- Computers & Software
Setting Up A New Computer With Windows 7
So you just bought a brand new computer! Woohoo!!! You want to tear it out of the box and fire it up! You want to see what it can do! I understand your excitement, but for the best possible computer experience there are a few things you can do before you start really using your machine. I'm not a computer expert by any means, but recently I purchased a new computer and I researched, read, and sought advice from more knowledgeable people to develop a game plan of how to set my new computer with Windows 7. I've decided to share these steps to hopefully help others with setting up their brand new computers. My new computer has Windows 7, and if you are reading this after purchasing a new computer then I'm writing this with the assumption that your computer also has Windows 7.
The first thing you should ever do with a brand new computer is get a firewall and anti-virus up and running as soon as possible. The security of your computer is paramount. We've all heard the horror stories about viruses ruining expensive new computers and the nightmares people experience trying to recover from them. Don't let this happen to you. Get a security suite up and running before you do anything else. Most people have heard of Norton and McAfee and they are considered to be some of the best internet security options if you want to spend the money. There are some really good free options as well. Personally I have had a good experience with Comodo and I've read that Ad Aware is really good as well. Both have options to buy for additional protection as well.
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Even though you bought your computer with Windows 7 brand new, you don't know how long it sat on the shelf and in a factory before that. Now there is nothing wrong with that but the chances are that Windows probably has some updates that you should download. This process is very simple. If you click on the Windows icon at the bottom left side of your screen and type 'Windows Update' in the search box a result will appear called 'Windows Update'. Click on 'Windows Update'. It may already show you what you need to download, but if not on the top left side there should be an option that says 'Check for Updates'. After it shows you what updates are necessary simply download them. Don't let if fool you though. If your computer is new off the shelf you may need to click check updates again, and repeat the process until it doesn't find any new updates. You can also change the settings in here to automatically update if you so desire.
Again, you don't know how long it took from the time the computer was made until reached you. In that time the manufacturer may have put out new updates for the drivers. These may or may not help the way your machine performs. I hear that some people don't like messing with the updating the drivers, and I can't necessarily walk you through the process. If you want to update the drivers head to the website of the company you bought your computer from and they might have them available on their website. My new computer was made by TOSHIBA and they had the drivers update available on their site. It was as simple as downloading it and running it after the download.
Taking Out The Trash
Brand new computers always come loaded down with junk software that you probably don't want or need. If you know what programs you want to remove and want to spend the time tediously removing them yourself you can go to the control panel, then to Programs, then to Uninstall Programs. This will list every program on your computer and you can work through it uninstalling each one.
If you don't want to go through this headache or aren't comfortable doing it yourself there are other options. There are some free programs available that will help you sort through the crap and uninstall the junk you don't want. There are three that I know of... PC Decrapifier, Slimcomputer, and Revo Uninstaller. The only one that I have used personally is Slimcomputer which I used on my new computer. I chose it because it said that it had user reviews which I thought could be helpful. It was easy to download, install, and performed it's process in minutes. It did include good descriptions of each to the programs it found and included user opinions on each one. Overall, I was pretty impressed with how well it worked.
Back Up Recovery Disc
On Windows 7 it is super simple to make a recovery disc for your machine. The recovery disc will help you recover your machine if you ever do get a bad virus assault. It will require a blank DVD disc. All you have to do is go to the control panel, then go to System and Security, then go to Back up your Computer. On the top left there will be an option titled, 'Create a recovery disc.' Click on that and follow the simple prompts. After the disc is created make sure that you store it some place safe in case you ever need it.
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These were all of the steps I took to set up my machine. If I missed anything that you know feel free to add it to the comments section below.
From here you can begin adding the software you want and start using your computer. I may be able to offer one more helpful item though. I stumbled across a website called Ninite.com. This site allows you to pick several of the pieces of software that you probably plan to get anyway. It will allow you choose all of the software that you want and it will download the latest version of it all for you and install it. I used it to pick up 8 or 9 programs I was planning on getting. It seemed to work really well for me.
As I said at the top, I'm no expert but these fairly simple steps seemed to work out pretty good for me and hopefully they will work alright for you. Enjoy your new machine!