Test your knowledge of troubleshooting topics
Posted on
September 15, 2020
Hardware and software troubleshooting is a critical element of many IT certification exams.

It is difficult to find a certification exam that does not include troubleshooting as a domain, or at least a sizeable topic. This is especially true when it comes to CompTIA certification exams, where you'll find it on everything from A+ to Security+, Network+, and so on.

Because the approach to troubleshooting should follow best practices, and because there is overlap in the subject matter of the exams, a good knowledge of how to troubleshoot common problem areas can help you do well on many an exam. How well do you know the basics of troubleshooting common problem areas?

What follows is a self-test of twenty-five questions based on the general concepts and topics from the CompTIA A+ Exam Core 1 (220-1001) and Exam Core 2 (220-1002) exams. In all cases, pick the best answer(s) to each question. The answers appear at the end of the questions. Good luck!

1. Inspecting a video card that went bad, you notice scorch marks. This could be a sign that a problem exists with what other component?
A. Network card
B. Monitor/Display
C. Processor
D. Power supply

2. A user calls to report a loud clicking noise coming from their computer. This most likely represents a problem with what component?
A. Power supply
B. Hard drive
C. CD/DVD drive
D. Backup battery

3. You suspect network errors are caused by a user adding an unauthorized device to the network and manually assigning it an IP address of a computer already on the network (likely, that user's own tablet device). What tool can be used to look at network traffic and find the MAC address that goes with the IP address(es) in question an see if your hunch is correct?
B. Cable tester
C. Packet sniffer
D. Punchdown tool

4. Step Two of the best practice troubleshooting methodology is:
A. Establish a plan of action to resolve the problem an implement the solution
B. Test the theory to determine cause
C. Establish a theory of probable cause
D. Identify the problem

5. After spilling liquid on a keypad, a user is having difficulty with the Function key on his laptop but needs to be able to turn on and off networking in order to travel with that laptop on a plane. Which key combination can be used to bring up the Quick Access menu in Windows 10 and allow the user to get to the settings they need to in a more indirect way?
A. Windows key and N
B. Windows key and T
C. Windows key and X
D. Windows key and Z

6. A user is attempting to broadcast to an external monitor for a business presentation but the monitor is not showing anything from the user's Chromebook. Suspecting the monitor may not support the technology, you grab a Chromecast dongle to plug into the monitor. Which port does it use?
A. FireWire
D. RJ-45

7. On an older desktop computer, the heat inside the machine is causing components to move out of their sockets. Every few weeks, you are having to deal with this problem and trying to explain it to a supervisor. What is the problem known as?
A. slink
B. creep
C. crawl
D. skulk

8. A Windows 10-based computer is running slow and you need to isolate whether the slowness is the CPU, the RAM, Disk, or other. What tool includes a Performance tab and can be used to help isolate the issue?
A. Task Manager
B. Disk Management
C. Device Manager
D. Computer Management

9. An older computer is failing to boot properly and always gives three short beeps before failing. What is most likely the issue?
A. motherboard
C. memory
D. timer

10. Which Windows tool can be used to correct for missing or modified system files?

11. In Windows, operating system errors are usually viewable with what tool?
A. Sysinfo
B. Task Manager
C. Device Manager
D. Event Viewer

12. You are trying to troubleshoot a problem with a computer/printer not working well together. You uninstall the old driver and want to install a new driver, but the new driver will not install. What should you try?
A. Replace the printer
B. Run POST diagnostics on the computer
C. Reboot the computer before installing the new driver
D. Delete and re-add the printer from scratch in Windows

13. In a normal boot sequence, which boot file in current versions of Windows loads the operating system kernel (ntoskrnl.exe)?
D. Winload

14. According to CompTIA, Step Four of the best practice troubleshooting methodology is:
A. Establish a plan of action to resolve the problem an implement the solution
B. Test the theory to determine cause
C. Establish a theory of probable cause
D. Identify the problem

15. You suspect the problem your computer is having is related to video and a friend recommends you boot into VGA mode to try and find out if this is the case or not. In Windows 10, what is VGA mode known as?
A. Standard video
B. Basic video mode
C. Low-resolution video
D. Non-enhanced video mode

Please visit GoCertify to attempt the remaining 10 questions of this quiz.


1. D
2. B
3. C
4. C
5. C
6. B
7. B
8. A
9. C
10. B
11. D
12. C
13. D
14. A
15. C

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