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Hardware Interview Questions

1. Explain what is DMA?

DMA (direct memory acesses) it is used to transfer the data from the memory to I/O devices or vice versa without the intervention of processor.

2. What is aliasing?

When considering the reconstruction of a signal, we are familiar with the idea of the Nyquist rate. This concept allows us to find the sampling rate that will provide for perfect reconstruction of our signal. If we sample at too low of a rate (below the Nyquist rate), then problems will arise that will make perfect reconstruction impossible – this problem is known as aliasing. Aliasing occurs when there is an overlap in the shifted, periodic copies of our original signal’s FT, i.e. spectrum

3. What are the types of memory management?

Memory Management is a crucial role in every operating system. Memory management is there are many types such as 1. Storage memory Management 2. I/O Memory Management etc…

4. What is the difference between web service and web application?

Web services can be implemented at any client or server place to make data secure because even programmer cannot find that data while web services are used on server side. Web services use soap protocol while web application http protocol, 80% coding of banking is done by using web services.

5. How virus does affect computer?

Due to Malicious site visit, download of MP3, Games, Downloading Screen Savers, through network, through Floppy, and many more.

6. What are the basic functions of an operating system?

Operating system controls and coordinates the use of the hardware among the various applications programs for various uses. Operating system acts as resource allocator and manager. Since there are many possibly conflicting requests for resources the operating system must decide which requests are allocated resources to operating the computer system efficiently and fairly? Also operating system is control program which controls the user programs to prevent errors and improper use of the computer. It is especially concerned with the operation and control of I/O devices.

7. Explain briefly about, processor, assembler, compiler, loader, linker and the functions executed by them?

Processor:–A processor is the part a computer system that executes instructions .It is also called a CPU.

Assembler: — An assembler is a program that takes basic computer instructions and converts them into a pattern of bits that the computer’s processor can use to perform its basic operations. Some people call these instructions assembler language and others use the term assembly language.

Compiler: — A compiler is a special program that processes statements written in a particular programming language and turns them into machine language or “code” that a computer’s processor uses. Typically, a programmer writes language statements in a language such as Pascal or C one line at a time using an editor. The file that is created contains what are called the source statements. The programmer then runs the appropriate language compiler, specifying the name of the file that contains the source statements.

Loader:–In a computer operating system, a loader is a component that locates a given program (which can be an application or, in some cases, part of the operating system itself) in offline storage (such as a hard disk), loads it into main storage (in a personal computer, it’s called random access memory), and gives that program control of the compute.

Linker: — Linker performs the linking of libraries with the object code to make the object code into an executable machine code.

8. What is boot processing computer?

As soon as the CPU is turned on, it initializes itself and looks for ROM BIOS for the first instruction which is the Power on Self-Test (POST). This process checks the BIOS chip and then the CMOS RAM. After checking everything and detecting no power failure, it checks the hardware devices and the storage device. Then CMOS looks through the boot sequence of drives to find the OS. The boot sequence is the sequence of drives which the CMOS scans to find OS and load it. Generally, OS is stored in C drive. If it is not found there, the next drive to scan is a drive that is the floppy drive.Hence on finding the OS, it is loaded. Its files are copied to main memory by BIOS, and from here, the Os takes the charge of boot process like loading device drivers etc.

9. What is the difference between x86 and i386 computer?

X86 refers to a popular set of instructions most commonly used in processors from Intel, AMD, VIA, and others.  It usually implies a binary compatibility with the 32-bit instruction set of the 80386 (a.k.a. i386). i386 (as eluded to above) is the common name for the Intel386 (or 80386) based PCs.  It is sometimes emphasized as x86-32 (for 32-bit) and x86-64 (also called x64 – for 64-bit).

10. What are the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

NTFS : Operating System – Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server and Windows VistaMax Volume Size – 2TB, Max Files on Volume – Nearly Unlimited, Max File Size – Limit Only by Volume Size, Max Clusters Number – Nearly Unlimited, Max File Name Length – Up to 255 characters, Built-In Security, Recoverability, Maximum Disk Space Economy, Maximum Fault Tolerance.

FAT32: Operating System – DOS v7 and higher, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000 & Windows XP, Max Volume Size – 32GB for all OS. 2TB for some OS, Max Files on Volume – 4194304,Max File Size – 4GB minus 2 Bytes, Max Clusters Number – 4177918, Max File Name Length – Up to 255 characters, No Built-In Security, No Recoverability, Average Disk Space Economy , Minimal Fault Tolerance

11. What is NV RAM?

Non volatile read write memory also called flash memory, it is also known as   shadow RAM.

12. What is called scratch pad of computer?

Cache memory is scratch pad of computer.

13. What is the difference between RAM and ROM?

RAM: Read/Write memory, it performs at High speed, Volatile memory.

