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Reload this page PC Hardware Configuration

Here are my notes on each component in a PC. Good luck on your CompTIA A+ or other exam.

From the Cynic's Dictionary: STATE-OF-THE-ART = Soon-to-be-obsolete.


  • Hard Drive Configuration
  • Installing Windows 9x
  • ,
  • NT
  • Windows 2000
  • Configuring Windows 9x
  • Windows 2000

  • Newsgroup: comp.benchmarks
  • Topics:

  • User Ergonomics
  • Electric Shock
  • Systems Manufacturers
  • Hardware Compatibility
  • PC Adapter Cards
  • Processors
  • BIOS Manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Video/Multimedia
  • CD Drives
  • Hard Disks


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    Sound: Computer ready

    Set this at top of window. User Ergonomics

    • Your chair, such as Herman Miller's $700 Aeron Highly Adjustable Work Chair, should give constant back support as you tilt forward. Leaning forward is bad for your back. If you find yourself tilting forward, maybe it's really because you need a new presciption for your glasses. Elevating your feet (with a wood box or message unit) may keep you from tilting forward.
    • The keyboard should be at the end of a level arm .
    • Seat should be adjusted so legs bend in an upside-down “L” shape.
    • Rest legs on an angled footrest. This keeps you from slumping over the keyboard. Try it!
    • Arms and elbows should be supported by the chair.
    • To avoid glare on screen and papers, position monitors away from windows and doors so you're facing the light source. Lighting is ideally from the left at an angle. Get bright daylight bulbs.
    • Paper references within reach.

    Set this at top of window. Get Green

    • Get low-noise PC's from
    • Efficient power supplies convert 90% of their input power vs. 40% in conventional PSUs, largely to produce multiple 5V and 3.3V voltages (in addition to the standard 12V) that nowadays can be converted by voltage regulator modules on the motherboard.
    • Power management software Surveyor by Verdiem centralizes power settings on remote computers.
    • The 80Plus initiative by power companies promote this.

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    Set this at top of window. Shocking Electric Power:

    • Prevent Electro-Static Discharge:
      • work in a humidified non-carpeted area with rubber mats. Kinky!
      • Drain static build-up by wearing a resistor wrist-strap connected to the chassis plugged into an earth-grounded AC wall outlet (except when working with open CRT tubes).
      • Use anti-static spray of 1 part fabric softener (such as Downey) to 20 parts water.
      • Keep equipment in anti-static bags.
      • Handle boards only by their edges.

    • Volts measure the potential (pressure) of a circuit. The 120V standard in America may vary from 114V to 126V. 240V is used for heavy electrical appliances. Electical transmission lines are 10,000V. A PC's power supply steps power down to 5v or 3.3v. AA cells are 1.5V each.

      Batteries are string cells together to achieve higher voltage.

      US car and marine batteries are traditionally rated at 12V AC. Applying higher voltage charges them. More voltage is needed during below-freezing tempuratures and to charge Delco Freedom (closed cell) batteries which run at 14.3 volts. So charge older batteries at 13+v, and up to 15v on new ones. So use a multi-meter before charging.

      Electricity is Volts x Amperes = Watts or Watts / Volts = Amps. So 400W / 120V = 3.3 amps
      10W----Cell phones, MP3 players
      50W----Portable CD players
      90W----Laptop Computers
      100W----Video Game Consoles
      350W----Power Tools
      525W----Small Appliances
      1200W1016Door bells
      2400W2012Wall Sockets
      garbage disposal
      3600W3010Water Heaters
      6600W556Kitchen Range
      Wall oven
      Air Conditioner

    • Watts is the unit of power, the rate at which a device consumes electricity (converts current to heat or motion). Electric bills are calculated based on Killowatts (thousands of watts) used each hour.
    • Amperes (Amps for short) measure the amount of current (number of electrically charged electrons). Amps is used to rate circuits and fuses.

    • When using a Digital multimeter (DMM):
      • Turn off power before testing for resistance (measured in ohms).
      • To read household current, set the selector to 200v AC
      • To readcontinuity on low-voltage door chimes, set the ACV scale to 50V.
      • connect the DMM in parallel to the part
      • the resistance of a good 15 amp fuse is zero.
    • On the motherboard, black wires labeled P8 and P9 go next to each other on P1 and P2 males on the motherboard.
    • To discharge a CRT anode, use a well-insulated long screwdriver.

