Data Link layer Identifies devices on the
Physical layer. MAC addresses are part of the Data
Link layer. Bridges operate at the Data Link layer.
Layer 3 The Network layer Moves packets between
computers on different networks. Routers operate at the
Network layer. IP and IPX operate at the Network layer.
Layer 4 The Transport layer Breaks data down into
manageable chunks. TCP, UDP, SPX, and NetBEUI operate at the Transport layer.
Layer 5 The Session layer Manages connections between machines. NetBIOS and Sockets operate at the
Layer 6 The Presentation layer Can also manage
data encryption; hides the differences between various
types of computer systems.
Layer 7 The Application layer Provides tools for programs to use to access the network (and the lower layers). HTTP, FTP, SMTP, and POP3 are all examples of
protocols that operate at the Application layer. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1073 overclocking To run a CPU or video processor faster
than its rated speed. partitioning Electronically subdividing a physical
hard drive into groups called partitions (or volumes). Provides power to ATX mother- passive matrix Technology for producing colors in
LCD monitors by varying voltages across wire matrices to produce red, green, or blue dots. P1 power connector
boards. P4 12V connector Provides additional 12-volt power
to motherboards that support Pentium 4 and later processors.
P8 and P9 connectors
motherboards. Provides power to AT-style packet Basic component of communication over a
network. Group of bits of fixed maximum size and
well-defined format that is switched and transmitted
as a single entity through a network. Contains source
and destination address, data, and control information.
page fault Minor memory-addressing error. page file Portion of the hard drive set aside by Windows to act like RAM. Also known as virtual memory
or swap file.
PAN (personal area network) Small wireless network
created with Bluetooth technology and intended to link
PCs and other peripheral devices. password Key used to verify a user’s identity on a
secure computer or network.
Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) Oldest and
most basic form of authentication. Also the least safe,
because it sends all passwords in clear text.
password reset disk Special type of floppy disk with
which users can recover a lost password without losing
access to any encrypted, or password-protected, data.
PATA (parallel ATA) Implementation that integrates
the controller on the disk drive itself. (See also ATA,
patch Small piece of software released by a software
manufacturer to correct a flaw or problem with a particular piece of software.
path Route the operating system must follow to find
an executable program stored in a subdirectory. parallel port Connection for the synchronous, highspeed flow of data along parallel lines to a device, usually a printer. PC bus Original 8-bit expansion bus developed by
IBM for PCs; ran at a top speed of 4.77 MHz. Also
known as the XT bus. parallel processing When a multicore CPU processes
more than one thread. PC Card Credit card–sized adapter cards that add
functionality in many notebook computers, PDAs, and
other computer devices. Come in 16-bit and CardBus
parallel format and ExpressCard serial format. (See also
PCMCIA.) parental controls Tool to allow monitoring and limiting of user activities; designed for parents to control the
content their children can access.
parity Method of error detection where a small group
of bits being transferred is compared to a single parity
bit set to make the total bits odd or even. Receiving device reads the parity bit and determines if the data is
valid, based on the oddness or evenness of the parity
parity RAM Earliest form of error-detecting RAM;
stored an extra bit (called the parity bit) to verify the data.
partition Section of the storage area of a hard disk.
Created during initial preparation of the hard disk, before the disk is formatted.
partition table Table located in the boot sector of a
hard drive that lists every partition on the disk that
contains a valid operating system. Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:28 PM PC tech Someone with computer skills who works on
PCI (peripheral component interconnect) Design architecture for the expansion bus on the computer motherboard, which enables system components to be
added to the computer. Local bus standard, meaning
that devices added to a computer through this port will
use the processor at the motherboard’s full speed (up to
33 MHz) rather than at the slower 8 MHz speed of the
regular bus. Moves data 32 or 64 bits at a time rather
than the 8 or 16 bits the older ISA buses supported.
PCIe (PCI Express) Serialized successor to PCI and
AGP, which uses the concept of individual data paths
called lanes. May use any number of lanes, although 1073 Color profile: Disabled
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wide. Typically seen in servers and high-end systems. peripheral
unit. PCL Printer control language created by HewlettPackard and used on a broad cross-section of printers. permission propagation Term to describe what happens to permissions on an object when you move or
copy it. PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) Sound format developed in the 1960s to carry telephone calls over the first
PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card
International Association) Consortium of computer
manufacturers who devised the PC Card standard for
credit card–sized adapter cards that add functionality
in many notebook computers, PDAs, and other computer devices. (See also PC Card.)
PDA (personal digital assistant) Handheld computer
that blurs the line between calculators and computers.
Early PDAs were calculators that enabled users to program in such information as addresses and appointments. Modern PDAs, such as the Palm and PocketPC,
are fully programmable computers. Most PDAs use a
pen/stylus for input rather than a keyboard. A few of
the larger PDAs have a tiny keyboard in addition to the
Pearson VUE One of the two companies that administers the CompTIA A+ exams, along with Prometric.
peer-to-peer networks Network in which each machine can act as both a client and a server.
Pentium Name given to the fifth and later generations of Intel microprocessors; has a 32-bit address bus,
64-bit external data bus, and dual pipelining. Also used
for subsequent generations of Intel processors—the
Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III, and Pentium 4.
Pentium name was retired after the introduction of the
Intel Core CPUs.
pen-based computing Input method used by many
PDAs that combines handwriting recognition with
modified mouse functions, usually in the form of a penlike stylus. Any device that connects to the system persistence Phosphors used in CRT screens continuing to glow after being struck by electrons, long enough
for the human eye to register the glowing effect.
Glowing too long makes the images smeary, and too
little makes them flicker.
