Peripheral Devices | CompTIA IT Fundamentals FC0-U61 | 2.2

In this video you will be learning about how to set up and install common peripheral devices to a laptop/PC such as printers, scanners, keyboards, etc in addition to learning about various installation types.


As you begin your IT career, you will soon discover that you will be called up to install a variety of peripheral devices on either laptops or desktops.  In the following section, you will learn what to expect when called upon.


A printer is a peripheral device which makes a persistent representation of graphics and/or text, usually on paper.  Printer, including multifunction devices (print/scan/copy or print/scan/copy/fax) require specific drivers to be installed before the device is connected to enable full use of device features.  Some operating systems like Microsoft Windows or Apple’s macOS systems may have drivers to popular printers already preinstalled, but you may come across cases where the printer is outdated and the drivers to operate them may need to be manually installed in order for the printer to fully function.

Typical Printer


An image scanner is a device that optically scans images, printed text, handwriting or an object and converts it to a digital image.

Typical Photo Scanner


A keyboard is one of the primary input devices used with a computer.  Similar to an electric typewriter, a keyboard is composed of buttons that create letters, numbers, and symbols, as well as perform other functions.  A standard keyboard, unlike a printer, scanner or other multifunction device, is a plug-and-play device meaning, it is automatically recognized by the operating system.

Typical Keyboard


A computer mouse is a handheld hardware input device that controls a cursor in the GUI (graphical user interface) and can move and select text, icons, files, and folders on your computer.  A standard mouse is a plug-and-play device as well.

Typical Computer Mouse


Two types of camera can be added to a desktop or a laptop:

  • A webcam, which is a camera that connects to a computer.  It captures either still pictures or motion video, and with the aid of software, can transmit its video on the internet in real-time.
  • A digital camera, which can use the desktop or laptop as a permanent storage location for the photos or videos you have already taken.

Both types of camera connect to a USB port.

Digital Camera

External Hard Drive

An external hard drive is a storage device located outside of a computer that is connected through a USB cable or wireless connection. An external hard drive is usually used to store media that a user needs to be portable, for backups, and when the internal drive of the computer is already at its full memory capacity.  In most cases, the operating system will recognize an external hard drive and install it as soon as you plug it into a USB port. For maximum speed with a USB 3.0 (USB 3.1 Gen 1) drive, plug it into a USB 3.0 (or faster) port.

Typical External Hard Drive


Computer speakers can be connected in one of several ways to a PC, depending on the computer:

  • 3.5 mm (mini-jack)
  • HDMI
  • S/PDIF

Most desktop computers use integrated sound, but some use a sound card for higher-quality sound.

3.5mm Mini-Jack

The most common method continues to be the analog 3.5 mm (mini-jack) array shown below.  The color coding commonly used for audio 3.5 mm jacks is as follows:

  • Light blue:  line-in
  • Lime green:  stereo headphone/speaker
  • Pink:  microphone

Some systems add the following to provide support for 5.1/7.1 surround audio:

  • Black:  rear speaker
  • Orange:  center or subwoofer
  • Silver:  side stereo
Typical 3.5mm Mini-Jack


An HDMI cable transmits digital audio as well as HD video.  Thus, the HDMI port can run speakers built in to an HDTV or a home theater receiver.

HDMI Cable


On older PCs, you might also encounter one or two S/PDIF ports.  These can transmit digital audio to HDTVs or receivers that have the appropriate port.

S/PDIF Cable

Connecting Displays

Connecting VGA

The VGA port uses a heavy cable that is normally attached with thumbscrews.

VGA Cable/Connector

Connecting DVI

The DVI port is available in 2 variations:  DVI-D (digital signals only) & DVI-I (digital and analog signals; can be adapted to VGA).  The connector is larger than the VGA and, like VGA, should be fastened into place after installation with the included thumbscrews.

DVI Cable & Connector

Connecting HDMI and DisplayPort

HDMI, DisplayPort, and their reduced-size versions do not require thumbscrews, as the cables and connectors are smaller and lighter than VGA or DVI.


Configuring Multiple Displays

Most video cards and systems with built-in video can use two or more displays at the same time.  The user can select which display is primary and which one is used as the extended desktop, or whether to duplicate the primary display.  The user can also select the desired resolution for each display and, in extended mode, drag different programs to each display. The configuration process is performed through the operating system.

Windows 10 Display Settings

Installation Types

This section will discuss various ways to install devices and to help you understand each method that will be covered on the IT Fundamentals exam.

Plug-and-Play vs. Driver Installation

Plug-and-Play, sometimes abbreviated PnP, is a catchy phrase used to describe devices that work with a computer system as soon as they are connected.  The user does not have to manually install drivers for the device or even tell the computer that a new device has been added. Instead the computer automatically recognizes the device, loads new drivers for the hardware if needed, and begins to work with the newly connected device.  Mass storage, keyboards, and mice generally use plug-and-play installation. If a device cannot be recognized by the operating system (OS) because the OS lacks the correct drivers, the drivers must be installed.  Depending on the device, the drivers may be installed before the device is connected or after the device is connected. After a device that requires drivers is installed with the correct drivers, the device is treated as a plug-and-play device when it is reconnected to the device.

Device Manager

Other Required Steps

When printers, scanners, or multifunction devices are installed, the user is often prompted to connect the device and turn it on to complete the installation process.  If the device is located on a network rather than being plugged into a computer, the installation program may prompt the user to browse for the correct device. When a device is bundled with apps, the installation process may prompt the user to select whether to install any or all bundled apps.

IP-Based Peripherals

Many peripherals today are based on the Internet Protocol (IP).  Meaning, in order for these devices to function they must be connected to a local area network (LAN) or the internet. Examples of IP-based peripherals are:  wireless access points (wireless AP or WAP), wireless routers, IP security camera, network print servers, and network printers or multifunction devices.  Depending on the device, configuring the device for an IP connection might be performed through a touch panel, via a setup program, or via the device’s embedded (built-in) web browser.  Devices that are managed through an embedded web browser are using web-based configuration.