Cover image for Upgrading and repairing PCs : technician's portable reference
Upgrading and repairing PCs : technician's portable reference
Mueller, Scott.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, Ind. : Que, [1999]

Physical Description:
xx, 299 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TK7887 .M84 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The best of the best--all the essential reference tables and configuration settings without the bulk for the full version of Upgrading and Repairing PCs. This edition includes tables and charts on everything from BIOS settings, to monitor sizing, to jumper settings for corner peripherals IDE Drives to SCSI data-transfer rates and more! Troubleshooting and error-code coverage includes IBM and AMI Bios Audio Post Codes, nonfatal system board errors, and personal computer error codes. The book is logically organized so you spend less time searching. Information is broken up by component and listed alphabetically.

Author Notes

Scott Mueller has sold over 1.5 million units of his best-seller Upgrading and Repairing PCs since it became an instant classic in 1988. It has been translated into 11 languages. Scott has taught his PC Hardware seminar to over 10,000 computer professionals and enthusiasts. Scott is a well known figure in the computer and general press and is frequently interviewed with mention of his book. Recent articles featuring Scott and the book have appeared in Forbes and Investors Business Daily as well as numerous computer publications.

Table of Contents

1 General Technical Referencep. 1
ASCII Control Codesp. 1
Extended ASCII Line-Drawing Charactersp. 2
Hexadecimal/ASCII Conversionsp. 2
Understanding Bits and Bytesp. 9
Standard Capacity Abbreviations and Meaningsp. 10
2 System Components and Configurationp. 11
Processors and Their Data Bus Widthsp. 11
Differences Between PC/XT and AT Systemsp. 12
Intel and Compatible Processor Specificationsp. 13
Troubleshooting Processor Problemsp. 19
Motherboard Form Factorsp. 21
Baby-AT Motherboardp. 21
LPX Motherboardp. 21
ATX Motherboardp. 23
NLX Motherboardp. 23
Which Motherboard Is Which?p. 24
Power Suppliesp. 24
LPX Versus ATX Power Suppliesp. 25
Power Connectors for the Drive(s)p. 26
Quick-Reference Chart for Troubleshooting Power Suppliesp. 28
Memory Typesp. 28
30-Pin SIMMp. 29
72-Pin SIMMp. 29
DIMMsp. 30
RDRAMp. 30
Parity Versus Non-Parity Memoryp. 31
"Divide by 3" Rulep. 32
Expanding Memory on a Systemp. 33
Memory Troubleshootingp. 34
Memory Usage Within the Systemp. 34
Hardware and Firmware Devices that Use Memory Addressesp. 35
Using Memory Addresses Beyond 1MB (0FFFFF)p. 37
Determining Memory Address Ranges in Usep. 37
Other Add-On Card Configuration Issuesp. 37
IRQsp. 38
DMAp. 39
Determining Actual IRQ and DMA Usagep. 40
I/O Port Addressesp. 41
Determining Actual I/O Address Ranges in Usep. 44
Troubleshooting Add-on Card Resource Conflictsp. 44
Expansion Slotsp. 48
ISAp. 49
EISA--A 32-bit Version of ISAp. 50
VL-Bus--A Faster 32-bit Version of ISAp. 52
PCIp. 53
AGPp. 53
3 BIOS Configurations and Upgradesp. 55
What the BIOS Is and What It Doesp. 55
When a BIOS Update Is Necessaryp. 55
Specific Tests to Determine if Your BIOS Needs an Updatep. 56
Y2K BIOS Testsp. 56
Power-On BIOS Date Rollover Testp. 57
Power-Off BIOS Date Rollover Testp. 57
Power-On DOS Date Rollover Testp. 57
Power-Off DOS Date Rollover Testp. 57
Fixing BIOS Limitations--BIOS Fixes and Alternativesp. 58
How BIOS Updates Are Performedp. 59
Where BIOS Updates Come Fromp. 59
Precautions to Take Before Updating a BIOSp. 60
How to Recover from a Failed BIOS Update Procedurep. 61
Plug-and-Play BIOSp. 62
PnP BIOS Configuration Optionsp. 62
When to Use the PnP BIOS Configuration Optionsp. 64
Other BIOS Troubleshooting Tipsp. 65
Determining What BIOS You Havep. 65
Determining the Motherboard Manufacturer for BIOS Upgradesp. 66
Identifying Motherboards with AMI BIOSp. 66
Identifying Motherboards with Award BIOSp. 67
Identifying Motherboards with Phoenix or Microid Research BIOSp. 68
Accessing the BIOS Setup Programsp. 68