    • Regular Romex NM cable. If moisture is involed, use NMC cable.

      UPS Manufacturers


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    Set this at top of window. Hardware Compatibility:

      PnP = Plug and Pray

    1. Get a list of the installed hardware: Boot the computer with the NTHQ (NT Hardware Qualifier) diskette. for Intel processors only: If you don't have this program, first create it by running program Support\Hqtools\makedisk.bat from the NT Install CD ROM.
    2. Make sure that the device is on Microsoft's Hardware Compatibility List Search According to the Winmag NT 4 Q&A Problem areas include scanners, some accelerated video drivers, non-standard pointing devices (particularly joysticks), low-end tape drives and multimedia upgrade kits.
    3. To find who manufactured a card, lookup the FCC ID legally mandated on boards on the FCC web site. Anatek provides a massaged database for $7.
    4. Get the most recent device drivers manufacturers NT 4.0 doesn't support Windows 95's VxD virtual device driver model. Win95 disk compressors, defragmenters, undelete, and other low-level utilties won't run on NT 4 because low-level disk support is different on the two platforms. NT 3.x video, SCSI, and printer drivers are incompatible with NT 4.0.
    5. and HardwareCentral.

    Set this at top of window. PC Adapter Cards:

      FormatData Path Bits Data Transfer Speed MB/s Mhz Configuration
      &nbap; 62 line PC-Bus 8/20 1   Jumpers
        62 & 36 pin PC-AT ISA 8 & 16 8 8 MHz Jumpers
        MCA 16 or 32 20-40 10 MHz IBM Reference Disk
        EISA 486 with 7 bus masters 32 33 - 100 6 - 10 Mhz  
      '92 VLB VESA Local Bus 32 150 - 275
      burst mode
      50 Mhz  
      '94 PCI 32 or 64 532 66 PnP 32-bit 124-pin or 68-bit 188-pin
      '98 PCI Express 64/32 532 133 Mhz Express Card
      '98 PCI-X 2.0 64/32 1024 133 Mhz  
      '90 PCMCIA Type I Card 68-pin JEIDA connector standard. 8/16 54mm wide
      3.3mm high
      '91 PCMCIA Type II Card serial/parallel ports 8/16 5.0mm high
        PCMCIA Type III hard drives 8/16 10.5mm high
      USB 1.0 Bus - -
      USB 2.0 Bus - -

      Intel E7221 Server chipset (Copper River) supports PCI-Express x8, which in turn supports a 64-bit PCI hub with built-in support for PCI-X slots at speeds up to 133MHz with PCI hot-plug replacement — used for high-performance SCSI arrays and very fast server-optimized network adapters. The E7221 also supports MCH integrates SVGA video, ECC RAS advanced memory error correction, and switches automatically from dual-channel to single-channel memory support if one memory channel (device) fails.

      To view devices hidden when they are not connected in Windows 2000 Device Manager, select Show Hidden Devices or run

        set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1

      To have phantom devices always appear, add this Environment system variableanother page on this site


    Complete Systems Manufacturers

    Gateway 2000
    Hewlett Packard
    Packard Bell
    Sony (Vaio)


  • Voodoo (bought up by HP)
  • Alien (bought up by Dell)

    Mail Order

    WWW Classifieds
    Computer Shopper
    CDW 888-239-7305
    CompUSA 800-CompUSA
    Computer Shopper 
    Insight 800-316-9135
    PC Connection 800-800-0022
    PC Mall 800-863-3282
    PC Zone 800-408-9663
    MicroWarehouse 800-397-8508


    Arrow Electronics
    Ingram Micro
    Massey Canada
    Tech Data

    download At people share drivers (viruses and all). is moderated for a free subscription.

    tool PriceWatch gets prices from entry by dealer in real-time and flags items decreasing in value.

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    Set this at top of window. PC Motherboards

    • NT support Intel's SMP Symmetric Multi Processing with up to 2 Intel Inside processors per workstation or 4 processors per server. SMP is not available with AMD K6, Cyrix/ IBM 6x86MX, or IDT Centaur processors.
    • In this table, "Bus /Addr Bits" is the maximum bit size of the instructions that the processor can handle.