Personalization applet Windows Vista/7 applet with
which users can change display settings such as resolution, refresh rate, color depth and also desktop features.
PGA (pin grid array) Arrangement of a large number
of pins extending from the bottom of the CPU package.
There are many variations on PGA.
tech’s toolkit. Most important part of a PC Phoenix Technologies Major producer of BIOS software for motherboards.
phosphor Electro-fluorescent material that coats the
inside face of a cathode ray tube (CRT). After being hit
with an electron, it glows for a fraction of a second.
photosensitive drum Aluminum cylinder coated with
particles of photosensitive compounds. Used in a laser
printer and usually contained within the toner cartridge.
picoBTX Variation of the BTX form factor. picoBTX
motherboards are generally smaller than their BTX or
microBTX counterparts but retain the same functionality.
pin 1 Designator used to ensure proper alignment of
floppy disk drive and hard drive connectors. performance console Windows tool used to log resource usage over time. ping (packet Internet groper) Slang term for a small
network message (ICMP ECHO) sent by a computer to
check for the presence and aliveness of another. Used
to verify the presence of another system. Also the command used at a prompt to ping a computer. Performance Logs and Alerts Snap-in enabling the
creation of a written record of most everything that
happens on the system. PIO mode Series of speed standards created by the
Small Form Factor Committee for the use of PIO by hard
drives. Modes range from PIO mode 0 to PIO mode 4. 1074 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
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Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1075 pipeline Processing methodology where multiple
calculations take place simultaneously by being broken
into a series of steps. Often used in CPUs and video
pixel (picture element) In computer graphics, smallest element of a display space that can be independently assigned color or intensity.
plug Hardware connection with some sort of projection that connects to a port.
plug and play (PnP) Combination of smart PCs,
smart devices, and smart operating systems that automatically configure all necessary system resources and
ports when you install a new peripheral device.
polygons Multi-sided shapes used in 3-D rendering
of objects. In computers, video cards draw large numbers of triangles and connect them to form polygons.
polymorph virus Virus that attempts to change its signature to prevent detection by antivirus programs,
usually by continually scrambling a bit of useless code.
polyphony Number of instruments a sound card can
play at once.
POP3 (Post Office Protocol) Refers to the way e-mail
software such as Eudora gets mail from a mail server.
When you obtain a SLIP, PPP, or shell account, you almost always get a POP account with it. It is this POP account that you tell your e-mail software to use to get
your mail. Also called point of presence.
pop-up Irritating browser window that appears automatically when you visit a Web site. typically used at home or in the office with the nonportable equipment already connected.
positional audio Range of commands for a sound
card to place a sound anywhere in 3-D space.
POST (power-on self test) Basic diagnostic routine
completed by a system at the beginning of the boot process to make sure a display adapter and the system’s
memory are installed; it then searches for an operating
system. If it finds one, it hands over control of the machine to the OS.
PostScript Language defined by Adobe Systems, Inc.
for describing how to create an image on a page. The
description is independent of the resolution of the device that will actually create the image. It includes a
technology for defining the shape of a font and creating
a raster image at many different resolutions and sizes.
object. Amount of static electricity stored by an power conditioning Ensuring and adjusting incoming AC wall power to as close to standard as possible.
Most UPS devices provide power conditioning.
power good wire Used to wake up the CPU after the
power supply has tested for proper voltage.
power supply fan Small fan located in a system
power supply that draws warm air from inside the
power supply and exhausts it to the outside.
power supply unit Provides the electrical power for a
PC. Converts standard AC power into various voltages
of DC electricity in a PC. port (networking) In networking, the number used to
identify the requested service (such as SMTP or FTP)
when connecting to a TCP/IP host. Examples: 80
(HTTP), 20 (FTP), 69 (TFTP), 25 (SMTP), and 110
(POP3). Power User(s) Group Second most powerful account
and group type in Windows after Administrator/Administrators. port (physical connection) Part of a connector into
which a plug is inserted. Physical ports are also referred to as jacks. PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) Enables a computer to
connect to the Internet through a dial-in connection
and enjoy most of the benefits of a direct connection. port replicator Device that plugs into a USB port or
other specialized port and offers common PC ports,
such as serial, parallel, USB, network, and PS/2. By
plugging your notebook computer into the port
replicator, you can instantly connect the computer to
non-portable components such as a printer, scanner,
monitor, or full-sized keyboard. Port replicators are primary corona Wire located near the photosensitive
drum in a laser printer, that is charged with extremely
high voltage to form an electric field, enabling voltage
to pass to the photosensitive drum, thus charging the
photosensitive particles on the surface of the drum. Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:29 PM ppm (pages per minute) Speed of a printer. primary partition Partition on a Windows hard drive
designated to store the operating system. 1075 Color profile: Disabled
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jobs that the printer will handle sequentially.
printer Output device that can print text or illustrations on paper. Microsoft uses the term to refer to the
software that controls the physical print device.
printer. Case that holds the printwires in a dot-matrix printed circuit boards Copper
nonconductive material and then coated with some
sort of epoxy for strength.
printwires Grid of tiny pins in a dot-matrix printer
that strike an inked printer ribbon to produce images
on paper. Internet. Usually accept requests for HTTP, FTP, POP3,
and SMTP resources. Often caches, or stores, a copy of
the requested resource for later use. Common security
feature in the corporate world.
public folder Folder that all users can access and
share with all other users on the system or network.
queue Area where objects wait their turn to be processed. Example: the printer queue, where print jobs
wait until it is their turn to be printed.
Quick Launch toolbar Enables you to launch commonly used programs with a single click.
