A plus 220-1001 – Exam Objective 5.5

A+ Exam Objective 5.5 – ExamNotes

Click here for A+ Exam Simulations 220-1001 & 220-1002

5.5 Given a scenario, troubleshoot common mobile device issues while adhering to the appropriate procedures.

Common symptoms

Many mobile device problems are easy to diagnose and have simple solutions. Remember, you are smarter than whatever device you are working on.

Mobile devices add a degree of difficulty since everything is smaller and harder to manage inside the enclosure. Take your time to establish a distraction free environment to work in. Give yourself a stable clean work area, lay out your tools and containers for small parts, AND Relax! We’ll start by looking at a group of related problems and for each problem, we’ll identify the part that needs repair, replacement, or adjustment.

More often than not, when you encounter a display problem on a mobile device, diagnosis is usually simple. The repair is another matter.

No display

For this condition, the simplest way to start the laptop and if you are lucky, resolve the problem is by checking your monitor function key combination. Determine the keystrokes and cycle through them. If the LCD doesn’t begin to display, get a known functioning external monitor and connect it. If it works, you are in great shape!

Dim display

The worst case scenario for this condition is to replace the backlight but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Take a step back and first look for the brightness controller. Look on the keyboard for a brightness button or slider. If that does not work, try uninstalling the video drivers in the Device Manager. Check for a newer version on the driver manufacturer’s website and install it. Lastly, keep in mind that some laptops are configured to dim the display when the unit is switched to battery power.

Flickering display

For this problem, perform the steps listed above. Check the display properties for the Brightness and the Refresh rate and double-check the connections. A low refresh rate will cause a flickering display. If the monitor still doesn’t work, the issue can either be due to a failed inverter, backlight, or LCD panel. Research the costs involved in replacing the components versus the cost of replacing the device. It might be time for an upgrade. Shown below is an image of a typical inverter board.

Inverter Board

Inverter boards are a relatively easy to access and replace.

Ghost Cursor cannot display to external monitor

This can be due to potential device driver issues. Toggle through the Function key for the display. Also when using an external monitor, make sure the cables you are using are fully functioning.

Sticking keys

If the keys on your mobile device are sticking, first try blowing compressed air. If that doesn’t work, use contact cleaner. If that fails, replace the keyboard.

No power/Battery not charging

Your battery indicator should look something like this. In our example, the battery is slightly discharged. When the battery is fully charged, the indicator should read 100%.

Battery indicator

If you suspect that your battery is not charging, there are simple tests for this. Check the green light on the AC adapter. Check that the battery is not overheated. Make sure the battery is not swollen. If these signs are good, let the battery charge for a reasonable period of time, remove the AC adapter, and attempt to power up the machine.  If this works, all is well. If this does not, remove all power from the machine and try using only the AC Adapter. If that works, you have a dead battery.

Num lock indicator lights

It is entirely possible that you will come across a laptop that when some of the Alpha characters are typed, numbers are displayed instead. This is a design enhancement enabling those who have a large amount of data to input on a small laptop to rearrange some of the keys to form a numeric keypad.

This issue often occurs when a user has inadvertently activated the function. When the function is activated, the Num lock indicator light on the keyboard will be on. Repeat the keystroke to deactivate the function.

Num lock LED is green

If there is a numeric keypad present, Num Lock will toggle the numeric keypad between numeric and the other values shown.

No wireless connectivity

When “No Network” is reported by a user, you have to determine whether it is a local host, network, internet, or e-mail problem.

The first thing to check is the state of the wireless card on the host as the user may have inadvertently turned it off. There should be a button or a switch with an indicator light. When the light is on, open a Command Prompt window and try pinging a known good host. If it fails, continue your diagnosis process.

Use the information from ipconfig to determine if you have an address assigned by your DHCP server or an APIPA address. If you have an APIPA address, your machine didn’t connect. Release and renew your IP address by using the ipconfig /release command (to clear the IP address data) and the ipconfig /renew command (to attain a new configuration).

Intermittent wireless

Here is another variation of the wireless connectivity problem. In this case, the wireless connection is unreliable. If you have a wireless locator, move it around the workspace until you find the best signal. Make sure the location is practical for the user. Try to find the best balance. Often, repositioning the lid of a laptop slightly will yield a stronger signal. If there are a few users having this issue, consider placing a low power WAP at an accessible location.

No Bluetooth connectivity

Bluetooth is a great method for creating small personal networks. Before you start an installation, make sure your OS and portable device software is up to date. For example, if you have a headset that came with a disk, go to the manufacturer’s website and see if there is newer software. However, do not install Beta software.

