In order to get a good baked potato, one must start with the correct potato,
Nuke it for the proper length of time,
And then, a little patience, will pay off nicely.
Step 1: Identifying the Proper 'tator
It is a high starch potato, which will remain firm but not hard after baking. .
Step 2: Prepare That 'tator
Wash / scrub it well with water (NO soap or detergent of any kind). But you may use a clean brush (a tooth brush works well if you haven't bought a special vegetable brush).
Poke holes in it. This is so that trapped steam in the potato doesn't cause the skin to bubble and burst in places and so, even if it doesn't burst, it may overcook in those areas.
Raise above the microwave bottom. Place in a plate (microwave safe) and on a paper one also. This allows the microwaves to get underneath the potato.
I, personally, like to smear a bit of Olive oil onto the potato (some prefer bacon grease, but that is high in cholesterol ). But, even if you do not put oil on the potato, there is no need to dry it. Many actually recommend keeping it a bit wet to keep the skin from drying or wrinkling.
Step 3: Baking or Nuking As It Is Often Referred To
Otherwise you will need to proximate the first few times to get it to come out just right.
Size counts in this case, both of the oven and the potato.
Assuming a normal 1200 watt microwave, one would place the potato on the plate in the oven (after scoring with the fork or knife) and microwave for about 8 minutes when placed on a rotating carousel. If you don't have one, then you must do it manually.
Set the timer for about 4-5 minutes, and then when done, flip the tator over and nuke it again for another 3-4 minutes.
Step 4: Don't Jump the Gun !
If your potato is soft when the microwave shuts off, you have cooked it a wee bit too long, take it out and spit it open immediately.
If your tator has started to wrinkle, as pictured in the last picture below, it is overdone. Reduce the time and soon you will be baking potatoes like a pro.
Step 5: Now, Time to Garnish, But Not Ruin the Tator
I was once at a restaurant in the south somewhere (southern USA) that served ONLY baked potatoes, and subsequent toppings. They had nearly everything except ice cream or peanut butter :-)
101 different toppings (I forget the name of the restaurant, as it was a few decades ago).