In the Forums...
Posted: June 18, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
In the other guides here on Tweak3D, there are several things that are assumed of our readers that sometimes come back and bite us in the ass. We assume (I, personally, am bad about this) that the people reading and applying our guides are for the most part computer literate, have a decent grasp of general computing aspects, and are willing to take a few risks. Back in the 'old days,' this wasn't a big issue for us for two reasons. The first reason is that we weren't quite as knowledgeable then as we are now (as reader input has come in and we have developed new methods for discovering tweaks, we have learned as much, if not more than we have taught). However, the second reason is really the kicker - we were a lot smaller site then and our readership was mainly made up of tech-savvy users trying to squeeze the most out of their systems. We now have a much more diverse readership and it is going to effect how we do business.
The problem with having a more diverse readership is that we get people trying to do some of the stuff we discuss without really understanding what they are doing to their systems, and more importantly, how to get themselves out of self-made jams. In an effort to help those people out without bulking up our guides with a lot of redundant information (although we are definitely making the shift to being more newbie-friendly by (hopefully) explaining our recommended settings better where possible), I am writing this guide. In it will be included information on the basic steps to applying a tweak, removing an unsuccessful tweak, backing up your original information, and things that should be avoided at all cost. And just so that we don't leave our more experienced tweakers out, information on developing and testing a new tweak will be included.
There are a few things you can do to facilitate the recovery of your system if some mishap occurs and the system dies on you after performing certain dangerous tweaks. Do as many of these as possible before tweaking - some of them, however, are redundant and unnecessary if you have done others.
- Back up system files (msdos.sys, win.ini, system.ini, autoexec.bat, config.sys, etc…). - Back up your registry (using the export command in regedit) to a *.reg file.
- Make a 'copy' of your Windows folder in another subdirectory on the hard drive or another drive.
- Back up your entire hard drive (disk image).
- Grab a notebook (or a word processor and a printer if that is more to your liking) and outline what you have in your computer, the location of your backups, any custom settings that might NOT be preserved by the above method(s) you chose, etc.
If all else fails and you can't recover from a tweak on your own, these things will definitely come in handy.