220-1102 Operational Procedures Study Guide for the CompTIA A+ Core Series Exam

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Change Management

Change management is the process of addressing changes within an organization. Whenever a change is going to be made in an organization, proper procedures must be followed to ensure that any negative impact on the business or users is minimized. You will need to be able to explain change management best practices.

Documented Business Processes

Documented business processes provide a high-level overview of what aspects of the business the change is expected to impact. This document states who, how, why, and when interactions occur during the change process.

Rollback Plan

A rollback plan, or backout plan, documents the steps that will be taken in case of implementation or primary plan failure. A backout plan should include a way to revert to a previous version of the system before the change was applied.

Sandbox Testing

A sandbox test is done in a separate environment that matches the existing environment. It can be used to test and evaluate the effects of potential changes to a system or network without affecting the real system. Sandbox testing allows for fine-tuning of an implementation plan prior to actual deployment.

Responsible Staff Member

The responsible staff member is the employee designated as responsible for a particular change process. This person oversees the change plan as well as acts as a point of contact for the plan. The responsible staff member should also be able to answer questions related to the change as well as spearhead any subsequent changes to the plan.

Request Forms

A request form is a form that proposes a change. Request forms typically include information such as what needs to be changed, why the change is needed, and the plan for the change as well as the priority of the change. The request form also includes the rollback plan, the evaluation of the plan, and the time it will take to implement the change.

Purpose of the Change

The purpose of the change is the reason why the change needs to occur. This reason can be new business requirements, regulation requirements, or technological requirements.

Scope of the Change

The scope of the change lays out what will be affected by the change. The scope may be small, affecting only a few devices, or extensive, affecting the entire network. When detailing scope, specific details should be addressed, such as how many systems will be affected, how many employees will be affected, and any other direct or indirect consequences of the change.

Date and Time of the Change

The data and time of the change specify the temporal timeline of the change and should be chosen to impact the least amount of business function possible.

Affected Systems/Impact

Affected systems are the systems that will be impacted by the change in some manner. This document should also include the impact the change will or may have on the affected systems, such as production time lost or how customers may be affected.

Risk Analysis

A risk analysis is a detailed evaluation of the change and the risks that come with making the change. The risk analysis examines the potential failure of a change and the impact that failure may have on the company. Upon defining the new risks that may arise, the organization must choose to accept, mitigate, or avoid the risk.

Risk Level

The risk level is a measurement of the potential impact of failure on the company. Risk levels include low, medium, or high risk.

Change Board Approvals

The change board is the group of users who are in charge of determining whether to proceed or table a potential change. The change board evaluates the entire change from all perspectives in order to decide the most effective way to proceed to provide the least amount of impact on the company and day-to-day functions.

End-User Acceptance

In order for a successful change to occur, all users must be on board and prepared for the change. User acceptance testing is a common practice in which real users ensure that the change doesn’t negatively affect their ability to perform tasks.

Workstation Backup and Recovery

All organizations should have a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan documented and in place. Disaster prevention and recovery refers to the ability to be able to bounce back after any type of disaster, such as a natural disaster or a cyber attack. Questions in this section will be scenario based.

Backup and Recovery

A backup is a stored data clone of a workstation, device, OS, files, or network that can be used in case of disaster or if needed for recovery. The backup provides a recovery point objective (RPO), which is a point in time to which a dataset can be restored. A backup can be a full backup of the entire dataset at a specified point in time or a partial backup of the changes since the previous backup.


A full backup copies the entire dataset at a specific point in time and may include the OS, files, and personalizations. A full backup can be used to completely restore a dataset in case of complete failure. A full backup, however, is memory intensive and time consuming.


An incremental backup uses an archive bit set to back up data written on the archive bit set since the last incremental backup. Once the incremental backup occurs, the archive bit set is reset and ready to store the data captured from the point of the last incremental backup. In case of failure, a full backup would need to be restored, as well as all incremental backups, until the dataset is fully restored.


A differential backup also employs the use of the archive bit set. Unlike the incremental backup, however, the differential backup does not reset the archive bit set until a full backup is completed. The differential backup grows in size until the full backup. In case of failure, a full backup would need to be restored, but unlike the incremental backup, only the latest differential backup would need to be restored for the dataset to be complete.


A synthetic backup is software that creates a full backup by combining the last full backup with incremental or differential backups to create a complete dataset. This reduces the recovery time objective (RTO), the amount of time it takes to restore a dataset.