      IntroTypeBus /Addr BitsBus MHzSpeed MHzMemory
      IBM PC-XT 8088 Dual In-line IC
      PC-AT 16/24 33-100 30 pin SIMM
      EISA Bus 486 16 32 MB/s
      32 30 pin SIMM
      Pentium 32 60/66 60-133 72 pin SIMM
      Pentium MMX cache on system board 32 60/66 100-233 168 pin DIMM
      Pentium Pro with on-board 256/512 half-speed L2 cache in an external PGA and a separate cache bus 32 60/66 100-233 168 pin DIMM
      "586" Pentium II 440BX chip Slot I cartridge with 512K L2 cache 64 100 233, 266, 333, 350, 400 168 pin DIMM
      Pentium II .18µ Xeon chip Slot 2 2MB L2 cache 64 100 400,450 168 pin DIMM
      "686" Pentium III i815 chipset 1.1GHz
      AMD Athelon (requires 300 watt power supply)
      Intel Celeron with 128K L2 on board full speed
      Intel Rambus Double
      Intel Coppermine with 512K full speed L2
      '01 Intel Itanium I (from "Merced" project w/HP) 64 733-800
      '02 Intel's 3.6GHz Xeon ("McKinley") processor based on its IA-32 chip architecture IA-64
      '03 AMD Opteron IA64 extensions to IA32 AMD64
      9/03 AMD Athlon IA64 extensions to IA32
      2/04 Intel .13µ P4 ("Madison, Deerfield") w/extensions to IA32 EMT64
      05 Intel ("Willamette") IA-32 >1.4GHz

      Note: all computers wait at the same speed.

      Intel P4's have a new core and APIC bus multiprocessor protocol — 400MHz data transfer rate on the system bus for a bandwidth of 3.2GB/sec Chipsets for Socket 775 :

        Intel 925X Express chipset for workstations supports PCI-Express x16 (video) and x1 (general-purpose) slots, high-definition audio (7.1 speaker support), dual-channel DDR2 memory, USB 2.0 ports, Serial ATA and matrix storage.

      Motherboards are designed to support specific types of RAM.
      DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) is used as the main (or system memory) a PC uses to store the operating system, application programs, and data while they are running.

      DRAM has to be refreshed approximately every 15ms because it stores data as electrical charges which gradually discharges. Nevertheless, DRAM is popular because of its high (MB per chip) density and low price.

      • FPM (Fast Page Mode) speeds DRAM standard access of 50 and 70ns because rather than sending both row and column address to a memory cell, FPM sends row addresses just once for many accesses to memory near each other.
      • EDO (Extended Data Output) DRAM improves read times up to 30% by outputing data from one address while simultaneously setting up the access request for the next one.
      • BEDO (Burst Extended Data Output) DRAM is supported by some motherboards, but has not gained wide acceptance. It is similar in performance to Synchronous DRAM.
      • SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM) is designed to run at motherboard clock speeds: 66, 100, and 133MHz. for transfer speeds of up to 1.064 GB/sec.
      • Rambus DRAM (RDRAM), proprietary to Intel and Rambus, uses a bus width of 2 bytes vs. SDRAM's 8 bytes, to achieve effective clock speeds of up to 800MHz and speeds of up to 1.6 GB/sec.
      • Double Data Rate SDRAM (DDR SDRAM) transfers data twice in one cycle for speeds from 100Mhz to 166Mhz and theoretical maximum bandwidth for 100Mhz DDR at 1.6 GB/sec (100Mhz x 2 x 8 bytes). So for marketing hype they are named PC1600, PC2100, etc.
      • Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) store data in an electronic circuit called a flip-flop. which is four or five times faster than DRAM because it uses six transitors to store a bit cell vs. one for DRAM.
      • VRAM (or dual-port RAM) is used on high-performance video adapters by giving separate read and write ports for simultaneous read/write.
      • WRAM (Window RAM) is a modification of dual-port VRAM for 25% faster speed for graphics cards such as Matrox's Millennium series.
      • SGRAM (Synchronous Graphics RAM) increases its single-port DRAM memory transfer speed by working with video card acceleration features.

