Question Regarding Books and New Exams

powder21powder21 Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi, I'm Ryan and I'm new here.

I've decided to begin my path to certification with A+ and Net+, A+ being the first of the two. I have been studying my uncle's old Sybex book from 2009 for the last week, but I've recently learned that it doesn't contain any of the updated Windows 7 content that is covered on the updated tests. After doing some reading here and other places, I've discovered that the books from Mike Meyers are also highly praised, and that he released a second, smaller book to cover the additional Windows 7 content so my uncle decided to order that. I'm wondering if I should also get his all-in-one guide book and combine the two, or if continuing with just the Sybex book plus reading Meyers' additional content book would be alright. Plus, which of the two styles of study guides would be better for me if I'm looking to learn as much as possible, not just study for the test?

Also, I've recently learned of the 2012 update to A+, but it's apparently not going to be offered until at least October or later this year, and I can't wait that long to get my first cert due to personal issues. Wish I had known about that sooner. I'd love to hear opinions on this as well.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can provide!


  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Hello and welcome to TE. I don't really have any specific CompTIA related advice but it sounds like you are interested in also looking to learn as much as possible.

    One thing that you probably may have also noticed on the forum is that a lot of folks here build their own labs or have access to one for testing different setups and also doing hands-on practice. If you have the means, setup a simple Windows lab - you could use a single computer with a few VMs to start.
  • powder21powder21 Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the suggestion. I've thought of that actually. All I have is a single laptop (decent one though). The only virtualization I've played with is Win7's boot to vhd ability, but I haven't actually messed with any virtually networked, multiple VM setup. Is Win Virtual PC powerful enough for this or would I need VM Wares? Please keep in mind that I am broke :)
  • DarrilDarril Member Posts: 1,588
    If you're looking to learn as much as possible a combination of books from different authors is worthwhile. You're able to get different perspectives from different authors.

    The current exams will be offered until August 31, 2013 so you have plenty of time to complete them. Also, hiring managers rarely care what version of a CompTIA cert you have so pursuing the current version won't hamper you at all.

    Windows Virtual PC on Windows 7 is powerful enough to create a virtual network. The only problem is that it doesn't support 64-bit hosts. If you want to try out VMWare player, there is a free version that provides some of the capability of the $199 VM Workstation and both support 64-bit hosts. Also, VirtualBox is free and it supports 64-bit hosts. I have noticed that VMWare and Virtual PC don't seem to be compatible with each other though. More than a couple of times I've had Virtual PC VMs running and then started VM Worstation to run Windows 8 and my system crashed.

    Your biggest limitation is on RAM for your laptop. Each VM takes some RAM so you're limited on how many VMs you can run based on how much RAM you devote to each VM and how much RAM you have. Using two VMs running Windows 7 with a homegroup would be enough to learn the A+ topics.

    Good luck.
  • powder21powder21 Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Awesome Darril! Thanks for so much info. Others have also stated that it would be best for me to have both books instead of just one, so that's probably what I will do. And thank you very much for your thoughts on which exams to take and the virtualization software. Much appreciated!
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