GBC CIT 110 - A+ Hardware

Revised: January 8, 2006
Credits: 3
Instructor: Ed Nickel
Office: HTC 133
Phone: 753-2241 (office with voice mail)
Class Web Page:
Textbook: Click on A+ Guide to HardwareManaging, Maintaining and Troubleshooting, Third Edition, Enhanced by Jean Andrews, ISBN 1-4188-3561-7 for the prices, click here for some discounters/used book dealers, or pay full price at the college bookstore.

Click here for my home page,
there for syllabi index, or
when for office hours.


Course description: CIT 110 - A+ Hardware covers techniques of personal computer hardware maintenance and installation. This course covers hardware and software diagnostics, system troubleshooting, and methods of achieving effective system upgrades to enhance capabilities or improve system performance. Prerequisite: IS 201 or instructor's approval based on your previous PC experience.

Welcome to CIT 110 - A+ Hardware. This is course designed for those who need an overview, including hands on experience, of troubleshooting, repairing, and upgrading PC hardware. The goal of this class is to acquaint you with common PC system problems, their diagnosis, and the methods to fix them, as well as helping to prepare you to take the A+ Core Hardware exam. You will also get the background knowledge to upgrade PCs for increased functionality, higher performance, and longer equipment life span. A student should have a basic knowledge of computers, operating systems and applications software prior to taking this class. In addition to your textbook & lab manual, please bring a medium size, non-magnetic Phillips screwdriver to class. You will need additional time each week to do homework assignments and to practice topics covered in class. Due to the specialized and potentially destructive nature of the lab exercises required for this class ONLY THE COMPUTERS SET ASIDE FOR THIS CLASS in HTC 139 lab are available to do homework for this class.

I can be reached at the phone number listed above or you can make an appointment to see me during office hours or at other times. Office hours are posted on my office door and on my web site. The schedule of reading assignments, homework and tests is found below. Additional assignments may be given verbally or as handouts in class.


The primary objective for this class is to provide students with a working knowledge of computer hardware and how to troubleshoot problems as well as perform cost effective upgrades. To this end, system hardware terminology, diagnostic techniques, and performance cost analysis issues will be covered.


The successful student in this class will be able to:

  1. identify major computer system components;
  2. diagnose common PC problems;
  3. repair common PC problems;
  4. perform preventative maintenance procedures;
  5. identify special purpose components & their suitability to specific tasks;
  6. add new peripherals and components to a computer system;
  7. evaluate upgrade requirements and their cost effectiveness;
  8. perform significant upgrades, such as motherboard, CPU, RAM & hard drive.
Student Outcome Assessment
Assessment Method Learner Outcomes
Class Discussion 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Hands On Exercises 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
Exams 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

This is a letter grade class an A=90-100%, B=80-89%, C=70-79%, D=60-69%, F=59% or less or W=Official Withdrawal if done before the withdrawal deadline. There is no curve in this grading scale. Your grade will be based 20% on class participation and discussion, 40% on your assignments, and 40% on exam results. All assignments are due by the beginning of the next class. The instructor must agree in advance to any excused absences unless there are strong extenuating circumstances. Two (2) unexcused absences result in a failing grade. The code of conduct stated in The Rules and Disciplinary Procedures for Members of the University Community will be enforced.

COURSE SCHEDULE: You should be prepared to discuss each week's topics at the beginning of each class. We will have significant hands on experiences and lab sessions during most classes.

Topics & readings by week:

  1. Introductions (the instructor, the students, the book, the cd) & basic system operations Chapter 1
  2. Hardware and Software Together, Chapter 2 & App. B
  3. Electricity, Chapter 3 & App. C (start a computer build)
  4. Motherboards, Chapter 4 (computer build continued)
  5. Memory and Floppies, Chapters 5 & 6 (computer build continued)
  6. Hard Drives, Chapter 7 (computer build continued)
  7. I/O subsystems, Chapter 8 (computer build continued)
  8. Midterm exam
  9. Multimedia and other Mass Storage, Chapter 9 (computer build continued)
  10. Install an OS to finish building the PC (more or less)
  11. Modems & SCSI, Chapters 10 & 14 (perform a system upgrade)
  12. Networking a PC, Chapter 11
  13. Notebooks, Printers, etc. Chapters 12, App. E & 13 (install a printer)
  14. Cost Analysis: upgrade, build, or buy & Technician's Ethics Chapter 15 & App. D
  15. Troubleshooting & Maintenance, Chapter 16 & App. A (diagnose & repair a PC)
  16. Final exam

Click here for my home page,
there for syllabi index, or
when for office hours.