How the BIOS Reports Errorsp. 69
BIOS Beep Codes and Their Purposesp. 69
AMI BIOS Beep Codesp. 70
Award BIOS Beep Codesp. 71
Phoenix BIOS Beep Codesp. 71
IBM BIOS Beep and Alphanumeric Error Codesp. 71
Microid Research Beep Codesp. 72
Reading BIOS Error Codesp. 74
Onscreen Error Messagesp. 74
Interpreting Error Codes and Messagesp. 74
4 Hard Drives and Interfacesp. 75
Understanding Hard Disk Terminologyp. 75
Heads, Sectors per Track, and Cylindersp. 75
Hard Drive Headsp. 75
Sectors per Trackp. 75
Cylindersp. 76
IDE Hard Drive Identificationp. 76
Master and Slave Drivesp. 77
Breaking the 504MB (528 Million Byte) Drive Barrierp. 79
Using LBA Modep. 80
When LBA Mode Is Needed--and When Not to Use Itp. 81
Problems with LBA Support in the BIOSp. 81
Dangers of Altering Translation Settingsp. 81
Detecting Lack of LBA Mode Support in Your Systemp. 82
Using FDISK to Determine Compatibility Problems Between Hard Disk and BIOSp. 83
Getting LBA and Extended Int13h Support for Your Systemp. 84
Sources for BIOS Upgrades and Alternatives for Large IDE Hard Disk Supportp. 86
Standard and Alternative Jumper Settingsp. 87
Improving Hard Disk Speedp. 88
Ultra DMAp. 88
UDMA/66 Issuesp. 89
Benefits of Manual Drive Typingp. 89
Troubleshooting IDE Installationp. 90
SCSIp. 91
SCSI Types and Data Transfer Ratesp. 91
Single-Ended Versus Differential SCSIp. 92
LVD (Low-Voltage Differential) Devicesp. 92
Recognizing SCSI Interface Cables and Connectorsp. 93
8-Bit SCSI Centronics 50-pin Connectorp. 93
SCSI-2 High-Density Connectorp. 93
SCSI-3 68-pin P Cablep. 93
RAID Array, Hot Swappable 80-pin Connectorp. 94
SCSI Drive and Device Configurationp. 95
SCSI Device IDp. 95
SCSI Terminationp. 97
SCSI Configuration Troubleshootingp. 97
Hard Disk Preparationp. 100
Using FDISKp. 101
Drive-Letter Size Limitsp. 101
Large Hard Disk Supportp. 102
Benefits of Hard-Disk Partitioningp. 102
FAT-32 Versus FAT-16 Cluster Sizesp. 103
Converting FAT-16 Partition to FAT-32p. 103
How FDISK and the Operating System Create and Allocate Drive Lettersp. 104
Assigning Drive Letters with FDISKp. 104
High-Level (DOS) Formatp. 106
Replacing an Existing Drivep. 108
Drive Migration for MS-DOS Usersp. 108
Drive Migration for Windows 9x Usersp. 109
XCOPY32 for Windows 9x Data Transferp. 109
Hard Disk Drive Troubleshooting and Repairp. 110
5 Floppy, Removable, Optical, and Tape Storagep. 113
Floppy Drivesp. 113
Where Floppy Drives Fail--and Simple Fixesp. 114
The Drive Coverp. 114
The Stepper Motorp. 114
Interface Circuit Boardsp. 115
Read/Write Headsp. 115
Floppy Drive Hardware Resourcesp. 115
Don't Use a Floppy Drive While Running a Tape Backupp. 116
Disk Drive Power and Data Connectorsp. 116
Floppy Drive Troubleshootingp. 118
Common Floppy Drive Error Messages--Causes and Solutionsp. 120
Removable Storage Drivesp. 121
Emergency Access to Iomega Zip Drive Files in Case of Disasterp. 122
Troubleshooting Removable Media Drivesp. 123
MS-DOS Command-Line Access to CD-ROM Drives for Reloading Windowsp. 124
Bus-Mastering Chipsets for IDEp. 125
Troubleshooting Optical Drivesp. 127
Failure Reading a CDp. 127
Failure Reading CD-R, CD-RW Disks in CD-ROM or DVD Drivep. 127
IDE/ATAPI CD-ROM Drive Runs Slowlyp. 127
Trouble Reading CD-RW Disks on CD-ROmp. 128
Trouble Reading CD-R Disks on DVD Drivep. 128
Trouble Using Bootable CDsp. 128
Tape Backup Drives and Mediap. 129
QIC-Wide Tape Formatsp. 129
Travan and QIC Compatibilityp. 130
Successful Tape Backup and Restore Proceduresp. 130
Getting Extra Capacity with Verbatim QIC-EX Tape Mediap. 132
6 Serial, USB, and IEEE-1394 Ports and Devicesp. 135
Understanding Serial Portsp. 135
Pinouts for Serial Portsp. 136
UARTsp. 138
UART Typesp. 139
Determining What UART Chips Your System Hasp. 140
High-Speed Serial Ports (ESP and Super ESP)p. 141
Upgrading the UART Chipp. 141
Serial Port Configurationp. 141
Avoiding Conflicts with Serial Portsp. 142
Troubleshooting I/O Ports in Windowsp. 142
Advanced Diagnostics Using Loopback Testingp. 143
Loopback Plug Pinouts--Serial Portsp. 144
Modemsp. 145
Modems and Serial Portsp. 145
Modem Modulation Standardsp. 145
