When something is wrong with your computer system, especially when the problem is with a peripheral device, fixing it is almost always a pain. Window's Help is rarely helpful, providing fixes for generic problems like forgetting to plug something in, or running out of ink. What you really need is to
find the documentation that came with the cantakerous GIF Cross-Stitcher or malfunctioning modem.
Unfortunately, for most of us, these manuals are in one of a dozen or so places we have around the house for storing such things. Even if you have them all in one place, finding the one manual you need in a box of dozens, possibly hundreds, of various documents, warranties, installation discs, and other bits and pieces of various shapes and sizes.
What we really need is a means by which we can keep these papers with their respective devices. Technologically speaking, it shouldn't be too difficult to add a small storage bay to most printers, computer cases, monitors, etc, and to do so in such a way that it doesn't add to much to the size and is no less aesthetically unpleasant than the device itself.
One solution is to encourage/make computer companies add these to their new models. Some of Hewlett-Packard's Pavilion line already have small bay in the top for holding important CDs. It would definitely be a good selling point. However, this wouldn't help older models, and would qualify as a lets-all, so lets move on.
Solution Two is to have a third-party company that designs and produces these as add-ons. Of course, most of these would have to be model-specific or close to it, but they wouldn't be too expensive (probably cheaper than a replacement ink cartridge, for basic models). Recent efforts to break out of the "square gray box" appearance have bedecked newer peripherals with colorful, translucent, plastic bubbles which are almost the perfect shape to hold CDs, and can be easily popped out with a screw-driver. A wide and deep, but fairly short compartment would be adequate for storing paperwork. These could be installed on the underside of a printer, the side of a computer tower, or as a replacement for the base of a monitor.