PC Hardware

Review Answers

  1. Name four methods of overcoming the 528-MB hard disk limitation.
    • The first method utilizes Logical Block Addressing (LBA mode)-a means of addressing the physical sectors on a hard disk drive in a linear fashion.

    • The second method utilizes Enhanced CHS-a standard that competes with LBA. This standard allows drives to be manufactured a little faster and more easily than LBA.

    • The third method utilizes Fast ATA, which uses PIO mode 3, and Fast ATA-2, which uses PIO mode 4.

    • The fourth method utilizes logical cylinders, heads, and sectors (L-CHS)-a value used by the operating system (for instance, MS-DOS, Windows 95 and Windows 98, OS/2) to determine the size of the hard drive.

  2. How do multiple block reads speed up a computer?

    The ATA standard requires each drive to activate its IRQ every time it sends one sector of data. This process helps to verify good data transmission, but it slows down the computer. Multiple block reads speed up the process by reading several sectors of data at a time.

  3. How many devices can be installed on a SCSI chain?

    Eight devices can be installed on a single SCSI-1 chain. However, one of those devices must be reserved for the SCSI controller. SCSI-2 and later host adapters allow up to 16, with one reserved for the host adapter. Some SCSI cards offer multichannel support and can handle even more.

  4. What is the effect of improper termination on a SCSI chain or device?

    Improper termination can cause a failure to boot, the "disappearance" of a device from the SCSI chain, erratic behavior, and-in extreme cases-can even destroy a SCSI device.

  5. What is the BIOS protocol for SCSI devices?

    The BIOS protocol for SCSI devices is the Advanced SCSI Programmers Interface (ASPI).

  6. Sometimes the SCSI device driver conflicts with other drivers. What steps need to be taken to resolve the problem?

    Often, the only way to tell if there will be a conflict is to try the driver and see what happens. Remember to document every step you take so that you can undo any changes. Load only the device drivers for the SCSI devices.

    If the problem occurs, use the F8 key to determine which driver conflicts. (Press F8 when starting MS-DOS or Windows 95 or Windows 98-this will allow step-by-step confirmation of the startup process.)

    If the device driver is an executable file, try running it with the "/?" option. This will usually show a variety of command-line switches for the device driver (for example, "mouse.exe /?").

  7. Describe at least three advantages of using a CD-ROM drive.

    Advantages of using CD-ROM drives include: large storage capacity, sturdiness, portability, and the fact that data on the disk cannot be changed.

  8. What are the four steps required to install a CD-ROM drive?
    1. Install the drive controller card, if needed.

    2. Install the CD-ROM drive in the computer case.

    3. Attach the data and power cables.

    4. Install the necessary drivers and set up the CD-ROM drive.

  9. Is a 16X CD-ROM drive 16 times faster than a 1X?

    No, it is not. The 16X CD-ROM data transfer rate will be 16 times faster, but the mean access time is not 16 times faster.

  10. How would you determine which type of CD-ROM drive to install in a computer?

    You first have to determine whether or not there is room inside the case and if there are any available IDE controller connections. If not, then consider an external drive. If you want a SCSI controller, you will have to make sure there is an available slot in the expansion bus.

  11. Why would you use the MSCDEX.EXE real-mode driver with Windows 95?

    Windows 95 and Windows 98 use virtual drivers and do not need the MSCDEX.EXE real-mode driver. However, if you intend to use a CD-ROM drive in the MS-DOS mode (from a bootable disk), the real-mode drivers will have to be installed and added to the CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files of the boot disk.

  12. Instead of using magnetic energy for storing data, a CD-ROM uses _______ technology.

    A CD-ROM uses laser technology.

  13. Name some possible controller card combinations.

    There are several ways to combine controller cards: use the secondary IDE controller on the motherboard; use a new controller card (supplied with the CD-ROM); use an existing SCSI chain; use a SCSI host adapter, create a new SCSI chain; or use an existing sound card with a CD connection.

  14. What software is required for a CD-ROM drive installation?

    The driver that came with the CD-ROM and the Microsoft MSCDEX.EXE program, are required for a CD-ROM drive installation.