The CompTIA A Track validates the latest skills needed by today's computer support professionals, and is recognized by ajor hardware and software distributors, venders, and resellers. Confirms a technician's ability to perform tasks such as installation, configuration, diagnosing, preventive maintenance and basic networking.

  • Getting Started with A Essentials Training

    In this introductory lesson you will learn about what’s in the course, what specific topics we’ll be covering, how to best use this course to accomplish your certification goals and a little about your instructor.

    • What Will We Be Doing?
    • Who is Your Instructor?
    • What Topics Are Covered?
    • How to use This Course?
  • Computer System Overview

    Explore basic computer system architecture. Common computer components are explained in detail to give you a solid foundation to use in future lessons.

  • Storage and Backup Devices
  • Functional Implementation Analyst

    Learn the common uses, capacity, and interfaces for different storage devices. This will help you to best decide what storage options are right for your needs.

  • Motherboards

    Find out about different types of motherboards. Also, learn the function and capabilities of each component on a motherboard. This foundation will get you started understanding how each part of the motherboard works and how they all interact.

  • Central Processing Units

    Get the most for your processor dollar with the information in this lesson. Learn about how CPUs work, and the differences between different processor styles and their attributes, and the technology that make some CPUs faster than others.

  • Memory

    Learn about past and present memory types and what makes them different. See the math behind how different memory type speeds are calculated so you can truthfully compare one memory option to another.

  • Adapter Cards

    Adapter cards are important to know about when upgrading or replacing computer components. Explore various adapter cards and how they each interface with computers.

  • Printers

    Dive deep into the inner working of a variety of printer types along with important considerations like consumables and print speeds.

  • Display Devices (Monitors)

    Learn about how different monitor types work. Take a look at configuration and safe monitor maintenance as well.

  • Input Devices

    In this lesson you will learn about the different types of input devices that you may encounter as a PC technician. We’ll discuss standard installation methods for these devices and learn more about what each device is designed to do.

  • Power Supplies

    Get an overview of some power terminology and then apply that information to power a computer. Also explore important details like different power connectors and power supply safety.

  • Cooling Methods

    In order to keep your computers from overheating and running efficiently you must have proper cooling components in place. Learn all about the different cooling components inside a computer.

  • Laptop Components

    In order to keep your computers from overheating and running efficiently you must have proper cooling components in place. Learn all about the different cooling components inside a computer.

  • Cooling Methods

    While laptops have many of the same components as other computers, there are some differences. Learn all about technologies usually found in laptops.

  • Troubleshooting Methodology

    In this lesson you will learn a step by step plan to troubleshoot all computer issues including hardware and software and networking. If you follow this plan you can solve problems in a organized and scalable way.

  • Common Computer Issues

    A troubleshooting methodology is a very important when the computer problem is one that you may not have encountered in the past. However, there are many common symptoms that will become all too familiar to you the longer you work as a computer technician. In this lesson we will be discussing common issues with computer hardware, operating systems, laptops and printers. By the end of this lesson you will be familiar with the process of identifying, and resolving many of these common issues.

  • Preventative Maintenance

    Like the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and a preventative maintenance program is an essential part of managing computer technology. In this lesson we will review some industry standards and best practices that should be incorporated into a preventative maintenance program.

  • Windows Operating Systems

    A qualified PC Technician is responsible for managing and maintaining different versions of common operating systems. In order to successfully manage these different systems, it's important to understand the similarities and the differences between each of these software versions. In this lesson we will compare and contrast three different Microsoft Windows operating systems (Windows 2000, XP and Vista).

  • Windows Installation Concepts

    Installing an Operating System is a fundamental skill that every PC Technician is required to possess. Knowing when and how to install an Operating System allows the Technician to Build a PC from scratch, upgrade a PC to a newer Operating System, or repair a computer that has a defective Operating System. In this lesson, you will learn about the concepts involved in the Operating System installation process, including which file system to use, determining hardware compatibility, and methods of system installation and recovery.

  • Windows Installation Walkthrough

    In this lesson, we will be taking a look at the step-by-step procedure that is used to install the Windows Operating System. We will use this opportunity to compare and contrast the differences between two different sets of installation procedures. One set us used to install Windows 2000 and Windows XP and the other set is used for installing Windows Vista and Windows 7.

