EXAMS 220-701 & 220-702 With hundreds of practice questions and hands-on exercises, CompTIA A+ Certification Study Guide, Seventh Edition covers what you need to know--and shows you how to prepare--for these challenging exams.


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  • 1000Base-T

    See Gigabit Ethernet.


    See Fast Ethernet.


    See Ethernet.


    In reference to the Windows operating systems, one that can utilize up to 4 GB of address space. (5)


    In reference to the Windows operating systems, one that can utilize more than 4 GB of address space. Depending on the version, 64-bit Windows can address a maximum of from 8 to 192 GB. (5)


    A wireless network standard that uses the 5 GHz band. (13)


    A wireless network standard that uses the 2.4 GHz band at a speed of up to 10 Mbps. (13)


    A wireless network standard that uses the 2.4 GHz band at a speed of up to 54 Mbps. It is downward-compatible with 802.11b. (13)


    A wireless network standard that defines speeds of up to 600 Mbps. It is downward-compatible with 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g. (13)

    8-bit high color

    Describes the VGA mode color setting that, although it can produce around 16 million different colors, can only display up to 256 different colors at a time. (3)


    See alternating current.

    AC adapter

    A type of power supply that converts AC power to voltages needed for a device. AC adapters are generally used for portable PC systems and other devices. (6)

    accelerated graphics port (AGP)

    A local bus designed for video only, it provides a direct link between the processor and the video card, giving the video card direct access to main memory. (1)

    access control

    Managing access to resources. Access control to computers and network resources involves authentication and authorization. (16)

    access control entry (ACE)

    In an access control list, a record containing just one user or group account name and the permissions assigned to that account. (16)

    access control list (ACL)

    A table on each file and folder in the NTFS file system that contains one or more access control entries. (16)

    accessory bay

    In a laptop, a compartment that holds a single media device that is switchable with another. (6)


    See access control entry.


    See access control list.


    See Advanced Configuration and Power Interface.


    See Advanced Communications Riser.


    The "activity" status light on a NIC that indicates data is being transmitted. (5)


    A method used by several software manufacturers to combat software piracy. The formal name for Microsoft's activation is Microsoft Product Activation (MPA). (9)

    active communication

    A set of behaviors including active listening and active speaking that shows you are fully engaged in the conversation and encourages the other person to also communicate in a positive manner. (18)

    active KVM switch

    See electronic KVM switch.

    active listening

    A set of skills, behaviors, and attitudes to use when listening to another person. (18)

    active matrix display

    An LCD technology based on thin-film transistor (TFT) technology. An active matrix display has a transistor at every pixel, which enables much quicker display changes than passive matrix displays and produces a display quality comparable to a CRT. (3)

    active partition

    A primary partition that is marked for use by the system during startup. Windows operating systems can only be booted from an active partition. (10)

    active speaking

    The appropriate responses that you make during a conversation. (18)

    ad hoc mode

    In a Wi-Fi network, the networking mode that allows peer-to-peer communications without the use of a centralized wireless hub, called a wireless access point (WAP). (14)

    adapter card

    A printed circuit card that you add to the motherboard to enhance functionality. Also called an expansion card. Video adapters and network interface cards (NICs) are examples of adapter cards. (2)

    address bus

    A group of wires used to identify addresses in main system memory in a computer. The number of wires in an address bus is called the width of the bus and determines the number of unique memory locations that can be addressed using binary math with the two raised to the power of the number of wires in the bus. A 32-bit bus can address up to 4 GB of memory, whereas a 36-bit address bus can address up to 64 GB of memory. (1)

    Address Resolution Protocol (ARP)

    A protocol used to resolve an IP address to a MAC address. (13)

    Advanced Communications Riser (ACR)

    A riser card standard that AMD, 3Com, and others introduced in 2000 to supersede AMR. It uses one PCI slot, provides accelerated audio and modem functions as well as networking, and supports multiple Ethernet NICs. (2)

    Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI)

    A power management standard that includes all the power states of APM, plus two more. It also supports soft power. (6)

    Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

    AMD manufactures CPUs and other products, and its chief rival is Intel Corporation. (1)

    Advanced Power Management (APM)

    A power management standard, introduced by Intel in 1992, that defines four power-usage operating levels. (6)

    Advanced Technology (AT)

    A type of motherboard used in older PC systems; also refers to the 1984 IBM PC AT model. (1)

    Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA)

    The former name of the Parallel AT Attachment (PATA) interface standard. (1)

    Advanced Technology eXtended (ATX)

    A type of motherboard and its variants most commonly used in recent PC systems. (1)


    Software installed on a computer without permission that collects information about a user in order to display targeted advertisements, in the form of either inline banners or pop-ups. Inline banners are advertisements that run within the context of the current page, taking up screen real estate. (16)


    See accelerated graphics port.

    alternating current

    The delivery of electricity (as from a wall outlet) in which the flow of electrons reverses periodically and has alternating positive and negative values. (3)


    See arithmetic logic unit.


    See Advanced Micro Devices.

    American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

    A technical standards organization. (3)

    amperes (amps)

    A measurement of the volume of electrons, also called current. It is calculated with the formula amps = watts / volts. (3)


    See audio modem riser.

    analog LCD display

    An LCD display that uses a DB-15 connector, which means that it accepts analog signals that it converts to digital. (3)

    analog modem

    A modulator/demodulator device that allows computers to communicate with one another over existing phone lines. (2)


    See American National Standards Institute.

    answer file

    A file used during an unattended installation of Windows. It provides a script of responses to the questions Setup asks so the user does not have to answer them manually. (9)

    antistatic mat

    A mat that provides a path to ground for a static charge and is designed for the desktop or floor of a workspace. One placed on the workbench reduces the risk of electrostatic discharge for components placed on it, while one placed on the floor provides the same protection for anyone standing on the mat. (5)

    antistatic wrist strap

    A strap designed to discharge static electricity from your body. One end attaches to the wrist, whereas the other end attaches to a grounded object. (5)


    See Automatic Private IP Address.


    See Advanced Power Management.

    archive attribute

    A file attribute set by the OS when a file is created or modified. Backup software often removes this attribute when backing up a file in order to mark it as a backed-up file. (10)

    arithmetic logic unit (ALU)

    A component of a CPU that is responsible for all logical and mathematical operations in the system. (1)


    See Address Resolution Protocol.

    aspect ratio

    The proportion between an image's width and height. Traditional CRT monitors have an aspect ratio of 4:3. Widescreen displays have an aspect ratio of 16:9. (3)


    See automated system recovery.

    asymmetrical digital subscriber line (ADSL)

    A type of DSL service in which the download speed is higher than the upload speed. (13)

    asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)

    A type of switched network used by phone companies. (13)


    See Advanced Technology.


    See Advanced Technology Attachment.

    ATA Packet Interface (ATAPI)

    The protocol for connecting optical drives and tape drives to an ATA channel. (1)


    See ATA Packet Interface.


    See asynchronous transfer mode.

    attended installation

    An installation of Windows that is not automated, where the user is required to pay attention throughout the entire process to provide information and to respond to messages. Also called a manual installation. (9)


    A power supply standard that has both the 20-pin connector for the motherboard and a 4-pin 12 V connector. (3)


    See Advanced Technology eXtended.

    ATX power supply

    A power supply form factor that pairs with an ATX motherboard and case. (3)

    audio modem riser (AMR)

    A small expansion card introduced in the late 1990s that plugs into a special slot on a motherboard and uses the CPU to perform modem functions and sound functions. It is not plug and play compatible. (2)

    Audit Policy

    In Windows, one or more settings found in the Local Security Settings console. (16)


    See security auditing.


