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[ The PC Guide | Procedure Guide | Setup and Inspection Procedures ]

System Documentation Procedure

This procedure describes how to document certain critical information about your PC. Recording and organizing information about your PC is a prudent investment of a few minutes of your time. It will greatly help you if/when you have system problems or go to upgrade your machine. You'll want to perform this procedure after building or buying a new system, or performing significant upgrades.

Procedure Overview:

  • Difficulty Level: 1 (Very low).
  • Risk Factor: 1 (Very low).
  • Hardware Required: Paper and pen? :^)
  • Software Required: Possibly a blank floppy disk.
  • Time to Perform: About 5 minutes.
  • Preparation / Warnings: There will probably be other specifics about your system that you'll want to record in addition to what is written here.

Procedure Steps:

  1. Record BIOS Settings: Go into the BIOS setup program and record your BIOS settings. This is critical to restoring your system to working condition in the event that your BIOS settings ever become cleared. See this section of the System Care Guide for more information on this.
  2. Record Jumper Settings: For a homebuilt system, write down the jumper settings that you determined when configuring the motherboard.
  3. Make Copy of System Files: I recommend printing out or archiving to floppy disk the following files:
    • C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT
    • C:\CONFIG.SYS
    • C:\WINDOWS\WIN.INI
    • C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI
  4. Record Assembly Notes: If you built the system yourself, I strongly recommend that you record some notes about what you did during your assembly. Write down anything unusual or noteworthy about what you did during assembly now, while you remember it. Concentrate on anything that is out of the ordinary that you might not remember doing six months from now.
  5. Gather Manuals: Collect together the various documents and manuals that came with your system or components.
  6. Store Documentation: Store the information you recorded and the manuals you gathered in a safe place where you will be able to find them if you need them in the future.
  7. Back Up System: Assuming you have a backup method for your PC (and you should), back up the PC now. See this section for more details on backup.

Next: Identification Procedures


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