QVGA Video display mode of 320 × 240. product key Code used during installation to verify
legitimacy of the software. RAID (redundant array of inexpensive devices) Sixlevel (0–5) way of creating a fault-tolerant storage system:
Level 0 Uses byte-level striping and provides no fault
Level 1 Uses mirroring or duplexing.
Level 2 Uses bit-level striping.
Level 3 Stores error-correcting information (such as
parity) on a separate disk, and uses data striping on the
Level 4 Level 3 with block-level striping.
Level 5 Uses block-level and parity data striping. program/programming Series of binary electronic
commands sent to a CPU to get work done. RAID-5 volume
RAID). Programs and Features Windows Vista/7 replacement for the Add or Remove Programs applet. rails PRML (Partial Response Maximum Likelihood) Advanced method of RLL that uses powerful, intelligent
circuitry to analyze each flux reversal on a hard drive
and to make a best guess as to what type of flux reversal it just read. This allows a dramatic increase in the
amount of data a hard drive can store. projector Device for projecting video images from
PCs or other video sources, usually for audience presentations. Available in front and rear view displays.
Prometric One of the two companies that administers
the CompTIA A+ exams, along with Pearson VUE.
prompt A character or message provided by an operating system or program to indicate that it is ready to
proprietary Technology unique to a particular vendor. protocol Agreement that governs the procedures
used to exchange information between cooperating entities. Usually includes how much information is to be
sent, how often it is sent, how to recover from transmission errors, and who is to receive the information. Striped set with parity. (See also Separate DC paths within an ATX power supply. RAM (random access memory) Memory that can be
accessed at random; that is, which you can write to or
read from without touching the preceding address.
This term is often used to mean a computer’s main
RAMDAC (random access memory digital-to-analog
converter) Circuitry used on video cards that support analog monitors to convert the digital video data
raster image Pattern of dots representing what the final product should look like.
raster line Horizontal pattern of lines that form an
image on the monitor screen.
RD (RMDIR) Command in the command line interface used to remove directories. proxy server Device that fetches Internet resources
for a client without exposing that client directly to the 1076 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
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that uses accelerated clocks to provide very high-speed
read-only attribute File attribute that does not allow a
file to be altered or modified. Helpful when protecting
system files that should not be edited.
rear-view projector Projector that shoots an image
onto a screen from the rear. Rearview projectors are always self-enclosed and very popular for TVs, but are
virtually unheard of in the PC world.
Recovery Console Command-line interface boot
mode for Windows that is used to repair a Windows
2000 or Windows XP system suffering from massive
OS corruption or other problems.
Recycle Bin When files are deleted from a modern
Windows system, they are moved to the Recycle Bin.
To permanently remove files from a system, they must
be emptied from the Recycle Bin.
Registry. Program used to edit the Windows register Storage area inside the CPU used by the
onboard logic to perform calculations. CPUs have
many registers to perform different functions.
registration Usually optional process that identifies
the legal owner/user of the product to the supplier.
Registry Complex binary file used to store configuration data about a particular system. To edit the Registry, users can use the applets found in the Control
Panel or REGEDIT.EXE or REGEDT32.EXE.
Reliability and Performance Monitor Windows
Vista’s extended Performance applet.
remediation Repairing damage caused by a virus. remnant Potentially recoverable data on a hard drive
that remains despite formatting or deleting.
Remote Assistance Feature of Windows that enables
users to give anyone control of his or her desktop over
Remote Desktop Connection Windows tool used to
enable a local system to graphically access the desktop
of a remote system.
REN (RENAME) command Command in the
command-line interface used to rename directories. Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:29 PM resistance Difficulty in making electricity flow
through a material, measured in Ohms.
resistor Any material or device that impedes the flow
of electrons. Electronic resistors measure their resistance (impedance) in Ohms. See Ohm(s).
resolution Measurement for CRTs and printers expressed in horizontal and vertical dots or pixels.
Higher resolutions provide sharper details and thus
display better-looking images.
respect Data and services of a PC.
What all techs should feel for their customers. response rate Time it takes for all of the sub-pixels on
the panel to go from pure black to pure white and back
restore point System snapshot created by the System
Restore utility that is used to restore a malfunctioning
system. (See also System Restore.)
RET (resolution enhancement technology) Technology that uses small dots to smooth out jagged edges
that are typical of printers without RET, producing a
higher-quality print job.
RFI (radio frequency interference) Another form of
electrical interference caused by radio-wave emitting
devices, such as cell phones, wireless network cards,
and microwave ovens.
RG-58 Coaxial cabling used for 10Base2 networks. RIMM Individual stick of Rambus RAM. The letters
don’t actually stand for anything; they just rhyme with
SIMM and DIMM.
RIP (raster image processor) Component in a printer
that translates the raster image into commands for the
riser card Special adapter card, usually inserted into a
special slot on a motherboard, that changes the orientation of expansion cards relative to the motherboard.
Riser cards are used extensively in slimline computers
to keep total depth and height of the system to a minimum. Sometimes called a daughterboard.
RJ (registered jack) connector UTP cable connector,
used for both telephone and network connections.
RJ-11 is a connector for four-wire UTP; usually found
in telephone connections. RJ-45 is a connector for eightwire UTP; usually found in network connections. 1077 Color profile: Disabled
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This means that code and data stored in ROM cannot
be corrupted by accidental erasure. Additionally, ROM
retains its data when power is removed, which makes it
the perfect medium for storing BIOS data or information such as scientific constants.
tories. Directory that contains all other direc- root keys Five main categories in the Windows
router Device connecting separate networks; Forwards a packet from one network to another based on
the network address for the protocol being used. For
example, an IP router looks only at the IP network
number. Routers operate at Layer 3 (Network) of the
OSI seven-layer model.
