CompTIA A+ Certification Prep 1: Hardware

The CompTIA A+ Certification Prep 1: Hardware course teaches you about the hardware common to nearly every personal computer, including microprocessors, RAM, power supplies, motherboards, UEFI/BIOS, the system setup utility, the expansion bus, and input/output devices.

According to CompTIA, getting your A+ certification can lead to a rewarding IT career—with average salaries ranging from $45,000-$60,000, depending on the role you pursue.

Note: To properly prepare for your 220-1101/1102 CompTIA A+...

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6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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Course code: ac1

Get ready to roll up your sleeves and dive inside your personal computer! The CompTIA A+ Certification Prep 1: Hardware course is the first of three CompTIA courses you will need to take to successfully prepare for your A+ certification. It teaches you about the hardware common to nearly every personal computer, including microprocessors, RAM, power supplies, motherboards, UEFI/BIOS, the system setup utility, the expansion bus, and input/output devices.

Throughout our CompTIA A+ prep course, you will learn techniques every tech masters for building and troubleshooting all sorts of computers, plus get the inside scoop on how techs work within the enterprise. This computer hardware course also gives you the base knowledge needed to continue your CompTIA A+ certification studies for the 220-1101 and 220-1102 exams.

What you will learn

  • Learn proper tech terminology and how all the components of the PC work together
  • Discover important safety techniques that every good tech needs to know
  • Gain practical information and advice on installing and troubleshooting CPUs
  • Learn about the different varieties of RAM and proper techniques for installing it
  • Obtain everything you need to know about motherboard form factors, types of expansion slots, and installation steps for expansion cards
  • Gain knowledge of hard drive technologies and the fundamentals of protecting data with RAID technology

How you will benefit

  • Learn the skills you need to promote yourself as a PC hardware technician capable of solving various computer issues
  • Gain the confidence you need to successfully perform integral computer support in the workplace
  • Become an indispensable part of any organization that uses computers daily
  • Complete the first of three courses needed to prepare for your CompTIA A+ certification

How the course is taught

  • Instructor-Moderated or Self-Guided online course
  • 6 Weeks or 3 Months access
  • 24 course hours

In Lesson 1, we'll introduce you to the course and to the CompTIA A+ certification, and then move right into essential information for every tech. You'll get the scoop on how the many components of the personal computer work together. We'll discuss how professional techs behave and interact with clients. And we'll finish with a tried-and-true troubleshooting methodology that will apply to all tech situations.

In Lesson 2, we'll take a tour of a desktop PC, starting with the exterior connectors. We'll go into details of the interior devices as well. Our goal is to begin teaching proper tech terminology and familiarize you with standard computer components. You'll also learn about some common computer roles, so you can better understand why desktop PCs are used in both homes and businesses.

This lesson looks at the ways laptops differ from desktops. You'll learn about laptop hardware, including a variety of support devices such as docking stations and port replicators. You'll find out how to manage laptop power and battery life and how to protect, maintain, and troubleshoot laptops.

In this lesson we dive into the important safety techniques that every good tech absolutely needs to know. These range from how to clean a computer to methods to avoid tech-induced damage to how to dispose of old parts safely.

In this lesson, we'll deliver the goods on central processing units, the core processing component in every PC. We'll explain variations in technology and then give practical information and advice on installing and troubleshooting CPUs. Plus, we'll dig into the details of one of the foundations of the computer: RAM. With RAM, the CPU can make magic happen. Without it? Literally nothing can happen. You'll learn about the different varieties of RAM and proper techniques for installing it. Then, we'll wrap up the lesson with troubleshooting RAM and memory problems.

In this lesson, we'll teach you about the essential programming that makes computers function, what's called the BIOS or UEFI. Plus, you'll learn about the special tools we use for storing configuration options for BIOS and UEFI. It's awesome stuff! We'll also teach you all about motherboards, the bedrock of every PC. You'll learn form factors, types of expansion slots, and installation steps for expansion cards. In this lesson, we'll also cover upgrading, installing, and troubleshooting motherboards.

Today, we'll introduce you to power supplies and the basics of powering a PC. You'll learn about how electricity gets from your wall outlet into your PC, along with how to test that electricity. We'll teach you about the many power supply standards and how to install one inside your PC. Finally, we'll discuss how to troubleshoot a power supply with problems.

In this lesson, you'll learn about devices that enable you to input data into your computer. We'll discuss standard input devices (like keyboards and mice) and multimedia devices (like digital cameras and webcams). We'll also teach you about connecting those devices to your computers using connectors like USB and Thunderbolt.

Today, we'll dig into storage technologies, including traditional hard disk drives and modern solid-state drives. You'll also learn how to install storage devices of several interface types, including SATA and M.2. We'll also explain the fundamentals of troubleshooting storage devices.

In Lesson 10, you'll learn how to prepare a storage device such as a hard disk drive or solid-state drive for use by an operating system. We'll teach you about partitioning and formatting. We'll also cover maintaining your data using several included Windows utilities.

In this lesson, you'll explore various forms of mass storage that you can take with you, such as USB flash media, memory cards, optical drives, and external drives. You'll also discover how RAID arrays improve storage performance and/or reliability.

As we wrap up the course, you'll learn about all the other stuff that goes into making IT work, such as documentation, change management, ticketing systems, and disaster prevention and recovery.

Mike Meyers

Mike Meyers, also known as the "Alpha Geek," is widely recognized as the leading authority on CompTIA Certifications in the industry. He co-founded Total Seminars, LLC and National Cyber Group, LLC, and has been providing PC and network repair seminars, books, videos, and courseware to thousands of organizations worldwide. With his extensive experience in the computer and network repair industry since 1987, Mike has worked as a technician, instructor, author, consultant, and speaker.

Mike is the author of several popular PC books and videos, including the best-selling CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide and CompTIA Network+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide. He also serves as the series editor for the highly successful Mike Meyers' Certification Passport series and the Mike Meyers' Guide to series. Mike has sold over a million IT and certification books.

Instructor Interaction: The instructor looks forward to interacting with learners in the online moderated discussion area to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have on the course content.

Prerequisites:

There are no prerequisites to take this course. However, you need to complete the following courses upon completion of this program to adequately prepare for CompTIA A+ certification. These additional courses are CompTIA® A+ Certification Prep 2: Software and CompTIA® A+ Certification Prep 3: Network Security.

Requirements:

Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.
  • It's also recommended that you have a PC that you can take apart and put back together again. Because of the dangers of electro-static discharge (to the machine, not to you), you are not required to tear apart your own primary computer. This is, however, a class that trains you to be a hardware technician - having a machine to play with greatly helps your learning.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.

Other:

  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Instructor-Moderated: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.​

Self-Guided: Your course begins immediately after you enroll.​

Instructor-Moderated: Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends. You will interact with the instructor through the online discussion area. There are no live sessions or online meetings with the instructor.

Self-Guided: You have 3 months of access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period. You will have the opportunity to interact with other students in the online discussion area.

Instructor-Moderated: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release. However, you will have access to all lessons from the time they are released until the course ends.​

Self-Guided: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons within the allotted access period. Discussion areas for each lesson are open for the entire duration of the course.

Instructor-Moderated: Students enrolled in a six-week online class benefit from a one-time, 10-day extension for each course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.​

Self-Guided: Because this course is self-guided, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.