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    Practical Activities

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Practical 1 - Connectors & Peripherals

  1. Carefully draw the back of your computer, clearly showing the position and shape of the different ports and sockets.

Clearly label each port/connector that you have drawn specifying the type of port.  e.g.

parallel, 9-pin serial, 25-pin serial, PS/2, USB, VGA, power supply socket, power supply unit to monitor connector, specify any other.

  1. For each port/connector found on the back of the computer you examined, fill in a table 1 giving the:- 

port/connector type

a sketch of the port/socket including the number of pins if appropriate

a list of the peripheral devices that can connect to that port/connector 

a sketch of the peripheral device connector including the number of pins if appropriate

You may examine all the peripheral devices placed next to your computer for connector details.


Practical 2 - Computer Systems Investigation

You have two computer systems to investigate, a Pentium I and a Pentium III.

Pentium III Computer System:

  1. Dismantle the Pentium III computer system, removing all peripheral devices and cables.  Remove any case screws and lift off the computer case.  Carefully examine the inside of the computer and record the following details in table 2:-

     

    Motherboard form factor (examine the motherboard power connector)

    CPU type (slot or socket), manufacturer

    RAM module type and no of pins

    Slot types and number of slots

    Hard drive details:- cylinders/heads sectors and/or LBA.  Hard drive size.  Hard drive jumper setting.  Which motherboard IDE connector it is connected to.

  2. Replace the computer case and reconnect all the peripheral devices.  Boot up the computer and find out the following additional details, recording them in table 2:-

CPU speed

Amount of RAM

Hard drive size

BIOS manufacturer

Pentium I Computer System:

  1. The Pentium I you are going to investigate needs to have the CPU and RAM fitted into the motherboard.  Do this first.

  2. Investigate the Pentium I and record in table 3 the same details about this system as you recorded for the Pentium III.


Research - Operating Systems

  1. Find out the minimum system requirements for each of the following operating system and record the details in table 4:-

Windows 98

Windows 2000

Windows XP

Red Hat 7.2 or 8

  1. Using table 4, specify which operating systems could be installed on each of the two computer systems investigated in Practical 2.  

  2. Choose which operating system you would like to install on the Pentium III system and state why.

 

   Donít forget to fill in you log at the end of each practical

 


Practical 3 - Disk Partitioning & Formatting

In this practical, you will be preparing your hard disk for installation of an operating system.  You are required to create at least two partitions; one for the operating system of your choice and the other for storing all your data files.  Before you install the operating system of your choice you should be clear on:-

number of partitions and partition size

which file system to use for each partition

  1. Draw a simple diagram in table 5, outlining how you are going to partition the disk for your operating system and for the additional data storage partition.  State the partition size, partition type, active partition and file system you intend to use. 

  2. Boot into DOS using boot floppies and run fdisk.  Create your partitions and format each partition using fdisk if possible; give each partition a volume name.  If fdisk does not have the capability for formatting the file  system of your choice, the operating system installation routine will have.

  3. Check that the BIOS is set so that you can boot from a CD.  Using your operating system installation disk, install the OS onto the appropriate partition.

  4. As you go through the installation procedure, write down anything you were asked that you didn't understand or you thought were confusing and what you did in table 5.

 

   Donít forget to fill in you log at the end of each practical

 


Practical 4 - Operating System Configuration

You should now have installed your operating system. 

  1. Configure the operating system so thatÖ

   The display is set to an appropriate resolution and refresh rate.

   The keyboard is set to UK English

   The date and time are correct

   Appropriate icons are displayed on the desktop (such as My Computer and My Documents or equivalent)

   Virtual memory is set to an appropriate amount

   There is an account for an Administrator and an account for a normal user (Windows NT/2000/XP or Linux only)

 


Practical 5 - Multimedia Installation

You will be given a sound card to install. 

  1. Check that you have a sound card and a driver disk for the card and that it specifies on the box that it is compatible with your operating system.

  2. Following the correct procedure for dismantling a PC, install the sound card into the appropriate bus slot.  Make a note in your log of the bus slot used.

  3. Reassemble your PC and power up your system.

  4. Did your operating system detect the new hardware device?  Did your operating system ask for a driver for the sound card or did it install a driver for you?  Make a note of all this in your log.

  5. Check that your sound card is working properly using device manager or equivalent.  If it isnít re-install a driver from the driver disk that came with the sound card.

  6. Using the supplied headphones and music CD, check that your sound card is working properly and that you can play music. 

   Donít forget to fill in you log at the end of each practical

 


Practical 6 - Printer Installation

You will be given a printer to attach to your workstation and a printer driver disk.

  1. Switch off your PC and attach the printer to your PC using the supplied parallel cable.

  2. Power up the printer and the PC

  3. Did your operating system detect the new hardware device?  Did your operating system ask for a driver or did it install a driver for you?  Make a note of all this in your log.

  4. Check that your printer is working properly using device manager or equivalent.  If it isnít re-install a driver from the driver disk supplied.

  5. Print out a test page and attach it to your log. 


Practical 7 - Disk Maintenance

Now that your operating system is installed and configured properly and other hardware devices have been installed, it is time to optimize your hard disk by carrying out a defragmentation.

  1. First check that there are no file system errors on the disk using the appropriate utility, (scandisk for Windows 98, chkdsk for Windows 2000/XP, fschk for Linux.)  Were there any errors?  Make a note in your log of the result of the check.

  2. Using an appropriate utility defragment your hard disk.  Make a note in your log of the percentage fragmentation before and after you defragment the disk.


Practical 8 - Diagnostics

You will be given a PC with two simple faults. 

  1. Carry out an investigation and identify the two faults.  Make a note of the faults in your log.

  2. Correct the faults that you found.  Make a note in your log of the procedures you used.

  3. Ask your classmates about the faults they found with their own PC.  Can you correctly diagnose the faults just by asking questions?  Write all of this down in your log.

   Donít forget to fill in you log at the end of each practical

 


Table 1:

Port/connector type

Sketch of port/socket

List of peripheral devices that will connect to this port/connector

Sketch of peripheral device connector

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2: Pentium III

CPU details

 

RAM details

 

Motherboard details

 

Expansion slot details

 

Hard drive details

 

Bios details

 

Table 3: Pentium I

CPU details

 

RAM details

 

Motherboard details

 

Expansion slot details

 

Hard drive details

 

Bios details

 

Table 4: Operating System Requirements

Windows 98

Windows 2000

Windows XP

Red Hat 7.2 or 8

RAM 

 

CPU

 

Hard Drive Space

 

File System

 

Other

 

Operating System you wish to install

 

 

 

Table 5: Partitioning, Formatting & OS Installation

Partition Information

  Questions asked during installation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


That's it for these activities!

 

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