RS-232C Standard port recommended by the Electronics Industry Association for serial devices.
Run dialog box Command box in which users can enter the name of a particular program to run; an alternative to locating the icon in Windows.
S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting
Technology) Monitoring system built into hard
S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format) Digital
audio connector found on many high-end sound cards.
Users can connect their computers directly to a 5.1
speaker system or receiver. S/PDIF comes in both a coaxial and an optical version.
Safe mode Important diagnostic boot mode for Windows that only runs very basic drivers and turns off
sampling Capturing sound waves in electronic format. SATA (serial ATA) Serialized version of the ATA
standard that offers many advantages over PATA 1078 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:29 PM (parallel ATA) technology, including thinner cabling,
keyed connectors, and lower power requirements.
SATA bridge Adapter that allows PATA devices to be
connected to a SATA controller.
SATA power connector 15-pin, L-shaped connector
used by SATA devices that support the hot swappable
satellites Two or more standard stereo speakers to be
combined with a sub-woofer for a speaker system (i.e.
2.1, 5.1, etc.)
scan code Unique code corresponding to each key on
the keyboard sent from the keyboard controller to the
SCSI (small computer system interface) Powerful and
flexible peripheral interface popularized on the
Macintosh and used to connect hard drives, CD-ROM
drives, tape drives, scanners, and other devices to PCs
of all kinds. Normal SCSI enables up to seven devices
to be connected through a single bus connection,
whereas Wide SCSI can handle 15 devices attached to a
SCSI chain Series of SCSI devices working together
through a host adapter.
SCSI ID Unique identifier used by SCSI devices. No
two SCSI devices may have the same SCSI ID.
SD (Secure Digital) Very popular format for flash media cards; also supports I/O devices.
SDRAM (synchronous DRAM) DRAM that is synchronous, or tied to the system clock and thus runs
much faster than traditional FPM and EDO RAM. This
type of RAM is used in all modern systems.
SEC (single-edge cartridge) Radical CPU package
where the CPU was contained in a cartridge that
snapped into a special slot on the motherboard called
sector Segment of one of the concentric tracks encoded on the disk during a low-level format. A sectors
holds 512 bytes of data.
sector translation Translation of logical geometry
into physical geometry by the onboard circuitry of a
sectors per track (sectors/track) Combined with the
number of cylinders and heads, defines the disk geometry. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1079 serial port Common connector on a PC. Connects input devices (such as a mouse) or communications devices (such as a modem).
server Computer that shares its resources, such as
printers and files, with other computers on a network.
Example: Network File System Server that shares its
disk space with a workstation that does not have a disk
drive of its own.
service pack Collection of software patches released
at one time by a software manufacturer. signal-to-noise ratio Measure that describes the relative quality of an input port.
signature Code pattern of a known virus; used by
antivirus software to detect viruses.
SIMM (single in-line memory module) DRAM packaging distinguished by having a number of small tabs
that install into a special connector. Each side of each
tab is the same signal. SIMMs come in two common
sizes: 30-pin and 72-pin. SetupAPI.log Log file that tracks the installation of all
hardware on a system. simple file sharing Allows users to share locally or
across the network but gives no control over what others do with shared files. Setuplog.txt Log file that tracks the complete installation process, logging the success or failure of file
copying, Registry updates, and reboots. simple volume Volume created when setting up dynamic disks. Acts like a primary partition on a dynamic
disk. SFC (system file checker) Scans, detects, and restores
Windows system files, folders, and paths. single-sided RAM Has chips on only one side as opposed to double-sided RAM. shadow mask CRT screen that allows only the proper
electron gun to light the proper phosphors. slimline Motherboard form factor used to create PCs
that were very thin. NLX and LPX were two examples
of this form factor. shared documents Windows pre-made folder accessible by all users on the computer.
shared memory Means of reducing the amount of
memory needed on a video card by borrowing from the
regular system RAM, which reduces costs but also decreases performance.
share-level security Security system in which each resource has a password assigned to it; access to the
resource is based on knowing the password.
shareware Program protected by copyright; holder
allows (encourages!) you to make and distribute copies
under the condition that those who adopt the software
after preview pay a fee to the holder of the copyright.
Derivative works are not allowed, although you may
make an archival copy.
shunt Tiny connector of metal enclosed in plastic that
creates an electrical connection between two posts of a
SID (security identifier) Unique identifier for every
PC that most techs change when cloning.
sidebanding Second data bus for AGP video cards;
enables the video card to send more commands to the
Northbridge while receiving other commands at the
same time. Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:29 PM slot covers Metal plates that cover up unused expansion slots on the back of a PC. Useful in maintaining
proper airflow through a computer case.
Smart battery Portable PC battery that tells the computer when it needs to be charged, conditioned, or replaced.
smart card Hardware authentication involving a
credit-card-sized card with circuitry that can be used to
identify the bearer of that card.
SmartMedia Format for flash media cards; no longer
used with new devices.
SMM (System Management Mode) Special CPU mode
that enables the CPU to reduce power consumption by
selectively shutting down peripherals.
SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol) Main protocol used to send electronic mail on the Internet.
snap-ins Small utilities that can be used with the
Microsoft Management Console.
social engineering Using or manipulating people inside the networking environment to gain access to that
network from the outside. 1079 Color profile: Disabled
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Card socket, enabling the system to detect when a PC
Card has been inserted or removed, and providing the
necessary I/O to the device.
