CompTIA A+ Exam 220-902 sub-objective 1.4: Given a scenario, use appropriate Microsoft operating system features and tools (Part 1 of 2 click here for Part 2)

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Detailed (and official) description of CompTIA A+ sub-objective 1.4:

1.4 Given a scenario, use appropriate Microsoft operating system features and tools.


– Computer management
– Device manager
– Users and groups
– Local security policy
– Performance monitor
– Services
– System configuration
– Task scheduler
– Component services
– Data sources
– Print management
– Windows memory diagnostics
– Windows firewall with Advanced Security

End of the A+ 1.4 sub-objectives handled in Part 1

Below are the exam objectives that are handled in Part 2 (under development)


– General
– Boot
– Services
– Startup
– Tools

Task Manager

– Applications
– Processes
– Performance
– Networking
– Users

Disk management

– Drive status
– Mounting
– Initializing
– Extending partitions
– Splitting partitions
– Shrink partitions
– Assigning/changing drive letters
– Adding drives
– Adding arrays
– Storage spaces


– User State Migration tool (USMT)
– Windows Easy Transfer
– Windows Upgrade Advisor
– System utilities
– System restore
– Windows Update

Welcome to ExamNotes by CertBlaster! In this section we will look at some of the tools and features available in Microsoft operating systems. We will focus 2on what they do and how to use them appropriately. We’ll start out in the Control Panel> Administrative Tools section. Using the Classic view the Administrative Tools icon provides access to some of the most powerful tools in the system.

Screenshot of Control Panel in Windows Classic View
Control Panel in Windows Classic View

In Category view look under System and Security.

Screenshot of Control Panel in Windows Category View
Windows Control Panel in Category View


Administrative Tools in Control Panel contains several high level functions. We’ll examine those and get into what they do.

Screenshot of Control Panel Administrative Tools
Control Panel – Administrative Tools

Component services

These can be accessed here or as a MMC snap-in. this tool registers components during installation or as needed. You may also see this referred to as Com +.

Screenshot of Windows Component Services
Windows Component Services

This tool can be used to access the local Event Viewer to examine Administrative Events and system logs.

Computer Management

This tool is also available several ways. In addition to clicking it here in the Administrative Tools screen, it can be accessed using the Start menu in Windows 10 through the Computer Management menu item. You can also get to it as a snap in in the MMC or from the run dialog box as compmgmt.msc. Shown here it provides access to three toolsets. System Tools, Storage and lastly Services and Apps.

Screenshot of Windows Computer Managment
Computer Managment

In the first section, System Tools, you can access the Task Scheduler, to arrange for programs, virus scans and backups to run during your preferred times.

Screenshot of Windows Task Sceduler
Windows Task Scheduler

Event Viewer

Event Viewer provides Information, Warnings and Errors about System operation allowing you to track problems and their history.

Screenshot of Windows Event Viewer
Windows Event Viewer

Shared Folders

Shared Folders shows all objects shared by the machine, including Administrative shares which are generally hidden. These folders are designated with the dollar sign character ($) see below screenshot.

Screenshot of shared folders
Shared Folders

Local Users and Groups

This is where you manage your permissions by User or Group. Usually in a multi-user environment it is simpler to assign the permissions to a Group and then add users to the group. Next is the Performance group where you can see real time statistical performance feedback on key system functions this is also available for review and comparison as log files. The Performance screen also provides a link to the Resource Monitor Quite a package, keep in mind many of these links are also available on their own in the Control Panel and various other locations.

Screenshot of Windows Performance Monitor
Performance Monitor


Services Starts, Stops and configures Windows services. To list all services currently running on a system use the net start command. We’ll explore the GUI interface for this command later.

System configuration

System configuration is handled by msconfig.exe. It controls the Initial startup, the boot files and services loaded along with other tasks. The operational aspects of this file have been shuffled around between versions of the OS, we’ll cover it in detail later on in this domain.

Local security policy

This system essential policy editor can be launched from the search box by invoking its filename. secpol.msc.

Screenshot of Security Configuration
Security Configuration

This method is not available in Home Editions the OS. It is generally launched as an MMC Snap-in.

Data sources

Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) is not just another icon. When using these statements in programs like Excel, Access or dBase the ODBC drivers provide flexibility and interoperability regardless of the Database Management System (DBMS) in use, providing of course it is ODBC compliant. #2 and 64 bit ODBC drivers are available.

Screenshot of ODBC 64-bit
ODBC 64-bit

Print management

Available at the run line as printmanagement.msc the Print Management utility enables you to manage printers locally and on your network. Printer administration can also be accomplished as we have here from the Control Panel  > Administrative tools.

Screenshot of Print Management
Print Management

Windows memory diagnostics

Windows memory diagnostics are extremely useful to the technician because memory problems are hard to diagnose. Since every process or program finds its way through memory, problems with disk storage could look like memory or the reverse could also be true. To be sure you are testing only the memory the system is rebooted and the memory is temporarily locked. No reads or writes that could alter the values. The tried and true memory tests will diagnose and report on any anomalies so you can quickly zero in on your problems or discount them as the case may be.

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security is designed for network administrators to provide enterprise level security. It is NOT any sort of substitute for the Windows Firewall option found on client machines in Control Panel.

Screenshot of Firewall with Advanced Secuity
Firewall with Advanced Secuity

It is a stateful IPv4 and/or IPv6 packet filter set to block all inbound traffic by default. You’ll find this infinitely more tedious to configure but in the end you are less likely to get hacked by a drive by attack.

Missing in the Home Edition

Many of the tools shown are not available in the Home edition of the operating system. Keep track of these as it is very testable content plus you’ll be surprised to see all the things that are clipped out of the Home version. The interesting part is that when you install any version of Windows all features, options accessories are installed. From the very beginning you have everything installed. Your Product key unlocks the portions of the operating system that are “yours”. Interesting methodology but it works.

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End of Part 1! We’ll take a break here and pick it up in MSCONFIG next.


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