Tips to prepare for Laptop repairer Interview by Pritish Kumar Halder:

1. What are the POST troubleshooting steps?

  • AMI BIOS beep codes
  • Award BIOS beep codes
  • Dell beep codes
  • IBM BIOS beep codes
  • Macintosh startup tones
  • Phoenix BIOS beep codes
  • Motherboard help

2. Explain about laptop Battery?

A battery is a hardware component that supplies power to a device, enabling that device to work without a power cord. Batteries are often capable of powering a laptop computer for several hours depending on how much power it requires. Today, many high-end devices such as computer laptops and cell phones use rechargeable batteries that allow a user to recharge the battery once depleted of energy. The picture below is an example of what a laptop battery may look like when removed from the laptop with a close-up of the battery rating.

3. What is CNR?

Communication and Network Riser, CNR is a specification that supports Audio, Modem, USB, and LAN interfaces of core logic chipsets. This technology and the CNR slot was first introduced by Intel February 7, 2000 and was mainly developed by leading hardware and software developers who helped release the AMR (Audio Modem Riser) slot. In the picture below is an example of a CNR slot, which is labeled as “CNR_SLOT” on this motherboard.

4. What is the term SCSI mean?

Small Computer System Interface, SCSI is pronounced as “Scuzzy” and is one of the most commonly used interface for disk drives that was first completed in 1982. Unlike competing standards, SCSI is capable of supporting eight devices, or sixteen devices with Wide SCSI. However, with the SCSI host adapter located on ID number 07 and boots from the ID 00. This leaves the availability of six device connections. In the picture below, is an example of a SCSI adapter expansion card with an internal and external connection. Once installed in the computer this adapter would allow multiple SCSI devices to be installed in the computer. More advanced motherboard may also have available SCSI connections on the motherboard.

5. What is the term VL Bus mean?

Alternatively abbreviated as VLB, VL Bus is short for VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) Local Bus first introduced by VESA in 1992. The VLB is a 32-bit computer bus that had direct access to the system memory at the speed of the processor, commonly the 486 CPU (33/40 MHz). VLB 2.0 was later released in 1994 and had a 64-bit bus and a bus speed of 50 MHz. Unfortunately, because the VLB heavily relied on the 486 processor, when the Pentium processor was introduced manufacturers began switching to PCI.

6. What is the term PCI Express mean?
Originally known as 3rd Generation I/O (3GIO), PCI Express, or PCIe, was approved as a standard on July 2002 and is a computer bus found in computers. PCI Express is a serial bus designed to replace PCI and AGP and is available in different formats: x1, x2, x4, x8, x12, x16, and x32. The data transmitted over PCI-Express is sent over wires called lanes in full duplex mode (both directions at the same time). Each lane is capable of around 250MBps and the specification can be scaled from 1 to 32 lanes. With 16 lanes PCI Express supports a bandwidth of up to 4,000MBps in both directions. Below are some graphic illustrations of what the PCI Express would look like on the motherboard.

7. What is the term MCA mean?

Micro Channel Architecture, MCA was introduced by IBM in 1987 as a competitor to the ISA bus. MCA offered several additional features over the ISA such as a 32-bit bus (in addition to a 16-bit bus), it ran at 10MHz, automatically configured cards (similar to what Plug-and-Play is today), and included bus mastering for greater efficiency.

8. What is the term PCI mean?

Peripheral Component Interconnect, PCI was introduced by Intel in 1992. The PCI bus came in both 32-bit (133MBps) and 64-bit versions and was used to attach hardware to a computer. Although commonly used in computers from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, PCI has since been replaced with PCI Express.

9. List the types of Mini PCI?

Type I:
Identical to type II, except requires extra cables for connectors like the RJ-11 and RJ-45. However, offers more flexibility to where it can be placed in the computer.
Type II:
Used when size is not important. Type II can integrate the RJ-11 and RJ-45 connectors and did away with extra cables.
Type III:
SO-DIMM style connector that can be installed with a mere 5 mm overall height above the system board. Cabling to the I/O connectors also allow type III cards to be placed anywhere in the system.

10. What is Mini PCI?

Mini PCI is a standard used by leading notebook manufacturers that measures 2.75-inches x 1.81-inches x 0.22-inches. This technology could allow manufacturers to lower their prices, as the motherboards would be simpler to design.

11. What is the term ISA mean?

Industry Standard Architecture, ISA was introduced by IBM and headed by Mark Dean. ISA was originally an 8-bit computer bus that was later expanded to a 16-bit bus in 1984. When this bus was originally released it was a proprietary bus, which allowed only IBM to create peripherals and the actual interface. However, in the early 1980’s other manufacturers were creating the bus.
In 1993, Intel and Microsoft introduced a PnP ISA bus that allowed the computer to automatically detect and setup computer ISA peripherals, such as a modem or sound card. Using the PnP technology, an end-user would have the capability of connecting a device and not having to configure the device using jumpers or dip switches.
All recent computers today no longer included the ISA slots and instead are using more PCI, AGP, and other slots. Below is a graphic of what an ISA expansion card may look like as well as the slot it connects to on the motherboard.

12. What is the term EISA mean?

Short for Extended Industry Standard Architecture, EISA or Extended ISA is a standard first announced in September of 1988 for IBM compatible computers that competed with the MCA bus. The EISA bus is found on Intel 80386, 80486 and early Pentium computers and was designed by nine competitors. These competitors were AST Research, Compaq, Epson, Hewlett Packard, NEC, Olivetti, Tandy, WYSE, and Zenith Data Systems.
The EISA bus provided 32-bit slots at an 8.33 MHz cycle rate for use with 386DX or higher processors. EISA can also accommodate a 16-bit ISA card in the first row.

13. What is AMR?

Released September 8, 1998, AMR is short for Audio/Modem Riser and allows OEMs to make one card that has the functionality of either Modem or Audio or both Audio and Modem on one card. This specification allows for the motherboard to be manufactured at a lower cost and free up industry standard expansion slots in the system for other additional plug-in peripherals. The picture an example of what the AMR slot looks like on the Motherboard. This slot is often on the far edge of the motherboard, next to a PCI slot.

14. What is AGP Pro?

AGP Pro is an AGP interface extension specification for advanced workstations. This specification delivers additional power to video cards, includes extended connector, thermal envelope, mechanical specifications, I/O bracket, and motherboard layout requirements.

15. Described AGP channel?

The AGP channel is 32-bits wide and runs at 66 MHz, which is a total bandwidth of 266 MBps and much greater than the PCI bandwidth of up to 133 MBps. AGP also supports two optional faster modes, with a throughput of 533 MBps and 1.07 GBps. It also allows 3-D textures to be stored in main memory rather than video memory.
Each computer with AGP support will either have one AGP slot or on-board AGP video. If you needed more than one video card in the computer, you can have one AGP video card and one PCI video card or use a motherboard that supports SLI.
AGP is available in three different versions, the original AGP version mentioned above, AGP 2.0 that was introduced in May of 1998, and AGP 3.0 (AGP 8x) that was introduced in November of 2000. AGP 2.0 added 4x signaling and was capable of operating at 1.5V and AGP 3.0 was capable of double the transfer speeds.