Backup Testing

It’s not enough to perform backups; the backups must also be tested. The test serves to show that the backup files are not corrupt and that they are backing up everything that would need to be restored in the event of a disaster.


The frequency of backup testing differs, but it is recommended that backup testing be conducted monthly at a minimum, with highly sensitive or constantly changing dataset backups tested more frequently.

Backup Rotation Schemes

A backup rotation scheme is a schedule used to guide the rotation of long-term data archiving by the backup source and location. Rotation schemes include the type of media used for the backup as well as the physical location of the backup. Backup media types include disk-to-tape, disk-to-disk, and disk-to-cloud.

Onsite vs. Offsite

Onsite backups are physically kept on the same premises as the dataset that it backs up. An offsite backup is kept in a different physical location from the dataset. Data backups should be rotated offsite in case of a major disaster.

Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS)

The GFS rotation scheme is a first-in, first-out schedule for rotation. Backups are taken daily. At the end of the week, the last daily backup will become the weekly backup, and at the end of the month, the last weekly backup will become the monthly backup.

3-2-1 Backup Rule

The 3-2-1 backup rule pertains to maintaining both onsite and offsite rotation. To apply this rule, three copies of a backup should be taken, with two copies of the backup kept onsite while the final copy is kept offsite.

Safety Procedures

When dealing and working with computer components, keep safety at the forefront for both your and the device’s sake. The following sections may be delivered as scenario-based questions in the exam environment, so you must be very comfortable with these topics.

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) Straps

ESD occurs when two objects with dissimilar charges come in contact with one another. Electrons are exchanged to equalize the charge, resulting in ESD, which can damage sensitive components. ESD straps are small wrist straps that can connect to an ESD mat or an ESD jacket for discharge to reduce your electrostatic presence.

ESD Mats

An ESD mat drains excess charges away from items in contact with it. An ESD mat can either be a mat you stand on (floor mat) or a mat you place the equipment on. These ESD mats will reduce ESD risks, and some allow you to snap your ESD wristband into them for better protection.

Equipment Grounding

Equipment grounding is a way to transport any excess electrical discharge away from the component and into the electrical ground wiring. This is a safety mechanism that is included on all outlets, significantly reducing the risk of electrical shock should there be a fault within the system.

Proper Power Handling

The power supply is the most dangerous component of a computer to work with. A power supply contains capacitors that can hold a charge even when disconnected from a power source. If possible, it is safer to replace the power supply rather than work on it. If the power supply must be accessed, make sure that all capacitors within the power supply are discharged prior to handling. A grounding pen or a discharge pen can be used for discharging capacitors of any size.

Proper Component Handling and Storage

Technicians must be aware of proper component handling and storage. Each component comes with safety considerations. Before attempting to handle a component, research the safety measures and concerns pertaining to the component. Properly storing components includes evaluating the environment, such as humidity and temperature, as well as the component’s potential for ESD.

Antistatic Bags

An antistatic bag is a specially designed, typically pink or silver bag that collects stray static charges on its exterior, preventing the charge from reaching the sensitive components it contains.

Compliance with Government Regulations

When dealing with a networking environment, there are several regulations to keep in mind. These include electrical codes for running high/low voltage cabling, environmental codes for disposing of chemicals or hardware, fire prevention codes requiring the specific use of dry or wet systems, and building codes that specify how cabling can be run through a building.

Personal Safety

Personal safety begins with you. As a technician, you should be aware of and follow best practices for maintaining personal safety. Be familiar with the following guidelines related to personal safety when dealing with computer components.

Disconnect Power before Repairing PC

All power sources should be disconnected prior to working inside a computer. Power supplies are typically replaced as a whole rather than in smaller individual parts. Normally there are no serviceable parts inside, and, therefore, they should not be opened.

Lifting Techniques

Always lift heavy equipment using your legs and not your back, or use multiple people to lift the object.

Electrical Fire Safety

For electrical fires, use specialized dry fire prevention or extinguishing chemicals, such as carbon dioxide. Neither wet chemicals nor water should ever be used on electrical fires.

Safety Goggles

Use goggles when working with chemicals, batteries, or printer toner.

Air Filtration Mask

To protect yourself from an environment where dust, smoke, or other air particles exist in the surrounding atmosphere, you should wear a special mask designed to filter out these items.

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