    Authentication is validation of a user account and password that occurs before the security components of Windows will give the user access to the computer. (16)

    authentication factor

    Things used for authentication, such as something you know, something you have, or something you are. Authentication involves one or more of these factors and can, therefore, be one-factor, two-factor, or three-factor authentication. (16)


    The process that authenticates a user and verifies the user account's level of access to a resource. (16)

    Automated System Recovery (ASR)

    An option available in the Windows XP Backup program for recovering from damage that prevents the operating system from starting. It replaced the Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) process in Windows 2000. (11)

    Automated System Recovery (ASR)

    In Windows XP, this replaces the Emergency Repair process of Windows NT and Windows 2000. ASR is available from the Windows Backup program (NTBACKUP.EXE). (11)

    Automatic Private IP Address (APIPA)

    An address that a DHCP client will assign to itself after requesting an address and failing to receive one from a DHCP server. The address it will assign is in the 169.254 /16 network, which is the range of addresses from to (13)

    auto-switching power supply

    A power supply that detects the incoming voltage and switches to accept either 120 or 240 VAC. (6)

    back door

    Program code that provides a way for someone to gain access to a computer while bypassing security. Only a person who knows how the back door works can use it, but once in, that individual has the same access as the host program to all the internal operating system code. (16)

    background process

    A process that runs "behind the scenes" with a low priority, does not require input, and rarely creates output. (11)

    backup media

    Any writable mass storage device, removable or fixed in place. (2)

    Balanced Technology eXtended

    A motherboard form factor introduced in 2003 by Intel as the successor to ATX. (1)


    The amount of data that can travel over a network at a given time. (13)

    bar code reader

    A specialized type of scanner that reads bar codes, which are patterns of bars of varying widths printed on labels or directly on items. The bar pattern is converted into a numeric code that is transmitted to a computer as data. (3)

    base priority level

    See process priority level.

    basic disk

    A disk that uses basic storage, which means that it uses the partition table in the master boot record (MBR) to define disk partitions. (10)

    basic input/output system (BIOS)

    A type of computer firmware that is responsible for informing the CPU of installed devices and how to communicate with them. (1)

    Basic Service Set (BSS)

    The wireless nodes (including the WAP) communicating together in infrastructure mode. (14)

    basic storage

    A storage type in Windows that uses the partition table in the master boot record (MBR) to define disk partitions. (10)

    BDD Workbench

    A tool used to create and manage a distribution share and various installation images. (9)

    beam-on-blade connector

    The type of connector used in the ExpressCard interface. (6)

    bidirectional mode

    A parallel port mode in which the signals can be transmitted in both directions between the PC and parallel devices connected to the computer. (4)


    A measurement of a body part, such as a fingerprint or retina scan. (16)

    biometric device

    A device that uses a measurement of a body part, such as a fingerprint or retina scan. (3)

    biometric logon

    The use of a biometric for authentication. (16)


    See basic input/output system.

    BIOS settings

    The BIOS configuration settings, also called system settings, accessed via a special BIOS-based menu during system startup. (4)

    bit width

    In reference to a memory module, how much information the processor can access from or write to memory in a single cycle. (2)

    BitLocker drive encryption

    An encryption technology introduced in Windows Vista Enterprise and Ultimate editions, Windows Server 2008, and also in Windows 7 Ultimate and Enterprise editions. It encrypts the entire boot volume. (16)


    The act of covertly obtaining information broadcast from wireless devices using the Bluetooth standard. (16)


    A wireless standard for using radio waves to communicate between devices. Class 3 Bluetooth devices (the most common) communicate at distances up to one meter. (6)

    Blu-ray disc

    The high-definition optical disc formatting standard developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association whose members include Sony, 20th Century Fox, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and many other industry leaders. (2)


    A connector used to attach coaxial cables to computers and network equipment. Origin of the term may be "Bayonet-Neill-Concelman" or "British Naval Connector." (2)

    boot record

    The first physical sector on a floppy disk or the first sector on a hard drive partition. The boot record contains information about the OS. The boot record on a primary active partition is used to start the operating system. Also called the boot sector. Do not confuse this with the master boot record. (10)

    boot sector

    See boot record.

    boot sequence

    The order in which the BIOS will search devices for an operating system to start. (4)


    A network connection device that passes traffic between two networks, using the physical address (MAC address) of the destination device. (13)

    broadband WAN

    A wide area network (WAN) connection that allows a large amount of data to be transmitted. Broadband WANs includes cellular, ISDN, DSL, cable, T-carrier, satellite, and fiber. (13)


    See Balanced Technology eXtended.