    • Celeron chips ("The Castrated One") don't have 512K L2 2nd-level Cache memory
    • Chips can be 5V or 3.5V (used in laptops), internal bus provides 5 and 12V power.
    • Within a system bus, the North Bridge connects to low (2.5v) voltage devices such as DRAMs and 1.5V AGP buses (such as Intel 815 and 845G integrated chipset used on nVIDIA nForce2). The South Bridge connects to higher (3.5 - 5V) voltage devices such as I/O.
    • Two power connectors: larger milky molex connectors and small white berg connectors in 12V or 5v. Check with a voltmeter. 12v chip fans have to connect directly from the power supply

    • Windows 9x recognizes up to 3 parallel ports.
    • Symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) refers to two or more processors operating with equal priorities in a system.
    • Intel's P6 Microarchitecture processors are housed in a Single Edge Contact Cartridge (S.E.C.C.) attached to a 242 Contact Slot Connector on the motherboard. Its Dual Independent Bus (DIB) architecture provides a separate, dedicated bus for the L2 cache using BSRAM (Burst Sync Random Access Memory) chips. This second bus removes a large amount of traffic from the system bus, providing improved throughput. The L2 cache bus runs at half the processor's internal speed, flexibiy increasing speed processor speed increases.

      P6 systems BIOS can take advantage of multiple processors working together and share workloads. Mulit-processing must be enabled by a BIOS setting called MPS (MultiProcessing Specification), Different versions of MPS: Do This MPS1.4 is the proper setting for all multiple processor systems running any version of Windows NT. reminder The BIOS setting must be reset each time the BIOS is upgraded. MPS1.1, the default version, is for all multiprocessing systems except Windows NT*, such as Netware* (4.x and up), Unixware* (2.11SMP and up) and SCO OpenServer*.


    Set this at top of window. BIOS Manufacturers

    POST Power On Self Test

    Unicore ( AMI & Award) 978-686-6468
    Mr. BIOS (MB)
    Phoenix 781-551-4000
    Micro Firmware (Phoenix) 405-321-8333

    Chip Directory has numerically and functionally ordered chip lists, chip pinouts and lists of chip manufacturers, controller embedding tools manufacturers, electronics books, cdrom's, magazines, and web links.

    Set this at top of window. Motherboard Manufacturers ( ABIT)
    Spacewalker Shuttle

    Evaluations by the Duke of URL

    Scripture 11th commandment: Covet not thy neighbor's Pentium.


  • CPU Central and Multilink compare processors.
  • Billy Newsom's Introduction to Chipsets clearly presents information with clean webpage formats.
  • Thomas Pabst's Chipset Guide
  • Dr. Dobb's Journal's Intel Motherboard manuals.
  • Chris Hare's Chipset Specs details all manufacturers.
  • Heat sinks
  • PC Warehouse's Memory Selector

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      Peripheral IRQA website external to this site Settings: Address
      0 Timer
      1 on this page Keyboard 16h
      2 Secondary Processor Interrupt controller (to IRQ 9)
      3 another page on this site Modem at COM2, COM4 14 h 2F8h, 2E8h
      4 on this page Serial mouse at COM1, COM3 3F8h, 3E8h
      5 * LPT2 or MIDI sound 378h
      6 on this page Floppy Disk Drive 3F2h
      7 on this page Printer at LPT1, LPT3 17h 3BCh, 278h
      8 Real-time Clock 1Ah
      9 on this page Sound card DMA 1 or Redirected IRQ 2 220h - 22Fh
      10 on this page SCSI or Second NIC for Routing or
      on this page Video capture 30Ch - 30Fh
      11 * Primary another page on this site NIC or Secondary SCSI
      12 PS/2 Mouse Port
      13 Floating-point Math Coprocessor
      14 on this page IDE Hard Drive
      15 * Secondary Hard Disk, Zip drive, Scanner, etc.

