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[ The PC Guide | Procedure Guide ]

Explanation of Procedure Overviews

Each of the procedures in the Procedure Guide is structured in a particular way, to make it easier for you to understand what it is about, when or even if to do it, and what is required to get it done. The first part of the procedure is the overview, which provides summary information on the procedure's important characteristics. The second part of the procedure contains the actual tasks to perform. Note that some procedures that contain others as "subprocedures" don't use this standard structure.

These are the items you'll find in each procedure overview:

  • Difficulty Level: This is a rating, from 1 to 5, of the difficulty of performing the procedure. Now the skill and experience level of the readers of this site varies widely so there is no way I can tell what will be easy or hard for any given individual. My goal with this rating is to choose it with a typical PC user in mind who has not performed the procedure before. Obviously, virtually any procedure is dramatically easier to do once you've done it before. Please do not be intimidated by a procedure with a high difficulty level. You should just treat this as a warning that the procedure may require more time, or more research before you do it. Or, you may want to try some easier procedures first to get more practice.
  • Risk Factor: A rating, from 1 to 5, of how risky the procedure is. This is a ballpark estimate of how much relative potential there is to muck things up with the system if you make a mistake. Please do not be intimidated by a procedure with a high risk factor. You should just treat this as a warning to exercise more care when performing the procedure. Even risky procedures are almost always very safe if you follow the directions closely.
  • Hardware Required: Any special hardware required for the procedure, other than the obvious (yes, you need a keyboard in order to perform a procedure that asks you to type commands, etc. :^) )
  • Software Required: Software or operating system required for the procedure, as appropriate.
  • Time to Perform: A ballpark estimate of how long the procedure should take to do for someone who has not done it before. Some procedures can take substantially longer to perform if you have problems and need to spend time troubleshooting. Unfortunately, some people get sucked into thinking that doing work on their PC is some sort of a contest. It isn't; do it right, even if it takes a bit more time, and in the long run you'll come out ahead. Better to impress your friends with a job well done than a job done quickly but poorly.
  • Preparation / Warnings: This section provides preparatory instructions or warnings to take into account before beginning the procedure.

Warning: Please do not perform any procedures on your PC before reading the site warnings. The PC Guide is not responsible for any damage that may result to your system as a result of using these procedures, for any reason. If you feel uncomfortable with this, please do not use the procedures.

Next: General Installation and Assembly Tips


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