    Bubble Jet

    A popular inkjet printer developed by Canon. (12)


    In a computer, pathways that power, data, and control signals travel from one component to another within the system. (2)


    Used to represent the chrominance signal in S-Video. (3)

    cable select

    An EIDE drive setting that has the system select the drive's role (master or slave) based on the drive's position on the cable. If the drive is on the end of the cable, it is the master drive, and if it is in the middle of the cable, it is the slave drive. (4)

    cable tester

    A tool for testing if a cable can connect properly end-to-end and to determine if a cable has a short. These tools are available for a variety of cable types. (5)

    cache controller

    A CPU component that manages the CPU cache. (1)


    In power supplies, the amount of wattage the power supply can handle. (3)

    capture card

    A category of adapter card that accepts and records video signals to a PC's hard drive. A TV tuner card is a type of capture card. (2)

    card services

    A service on a laptop that configures a card after socket services has recognized it. (6)


    The PCMCIA standard that succeeds the PC Card. (6)


    The box that houses the main computer system. (1)

    case fan

    A cooling fan mounted directly on the case, as opposed to a power supply fan, which is inside the power supply. (3)

    cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor

    A display device that contains a cathode ray tube and uses an electron gun to activate phosphors behind the screen at the front of the tub. (3)


    See compact disc.

    CD-R (CD-Record)

    A drive that can write once to a special CD-R disc. (1)


    See Compact Disc-Read-Only Memory.

    CD-ROM drive

    A drive on a computer that can play music CDs and read data CDs, but cannot write to CDs. (1)

    CD-RW (CD-rewritable)

    A drive that can write either to CD-R discs or to specially designed CD-RW discs. In the case of the CD-RW discs, the drive can write more than once to the same portion of disc, overwriting old data. (1)

    cellular WAN

    Data communications over the cellular telecommunications networks. (6)

    central processing unit (CPU)

    The primary control device for a computer system. The CPU is simply a chip containing a set of components that manages all the activities. Also called a processor. (1)


    A 36-pin connector mounted to a device's parallel interface. (3)

    channel service unit (CSU)

    A device required at both ends of a T-carrier system connection. (13)


    In the laser printing process, the stage in which the printer's high-voltage power supply (HVPS) conducts electricity to the primary corona wire so it can pass the voltage on to the printer's electro-photosensitive drum. (12)


    One or more chips designed to work closely with the CPU. Two parts of this chipset are the Northbridge and the Southbridge. (1)


    The signal in a television transmission that contains the color of the image. (3)


    In the laser printing process, the stage in which the image is removed from the photosensitive drum so it can accept the next image. (12)

    cleaning blade

    In the laser printing process, a blade that removes residual toner from the drum. (12)

    client/server-based network

    A network in which dedicated computers called servers store data and provide print services or other capabilities to computers running the appropriate client service or services. (13)

    clock speed

    In a CPU, the speed at which it can potentially execute instructions, measured in millions of cycles per second—megahertz (MHz)—or billions of cycles per second—gigahertz (GHz). (1)


    The minimum disk space that a file can use, allocated in the file system. (10)


    See complementary metal-oxide semiconductor.

    CMOS settings

    A misnomer, referring to the BIOS settings that are stored in a CMOS chip. (1)


    See communication network riser.

    coaxial cable

    Cabling that contains a single copper wire surrounded by several layers of insulating plastic and a woven wire sheath that provides protection. (3)

    Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)

    The cellular network standards used by Verizon and Sprint-Nextel. (13)

    code signing

    A practice begun in Windows 2000 in which all of the operating system code is digitally signed to show that it has not been tampered with. (9)

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