      To display properties of objIRQ objects in WBEMClass "Win32_IRQResource", run this from the Resource Kit: Cscript "IRQRes.vbs"

        Name = IRQ9
        IRQ Number = 9
        Hardware = True

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    Set this at top of window. Monitors and Video Capture

      PinsStandardYear IntroColor Depth Number of Colors at a timePixels in Graphics ModeRefresh RateHSYNC KHz
      9 Color Graphics Adapter '82 RGB 16 640 x 200 60Hz 15
      Enhanced Graphics Adapter '82 RGB 64 640 x 350 60Hz 22.1
      15 Video Graphics Array '89 4 bit 16 640 x 480 60,70 31.5
      Super VGA '90 8 bit 256 1024 x 768
      1280 x 1024
      50,60,72 35-48
      XGA '92 8 bit 256 1024 x 768 44,70 35.5
      - - 16 bit 65,536 High Color 1760 x 1169
      - - 24 bit 16,777,216 True Color
      - - 32 bit 4,294,967,296 -

      another page on this siteCompare resolutions of photos and TVs

    • VGA signal cables plug into 15 pin male D-shell connectors on the video adapter.
    • A .28 dot pitch means .28 mm between dots on the screen.
    • In monochrome text mode, 5x7 or 7x9 dot-matrix characters are generated.
    • Each pixel picture element (PELs) has a trio of Red Green Blue dots.

    • VGA delivers a single non-interlaced screen presented 30 frames per second (60 Hz field rate).
    • Studio-quality American NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) TV delivers 512x512 480x720 pixel (525.5 vertical line) resolution in two interlaced frames presented at a rate of 29.97 frames per second (59.94 Hz field rate).
    • PAL (Phase Alternate Lines), adopted by UK, Brazil, Japan, and China delivers 576x720 pixel 625 vertical lines at 25 fps (50 Hz field rate).
    • SECAM (SEquential Couleur Avec Memoire) was invented by the French but adopted by most Eastern bloc countries.

    • Signals on TV antenna wire is 300 Ohm, is converted to Cable TV 75 Ohm.
    • Video cards convert the color space from analog RF signals containing YUV (Luminescence and color) to digital RGB signals for VGA use. The native color representation of video cameras, television, and computer monitors is gamma corrected R'G'B' (4:4:4 in studio video terminology).
    • To take advantage of the human eye's poor color acuity, luma and chroma can be discarded in subsampled in Y'CBCR 4:2:2 format, which saves disk space.

    • To support DVD, display adapter and monitor should support 800 × 600 × 16 bits per pixel (BPP) graphics or better. DVD-Video is played from files in the Video_TS folder on only a single local drive.
    • DVD playback in HiVision HDTV widescreen 16:9 (rather than the traditional 4:3) aspect ratio.
    • Analog S-video is clearer than Composite (raster scan) video.

    • Windows 98 and Windows 2000 includes multiple monitor support, allowing a single desktop to span 2 to 10 monitors on PCI or AGP video cards.
    • Graphics accelerators on a AGP are faster than on a PCI bus because Rather than using limited local video memory, AGP it dynamically allocates and then executes texture maps directly from system memory
    • To support cool 3D screen savers such as "Liquid Desktop" from Isotope244, download Download GLSetup which detects your 3D graphics card chipset and installs the most recent matching OpenGL drivers. This assumes you also have the latest drivers for your motherboard, DirectX 7 or higher, and Win9x (not WinNT).


    Monitor Manufacturers:

    Touch Window
    Fujitsu laptops

    Video Card Manufacturers:

    3dfx/nVidia Voodoo
    3DLabs Permedia
    Appian Graphics
    Artist Graphics
    ATI Rage
    BOCA Research, INC.
    Canopus Corporation
    Creative Labs
    ColorGraphic Communications
    Diamond Multimedia Systems, INC.
    Genoa Systems Coprporation
    Hercules Computer Technology
    Matrox G200, G400, G450
    Intel i740, i810, i815
    Number Nine Computer Corporation
    Orchid Technology
    Sigma Designs REALmagic
    S3 Graphics Savage3D
    STB Systems, INC.
    Televideo Multimedia

    Info on Video Technologies:

  • National Media Labs hosted by 3M
  • Discreet 3D video software
  • Comparison of TV signals

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    Set this at top of window. Floppy Disks:

    • Use 34 pin BERG connectors on FDD signal cables.
    • Drive A gets the end of the cable.
    • Drive B gets the middle connector.
    • The Drive Select (DS) jumper on the drive's printed-circuit board
    • 601 error code.
    • If the light is lit continuously, the cable is mounted backward.