  • Windows Configuration

    Installing an Operating System is only half the battle. Configuring it to provide functionality for the end user is the other half. In this lesson, we will walk through several areas of the Operating System that require post installation configuration. Specifically, we will be taking a look at configuring Virtual Memory, Operating System Updates, Managing Files and Folders, User Migration Tools, Power Management and safely removing peripheral components.

  • Windows User Interface

    The Graphical User Interface (GUI) is the primary interface used by both the end users as well as the PC Technician. In this lesson, we will examine several aspects of the Windows User Interface that provides the PC Technician with the tools needed to manage the Operating System. Specifically we will be taking a close look at Windows Explorer, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Task Manager and various essential command prompt utilities and run line tools that are used for troubleshooting and managing the Operating System.

  • Windows Boot Sequence

    Have you ever had an Operating System generate an error when it was booting up? These errors can be caused by many different factors including changes made to the hardware and software, corrupted files, viruses and other malware just to name a few. Understanding the steps that an Operating System follows to complete the boot up process will enable a PC Technician to better analyze and determine the causes of boot errors. This knowledge will also guide the PC Technician in developing the appropriate strategy to resolve these issues. In this lesson we will examine the boot sequence for several Microsoft Operating Systems. We will also review the advanced boot options that can be used to recover from boot errors.

  • Networking Fundamentals

    In today's world of computer technology, everything revolves around connecting computers together using various networking technologies. This lesson will discuss some of the fundamental technologies that are used to create different types of networks. We will also discuss some of the technologies that are used to connect computer systems together using these networks.

  • Network Cables and Connectors

    When it comes to computer networks, most connections start with some kind of physical cable. Using the appropriate cable and connector is essential to successfully establishing a network connection. Use the wrong type of cable and your customer will be the loneliest end user on the planet because they will not be able to connect to anyone on their local network or on the internet. In this lesson, we will examine the various types of cables used to connect devices to a network. We will also identify the specific connectors that are used with each type of cable.

  • Network Types

    The internet is the network environment most often connected to by companies and individual users. There are several different technologies that can be used to connect a company or an individual to the internet. In this lesson we will be discussing several of these types of networks and the specific equipment that is needed to establish an internet connection. Specifically, we will be discussing technologies like Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Cable, Satellite, Fiber Optic Networks and Cellular Networks just to name a few.

  • Cooling Methods

    In order to keep your computers from overheating and running efficiently you must have proper cooling components in place. Learn all about the different cooling components inside a computer.

  • IT Security Principals

    With computer system being so interconnected, the possibility for unwanted visitors (hackers) is an ever growing threat. Therefore, the need for proper IT Security measures has never been more important. In this lesson we will discuss several security concepts that a PC Technician needs to be familiar with. We will be taking a look at some of the technologies that are used to implement security measures, and we will also be looking at one very effective method used by hackers to gather sensitive information about you and your company.

  • Security Features

    How secure is secure enough? That is the million dollar question. When it comes to computer systems, security is usually implemented in layers, usually starting at the edge of the network where the WAN and the LAN connect, then moving to strategic locations in the internal network, and finally on the computing devices like switches, routers, servers and workstations. In this lesson, we will be looking at a few of the security features that can be implemented on workstations.

  • Safety and Environmental Procedures

    Whether you're building, installing, configuring, repairing or maintaining a computer system, as an A Certified Professional, safety is always job #1. It will be your responsibility to ensure that you create a safe work environment and that you perform your work in a safe manner. In this lesson we will discuss various aspects of safety including electrical safety measures, physical safety, and environmental safety requirements.

  • Communication and Professionalism

    People do business with people they like and people they trust. As an A Certified Professional, a significant aspect of your job will be to develop strong relationships with your customers and to earn their trust. As part of a customer service organization, it's vital that you develop excellent communications skills and that you always conduct yourself in a professional manner. In this lesson we will be discussing what is expected from the Professional Technician. We will also be looking at communication techniques that can help you provide quality customer service. Finally, we will be looking at some suggestions on how to help a customer that is upset, and what you can do to manage these difficult situations.

