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CMSY 142 Operating System Fundamentals I - Online

After successful completion of this course, the student will be able to identify and use the functions, structure, and major system files of operating systems.  This will include procedures for creating, reviewing, and managing files, directories, and disks.  This course is designed to meet the needs of students who want to work toward A+ certification.  This course may be completed in fewer than 14 weeks.  All of the work for this course (except tests) may be done outside of class if student has the appropriate operating systems.

CMSY134 Introduction to Operating Systems
Helen Dignan
Office Technology Classroom
(443) 518-4876

Registered Students | Overall Course Objectives | Major Course Topics | Course Format | Orientation | Course Requirements | Texts and Materials | Exams 

Registered Students

Immediately after enrolling, please go to, choose the semester, and complete the pre-semester notification form.

Overall Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the differences between various Windows operating systems. 
  • Explain how an operating system relates to hardware and other software and how an operating system launches applications. 
  • Explain how to install, customize, use, and support various Windows operating systems. 
  • Explain how to install and use Windows.
  • Explain how to manage hard drives.
  • Troubleshoot the boot process, hardware, and applications, and Windows performance.
  • Compress, cache, and backup disks.
  • Learn to deal professionally with customers.
  • Convert decimal numbers to hexadecimal and binary numbers and back again.

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Major Course Topics

  • How an Operating System Works with Hardware and Other Software
    • How an operating system relates to hardware and other software
    • How an operating system launches applications
  • Understanding the Boot Process and Command Line
    • Booting the computer
    • Managing hard drives
  • Installing and Using Windows
    • Windows versions and architecture
    • Installing and using Windows
    • Installing hardware with Windows
    • Installing applications in Windows
  • Managing and Troubleshooting Windows
    • Troubleshooting the Windows boot process
    • Tools used to monitor, control, and troubleshoot Windows
    • Troubleshooting hardware in Windows
    • Troubleshooting applications in Windows
    • Troubleshooting problems with Windows performance
  • Supporting Hard Drives
    • Disk compression, caching, and backups

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Course Format

  • This course is not self-paced.  However, students may accelerate their pace so that they may finish the course in fewer than 14 weeks.
  • The syllabus lists course requirements.
  • This schedule is posted in the learning management system and is available for students all semester.
  • No on-campus meetings are required.  However, this course does require on-campus attendance for tests.  The tests may be taken during any open hours in the Office Technology classroom.  Please note, however, that all CMSY142 online students are welcome to come to the Office Technology classroom to do classwork and/or to receive personal help from an instructor.
  • Modules contain course instructions.
  • Canvas learning management system is the method of communication. 
  • Real-time chats are not required.

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This course has a mandatory face-to-face orientation held on the Saturday morning prior to thye semester start.  Please click on to view the orientation schedules.

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Course Requirements

For complete technical requirements, specific course instructions, and information to help you assess options that best fit your lifestyle and learning style, visit

  • Come to the Office Technology classroom to take tests which have deadlines for completion.
  • Prerequisite: CMSY 134

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Texts and Materials Required

CompTIA A+ 220-801,220-802 In Depth 4th Edition
Jean Andrews, Ph.D. | Course Technology, Cengage Learning, 2010 | ISBN: 978-1-2851-6068-9
Additional textbook information:  Please visit and follow the instructions for selecting

Technical Requirements for Online Courses

Review the Technical Requirements link above. The course requires:

  • A Web browser

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For purposes of verification and assessing learning outcomes, this course has three theory exams which have deadlines for completion.  The exams must be taken at the college during any open hours in the Office Technology classroom.    

If you have any questions or comments about this class, please send a message to

Cindy Garnsey,   

Last updated on 9-July-13
© Howard Community College, 2012

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