    • 1.44MB diskettes can contain up to 214 files in the root directory. During formatting using FAT (FAT16), 16 sectors are typically set aside for the 32 bytes needed to hold attributes for each file.

  • Tom Pabst's Storage Pages

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    Set this at top of window. CD Drives:

    • CD-ROMS use ATAPI drivers. The speed of CD-ROM spindles are varied so that the track passing the laser is between 3.95 and 4.6 feet per second. This allows a CD to store 680MB. Each "X" speed transfers data at 150KB per second. A 32X drive transfers data at 4,800KB per second.
    • When using drives larger than 8GB on Windows NT4, get the updated ATAPI driver on a diskette and install it.
    • Windows 3.1 used the MSCDEX external CD-ROM driver for real-mode operation.
    • Windows 95 comes with the CDFS (CD-ROM File System) CD-ROM protected-mode driver, and will, at initial boot-up, automatically REM out MSCDEX lines in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
    • Under Solaris, Rock-Ridge extensions to the HSFS (High Sierra File System) standard CD-ROM file system support the full range of Unix file information with directory names that contain characters supported under UFS.

    • To display properties of objInst objects in WBEMClass "Win32_CDRomDrive", information about your CDROM drives, run this from the Resource Kit:

        Manufacturer:               (Standard CD-ROM drives)
        Description:                CD-ROM Drive
        Drive:                      G:
        Status:                     OK
        Media Loaded:               No
        Volume Name:
        Volume Serial Number:
        Maximum Component Length:
        Device ID:                  IDE\CDROMPIONEER_CD-ROM_DR ... 
        PNP Device ID:
        SCSI Target Id:             0
        Drive Integrity:            
        Config Manager Error Code:  0
        Config Manager User Config: False
        Creation Class Name:        Win32_CDROMDrive


  • Andy McFadden's CD-Recordable FAQ
  • Storage by Sony

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    Set this at top of window. Hard Disk Configuration:

    • Max. 4 IDE: (Integrated Device Electronics) drives [ not Java Intergrated Development Environments!
      • Max. two masters and two slave hard drives.
      • Max. three primary partitions, one extended partition.
      • EIDE/Fast ATA/2 ATAttachment allows for more than 2 drives and the AT ATAPI.

        tool Determine the correct hard drive jumper settings with this Java applet from Ontrack. Usually:

        • Master drive: jumper ON?,
        • Slave drive: jumper OFF?
        • Plug master on middle ribbon connector nearest to the CPU on motherboard.
        • Plug slave on end ribbon connector.

      Linux Partition Drive
      #1 Master middle hdaX Primary C: System/Boot
      Slave end hdcX Primary E: CD/DVD 1
      #2 Master middle hdbX Primary D: Data drive
      Slave end hddX Extended F: CD/DVD 2

      Reminder Windows assigns by default second physical drive D:
      Reminder Colored edge of ribbon cable neareast power source plug!

    • SCSI devices (Linux sda, sdb, etc.):
    • Data transfer rate is stored in CMOS. After SCSI installation, no changes to CMOS is necessary.

    • platters ???
    • 3.5" drives have between 315 and 1,024 cylinders (sets of tracks) divided into 17 - 50 sectors.
    • FAT hard drives typically can contain up to 512 files in the root directory because only 16 sectors are set aside for it.
    • A cluster takes 1 to 16 sectors.

      Set this at top of window. Master Boot Record (MBR)

      FAT keeps track of what clusters are used and which are free in the MBR (Master Boot Record).

      The MBR (Master Boot Record) is at sector-o, head-o, and track-o of the first logical hard driveanother page on this site that is bootable. A bootstrap loader routine can also be located in the ROM extension of a network card (perhaps by a virus).

      To reset the MBR:

        FDISK /MBR

    • Hard drive heads spin at 5,400, 7,200, 10,000 RPM 50 microns above the magnetic substrate. That's 100 times larger than the diameter of a human hair. (So don't rock the PC.)

      An analogy of this is if the read/write heads were a Boeing 767 flying over a hard disk platter as the surface of the Earth:
      The head would fly at Mach 800 at less than one centimeter from the ground, counting every blade of grass, making fewer than 10 unrecoverable counting errors in an area equivalent to all of Ireland.

