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DOS and Windows 3.1



Once the computer is initially up and running, and before you start installing additional software, make a backup! Here's what I do on DOS based systems with Windows 3.1:

Make a bootable diskette for the computer, hopefully, we'll never need to use it. Once the diskette has been created, other than the hidden system files, the only file you will see is COMMAND.COM. You will need to create an AUTOEXEC.BAT with the following commands:

path=a:\

prompt $p$g $a

Copy the following files from your C:\DOS directory to the boot diskette: EDIT.HLP EDIT.COM FDISK.EXE FORMAT.COM MEM.EXE MSD.EXE MSD.COM QBASIC.EXE QBASIC.HLP SCANDISK.INI SCANDISK.EXE SYS.COM

Make a copies of the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files and place them in the C:\DOS directory. If you are ever adding new software or hardware that automatically changes these files and something goes wrong, or when you thought you were in a subdirectory and were really in the C:\ directory and you do a DEL *.*, all you have to do is copy them back from the C:\DOS directory and you are back in business. Also, remember to make new copies if you change these files.

Create a backup directory in the Windows directory (C:\WINDOWS\BACKUP) and copy all of the .INI, .GRP, .REG and .DAT files into the backup directory. If the REG.DAT files ever gets toasted when you are installing new Windows software, you will have to do a complete reinstall of Windows. As long as you have a backup of this file, you just need to copy the file back to the C:\WINDOWS directory and you are back in business. Also, remember to make new backup copies of these files after you install new Windows software or make any changes to your Windows environment.

If you purchased a tape backup with your PC, make a complete backup of everything. If you make a complete backup of your files to diskette, rather than waste a lot of time backing up software applications that you have the original system disks for, just backup the files that you don't have on diskette. Remember, If you make a backup of your files, you'll never need to use it. However, if you don't make a backup, you will need it!

Print a copy of your CMOS setup, but displaying the settings on the screen, then doing a . If the battery in your system ever dies, the CMOS gets erased. Some systems have a special keystroke that allows you to display the CMOS settings, some require a special diskette that you boot the system from, and other allow you to access the CMOS during the system's boot cycle. Check your manual to see how to access the CMOS in your system.

If you are installing internal components in your PC, such as adapter cards and memory modules, make sure the computer is unplugged from the power source, you are well grounded, and NEVER touch the metal conductors on the adapter cards or disk drives. If you need to unplug a component or two inside the computer (such as data cables or power lines) to install a new device, take a minute and draw a diagram showing the configuration of these wires so that you are sure to put it back together correctly. I usually put a piece of masking tape around each line that I disconnect with a label on it as to where it was plugged into (make sure the tape is removed after you get everything back together). Also, read the section in the manual for your computer about installing new devices.


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