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7.0. This section contains a number of miscellaneous notes which you may find helpful.

7.1. Your System Information file is an important resource which is often overlooked. It contains details of your computer  hardware and software. You will find on the first page details of the BIOS version and usually the computer / motherboard make and model. To access the file type System Information in the Search Box above the start Button and press the ENTER key. You can obtain a copy of the file by selecting File, Export.

7.2 Another resource, often not mentioned, is Action Center. To access  select Start, Control Panel. Action Center, Click on the Arrow down to the right of Maintenance and then on View reliability history. In the graph you will see red orbs, Click on one and it gives details and to the right is another link saying View technical details. If you ever look at Reliability
Analysis reports in Event Viewer it is the reports recorded in Action Center, which directly impact on the computed system stability figure.

7.3.  The default settings in windows hide files which is unhelpful if you need to find system files. In Windows 7 to show hidden files type Folder Options in the search box above the Start button and select View, Advanced Settings and verify that the box before "Show hidden files and folders" is checked and "Hide protected operating system files" is unchecked. You may need to scroll down to see the second item. You should also make certain that the box before "Hide extensions for known file types" is not checked.

7.4. If you have a failing hard drive and the computer cannot be booted recovery of data files can present practical difficulties. A solution that requires some expense, but not over much, is to purchase an external USB 2.5" sata enclosure. You remove the drive from the laptop and place the drive in the enclosure and connect to a USB port of a working computer. You need a 3.5" enclosure for a drive from a desktop.

Connecting to another computer enables you to read, write to, and copy from the drive. You can scan the drive using the security software installed on the second computer. If the hard drive has failed then it does not work. You cannot boot the operating system installed on the drive in the enclosure

Enclosures are reusable and can be used to provide additional external storage for any computer, where you have a discarded drive which worked, but was too small for further use in its existing location.

An illustration of an external enclosure is provided in the link below:

7.5. Incorrect management of services in Windows can lead to problems. If the system is left with default settings applied then few problems should arise. Unfortunately some users think that system performance can be improved by disabling or otherwise changing from default settings. It is rarely beneficial.

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