ROM: Read only memory, it performs at Low speed, Non-volatile memory.

14. What is cache memory?

Cache memory is a small high speed memory. It is used for temporary storage of data& information between the main memory and the CPU.The cache memory is only in RAM.

15. What is the difference between primary& secondary storage device?

Primary storage: Capacity is Limited, volatile memory.  Secondary storage: Capacity is larger, Non-volatile memory.

16. Which processor structure is pipelined?

All X86 processor have pipelined structure.

17. How do difference between Windows XP, 2000 professionals and Windows server 2003?

Windows XP, Windows 2000 is a client operating system .where as Windows server 2003 is server operating system. Windows XP and 2000 is 32 bit while server is 64 bit.

18. What is virtual memory?

Virtual Memory is a way of extending a computer’s memory by using a disk file to simulate adds memory space. The OS keeps track of these adds memory addresses on the hard disk called pages, and the operation in bringing in pages is called page fault.

19. What is a real time system?

A real time system is a computer system that updates the information at the same rate it receives it. It is of two types, hard real time system and a soft real time system.

20. What is stack?

Stack is a portion of RAM used for saving the content of Program Counter and general purpose registers.

21. Can ROM be used as stack?

ROM cannot be used as stack because it is not possible to write to ROM.

22. What is a compiler?

Compiler is used to translate the high-level language program into machine code at a time. It doesn’t require special instruction to store in a memory, it stores automatically. The Execution time is less compared to Interpreter.

23. What is interrupt?

Interrupt is a signal send by external device to the processor so as to request the processor to perform a particular work.

24. Difference between static and dynamic RAM?

Static RAM: No refreshing, 6 to 8 MOS transistors are required to form one memory cell, Information stored as voltage level in a flip flop.

Dynamic RAM: Refreshed periodically, 3 to 4 transistors are required to form one memory cell; Information is stored as a charge in the gate to substrate capacitance.

25. What is the full form of SATA hard disk?

Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (is a computer bus primarily designed for transfer of data between a computer and mass storage devices such as hard disk drives and optical drives. The main advantages over the older parallel ATA interface are faster.

26. What is difference between TCP protocol& UDP protocol?

TCP stands for Transmission control protocol and it is a connection oriented protocol. The sender will get acknowledged after receiving the packets successively, by the receiver. No other packets were send till the acknowledgement from the receiver.

27. What is the requirement of DNS?

Each and every system on the network has its individual and unique IP address but we cannot remember the IP address of all, so we have assigned a particular name to each I address, which is known as domain name.

28. What is the difference between domain & workgroup?

Domain consists of server. Domain means a logical group of network.  Domain is a centralized security and administration.  Workgroup means there is no act as sever on the network. All the systems on network are equal.

29. How do you configure Proxy Server in Windows?

To configure proxy server in windows first install the 2 LAN cards one for internet connection and another one for sharing internet connection to client’s pc. now first configure Internet connection and then give the IP to 2nd LAN card for ex.

30. How to change in domain name?

This article describes how to change a computer’s Domain Name System (DNS) server or servers from the command line, either locally or remotely. This operation requires you to use the Regfind.exe tool from either the Microsoft Windows NT Server Resource.

31. What is Private IP? Give an example?

The addresses which can’t be routed through public (internet) are private IP addresses and it is schema of saving public addressex: in class A range is10.0.0.0 to

32. What is the subnet mask of this network?

Subnet Mask: of IP addresses assigned in that subnet: 2^9 -2=510Subnet ID: ID: …

33. Why WINS server is required?Windows Internet Naming Service (WINS) is an older network service (a protocol) that takes computer names as input and returns the numeric IP address of the computer with that name or vice versa. WINS was designed to replace the LMHOSTS file functionality.

34. What is SSL?

It’s a secure socket layer. the Https.

35. What is the role of network administrator?

Here is a very short list of basic tasks for which a network administrator may be responsible: Setting up and configuring network hardware and software Installing and configuring network media and connections Connecting user nodes and peripherals of all.

36. What is the advantage and disadvantage of local area networks?

LAN Advantages: Workstations can share peripheral devices like printers. This is cheaper than buying a printer for every workstations. • Workstations do not necessarily need their own hard disk or CD-ROM drives which make them cheaper to buy than stand-alone.

37. What is a Microprocessor?

Microprocessor is a program-controlled device, which fetches the instructions from memory, decodes and executes the instructions. Most Micro Processor is single- chip devices.

38. Give examples for 8 / 16 / 32 bit Microprocessor?

8-bit Processor – 8085 / Z80 / 6800; 16-bit Processor – 8086 / 68000 / Z8000; 32-bit Processor – 80386 / 80486.

