New Computer Set Up Process
When people get a new computer, after plugging it, they often don’t know what to do next. Here are the steps I take.
1. Turn it on, go through whatever process is necessary to get to your desktop (or Windows 8 Home Screen). Install Windows Updates and reboot.
2. Browse to the Control Panel, and uninstall any anti-virus or security software the computer came with. It may say free for one year, but why spend a year with annoying reminders? Uninstall, then reboot.
3. Browse to the control panel again and remove any unnecessary software. This includes games, toolbars, and Microsoft Office trial versions. I’ve never seen a good game come with a computer, and there is no such thing as a useful Microsoft Office trial.
4. Open Internet Explorer, and browse to Ninite.com. Ninite is a website created by someone who is undoubtedly a genius. Rather than go through downloading and installing multiple pieces of software from around the internet, you can select the ones you want in one configurable installer.
I usually install Chrome (an alternative browser), iTunes (for music management and Airplay), VLC Media Player (for all video playback, including DVD, rather than QuickTime), Audacity (for audio recording and editing), CutePDF (for creating PDFs), Microsoft Security Essentials (for anti-virus and malware needs – Windows 7/Vista/XP only), Flash Player, Dropbox (for free online file backup), Classic Start (for making Windows 8 manageable), and WinRar (for file compression – zipping and unzipping).
5. Find out how to make backup discs or a flash drive of your Windows installation. Do this right away, and put the media you’ve created in a safe place. If you can make multiple copies, do it – and put them in different places. If your hard drive crashes later, you won’t be able to create the media you need to fix the problem.
6. Install Microsoft Office (if you have it, otherwise don’t buy it! *LINK*). If you don’t own it, use Office Online at https://skydrive.live.com/
7. Restore your documents, music, pictures, favorites, and anything else.
8. Set up a back-up plan. Fortunately, Windows has an automatic backup feature included. To use it,, Open Backup and Restore by clicking the Start button , clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Backup and Restore. Then click Set up backup, and then follow the steps in the wizard. If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
9. Start using your new computer to do things you didn’t even know were possible before!