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Backup & Startup

Backup Files & Settings

None of those hard disk files are safe!

Backing up important data files is your single most important user function.

Forget this at your peril!.


Make, and keep to, a schedule

You only need to back up your data, not your applications. If your disk crashes, you will need to reinstall the software from the original source. Backing-up weekly, or monthly, makes it easy and effective.

Be familiar with your backups. Know where they are, what each is called, and how to reinstall them. Store them on movable media if you can. If some are on the hard disk, keep them away from the Windows partition, and preferably on a different physical drive.

Make your backups when you are sure the files are in pristine condition. Have more than one copy of important files.

Frequently make sure your Emergency Boot, and Startup, floppy disks work - just pop it in the drive and see if the computer will boot from that floppy. A Boot disk will start the PC; a Startup disk will start the PC and then run Windows 95/98 (to Safe Mode at the very least).

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Startup Disk

Having a good Startup floppy disk is an essential precaution

Why a Startup Disk is Essential

If, and it is very likely at some time, you find Windows 95/98 will not start, you simply put this floppy in your floppy drive, re-boot, and off you go. Having gained entry to the computer, you can now troubleshoot the problem e.g. install your recent backup copy of the Registry.

You will need a Startup Disk if you ever wish to:
• gain access to the computer if locked out by a failed Windows
• reinstall Windows (full re-install)
• need to boot into DOS directly, instead of using a dos-window
• reformat your Hard-Drive
• repartition your Hard-Drive


Origin of your Startup Disk

Microsoft's OEM license requires OEMs to bundle an Emergency Boot Disk with every Windows-based PC.

Whether or not you were supplied with one is immaterial! It is likely to be inadequate, and you should make your own.

Creating a Startup disk is a simple procedure. You can make one with Windows but you will need to add a few things for everything to work.

Creating a CORRECT one may require a little effort on your part, and it is vital that you do so. You must, in particular, make sure it will run your CD-ROM from a DOS prompt (and that it has some basic files).


Creating a Startup Disk

The following assumes Windows is installed in the C: drive. If not then change C:

1. Go to Start • Settings • Control Panel • Add/Remove Programs • Startup disk and follow the instructions from there.

2. Test the disk by booting the PC with the Startup disk in the floppy drive. It should boot into Windows.

3. IMPORTANT: Now test your CD-ROM drive, and mouse.
If they work then skip to 5. If not, then continue:

4. You no access to your essential CD-ROM drive and/or mouse. You need to insert the instructions onto the floppy:


4a. Copy your CD-ROM drivers into the Config.sys file on the Startup disk. (Look in C:\Config.dos or .sys, or on the boot disk. They are specific to your own drive and will appear something like this:-
Device=C:\CD-ROM\TSYCD-ROM.SYS /d:mscd001 /P:SM

4b. Copy mscdex.exe into the floppy's Autoecex.bat. You should find it in your Autoexec.bat or .dos in the root directory. It looks like:
C:\Windows\Command\MSCDEX.EXE /D:MSCD001

4c. In 4a and 4b (above) change the pathway to your floppy drive
Example: C:\CD-ROM\ ... is changed to A:\CD-ROM\ ...


5. Copy mouse.exe and into the Autoexec.bat

6. Bootup with your new Startup Disk and test the CD-ROM drive.

Play safe

1. Try to use only pristine files (from the original CD-ROM). Locate and copy    io.sys    msdos.sys to the Startup floppy.
2. When you have installed the Microsoft Year 2000 Update (win95y2k) you will need to make sure you have the newer version of (and winfile.exe) on the floppy.    WIN95Y2K.EXE

Files your emergency Startup disk must have, io.sys, msdos.sys (the DOS system files) to reformat the hard disk
fdisk.exe to partition the hard disk
xxxxxxx.sys (your CD-ROM driver)
mscdex.exe (required for CD-ROM use)
config.sys (for DOS usage only - with the CD_ROM driver)
autoexec.bat (for DOS usage only - mouse, and CD_ROM)


Files a Startup Disk should also have

When you gain access to the computer you still need to be able to do something positive, so also copy these files to the emergancy floppy:
• (so you can edit something)
• Attrib.exe     • Chkdsk.exe     • Debug.exe
• Drvspace.bin     • Qbasic.exe     • Regedit.exe
• Scandisk.exe     • Scandisk.ini     •
• Uninstal.exe
(for win95/98)

Note for Novices

Floppy disk files will function ONLY when the correct pathway is used (usually A:).
The same is true for the hard disk (usually C:).

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Perform the following once a month (in this order):

Boot Disk: Make sure your Boot Disk will boot your computer

Startup disk: Test your Startup disk - pop it in and bootup. If Windows 95/98 runs, then make sure your CD-ROM drive works!

Recycle Bin & Caches: Empty the Recycle Bin and Caches

Old files and folders: Delete all old files and folders (greater than one week old) from _:\Windows\TEMP. Look in all Temp or Tmp folders. Leave all deleted files in the Recycle Bin until you are sure you do not need to Restore any of them (a few days)

Uninstall: Uninstall all those programs, and utilities, you 'had' to look at and no longer need!   First look for a Uninstall option; then try " Add/Remove Software " in Control Panel; finally delete any of their remaining files/folders in Windows Explorer, and leave them in the Recycle Bin (just for a little while).

Defrag: Run Disk Defragmenter using the Full option

Registry: Backup the Registry. Copy system.dat and user.dat to your Backup folder. Keep three backups - delete the oldest

Time: Advance the clock by about one minute (if necessary)

Drivers & Updates: Check for new drivers and software updates about every three months, especially Video drivers and Windows 95/98 updates/fixes. Never use a .0 version

ScanDisk: Run occasionally . Disable your Screensaver, disable any Scheduled Events, and close all programs. Run ScanDisk, and take a long tea-break. Then Defragment. Read Scandisk (in Hard Disks \ Other)

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Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.

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