Module 13- Section1- narrated

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Module 13- Notebooks I. Notebooks and Laptops II. Hardware III. Batteries IV. Power Management V. Troubleshooting Laptops


I. Notebooks and Laptops There is no industry standard definition of “laptop” or “notebook”, but the main difference (typically) between laptops, tablets, and notebooks is size, weight, and features. Tablets have a pen-enabled surface.

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Laptops and notebooks use smaller hard drives and memory modules than desktops. The hard drives must withstand more jostling than desktop hard drives. The screen, hard drive and memory modules contribute to the higher price.


Unlike the desktop PC, portable PCs are comprised of parts from one vendor and an operating system that is unique to the portable PC. Replacement parts are typically ordered from the manufacturer.

Module 13- Notebooks:

Laptops/Notebooks- Hardware LCD Screen Size: Typically 12 “ – 17” Standard (4:3 aspect ratio) or wide screen (16:9 or 16:10) Two most common resolutions: WXGA (wide extended graphics array) and HD 1080 Wi-Fi antenna may be built into the screen

I. Notebooks and Laptops:

Input Devices: TrackPoint (developed by IBM) used to move pointer Touchpad (replaces mouse) gliding finger over pad moves pointer, click by tapping TouchPad OR by using buttons located below the TouchPad Touchscreens

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TouchPads have no moving parts A mouse can be added with a USB port (or infrared or Bluetooth) Laptops typically use an IDE or SATA hard drive of the size 2.5” Some laptops use solid state hard drives.

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Upgrades Upgrades to Laptops and Notebooks are possible through use of expansion slots (discussed later) The RAM and hard drive are able to be upgraded Video and sound may or may not be able to be upgraded

Laptops/Notebooks- Hardware:

The operating system may not be able to be upgraded, however. This is due to the proprietary components of the laptop or notebook and the problem with that of course is compatibility and drivers! Check the manufacturer for upgrade information.

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The original version of the operating system on a laptop is called the operating system build (or OS build) and the manufacturer is called the OEM (original equipment manufacturer).

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Most laptops/notebooks come with a recovery partition on the hard drive or with a recovery CD (sometimes, these have to be ordered separately). Sometimes, a recovery CD can be created from within the operating system. MAKE SURE you have a way to recover the OS!


A+ Guide to Managing & Maintaining Your PC, 8th Edition 12 This notebook hard drive has a recovery partition that can be used to recover the system.

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Data can be backed up using the operating system or third party software. A convenient method for backing up laptops is through “cloud” services because this can be done while traveling.

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If a notebook/laptop does not have a CD or DVD drive, one can be connected externally OR a hard drive can be connected externally using a USB port.

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Warranty concerns Be careful not to void the warranty Information needed before contacting technical support Notebook model and serial number Name, phone number, and address of the purchaser

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The serial number and model can be used to find information from the manufacturer.

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It is very important to have the proper manuals and manufacturers documentation before trying to service a laptop. Diagnostic software may be provided by the manufacturer to aid in troubleshooting.

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FRU Field Replaceable Units: Items that can be replaced without sending a device in for repair

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FRUs for Notebooks Hard drive LCD panel Motherboard CPU Keyboard PC Card socket assembly Optical drive Floppy drive Sound card Pointing device AC adapter Battery pack Inverter

The serial number and model can be used to find information from the manufacturer.:

II. Hardware Laptop/Notebook Ports (possible): VGA or DVI or HDMI Network (Ethernet) USB Serial (RS-232) and/or parallel (IEEE-1284) IEEE-1394 (Firewire) Speaker

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A+ Guide to Managing & Maintaining Your PC, 8th Edition 21 Ports and slots on a notebook computer


Making the laptop more like a desktop A “port replicator” typically plugs into a USB port and provides connections for serial or parallel and PS/2 (for a full sized keyboard and a PS/2 mouse) A “docking station” is a type of port replicator that adds storage devices CD/DVD and a secondary hard drive.

II. Hardware:

Laptop Expansion Bus Architecture Laptop Expansion Bus Types (in order of evolution): PC Card (PCMCIA) CardBus Express Card PC Card and CardBus are older architectures and are also referred to as Parallel PC Cards

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A. PC- Card ( also called PCMCIA: Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) 16-bit bus PC cards are limited to two functions Type I cards can fit into any PC card slot A Type II card can fit into a Type II slot and a Type III slot PC Cards are NOT hot-swappable

Making the laptop more like a desktop:

PC Card Type Size Usage I 3.3 mm memory II 5.0 mm modem and NIC III 10.5 mm storage devices

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B. CardBus Improves I/O speed Increases bus width to 32 bits Supports lower-voltage PC Cards for backward compatibility Hot swappable (or hot-pluggable)

Laptop Expansion Bus Architecture:

A CardBus expansion card can support up to eight different functions. PC Cards (older) can be inserted into CardBus slots BUT the reverse is not true- a raised gold strip prevents the CardBus from being inserted into the wrong slot.

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C. Express Card Incompatible with PC Cards The latest standard Internally connect to either the USB bus OR a PCI express bus ExpressCard/34 (34 mm) ExpressCard/54 (54 mm) indicate the widths

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The Windows operating system provides two “services” for laptop expansion cards: Socket Service and Card Service A service is a program that runs in the background to support a function. Services are in addition to drivers.

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Card Bus vs ExpressCard

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Comparison of Data Throughput: PC Card (16-bit bus) 160 Mbps CardBus (32-bit) 1056 Mbps ExpressCard (using USB) 480 Mbps ExpressCard (using PCIe) 2.5Gbps

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Using a Laptop Expansion Slot

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A+ Guide to Managing & Maintaining Your PC, 8th Edition 34 This notebook has one CardBus slot and one ExpressCard slot

Card Bus vs ExpressCard :

To remove a device that is not hot-swappable, you must turn off the PC. To remove a device that is hot-swappable, it should be “unplugged” or “ejected” before removing it.

Comparison of Data Throughput::

PCMCIA (PC Card) devices are NOT hot-swappable. Do not plug in or unplug these devices while the power is on (even during booting or shutdown). ExpressCard and Card Bus are hot swappable- use the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the Notification area.

Using a Laptop Expansion Slot:


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Other Expansion Options Laptops or notebooks may also have Mini PCI or Mini PCIe expansion slots (check specifications). Mini PCIe wireless card:

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