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    Set this at top of window. Hard Drive Speeds and Cables

      Max. Data Transfer rate MB/s Drive Name Type Data
      Cable Length & type Max. # devices Note
      10 IDE 8 bits 40-pin 40 wire 18 in. cables 2
      33 IDE Ultra DMA  
      66 IDE Ultra DMA drives jumpered to “Cable Select”.
      5 SCSI-1 8 bits 6 m (SE) or
      12 m (LVD)
      10 Fast (Narrow)
      3 meters (10 feet) long 50 pin cables 7 (identifiers 0 - 6 set with jumpers, with 7 for the controller) 10 Mhz
      20 Fast Wide
      16 bit 15 with passive terminators, 20 Mhz
      20 Ultra (Narrow)
      8 bit 1.5 meters 7 with passive terminators, 20 Mhz
      40 Ultra Ultra (Wide Ultra)
      16 bit 7 (SE) or
      15 (LVD)
      with active terminators
      40 Ultra2 Narrow
      8 bit 12 meters LVD (Low Voltage Differential) signaling 68-pin MicroD -- Requires bus drivers 7 40 Mhz.
      80 Wide Ultra2 SCSI-4 16 bit 15  
      80 Narrow Ultra3 8 bit 15 ?
      160 Ultra3 compliant Ultra160 SCSI 16 bit 15 adds double transition clocking, domain name validation checked at the negotiated rate to ensure drive availability, and cyclic redundancy check.
      320 Ultra3 wide
      16 bit 16 ?
      100 Fibre Channel 16 bit 10K meters 126 Single loop fiber optic cable

      Data Width: “Wide” SCSI is 16-bit, Narrow is 8-bit.

      Each device on a SCSI bus is identified by a SCSI ID, which ranges from 0 to 7 or sometimes 0 to 15. The SCSI adapter itself occupies a SCSI ID, which leaves 6 or 14 available for actual devices.

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    Set this at top of window. Hard Disk Setup:

    • The maximum size of a file is 2GB on a FAT16 drive; 4GB on a FAT32 drive.
    • The maximum size of a FAT32 volume is limited to 32 GB in Windows 9x, 64 GB in Windows 2000. 32 byte file entries in FAT32 allows partitions to be up to 8GB by using 4KB cluster sizes.

    • Windows 95 and Windows NT4 do not support FAT32 introduced with Windows 95 OSR2.

      Windows 2000 supports several file systems:

      • FAT12 for small volumes such as floppy disks.
      • CD-ROM File System (CDFS), an implementation of ISO 9660, for CD-ROM read/write access
      • Universal Disk Format (UDF) 1.5 for read-only access to Digital Versatile Disks (DVD).

      Linux ID Partition Type
      5 Extended
      6 DOS 16 bit (larger than 32 MB)
      b Windows 95 FAT 32
      82 Linux Swap
      83 Linux Native

    • Older BIOS do not support Enhanced mode which uses Logical Block Addressing (LBA) techniques to create larger partitions. This Enhanced Cylinder, Heads, Sectors (ECHS) technique increases from 16 to 256 the maximum number of R/W heads.

    • If BIOS recognizes a drive but Win98 doesn't recognize it, the drive may have been formatted for NTFS (which only NT or Win2000 OS's can read).

    • 4KB is the max. block size for Windows 2000 NTFS5 compressed drives.

    • Setting hard disk performance (diskperf.exe) counters

      File System Partition
      FAT12 16 MB 4096
      FAT16 128 MB 2048
      1 GB 16384
      Max. 2047 MB
      (2 GB)
      32768 Max.
      FAT32 < 260 MB 512 Windows 95 OSR2 only using FDISK Large Disk Support (LBA) option
      8192 MB 4096 default
      16 GB 8192
      Max. 32 GB 16384
      Max. 64 GB 32768 Creation by Windows 2000 Won't be recognized by Windows 9x
      NTFS 10 MB to 2 Terabytes4096 default File & Folder security, encryption, disk quotas

