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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- I download (but don’t install yet) Microsoft Security Essentials. Free software and currently, the best option for your virus and malware protection, IMO.
- I remove McAfee anti-virus using Revo Uninstaller.
- I install the Microsoft Security Essentials I downloaded earlier. Once installed, update and run the ‘quick scan’ finish installation.
- Run Widows Update until all updates have been installed
- Download and install Ccleaner. This free utility has some very useful little features that should come in handy, firstly;
- Run Ccleaner and navigate to Tools/Start-up. Disable or delete any items you don’t want to start-up when the computer starts
- Open Revo Uninstaller and uninstall and application I don’t want
This is the basic list above. Below are a few other optional steps:
- Install Microsoft Office. Once installed, update.
- Download and install Skype. Couldn’t do without this application!
- Download and install AL Show free version. A great little media player
- 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?