When you're backing up data, a pencil and paper come in handy, too. You should write down any important usernames and passwords, such as those for your e-mail account and other online services. You might want to write down the phone number of your dial-up ISP connection, for example, or your DSL technical settings. Figure 4-3 shows an example of some information you might want to record. In addition, don't forget to jot down essential technical details, such as your IP address if you are part of a network of computers using static addresses (this will usually be relevant only if you work in an office environment).
Figure 4-3. Don't forget to back up "hidden" data, such as Internet passwords.
If you've forgotten any passwords, there are several freeware/shareware applications that are able to "decode" the asterisks that obscure Windows passwords and show what's beneath. You can download these utilities from sites like www.download.com.
Note that there's no need to write down information such as hardware interrupt (IRQ) or memory addresses, because hardware is configured automatically by SUSE Linux. However, it might be worth making a note of the make and model of some items of internal hardware, such as your graphics card, modem (dial-up or DSL), and sound card. This will help if SUSE Linux is unable to automatically detect your hardware, although such a situation is fairly unlikely to arise. You can garner this information by right-clicking My Computer on your desktop, selecting Properties, and then clicking the Device Manager tab. Instead of writing everything down, you might consider taking a screenshot by pressing the Print Scr button and then using your favorite image editor to print it.
SUSE Linux works with a wide variety of hardware, and in most cases, it will automatically detect your system components. If you're in any doubt, you can check your hardware against the SUSE Hardware Database (http://hardwaredb.suse.de/?LANG=en_UK).
Once you're certain that all your data is backed up, you can move on to the next chapter, which provides a step-by-step guide to installing the operating system.