Cheat Sheet

Laptops For Dummies

Nothing is more liberating than having a computer you can take with you. A laptop offers you full computer power, a decently sized keyboard, a nice-looking display, and the ability to go wireless — not to mention how cool you look checking e-mail and Facebook at Starbucks.

My Laptop Info

Whether you’re talking to tech support or buying a new toy for your laptop, you should have the following details about your laptop on hand.

Brand name:    


Model number:    

Serial number:    

My laptop battery’s make and model:    

RAM: ____________ MB

Hard drive capacity: ___________ GB

Press the __________ key when the computer first starts to access my laptop's Setup program.

Important Info about Your Laptop

Be prepared for emergencies with your laptop. Print this page, fill in the blanks, and keep this information near your laptop for those dire moments when things go wrong.

My dealer:    

Dealer's number:    

Dealer's e-mail:    

Tech support phone line:    

Tech support e-mail:    

ISP name:    

ISP tech support line:    

ISP's web page:    

ISP e-mail:    

ISP's domain name:    

ISP's e-mail POP3 server name:    

ISP's e-mail SMTP name:    

My Internet login name:    

(Save Internet password elsewhere.)

My e-mail address:    

(Save e-mail password elsewhere.)

The Fn Keys on Your Laptop

You might own your laptop for years and still not memorize all its special Fn key combinations. Print and fill out this list of your laptop's keyboard combinations:

To activate Num Lock:    

Volume Up:    

Volume Down:    


Activate external monitor:    



Monitor brightness:    

Monitor contrast:    

Laptop Bag Checklist

Here's a smattering of items you might want to stuff into your laptop case or backpack. Just remember: the more you pack, the heavier the bag!

  • Laptop

  • Power adapter

  • Extra battery

  • External mouse

  • Ethernet cable

  • Phone cable

  • Pens, paper, sticky notes

  • Screen wipes

  • Headphones

  • A copy of your presentation

  • USB flash drive(s)

  • Recordable optical discs

  • Lock or cable

  • Tiny toolkit

  • Cooling fan

  • Business cards

  • Snacks

  • Laptops For Dummies

Tips and Suggestions for Your Laptop

Try these tips when you're starting out with a new and different laptop computer. The suggestions on this list will help your laptop run more smoothly and safeguard it from theft.

  • Restart Windows. This fixes many common problems.

  • If it was working "yesterday," try System Restore.

  • Changes cause problems. Upgrading software or hardware or changing the settings in Windows usually causes whatever new problems your laptop encounters.

  • Use antivirus software.

  • Put a personal label or asset-tracking sticker on your laptop.

  • Hunt down those AC power outlets when you’re out on the road!

Battery-Saving Tips for Your Laptop

Your laptop is only as good as its battery life. Here are some suggestions to help your laptop battery last as long as possible:

  • Dim the monitor.

  • Mute the speaker.

  • Remove the disc from the optical drive.

  • Run only necessary programs.

  • Set a solid-color desktop.

  • Enable low-battery warnings.

  • Use a spare battery.

  • Close unused programs.

  • Customize the power management scheme.

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