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System Maintenance

Record your BIOS settings
Posted: 22 Mar 06

You never know when you might loose your current BIOS settings. It can happen for a number of reasons. The CMOS battery can lose power. A power surge can do it. Or you might change settings and need to get back to the ones that worked.

If you have a record of the settings that work, then you are laughing. If you donÆt, it can be a very painful experience.

It is a good idea to record your BIOS settings as soon as possible. Then re-record every time you make a change that you decide to keep.

There are two ways I know to record your settings, apart from writing them down by hand û which is simply to painful to even contemplate.

If you have a standard printer attached to the parallel port, then you can simply go into the BIOS settings and press the æprint screenÆ button on your keyboard for each screen in turn. DonÆt forget you need to bring up each and every sub menu. When you are done, you may need to press the æpage throwÆ button on your printer to get it to print the last page, especially if it is a laser printer.

If you canÆt do that, then use a digital camera. You will have to set the camera to not use flash. You may need to use macro mode to get it to focus on the screen. If you have a CRT screen, rather than a flat panel screen, you may need to set the camera to use a slow shutter setting to avoid strobe lines. You may need to use a tripod or other means to steady the camera. But even a mobile phone camera will do the job. Once you have found out how to get a satisfactory screen shot this way then shoot every BIOS screen as described above.

Once you have the pictures, you may want to process them on your PC to clean them up a bit. You may want to convert them to black and white to minimise file size. Either way, save them not only on the PC in question. But another PC, CDROM or floppy (make more than one copy) But also print them out.

Fix the paper copies in the one place you canÆt lose them. Inside the PC. Put them in an envelope and glue this to the inside of the case. With a laptop. Keep the envelope in the laptop bag if you have one.

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