I came across this post concerning using Notepad during the CCIE lab exam [emphasis mine]:
You can’t save anything, no folders, no text files. You can’t save anything to flash in the routers as well, or its an auto fail. The best you can do is open up txt files, and use them as you see fit, just be careful not to close them.The kind of troubleshooting errors they put in the lab are absolutely simple. You won’t need to paste out the configs for verification if that’s what your leaning towards (IMO). Just check your IPs/masks, etc.. when you run into problems. I had a couple txt files open just to slap in and proof my changes, or have a record or note of something I did but wanted to go back to.
The proctor might spend a few minutes going over the keyboard/terminal, but once you sit down at your lab, you have 8 hours to complete it. No extra time for prep or anything.
I guess that this makes sense from a lab security standpoint as Cisco would not want configurations from previous candidates accidentally left on the desktop or in flash.
I guess that it’s not a big deal, but IE suggests saving the initial configurations so that if you cannot find all of the initial faults before you complete the lab, you can check the initial configurations rather your more lengthy final configurations for the final error(s). I guess that you can just keep a notepad instance open all day with the initial configuration in it without saving it, but I’m very likely to accidentally close or write over it. Oh well, good to know this before hand.