Basics that everyone should know:

General specifications

What CPU do you have?

How big is your hard drive?

How much hard drive space is used vs. free?

How much RAM do you have?

What is the capacity of your floppy drive(s)?

How fast is your CD drive?

How big is your monitor?

What is your display adapter (graphics card)?

How many colors and what resolutions do your monitor and graphics card support?

What sort of pointing device(s) do you have? Is it clean and set correctly?

Who made your modem and how fast is it?

Who made your sound card (or at least what is it compatible with)? Does it have MIDI? Wavetable or FM?

How many bays, peripheral slots, and RAM slots are free?

Is there a system for making sure everything is plugged in correctly (in case of a move or something)?

Do you have adequate UPS/Surge protection?

What type of printer do you have? Where do you get replacement ink/toner, etc?

What version of the operating system do you have? Are there free updates or patches available?

What software is on your machine, and what version is it?

What is your virus checker and what automatic checks does it do? Is it up-to-date?

Other considerations

Who is your ISP? What are your network settings? Do you have web space?

Where are your OS system files (usually a CD), and where are the software installation disks?

How are you going to recover your data when the system fails (or the house burns down)?

Are the proper manuals, troubleshooting numbers, and support web sites accessible?

Advanced questions:

What is the motherboard bus (VESA, PCI, etc.)?

What type of RAM slots do you have? (How many pins, what speed, what’s compatible, bank requirements, etc?)

What is the disk interface (IDE, ATA, SCSI, etc.)?

What else is automatically loading or appearing in the tray, and do you need it?

Are you confident with removing programs and with your uninstaller program?

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