- How can I make the Windows OS work best for me? For other users?
- Which type of OS installation process is best for me? For those I might work for?
- How can I ensure I get the most out of applications I install on Windows OS?
The Windows OS remains the most prominent operating system used in homes, schools, and businesses. It has also undergone revisions and updates over time, and will likely continue to do so as new advancements in computing unfold. The most foundational form of support for Windows is being able to install or upgrade the OS and install applications that will run effectively and efficiently. Depending on the installation method you choose, you can receive a lot of guidance from the installer application, but there are still some features and functionality you should check to make sure any OS or software you install is running at its optimal performance.
Installing a new OS on a single device can take some time. When charged with installing or upgrading OS and software on multiple devices, IT professionals can use a variety of ways to complete multiple installations at the same time.
Connection to Student Lives
Getting a new computer can be exciting! Maybe you feel the same way about getting a new phone or gaming system. But it doesn’t seem like it takes long before there are faster and more powerful computers out there that make your “new” computer seem less cutting edge. One way to keep devices as effective and efficient as possible is by upgrading or sometimes installing new OS and applications when they become available. When it comes to Windows PCs, this may be an important step for keeping your computer viable. Knowing how to install the Windows OS and compatible software will be an important part of any Help Desk professional’s job.
Students will install or upgrade the Windows OS and install compatible software.
Install a new OS or upgrade the OS to an existing Windows device. Determine whether the installation is supported and verify the installation when you are done. Then, determine whether software is compatible with a given Windows OS and, if necessary, modify the configuration options for the software so it runs as efficiently and effectively as possible.
- NCCTE.2020.II22.01.01 - Compare common operating system types and their purposes.
- NCCTE.2020.II22.01.02 - Compare features of Microsoft Windows versions.
- NCCTE.2020.II22.01.03 - Summarize general OS installation considerations and upgrade methods.
- NCCTE.2020.II22.01.04 - Use appropriate Microsoft command line tools.
- NCCTE.2020.II22.01.05 - Use Microsoft operating system features and tools.
- NCCTE.2020.II22.01.06 - Use Microsoft Windows control panel utilities.
- NCCTE.2020.II22.01.07 - Summarize application installation and configuration concepts.
TOPIC 1A: Identify Common Operating Systems
TOPIC 6C: Install and Upgrade Operating Systems
TOPIC 7A: Install and Manage Windows Applications
- The components of an OS
- The four sections of the market for OS
- General features of the Windows 10 OS, such as the Start Screen, and notable corporate features, such as BitLocker, EFS, and BrachCache
- The difference between editions versus versions of Windows
- The difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Windows
- Which versions of Windows are still supported
- General information about and general uses of additional OS: Mac OS, iOS, UNIX, LINUX, Chrome, Android
- Decisions for planning a disk partition scheme aligned to how the computer will be used
- What a multiboot environment is
- The difference between a workgroup and domain network model
- Methods and reasons for a repair installation
- Advantages and disadvantages of running a recovery disk repair installation
- Options for running an unattended installation, such as an image deployment, drive cloning, or Windows Deployment Services
- How to determine if a software application is compatible with an OS and if the computer it is to be installed meets system requirements
- How to mitigate malware threats during installation
- How to adjust compatible display settings for older OS
- Explain what can and cannot be run on 32-bit versus 64-bit Windows
- Follow the phases to install an OS
- Check whether a current OS version is supported as an upgrade path to the intended version.
- Configure boot devices and priority in a computer’s firmware setup program prior to installing a new OS
- Set the internal fixed disk as the default boot device and disable any other boot devices after an OS has been installed
- Perform the steps in an attended installation
- Verify an installation by checking log files, check Device Manager, and test hardware devices
- Conduct the Microsoft Product Activation or Volume Activation for Windows.
- Run a recovery disk repair installation.