SODIMM (small outline DIMM) Memory used in portable PCs because of its small size.
soft power Characteristic of ATX motherboards,
which can use software to turn the PC on and off. The
physical manifestation of soft power is the power
switch. Instead of the thick power cord used in AT systems, an ATX power switch is little more than a pair of
small wires leading to the motherboard.
software Single group of programs designed to do a
particular job; always stored on mass storage devices.
solid ink printers Printer that uses solid sticks of nontoxic “ink” that produce more vibrant color than other
print methods. SSD (solid state drive) Data storage device that uses
solid state memory to store data.
SSID (service set identifier) Parameter used to define a
wireless network; otherwise known as the network name.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Security protocol used by
a browser to create secure Web sites.
standard account/user User account in Windows
Vista that has limited access to a system. Accounts of
this type cannot alter system files, cannot install new
programs, and cannot edit some settings by using the
Control Panel without supplying an administrator password. Replaces the Limited accounts in Windows XP.
standouts Small connectors that screw into a computer case. A motherboard is then placed on top of the
standouts, and small screws are used to secure it to the
standouts. sound card Expansion card that can produce audible
tones when connected to a set of speakers. star topology Network topology where the computers on the network connect to a central wiring point,
usually called a hub. Southbridge Part of a motherboard chipset; handles
all the inputs and outputs to the many devices in the PC. Start button Button on the Windows taskbar that enables access to the Start menu. spam Unsolicited e-mails from both legitimate businesses and scammers that accounts for a huge percentage of traffic on the Internet. Start menu Menu that can be accessed by clicking the
Start button on the Windows taskbar. Enables you to see
all programs loaded on the system and to start them. spanned volume
dynamic disks. Volume that uses space on multiple SPD (serial presence detect) Information stored on a
RAM chip that describes the speed, capacity, and other
aspects of the RAM chip.
speaker Device that outputs sound by using magnetically driven diaphragm.
sprite Bitmapped graphic such as a BMP file used by
early 3-D games to create the 3-D world.
spyware Grayware that runs in the background of a
user’s PC, sending information about browsing habits
back to the company that installed it onto the system.
SRAM (static RAM) RAM that uses a flip-flop circuit
rather than the typical transistor/capacitor of DRAM
to hold a bit of information. SRAM does not need to be
refreshed and is faster than regular DRAM. Used primarily for cache.
SSH (Secure Shell) Terminal emulation program similar to Telnet, except that the entire connection is encrypted.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:30 PM static charge eliminator
static IP address
change. Device used to remove a Manually set IP address that will not stealth virus Virus that uses various methods to hide
from antivirus software.
stepper motor One of two methods used to move actuator arms in a hard drive. (See also voice coil motor.)
stereo Describes recording tracks from two sources
(microphones) as opposed to monaural, which uses
stick Generic name for a single physical SIMM,
RIMM, or DIMM.
STP (shielded twisted pair) Cabling for networks,
composed of pairs of wires twisted around each other
at specific intervals. Twists serve to reduce interference
(also called crosstalk)—the more twists, the less interference. Cable has metallic shielding to protect the wires
from external interference. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
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your computer and immediately discarded. board, such as keyboard controller, floppy drive, basic
video, and RAM stream loading Process a program uses to constantly
download updated information. system bus speed Speed at which the CPU and the
rest of the PC operates; set by the system crystal. stripe set Two or more drives in a group that are used
for a striped volume. system crystal Crystal that provides the speed signals for the CPU and the rest of the system. strong password Password containing at least eight
characters, including letters, numbers, and punctuation symbols. system disk
system. stylus Pen-like input device used for pen-based computing.
subnet mask Value used in TCP/IP settings to divide
the IP address of a host into its component parts: network ID and host ID.
sub-pixel Tiny liquid crystal molecules arranged in
rows and columns between polarizing filters used in
subwoofer Powerful speaker capable of producing
extremely low-frequency sounds.
super I/O chip Chip specially designed to control
low-speed, legacy devices such as the keyboard,
mouse, and serial and parallel ports.
surge suppressor Inexpensive device that protects
your computer from voltage spikes.
SVGA (super video graphics array)
mode of 800 × 600.
swap file Video display See page file. switch Device that filters and forwards traffic based
on some criteria. A bridge and a router are both examples of switches.
SXGA+ Video display mode of 1280 × 1024.
Video display mode of 1400 × 1050. syntax The proper way to write a command-line
command so that it functions and does what it’s supposed to do.
Sysprep Windows tool that makes cloning of systems
easier by making it possible to undo portions of the installation.
System BIOS Primary set of BIOS stored on an
EPROM or Flash chip on the motherboard. Defines the
BIOS for all the assumed hardware on the mother- Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:30 PM Any device with a functional operating system fan Any fan controlled by the motherboard
but not directly attached to the CPU.
System Management Mode (SMM) Provided CPUs
the ability to turn off high-power devices (monitors,
hard drives, etc.). Originally for laptops; later versions
are incorporated in all AMD and Intel CPUs.
System Monitor Utility that can evaluate and monitor
system resources, such as CPU usage and memory usage.
system resources In classic terms, the I/O addresses,
IRQs, DMA channels, and memory addresses. Also refers to other computer essentials such as hard drive
space, system RAM, and processor speed.
System Restore Utility in Windows that enables you to
return your PC to a recent working configuration when
something goes wrong. System Restore returns your
computer’s system settings to the way they were the last
time you remember your system working correctly—all
without affecting your personal files or e-mail.
