Keeping a Log Book
You should have a log book for every computer, which contains information about the computer’s configuration. Having current information makes it easier to rebuild your computer in the event of a serious system crash. This information also helps product support personnel to troubleshoot problems. The Registry contains information about your disk configuration in the subkeys HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DeviceMap\AtDisk and Scsi.
The type of information to keep includes:
- Computer type, model number, and serial number.
- Computer BIOS manufacturer and revision level (x86-based computers) or firmware revision level (RISC-based computers).
- CMOS information for x86-based computers.
- NVRAM information on RISC-based computers.
- Hardware configuration information, including IRQs, DMA addresses, I/O ports, and similar information. If the computer has an EISA bus, the EISA configuration and its associated CFG files should be backed up.
- SCSI controller model number, and the BIOS firmware revision level.
- Jumper settings for all peripheral devices.
- Complete map of the SCSI subsystem, including:
- SCSI configuration information from the SCSI setup program.
- Which devices are terminated and how they are terminated.
- The SCSI ID and physical location on the chain of every SCSI device.
- Which versions of Windows NT are installed, and the partitions on which they are installed.
- Details of any device drivers or other system level software that did not come in the Windows NT retail package. This software would include such things as a Network File System (NFS) provider, network protocol, or network management software.
- Troubleshooting history for any system failures or Kernel STOP errors (blue screens). This information should include:
- The time and date the problem occurred.
- Any error messages, or events posted to the event log.
- Any troubleshooting done and the outcome.
- Partition information, such as the size of the partitions and the file system used for each one. You can use the DiskMap program, described in Chapter 7, “Disk, File System, and Backup Utilities,” to print a map of each of your disks by redirecting the output to a file or a printer.