56Kbps Standardsp. 146
Upgrading from x2 or K56flex to V.90 with Flash Upgradesp. 147
External Versus Internal Modemsp. 149
Modem Troubleshootingp. 149
Pinouts for External Modem Cable (9-pin at PC)p. 151
Universal Serial Bus (USB)p. 152
USB Port Identificationp. 152
Pinout for the USB Connectorp. 153
Prerequisites for Using USB Ports and Peripheralsp. 153
IEEE-1394p. 154
Comparing USB and IEEE-1394p. 154
7 Parallel Ports, Printers, and Scannersp. 157
Parallel Port Connectorsp. 157
Parallel Port Performancep. 157
EPP Versus ECP Modesp. 158
Parallel Port Configurationsp. 159
Testing Parallel Portsp. 159
Building a Parallel Loopback Plugp. 159
Troubleshooting Parallel Portsp. 160
Printersp. 160
Hewlett-Packard PCL Versionsp. 161
Comparing Host-based to PDL-based Printersp. 161
Printer Hardware Problemsp. 162
Printer Connection Problemsp. 164
Printer Driver and Application Problemsp. 165
Troubleshooting Scannersp. 166
8 Keyboards and Input Devicesp. 169
Keyboard Designsp. 169
The 101-Key Enhanced Keyboardp. 169
101- Versus 102-key Keyboardsp. 169
The 104-key Windows Keyboardp. 169
Using Windows Keysp. 170
Keyboard-Only Commands for Windows 9x with Any Keyboardp. 170
Standard Versus Portable Keyboardsp. 173
Keyswitch Typesp. 173
Cleaning a Foam-Element Keyswitchp. 174
Adjusting Keyboard Parameters in Windowsp. 175
Keyboard Layouts and Scan Codesp. 175
Keyboard Connectorsp. 179
Keyboard Connector Signalsp. 180
USB Keyboard Requirementsp. 181
Keyboard Troubleshooting and Repairp. 181
Keyboard Connector Voltage and Signal Specificationsp. 182
Keyboard Error Codesp. 183
Mice and Pointing Devicesp. 183
Pointing Device Interface Typesp. 184
Software Drivers for the Mousep. 184
Notebook Computer Pointing Devicesp. 185
Mouse Troubleshootingp. 185
9 Video and Audiop. 187
Selecting a Monitor Sizep. 187
Monitor Resolutionp. 188
LCD Versus CRT Display Sizep. 189
Monitor Power Management Modesp. 190
VGA Video Connector Pinoutp. 191
VGA Video Display Modesp. 191
Video RAMp. 193
Memory, Resolution, and Color Depthp. 194
Determining the Amount of RAM on Your Display Cardp. 195
Local-Bus Video Standardsp. 196
RAMDACp. 197
Refresh Ratesp. 198
Adjusting the Refresh Rate of the Video Cardp. 198
Comparing Video Cards with the Same Chipsetp. 199
Setting Up Multiple Monitor Support in Windows 98p. 200
Video Card and Chipset Makers Model Referencep. 201
3D Chipsetsp. 201
Multimedia Devicesp. 201
Troubleshooting Video Capture Devicesp. 202
Testing a Monitor with Common Applicationsp. 203
Audio I/O Connectorsp. 205
Sound Quality Standardsp. 207
Configuring Sound Cardsp. 207
PCI Versus ISA Sound Cardsp. 208
Troubleshooting Audio Hardwarep. 208
Hardware (Resource) Conflictsp. 208
Detecting Resource Conflictsp. 209
Most Common Causes of Hardware Conflicts with Sound Cardp. 210
Freeing UP IRQ 5 for Sound Card Use and Still Printp. 210
Other Sound Card Problemsp. 210
10 Networkingp. 213
Client Server Versus Peer-to-Peer Networkingp. 213
RAID Levels Summaryp. 214
Selecting a Network Protocolp. 216
Network Cable Connectorsp. 217
Wire Pairing for Twisted-Pair Cablingp. 217
Network Cabling Distance Limitationsp. 218
Cabling Standards for Fast Ethernetp. 219
Peer-to-Peer Networking Hardwarep. 219
Peer-to-Peer Networking with Windows 9xp. 220
TCP/IP Network Protocol Settingsp. 220
TCP/IP Protocol Worksheetp. 221
Troubleshooting Networksp. 223
Troubleshooting Network Software Setupp. 223
Troubleshooting Networks in Usep. 224
Troubleshooting TCP/IPp. 225
Direct Cable Connectionsp. 225
Null Modem and Parallel Data-Transfer Cablesp. 225
Direct Connect Softwarep. 226
Troubleshooting Direct Cable Connectionsp. 227
11 Technician's Survival Kitp. 229
General Informationp. 229
Hardware Tools and Their Usesp. 229
Tools of the Trade--Drive Installationp. 230
Tools of the Trade--Motherboard and Expansion Card Installationp. 231
Tools of the Trade--External Device and Networking Installationp. 232
Tools of the Trade--Data Transferp. 233
Tools of the Trade--Cleaning and Maintenancep. 234
Software Toolkitp. 235
12 Vendor Listing and Useful Web Sitesp. 239
Indexp. 269