Setting up a computer from new

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    Emergency computer reset

    Computer reset lever

    I’ve just set up a new laptop for someone and thought to myself that it might be interesting to write a short list of the changes I make and the software I install during the process.

    The problem with new computers these days is that they arrive pre-installed with all sorts of software you didn’t ask for and don’t need. Whilst this software more-than-likely subsidises the cost of the new computer, it’s something that I’m personally not a big fan of – it slows down your computer and there are often better free versions of this commercial software available.

    The last 5 or 6 laptops I’ve bought have all been Toshiba because I like their reliability and I currently buy from Insight as their prices and service are very good (Prior to that it was eBuyer)

    Insight laptops don’t tend to arrive with too much pre-installed software, unlike a certain other larger mail-order computer supplier I could mention, so it’s not too time consuming to sort out.

    This particular laptop is a Toshiba running 32 bit Windows Vista Business

    1. Firstly, I connect to wireless internet (if available). If you’re installing the operating system too, XP prior to Service Pack 2 doesn’t have wireless internet support as standard so the best thing to do is download XP Service Pack 3 network install version to a flash drive (or disk) and install before you’re able to connect wirelessly. Of course, you could connect with a cable if you preferred but I find them so 1990’s
    2. Secondly, I download Google Chrome Browser and install. This browser is miles ahead of it’s nearest competitor and I don’t use anything else these days for day-to-day browsing. When installing, I set as default browser. I also install flash player browser plug-in at this time. This is something that is not essential but will probably need to be done at some time.
    3. Thirdly, I Download Revo Uninstaller free version and install. This is a great utility for removing applications from your computer as it will also remove left-over registry entries and files
    4. I download (but don’t install yet) Microsoft Security Essentials. Free software and currently, the best option for your virus and malware protection, IMO.
    5. I remove McAfee anti-virus using Revo Uninstaller.
    6. I install the Microsoft Security Essentials I downloaded earlier. Once installed, update and run the ‘quick scan’ finish installation.
    7. Run Widows Update until all updates have been installed
    8. Download and install Ccleaner. This free utility has some very useful little features that should come in handy, firstly;
    9. Run Ccleaner and navigate to Tools/Start-up. Disable or delete any items you don’t want to start-up when the computer starts
    10. Open Revo Uninstaller and uninstall and application I don’t want

    This is the basic list above. Below are a few other optional steps:

    1. Install Microsoft Office. Once installed, update.
    2. Download and install Skype. Couldn’t do without this application!
    3. Download and install AL Show free version. A great little media player
    4. Download and install Bullzip PDF printer free version. Installs as a printer and allows you to create PDFs using the normal ‘print’ command

    Hope this helps?

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      Written by Chris

      February 16th, 2010 at 6:02 pm