      Volume size cluster size
      FAT FAT32 NTFS
      7 MB–16 MB 2 KB Not supported 512 bytes
      17 MB–32 MB 512 bytes Not supported 512 bytes
      33 MB–64 MB 1 KB 512 bytes 512 bytes
      65 MB–128 MB 2 KB 1 KB 512 bytes
      129 MB–256 MB 4 KB 2 KB 512 bytes
      257 MB–512 MB 8 KB 4 KB 512 bytes
      513 MB–1,024 MB 16 KB 4 KB 1 KB
      1,025 MB–2 GB 32 KB 4 KB 2 KB
      2 GB–4 GB 64 KB 4 KB 4 KB
      4 GB–8 GB Not supported 4 KB 4 KB
      8 GB–16 GB Not supported 8 KB 4 KB
      16 GB–32 GB Not supported 16 KB 4 KB
      32 GB–2 TB Not supported Not supported 4 KB

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    Set this at top of window. Printers:

    • PC printer cables use 36 pin Centronics D-shell connectors.
    • Pitch in number of characters per inch. Each point is 1/72 of an inch. Pica is 10 point. Elite is 12 points.
    • Paper thickness is measured in pounds per 17 x 22.5 inch sheets.
    • Impact platten printers make carbon copies: drum, chain, 9, 18, 24 pin Dot matrix
    • Thermal printers use special light-sensitive paper.
    • Non-impact: Ink Jet (bubble jet) create characters fully formed from Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK inks.
    • Laser page printers use ion deposition technology:
      1. Cleaning: Erase lamps neutralize charge
      2. Conditioning: The rotating photosensitive drum receives an overall -600V charge.
      3. Registration: The laser creates high-voltage (+1000 Vdc) to make positive spots on the drum for dark areas.
      4. Writing: negative charged fine toner is attracted to the spots.
      5. Developing: The Corona wire applies a positive charge through the paper.
      6. Transferring: The negatively charged toner in an image jumps to the more positive paper.
      7. Fusing: Pressure from Teflon-coated compression bottom roller and top roller heated to 140C and 230C fuses toner on the paper

    • To install a network printer on Windows 9x, click on Network Neighborhood, Computer name, Printer name, and alt-click Install. Windows 9x OEM drivers are installed from an OEMSETUP.INF file. Windows 9x temporary spool files (.SPL and .TMP) files in the SYSTEM/SPOOL/PRINTERS directory may not be automatically deleted.
    • Page Description Languages:
      • Adobe Postscript Level 2 or Level 5
      • HPGL Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language
    • The various sizes and resolutions of a Microsoft TrueType font is created from an FOT and TTF file character set displayed in the Control Panel's Character Map.
    • Sun's Jini Technology for Java networking federations of devices.


  • Canon
  • Epson
  • Hewlett Packard
  • IBM Lexmark
  • Lexmark
  • Okidata
  • Xerox

    A website external to this site MySimon's list

    Dot matrix printer

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    Set this at top of window. Mice, Keyboards, and Pointing Devices:

    • 5 pin DIN male connectors ground using pin 4.
    • 301 error codes
    • External Modem cables plug into DB-9 & DB-25 male connectors.
    • Serial mice plug into DB-9 male connectors or PS/2
    • Windows only support mice at COM1 and COM2 (not COM3 and COM4)
    • Joystick cable goes in DB-15 female connectors on sound cards.
    • A full size piano has ___ ebony and ivory keys. The original PC had 84 keys. 101/102 key keyboards add the numeric keys at the right. 104 key, internet
    • Some BIOS can set Num Lock on or off upon boot-up.


  • Logitech
  • Microsoft

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      On Top of IT News

    AV & home theatre technologies by Alan Dolski

    Linux newbies


    Set this at top of window. Sound cards, speakers, thunder seats:

    • The system audio output device is a 2.25-inch, 8-ohm, 1/2-watt speaker. Its output frequency range extends through the complete audio range.
    • 8 bit sound cards can produce 256 tones.
    • The MIDI interface protocol lists 16 (patch) channels and 128 General MIDI Standard program codes for different instrument sounds. Each MIDI note played can have a velocity (loudness) from 0 to 127. Round, 5-pin DIN connectors are used for In, Out, and Through serial communications.

    • The Microsoft Media Control Interface spec for controlling multimedia devices ???
    • What's Dolby and THX 5.1" sound???


  • Altec-Lansing 4 speaker sets don't use the 2 back speakers unless your program sends signals.
  • Creative Soundblaster
  • Ensoniq
  • Klipsch speakers.

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  • 50 question Network+ and A+ sample exams from WirWandy
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