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Procedure Guide

One of the reasons that I originally wanted to put together The PC Guide was to address what I found to be a total dearth of useful, step-by-step instructions for performing common hardware and installation procedures on the PC. The fact of the matter is that most PC procedures are not all that difficult to do; many of the things that you might think require a professional PC technician, you can actually do yourself. It's just so much harder to perform these tasks when you've never done them before. That's what this Guide is all about.

Ironically, due to the silly way that I planned the site out, I ended up not completing the Procedure Guide for the initial release of the site. I will therefore be building up this archive over time, adding new procedures as I find the time to write them; I've already identified over 100 that I plan to add. My focus is on the practical here; I am trying to address the more common "How do I?" questions that PC users have, especially those into homebuilding or performing upgrades. All the various types of procedures mentioned in other areas of the site are gathered together here, with links of course inserted as appropriate. The procedures are categorized into groups to make the one you need easier to find.

One reason for gathering all the procedures on the site together into this Guide is to make them easier to find for those who know what they need to do and just want to find out how to do it. Another reason is to allow the procedures to be constructed in a modular fashion. You will in fact find that many of the procedures here will in turn refer to other procedures. This allows you to drill down to more detailed instructions in some of the areas where you need it, and skip the details where you do not. In fact, some of the procedures are hierarchical: they contain only references to other procedures. You will see these as a set of steps in the Index frame that when selected, load subprocedures in the Contents frame. This design enables me to reuse subprocedures to enable more efficient maintenance.

One problem I sometimes find with instructions for hardware procedures on the Web is that they are writing at too high a level for someone trying to do them for the first time. They presume too much experience on the part of the reader. In these procedures, I attempt to be as explicit as possible, to allow anyone to perform them. I do however try to balance the procedures so that they are not too cumbersome. Some procedures do require more of an understanding of PCs than others. This is reflected somewhat in the difficulty rating of the procedure. I leave it up to my readers to tell me if the procedures are at too high or too low a level.

Note: If you have not used any of these procedures before, I strongly recommend reviewing this section, which explains the format of the procedure pages, and the overview headings used to describe them. You may also want to read this section that contains general tips and techniques for hardware installation and assembly.

Warning: Please read the site warnings before you follow any of the procedures in this Guide.

Next: Explanation of Procedure Overviews

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Site Version: 2.2.0 - Version Date: April 17, 2001
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