A+ Certification/Exam Objectives/Hardware/PC Assembly and Disassembly

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One of the best things you can do to prepare for the exam is to learn the function of and how to identify the hardware inside of a computer. The following is a rough guideline for the order in which to disconnect components from your computer system. Be sure to place items in anti-static bags, where appropriate. Static electricity can damage components or destroy data. Always wear an anti-static wrist strap when working inside the case. DO NOT wear one while the power is still attached.

  1. Detach external devices
    1. Detach power cable
    2. Detach keyboard and mouse
    3. Detach monitor
    4. Detach serial, parallel, and USB devices
    5. Detach network cables, telephone lines, speaker cables, etc.
    6. Detach all other peripheral devices
    7. Remove system case
  2. Remove internal components (be sure that the computer is unplugged from any power source before removing components) (but, remember that if you unplug the power, the computer components are no longer grounded and there is increased likelihood of device damage from electrostatic discharge. This is why you should wear an anti-static wrist strap.)
    1. Detach internal power cables and connectors from all storage devices
    2. Remove hard drive, floppy drive, CD-ROM and other storage devices
    3. Remove interface cards
    4. Remove power cables from system board
    5. Remove all other cables from the system board
    6. Remove screws or clips holding motherboard in place
    7. Remove motherboard
    8. Remove DIMM or RIMM memory modules
    9. Remove CPU fan, heat sink, and CPU

Consider grounding yourself by touching the power supply before unplugging the power cable. And after you unplug it, hold the power button for 5 seconds, to discharge the computer (i.e. until the LED on the mother board dies). You must still use your anti-static wrist strap, however.

The computer should be reassembled in the reverse order. For the exam one must know how to install and configure hardware and other input and multimedia devices. There is no practical component to any of the A+ exams.