System ROM ROM chip that stores the system BIOS. System Tools Menu containing tools such as System
Information and Disk Defragmenter, accessed by selecting Start | Programs or All Programs | Accessories
| System Tools.
system tray Contains icons representing background
processes and the system clock. Located by default at
the right edge of the Windows taskbar. Accurately
called the notification area.
system unit Main component of the PC, in which the
CPU, RAM, CD-ROM, and hard drive reside. All other
devices—the keyboard, mouse, and monitor—connect
to the system unit.
Tablet PC Small portable computer distinguished by
the use of a touch screen with stylus and handwriting
recognition as the primary modes of input. Also the 1081 Color profile: Disabled
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tailgating Form of infiltration and social engineering
that involves following someone else through a door as
if you belong.
take ownership Special permission allowing users to
seize control of a file or folder and potentially preventing others from accessing the file/folder.
Task Manager Shows all running programs, including hidden ones, accessed by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-ESC.
Able to shut down an unresponsive application that refuses to close normally.
taskbar Contains the Start button, the system tray,
the Quick Launch bar, and buttons for running applications. Located by default at the bottom of the desktop. the wire. Terminators are used with coaxial cable and
on the ends of SCSI chains. RG-58 coaxial cable requires
resistors with a 50-Ohm impedance.
Test the theory Attempt to resolve the issue by either
confirming the theory and learning what needs to be
done to fix the problem, or by not confirming the theory and forming a new one or escalating. (One of the
steps a technician uses to a solve a problem.)
texture Small picture that is tiled over and over again
on walls, floors, and other surfaces to create the 3-D
TFT (thin film transistor)
also active matrix.) Type of LCD screen. (See theory of probable cause One possible reason why
something is not working; a guess. TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet
Protocol) Communication protocols developed by
the U.S. Department of Defense to enable dissimilar
computers to share information over a network. thermal compound Paste-like material with very high
heat-transfer properties. Applied between the CPU
and the cooling device, it ensures the best possible dispersal of heat from the CPU. Also called heat dope. Tech Toolkit Tools a PC tech should never be without, including a Phillips-head screwdriver, a pair of
tweezers, a flat-head screwdriver, a hemostat, a Torx
wrench, a parts retriever, and a nut driver or two. thermal printer Printers that use heated printheads to
create high-quality images on special or plain paper. telephone scams Social engineering attack in which
the attacker makes a phone call to someone in an organization to gain information. thermal unit Combination heat sink and fan designed for BTX motherboards; blows hot air out the
back of the case instead of just into the case.
thread Smallest logical division of a single program. Telnet Terminal emulation program for TCP/IP networks that allows one machine to control another as if
the user were sitting in front of it. throttling Power reduction/thermal control capability allowing CPUs to slow down during low activity or
high heat build-up situations. Intel’s version is known
as SpeedStep, AMD’s as PowerNow! tera- Prefix that usually stands for the binary number
1,099,511,627,776 (240). When used for mass storage, it’s
often shorthand for a trillion bytes. throw Size of the image a projector displays at a certain distance from the screen. terminal Dumb device connected to a mainframe or
computer network that acts as a point for entry or retrieval of information. TIA/EIA Telecommunications Industry Alliance/
Electronic Industries Alliance. Trade organization that
provides standards for network cabling and other electronics;. terminal emulation Software that enables a PC to
communicate with another computer or network as if
the PC were a specific type of hardware terminal. tiers Levels of Internet providers, ranging from the
Tier 1 backbones to Tier 3 regional networks. termination Using terminating resistors to prevent
packet reflection on a network cable.
terminator Resistor that is plugged into the end of a
bus cable to absorb the excess electrical signal, preventing it from bouncing back when it reaches the end of 1082 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:30 PM timbre Qualities that differentiate the same note
played on different instruments.
toner A fine powder made up of plastic particles
bonded to iron particles, used by laser printers to create
text and images. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1083 toner cartridge Object used to store the toner in a laser printer. (See also laser printer, toner.)
touchpad Flat, touch-sensitive pad that serves as a
pointing device for most laptops.
touch screen Monitor with a type of sensing device
across its face that detects the location and duration of
contact, usually by a finger or stylus.
TRACERT Command-line utility used to follow the
path a packet takes between two hosts. Also called
traces Small electrical connections embedded in a circuit board.
track Area on a hard drive platter where data is
stored. A group of tracks with the same diameter is
called a cylinder.
trackball Pointing device distinguished by a ball that
is rolled with the fingers.
TrackPoint IBM’s pencil eraser-sized joystick used in
place of a mouse on laptops.
transfer corona Thin wire, usually protected by other
thin wires, that applies a positive charge to the paper
during the laser printing process, drawing the negatively charged toner particles off of the drum and onto
the paper. UAC (User Account Control) Windows Vista feature
that enables Standard accounts to do common tasks
and provides a permissions dialog when Standard and
Administrator accounts do certain things that could
potentially harm the computer (such as attempt to install a program).
UART (universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter)
Device that turns serial data into parallel data. The cornerstone of serial ports and modems.
UDF (universal data format) Replaced the ISO-9660
formats, allowing any operating system and optical
drive to read UDF formatted disks.
UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) Consortium of companies that established the UEFI standard
that replaced the original EFI standard.