- Explain methods for unattended installations
- Explain and, if possible, demonstrate how to install applications in Windows and where to find installed applications, including 32-bit applications in a 64-bit Windows environment
- Use Windows Programs and Features and the Microsoft Store
- Modify configuration options for software
- Enable or disable services using the Computer Management console
- Use the Task Manager to monitor resources being used on a PC and, when necessary, shut down unresponsive applications
Identify Common Operating Systems
Operating System (OS)
- Device drivers
- Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Microsoft Windows OS and Windows Server OS
- Interface or shell
- BitLocker (not included with Windows 7 Professional)
- Encrypting File System (EFS)
End of life system
- Mac OS and iOS
- Chrome OS
Install and UPgrade Operating Systems (Windows section only)
Attended versus unattended installation
- Clean install
- In-place upgrade
Windows Logo’d Product List (LPL) Catalog
Installation boot method
Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE)
diskpart and bootsect tools
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
- Secure boot
Boot partition and system partition
Recovery Disc or Factory Recovery Partition or Rescue Disk
Windows System Image Manager
Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool (dism)
- System Preparation Tool (Sysprep)
Windows Deployment Services
Install and Manage Windows Applications
Group Policy Objects (GPO)
Programs and Features
Component Object MOdel (COM+, Distributed COM [DCOM], and ActiveX)
Component Services snap-in
Data Sources or ODBC Data Sources snap-in
Introduction to problem: Installing or Upgrading Windows
Online Pre-assessment (available for student practice, as well)
Review content resources with whole group: 1A: Identify Common Operations Systems
Activity 1-1: Discussing OS Types
Review content resources with whole group: 6C: Install and Upgrade Operating Systems (Windows section only), and 7A: Install and Manage Windows Applications
Small group and independent exploration of resources
Hands-on exploration with IT professionals: Activity 6-5: Deploying a Windows Image
Activity 6-4: Discussing OS Installation
Team progress check with supervisor (using project plan)
Hands-on exploration with IT professionals: Activity 7-2: Configuring Windows Applications and Services
Activity 7-1: Discussing Windows Application
Team progress check with supervisor or sharing of progress with whole group; Continued work on Activity 7-2, if necessary
While it’s important for students to understand there are multiple types of OS and that they can be found on a variety of devices, not just desktops and laptops, time should be spent this week focused on the Windows OS due to its popularity and use. Students will have time later, a week each, to explore the Linux and macOS.
When students move into the hands-on activities, consider whether they can complete this in pairs. Students should document their progress and the group may determine whether some of that documentation should end up in the Help Desk knowledge base.
The Official CompTIA A+ Core 1 & Core 2 Instructor Guide for Exams 220-1001 and 220-1002
- Topic 1A: Identify Common Operations Systems (pp. 2-13)
- Activity 1-1: Discussing OS Types (pp. 14-15)
- Topic 6C: Install and Upgrade Operating Systems (Windows section only) (pp. 368-383)
- Activity 6-4: Discussing OS Installation (p. 384)
- Activity 6-5: Deploying a Windows Image (pp. 385-387)
- Topic 7A: Install and Manage Windows Applications (pp. 410-427)
- Activity 7-1: Discussing Windows Application Management (pp. 428-429)
- Activity 7-2: Configuring Windows Applications and Services (pp. 430-433)
- Windows: How To (Playlist with 73 videos)
Professor Messer at ProfessorMesser.com and YouTube offers numerous free videos of various lengths for many of the topics for the CompTIA 220-1001 A+ Exam. They are easy to understand, narrated videos with visuals. If you are teaching a CompTIA course, the site notes “You’re welcome to use them as much as you’d like, provided you embed the videos with the associated YouTube link or link directly to my site. Please click the “Contact Us” link at the top of our web page and let me know how you’re using them.”
- Professor Messer’s 220-1001 Core 2 CompTIA A+ Training Course videos on ProfessorMesser.com. Search or scroll to find the topics you’re interested in.
Entry Level I.T. Training from Technology Gee
- 32-bit and 64-bit Windows: Frequently Asked Questions
- Determine whether your computer is running a 32-bit version or 64-bit version of the Windows operating system
- Create installation media for Windows
- Search Product and Service Lifecycle Information
- Upgrade path for Windows 10
- Error codes in Device Manager in Windows
Other Articles and Resources:
What is Device Manager? By Tim Fisher for Lifewire
Task Manager by Tim Fisher for Lifewire