Once properly configured, paired Bluetooth devices seek each other out when powered up. However in order to communicate with each other, Bluetooth devices must first need to be paired with each other. This is usually where the problem comes in as there is no hard and fast standard for connecting Bluetooth devices. Having the documentation is crucial. Read and understand it before you start.

When pairing Bluetooth devices, you may need to create or use passcodes. The passcodes used are simply technicalities and are often 0000 or 1111 for example. There is also important sequencing information that you should consider during the initial set up such as which device do you turn on first. If you get the pairing wrong, you may end up locking yourself out of the device which requires having to uninstall and reinstall the software. Take your time and do it right the first time. Check the Device Manager for problems before you attempt any connections to Windows machines.

Click here for A+ Exam Simulations 220-1001 & 220-1002

GPS not functioning

GPS (Global Positioning System) uses satellites in geostationary or geosynchronous orbit around the earth to calculate precise locations on the planet. There are over 30 satellites orbiting the Earth, transmitting time signatures of the highest accuracy. In order to enable GPS functionality, devices such as laptops or smartphones have GPS modules attached to them.

The GPS signal is low power, does not tolerate interference, and needs an unobstructed view of the sky. In order to accurately find its position on Earth, the GPS module must be able to “see” 4 satellites. The module then uses the precise time signatures from those satellites and uses the differences in reception to locate its position. The biggest problems with GPS are due to obstruction of the sky and RF interference.

Touchscreen non-responsive

A non-responsive touch screen can have a variety of causes. First if you have a screen protector, remove it and turn the device off. Clean the screen and your hands thoroughly. Don’t reinstall the screen protector until it can be ruled out as a problem. Restart the device and recalibrate the screen.

Apps not loading

If you have a condition where apps will not load or if apps load slowly, first check the battery. Is the battery overheating? Is the device warm to the touch? Examine the battery carefully for signs of swelling, which is a dangerous condition. Remove the battery and allow it to cool to room temperature. If the battery is swollen replace it immediately. Do not take chances with a swollen battery. If it is not swollen, reinstall the battery and re-evaluate the condition.

Slow performance

This condition is related to heat and also with having too many apps open. Start your evaluation by feeling the temperature of the device in areas not related to the battery. Consult your documentation for specific heat related remedies. This condition could be due to a combination of too many apps opened which exhausts the system resources and generates unwanted heat. Shut the device down and let it cool. Restart the device and use your application manager to see exactly what gets loaded at startup. Make adjustments to the apps to lower resource usage and monitor the device for any recurrence of the heat issue. If the steps above don’t work, you can always refresh the device back to its factory settings using the key combination from the manufacturer.

Unable to decrypt email

Most problems of this type are caused by a corrupted public key. Public keys are created and shared with people encrypted email is received from. If you can’t decrypt email at all, focus on your machine as your public key is corrupt. You should recreate your public key and share it with your confidential contacts.

Frozen system

When we discuss a “Frozen” system, we are usually talking about a smartphone or tablet. A system lockup or freeze cannot be recovered and your only option is to perform a soft reboot. Each manufacturer has a different method for rebooting from a lockup so follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

No sound from speakers

Sound issues on a mobile device can either be hardware or software related. First, check the software. The user may have turned down the volume or muted the speakers. Check the Sound device in the Device Manager and see if it has any problems. Check the drivers and update them.

If all the above fail, try the Hardware Troubleshooter in the Control Panel. If all these methods fail, plug in a set of headphones or external speakers. If they don’t work, you may have a hardware problem.

Disassembling processes for proper re-assembly

Disassembling a laptop can be one of your greatest challenges unless you adhere to a few simple steps. First and foremost, don’t even touch the laptop unless you have the proper documentation from the manufacturer and you’re wearing a ground strap. Remove all power sources from the unit including the battery and the AC adapter. Next, follow the listed steps.

Document and label cable and screw locations

Take pictures if you can.

Organize parts

There are several ways to organize the removed parts. You can take notes and tape the screws to a piece of paper. You can use the repair manual and tape the screws next to the appropriate instructions. You can also label the removed parts and organize them using an empty egg carton or pill box.

Refer to manufacturer resources

Always check the diagrams or pictures in the repair manual. Follow all instructions to the letter.

Use appropriate hand tools

You will find different screw sizes, lengths, and screw head configurations inside a laptop. These include different sized Phillip’s heads, flat heads, and Torx heads. Your repair manual will have these screw head configurations clearly labeled. Use the right tool for the job or damage to the screw may result.

That’s it for 5.5. Only two Sub-Objectives left to go for A+ 220-1001 and if you have read them all, you are that much closer to success. Good luck on the test!

Click here for A+ Exam Simulations 220-1001 & 220-1002

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