Ultra DMA Hard drive technology that enables
drives to use direct memory addressing. Ultra DMA
mode 3 drives—called ATA/33—have data transfer
speeds up to 33 MBps. Mode 4 and 5 drives—called
ATA/66 and ATA/100, respectively—transfer data at up
to 66 MBps for mode 4 and 100 MBps for mode 5. Both
modes 4 and 5 require an 80-wire cable and a compatible controller to achieve these data transfer rates.
unauthorized access Anytime a person accesses resources in an unauthorized way. This access may or
may not be malicious. transparency (Windows Vista Aero) Effect in the
Aero desktop environment that makes the edges of
windows transparent. Unicode 16-bit code that covers every character of the
most common languages, plus several thousand symbols. triad Group of three phosphors—red, green, blue—
in a CRT. unsigned driver Driver that has not gone through the
Windows Hardware Quality Labs or Microsoft Windows Logo Program to ensure compatibility. Trojan Program that does something other than what
the user who runs the program thinks it will do. UPC (Universal Product Code )
inventory. troubleshooting theory Steps a technician uses to a
solve a problem: identify the problem, establish a theory of probable cause, test the theory, establish a plan
of action, verify functionality, and document findings. Upgrade Advisor The first process that runs on the XP
installation CD. It examines your hardware and installed software (in the case of an upgrade) and provides a list of devices and software that are known to
have issues with XP. It can also be run separately from
the Windows XP installation, from the Windows XP
CD. The Upgrade Advisor is also available for Windows Vista and Windows 7. TV tuner Typically an add-on device that allows users to watch television on a computer.
TWAIN (technology without an interesting name)
Programming interface that enables a graphics application, such as a desktop publishing program, to activate a scanner, frame grabber, or other imagecapturing device. Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:30 PM Bar code used to track upgrade installation Installation of Windows on top
of an earlier installed version, thus inheriting all previous hardware and software settings. 1083 Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1084 UPS (uninterruptible power supply) Device that supplies continuous clean power to a computer system the
whole time the computer is on. Protects against power
outages and sags.
URL (uniform resource locator) An address that defines the location of a resource on the Internet. URLs
are used most often in conjunction with HTML and the
World Wide Web.
USB (universal serial bus) General-purpose serial interconnect for keyboards, printers, joysticks, and many
other devices. Enables hot-swapping and daisy-chaining devices.
USB host controller Integrated circuit that is usually
built into the chipset and controls every USB device
that connects to it.
USB hub Device that extends a single USB connection
to two or more USB ports, almost always directly from
one of the USB ports connected to the root hub.
USB root hub Part of the host controller that makes
the physical connection to the USB ports.
USB thumb drive Flash memory device that uses the
standard USB connection.
User account Container that identifies a user to an
application, operating system, or network, including
name, password, user name, groups to which the user
belongs, and other information based on the user and
the OS or NOS being used. Usually defines the rights
and roles a user plays on a system.
User Accounts applet Windows XP (and later versions) applet that replaced the Users and Passwords
applet of Windows 2000.
user interface Visual representation of the computer
on the monitor that makes sense to the people using the
computer, through which the user can interact with the
user profiles Settings that correspond to a specific user
account and may follow users regardless of the computers where they log on. These settings enable the user to
have customized environment and security settings.
User’s Files Windows Vista’s redux of the My Documents folder structure. It is divided into several folders
such as Documents, Pictures, Music, and Video. 1084 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:30 PM Users and Passwords applet Windows 2000 application that allowed management of user accounts and
Users group List of local users not allowed, among
other things, to edit the Registry or access critical system files. They can create groups, but can only manage
the groups they create.
USMT (User State Migration Tool) Advanced application for file and settings transfer of multiple users.
UTP (unshielded twisted pair) Popular type of cabling for telephone and networks, composed of pairs of
wires twisted around each other at specific intervals.
The twists serve to reduce interference (also called
crosstalk). The more twists, the less interference. Unlike
its cousin, STP, UTP cable has no metallic shielding to
protect the wires from external interference. 10BaseT
uses UTP, as do many other networking technologies.
UTP is available in a variety of grades, called categories, as follows:
Category 1 UTP Regular analog phone lines—not
used for data communications.
Category 2 UTP Supports speeds up to 4 megabits
Category 3 UTP Supports speeds up to 16 megabits
Category 4 UTP Supports speeds up to 20 megabits
Category 5 UTP Supports speeds up to 100 megabits
Category 5e UTP Supports speeds up to 1000 megabits per second.
Category 6 UTP Supports speeds up to 10 gigabits
V standards Standards established by CCITT for modem manufacturers to follow (voluntarily) to ensure
compatible speeds, compression, and error correction.
Verify. Making sure that a problem has been resolved
and will not return. (One of the steps a technician uses
to a solve a problem.)
vertices Used in the second generation of 3-D rendering, vertices have a defined X, Y, and Z position in a 3-D
VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) Consortium of computer manufacturers that standardized
improvements to common IBM PC components. VESA
is responsible for the Super VGA video standard and
the VLB bus architecture. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1085 VGA (Video Graphics Array) Standard for the video
graphics adapter that was built into IBM’s PS/2 computer. It supports 16 colors in a 640 × 480 pixel video
display and quickly replaced the older CGA (Color
Graphics Adapter) and EGA (Extended Graphics
video capture Computer jargon for the recording of
video information, such as TV shows or movies.
video card Expansion card that works with the CPU
to produce the images displayed on your computer’s
video display See monitor. partition, such as the location of the operating system
voucher Means of getting a discount on the
CompTIA A+ exams.
VPN (virtual private network) Encrypted connection
over the Internet between a computer or remote network and a private network.