39. Why 8085 processor is called an 8 bit processor?

Because 8085 processor has 8 bit ALU (Arithmetic Logic Review). Similarly 8086 processor has 16 bit ALU.

40. What is 1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th generation processor?

The processor made of PMOS / NMOS / HMOS / HCMOS technology is called 1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th generation processor, and it is made up of 4 / 8 / 16 / 32 bits.

41. Define HCMOS?

High-density n- type Complementary Metal Oxide Silicon field effect transistor.

42. What does microprocessor speed depend on?

The processing speed depends on DATA BUS WIDTH.

43. Is the address bus unidirectional?

The address bus is unidirectional because the address information is always given by the Micro Processor to address a memory location of an input / output devices.

44. Is the data bus is Bi-directional?

The data bus is Bi-directional because the same bus is used for transfer of data between Micro Processor and memory or input / output devices in both the direction.

45. What is the disadvantage of microprocessor?

It has limitations on the size of data. Most Microprocessor does not support floating-point operations.

46. What is the difference between microprocessor and microcontroller?

In Microprocessor more op-codes, few bit handling instructions. But in Microcontroller: fewer op-codes, more bit handling Instructions, and also it is defined as a device that includes micro processor, memory, & input / output signal lines on a single chip.

47. What is meant by LATCH?

Latch is a D- type flip-flop used as a temporary storage device controlled by a timing signal, which can store 0 or 1. The primary function of a Latch is data storage. It is used in output devices such as LED, to hold the data for display.

48. Why does microprocessor contain ROM chips?

Microprocessor contain ROM chip because it contain instructions to execute data.

49. What is TCP/IP?

Short for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, the suite of communications protocols used to connect hosts on the Internet.TCP/IP uses several protocols, the two main ones being TCP and IP. TCP/IP is built into the UNIX operating system and is used by the Internet, making it the de facto standard for transmitting data over networks. Even network operating systems that have their own protocols, such as Netware, also support TCP/IP.

50. How does the browser know to go to a certain IP address when you enter a domain like

It searches through local DNS cache, if nothing is there; it queries the ISPs DNS server.

51. What are * and? When using them for wildcards in Windows? * Any characters, arbitrary among?

Single character.

52. How many logical drives is it possible to fit onto a physical disk?

Maximum of 24 logical drives. The extended partition can only have 23 logical drives.

53. What’s the maximum hard drive size for FAT16-based Windows system?


54. What are the speed and device maximum specs for Firewire?

IEEE 1394 (Firewire) supports the maximum of 63 connected devices with speeds up to 400 Mbps.

55. What’s the difference between L1 and L2 cache?

Level 1 cache is internal to the chip, L2 is external. L1 (level 1) cache – L1 cache stores information for use by the processor. L1 cache is extremely quick but also expensive. Most processors have an L1 cache divided into space for data and space for instructions. L2 (level 2) cache – L2 cache is the next step down from L1 cache. Most processors today have L2 cache, which increases cache performance. Most desktop processors have an L2 Cache of about 256KB, but some high-end processors can have as much as 2MB.

56. Name the processor lines of two major manufacturers?

High-end: Intel – Pentium (II, III, 4), AMD – Athlon. Low-end: Intel – Celeron, AMD – Duron. 64-bit: Intel – Itanium 2, AMD – Opteron.

57. Where does CPU Enhanced mode originate from?

80386 was the first 32-bit processor, and since the company had to backward-support the 8086. All the modern Intel-based processors run in the Enhanced mode, capable of switching between Real mode (just like the real 8086) and protected mode, which is the current mode of operation.

58. Where does the Real mode on the CPU come from?

The original 8086, which only had 1 MB of memory. This megabyte is split into low memory for IRQ tables, application memory and high memory.

59. How do you clear CMOS password?

Since CMOS is a special chip with its own battery, the best way to clear out a CMOS chip is to disconnect it from its power supply.

60. What are the basic expansion card types?

ISA and PCI, ISA can be used only on XT, AT and ATX boards. The industry now considers ISA obsolete. According to me Ext2 file system is like windows fat16 type file system. Little information in fat16. It is the linux partition type. And vfat is related to windows file system. When we list the hard drive in the linux if there is already a windows o/s then it shows them Vfat.

61. Which transistor is used in each cell of EPROM?

Floating gate Avalanche Injection MOS (FAMOS) transistor is used in each cell of EPROM.

62. What difference between original & chipset motherboard?

Chipset: A chip set is a group of integrated circuits (microchips) that can be used together to serve a single function and are therefore manufactured and sold as a unit. The most common chipset reference is the input/output control chips of a motherboard.  

Motherboard: The “heart” of your PC — it handles system resources (IRQ lines, DMA channels, I/O locations), as well as core components like the CPU, and all system memory. It accepts expansion devices such as sound and network cards, and modems.

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