  • Preparing for Your CompTIA A Essentials (220-701) Exam

    One of the objectives for taking this CompTIA A Training Course is to take the certification exam and obtain your A Certification. In this lesson we will provide you with an overview of CompTIA A Essentials (220-701) Exam. We will also review the course objectives and map each objective to the various lessons that cover the required material. This lesson also contains recommendations on how to register, study and prepare to take this exam.

    • Exam Overview
    • Course Objectives
    • Study Recommendations
    • Exam Preparation
  • CompTIA A Training - Practical Application

    Preparing for Your CompTIA A Practical Application (220-702) Exam

    In an introduction lesson, we’ll discuss the topics to be covered in the Practical Application portion of this course. We’ll also review how to best use the course to prepare for your A Practical Application certification.

    You will also learn inside tips and pointers on the certification process and other things you should consider before taking the exam.

    • Exam Overview
    • Course Objectives
    • Study Recommendations
    • Exam Preparation
  • Hardware Installation

    In this lesson, we’ll dive into hardware installation by installing various PC components including: the processor, RAM, USB ports, heat sinks and more. We’ll also talk about connecting power supplies, data cables, cooling fans and more.

    These lessons will help you gain a better understanding of hardware installation best practices and techniques.

  • Troubleshooting

    You will learn how to:

    • Install, Configure, Troubleshoot and Repair PCs, laptop components, and peripheral devices.
    • How to resolve common issues you may encounter as a PC Technician.
    • About the tools every PC Technician should have (and know how to use) in their toolkit.
    • How to resolve common printer issues (ex. paper jams, lines and smearing, ghost images and error codes).
  • Windows Troubleshooting Commands

    In this lesson we will use the command line interface to troubleshoot and address problems in a Windows environment. We’ll review the msconfig.exe GUI to address System Configuration and make sure you can address any computer start up issues.

  • Windows Operating System Directory Structure

    Understanding the Windows Directory Structure will help you when you need to find key files quickly. We will master the directory structure and know exactly where to locate User Files, System Files, Program Files, Temp Files, Fonts and more.

  • System Utilities

    System Utilities are some of the fundamental applications that help you manage and configure a Windows Operating System. With Administrative Tools, Device Manager, Task Manager, and System Restore you will be able to manage your hardware, active applications, backup and recovery and more. We’ll also cover remote management using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

  • Disk Utilities

    In this lesson we will take a deeper look into the disk management and gain greater understanding to the types of drives and how to keep them functioning optimally. We’ll cover the tools you can use to identify partition, format and defragment your drives.

  • Resolving Common Issues

    Fear the scary Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) no more. We’ll walk through some of the most common system and application error and address how to avoid or fix each of them. System Lockup, Blue Screen Errors, Device Driver Failures, and Printing Problems are just a few we’ll cover.

  • Troubleshooting Client-side Connectivity

    In this lesson we take a look at various technologies which effect whether a client can connect to resources on a network. We will talk about how to troubleshoot different connectivity issues. Some of the more specific areas of technology we will cover include TCP/IP, Email Protocols, FTP Settings, Proxy Settings, Secure Connection Protocols, and Firewall Settings. We will also review some of the network diagnostic tools we have learned about earlier in this course.

  • Install and Configure a Small Office Home Office Network

    In this lesson we take a look at some of the different networking technologies which are used to connect a small or home office network out to the Internet. Earlier in this course we learned the technical aspects of various networking technologies. Here we will take that knowledge and put it into context when using them in a Small Office Home Office (SOHO) network. These technologies include Dialup, ISDN, DSL, Cable, Satellite, Fiber, Cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. We will also take a look at the physical installation of a SOHO network and how to configure Broadband Routers, Firewalls, and Wireless Access Points.

  • Viruses and Malware Management

    In this lesson we are going to introduce you to different types of Malware and the symptoms you might encounter when computer systems are infected. We’re also going to take a look at mitigating strategies such as using Antivirus Software. And what happens if a computer does in fact get infected? What are some of the steps you can take to remediate or clean up that virus? Then we will talk about a very important, but often ignored component of risk mitigation strategy, end user education.

  • Implementing Security

    In this lesson we will talk about some of the different ways to implement security on an end user workstation. The Windows operating system offers different tools and features to assist with security. We will cover Local Users and Groups, User Account Control (UAC), NTFS Permissions, Shared Files and Folders, System Files and Folders, Encryption, User Authentication, and BIOS Security.