VRM (voltage regulator module) Small card supplied
with some CPUs to ensure that the CPU gets correct
voltage. This type of card, which must be used with a
motherboard specially designed to accept it, is not
commonly seen today. virus Program that can make a copy of itself without
your necessarily being aware of it. Some viruses can
destroy or damage files. The best protection is to back
up files regularly. VRR (vertical refresh rate) The amount of time it
takes for a CRT to draw a complete screen. This value is
measured in hertz, or cycles per second. Most modern
CRTs have a VRR of 60 Hz or better. virus definition or data file Files that enable the virus
protection software to recognize the viruses on your
system and clean them. These files should be updated
often. They are also called signature files, depending on
the virus protection software in use. wait state Occurs when the CPU has to wait for RAM
to provide code. Also known as pipeline stalls, virus shield Passive monitoring of a computer’s activity, checking for viruses only when certain events occur.
VIS (viewable image size) Measurement of the viewable image that is displayed by a CRT rather than a
measurement of the CRT itself.
voice coil motor One of two methods used to move
actuator arms in a hard drive. (See also stepper motor.)
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Collection of protocols that make voice calls over a data network possible.
volatile Memory that must have constant electricity
to retain data. Alternatively, any programmer six
hours before deadline after a non-stop, 48-hour coding
session, running on nothing but caffeine and sugar.
volts (V) Measurement of the pressure of the electrons passing through a wire, or voltage. WAP (Wireless Access Point) Device that centrally
connects wireless network nodes.
wattage (watts or W) Measurement of the amps and
volts needed for a particular device to function.
wave table synthesis Technique that supplanted FM
synthesis, wherein recordings of actual instruments or
other sounds are embedded in the sound card as WAV
files. When a particular note from a particular instrument or voice is requested, the sound processor grabs
the appropriate prerecorded WAV file from its memory and adjusts it to match the specific sound and timing requested.
Web browser Program designed to retrieve, interpret, and display Web pages.
webcam PC camera most commonly used for
Welcome screen Login screen for Windows XP. Enables users to select their particular user account by
clicking on their user picture. volume Physical unit of a storage medium, such as
tape reel or disk pack, that is capable of having data recorded on it and subsequently read. Also refers to a
contiguous collection of cylinders or blocks on a disk
that are treated as a separate unit. WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) Wireless
protocol that uses a standard 40-bit encryption to
scramble data packets. Does not provide complete endto-end encryption and is vulnerable to attack. volume boot sector First sector of the first cylinder
of each partition; stores information important to its Wi-Fi Common name for the IEEE 802.11 wireless
Ethernet standard. Glossary P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:30 PM 1085 Color profile: Disabled
Composite Default screen BaseTech / Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs / Mike Meyers / 380-8 / Blind Folio 1086 wildcard Character used during a search to represent
search criteria. For instance, searching for *.doc will return a list of all files with a .doc extension, regardless of
the filename. The * is the wildcard in that search.
Windows 2000 Windows version that succeeded
Windows NT; it came in both Professional and Server
Windows 9x Term used collectively for Windows 95,
Windows 98, and Windows Me. WPA 2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) Wireless security
protocol, also known as IEEE 802.11i. Uses the Advanced Encryption standard and replaces WPA.
WQUXGA Video display mode of 2560 × 1600. wrapper See container file. WSXGA Video display mode of 1440 × 900. Windows Logo’d Products List List of products that
have passed the Microsoft Windows Logo Program and
are compatible with Windows operating system. Formerly called the Hardware Compatibility List (or HCL).
Windows NT Precursor to Windows 2000, XP, and
Vista, which introduced many important features
(such as HAL and NTFS) used in all later versions of
Windows sidebar User interface feature in Windows
Vista that enables users to place various gadgets, such
as clocks, calendars, and other utilities, on the right side
of their desktop.
Windows update Microsoft application used to keep
Windows operating systems up to date with the latest
patches or enhancements. (See Automatic Updates.)
Windows Vista Version of Windows; comes in many
different editions for home and office use, but does not
have a Server edition.
Windows XP Version of Windows that replaced both
the entire Windows 9x line and Windows 2000; does
not have a Server version.
worm Very special form of virus. Unlike other viruses, a worm does not infect other files on the computer. Instead, it replicates by making copies of itself on
other systems on a network by taking advantage of security weaknesses in networking protocols.
WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) Wireless security protocol that uses encryption key integrity-checking and
EAP and is designed to improve on WEP’s weaknesses. 1086 P:\010Comp\BaseTech\380-8\Glossary.vp
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 8:31:31 PM Video display mode of 1680 × 1050. WUXGA
Windows Explorer Windows utility that enables you
to manipulate files and folders stored on the drives in
your computer. WSXGA+ Video display mode of 1920 × 1200. WVGA Video display mode of 800 × 480. WWW (World Wide Web) System of Internet servers that support documents formatted in HTML and
related protocols. Can be accessed by using Gopher,
FTP, HTTP, Telnet, and other tools.
WXGA CompTIA’s Web site. Video display mode of 1280 × 800. x64 Describes 64-bit operating systems and software.
x86 Describes 32-bit operating systems and software.
XCOPY command Command in the command-line
interface used to copy multiple directories at once,
which the COPY command could not do.
xD (Extreme Digital) picture card
media card format.
Xeon Very small flash Line of Intel CPUs designed for servers. XGA (extended graphics array)
of 1024 × 768. Video display mode XPS (XML Paper Specification) print path Improved
printing subsystem included in Windows Vista. Has
enhanced color management and better print layout fidelity.
XT bus See PC bus. ZIF (zero insertion force) socket Socket for CPUs that
enables insertion of a chip without the need to apply
pressure. Intel promoted this socket with its overdrive
upgrades. The chip drops effortlessly into the socket’s
holes, and a small lever locks it in. Mike Meyers’ CompTIA A+ Guide to Managing and Troubleshooting PCs ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2010 for the course COMPTIA 1201 taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '10 term at Galveston College.
- Spring '10