For some, it’s not hard to set up a new PC, but there are a few essential things one would need to take care of before the process of playing around with a new system. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of some essential tips and tricks to set up a new PC without any hassle. Let’s check them all one by one.
Needless to say, but before following the steps below set up the hardware of your shining PC by connecting the monitor, keyboard, and mouse, connecting the power cables, and positioning the system where it has to be forever (Your choice matters!).
Set Up a New PC
Set Up a Backup Routine
Before you open the web browser and check your e-mails, install additional software, or even start thinking about where to put all photos, videos, and other MP3 files, the first step you need to follow with your brand new PC is to configure backup and recovery software.
Please note that having a backup is really important. There are a few options to get a backup. In Vista and Windows 7, you can click on the Start menu, type “backup” into the search box, and press Enter. In Windows 7, you’ll find a feature named “Back up your computer”. You can select it and configure the options accordingly.
You will get three options to select the drive to which you’ll save your backed-up data. Firstly, you can specify the main hard drive of your PC; this makes a backup fast and easy and if you need to restore a file, it’s easy to find backed-up files. However, in case the drive fails then it can be difficult to retrieve your data. That’s why it’s usually best to go with the second option, i.e. an external drive or optical media. You can make use of a fast portable hard drive such as a Seagate FreeAgent Go drive. It simply connects to your PC via USB cable. The third option for backups is to use a network-enabled drive. You can back up to a drive known as a Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive, which you can attach to a router. But this approach is a bit more complicated.
Whether you opt for your local hard drive, an external drive, a USB flash drive, or a NAS drive, you can use the included backup software in Windows. But there is another option, i.e. to use a third-party utility such as Retrospect or Memeo. They work in the same manner as the included programs in Windows, usually with a few extra security features and options.
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Set Up a Windows Restore Point
The next step to set up a new PC is to create a Windows restore point. Follow the steps below to set up a new PC:
- First of all, make sure to configure a backup that will archive your documents, photos, and other personal files.
- Set a system restore point to resolve problems with corrupt files.
- Create a system repair disc in case Windows 7 itself becomes corrupt.
Once you’ve set up your backup plan, you’ll need to create a restore point in Windows. A restore point saves your settings and allows you to revert to the previous working state.
Just click on the Start menu, type “create restore point” in the search field, and then select the option that appears. Now, click on the Create button and follow the prompt to name the restore point and create it.
Create System Repair Disc
You can also create a system recovery disc, which is a separate DVD you will need to create with your system. With Windows 7, you’ll need a blank DVD to create the repair disc as well as a DVD burner. You need to insert the disc into the drive, go to the Start menu, and then type “backup”. Once you hit the Enter key, you’ll get a number of options. You can click on the “Back up your computer” and then, on “Create a system repair disc” in the left-hand side of the window. You’ll see a prompt to select your DVD burner. You can click on “Create disc” and wait for the disc to be burned out.
Note that if your computer fails to boot up or prompts you to use a restore point, you can insert the recovery disc and use it to restore your PC. Remember that this process does not restore data such as your documents and photos, but only restores the operating system. To restore data, you’ll need to fetch it from your backup.
Install a Router for Extra Protection
A router acts as a bridge between your PC and the Internet. Routers basically incorporate a firewall feature that adds extra protection to your PC, especially if a hacker tries to infiltrate your computer and steal personal data.
If you’re not using a router, go ahead and connect your DSL or cable modem directly to your new PC. Otherwise, your system will use either a wired or a wireless connection to the router. Most of the laptops have the ability to connect via wireless using 802.11 or WiFi, while most desktops do not as they use a wired connection or an add-on WiFi adapter which you’ll have to buy.
If you have a desktop, you’ll need to position the router close enough to the desktop to make a connection. In order to install the router, plug in the router to AC power and then connect an Ethernet cable from your DSL or cable modem into the single Internet port on the back of the router.
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Set Up Security Software
The next important step before you start using the Internet is to configure security software. Antivirus programs are helpful in removing viruses that can infect your PC, cause file-corruption issues, or even track your online activities.
One of the best free options is to use Microsoft Security Essentials, a new suite of antivirus and spyware-smashing tools that Microsoft now offers free of charge. Once the scanning process is completed, Security Essentials will run in the background and protect your PC from future security attacks.
Create a Notepad File With Serial Numbers for the Software You Own
Before installing any software on your Windows PC, it’s a good idea to note the serial numbers of software in case you lose the CD drive. This is also one of the essential steps to set up a new PC. Just go to the Notepad and type the name and version of the software followed by the serial number. You can save the file as SERIALNUMBERS.TXT or whatever name is easy to remember and place the file in an easy-to-remember location. Make sure that the file is stored in a drive location that’s covered by your backup routine. In this file, you should note the serial numbers for software that you purchase and download from the Internet.
Create Standard Desktop Folder
In case your system crashes and you need to perform a system recovery, the Standard Folder will help you reinstall programs quickly. You can create a folder called Standard Folder in your PC’s Documents folder. As you download various programs from the Internet like Apple iTunes, Google Picasa, photo organizers, Filezilla for FTP transfers, or even minor utilities, you can stash the installer file (which usually has an EXE extension) in your Standard Folder. This way you won’t need to go hunting down the installers for your essential download apps.
Moving forward, you can also store your Standard Folder on a NAS drive. You can add your Standard Folder in your backup routine. In addition, you can also create a backup of the Standard Folder onto a cloud service so that you can access it at any time.
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Tweak Your Desktop Resolution and Wallpaper
With a new system running Windows 7, you’ll get a wealth of options for customizing the look of the OS. Microsoft provides a number of striking wallpapers and color options. And you can also set a different screen resolution for your new PC.
To set up a new PC resolution, just go to the desktop and select the Screen resolution option. Windows 7 does a great job of auto-configuring a new computer for the optimal resolution of its display. Some users prefer a lower resolution setting so that screen item looks bigger. You can click on the pop-up window next to Resolution and drag the slider up or down to set a new resolution. Once done, you can click on the Apply button to see how it looks.
To access customization settings in Windows 7, just navigate to your desktop and select new colors and choose different desktop wallpaper, which gives your PC some flair and matches your own style. To change the wallpaper, click on the Desktop Background option at the bottom of the screen. To change themes, click one of the themes in the list. And to change the specific colors of the standard Windows elements, click on the Window Color option at the bottom of the screen.
Set Up File Sharing
Windows 7 offers a new feature called HomeGroup that makes it easy to set up file sharing between PCs on your network. It provides direct links to all of your own files from another computer on your network and adds an extra layer of protection as you’re able to access a HomeGroup unless you are on that specific home network.
In order to set up a HomeGroup, just click on the Start menu and type “Homegroup” into the search box, and then hit the Enter key. Follow the wizard for selecting which folders to share. You’ll be provided a code by the software. You need to go to another computer running Windows 7 and enter the code provided to create a link between those computers. This is how you can set up a new PC following this step.
Set Up Power Saving Plan
Another step to take before you start using your new computer in full force is to create a power-saving plan. The fastest way to find all of the power-saving features is to click on the Start menu and type “power”. For a quick configuration, if you click on Change power-saving settings, you will see options for balanced power management, high performance, or a power-save option. You may need to click on the little down arrow next to Show additional plans to see all the options.
If you’d like to create your own custom plan, click on the Create a plan option and this will take you through a wizard-based process letting you specify how long the PC should wait when the computer goes to sleep. The options you select can have a great effect on how much power the PC uses over the long haul.
So, these were some of the essential steps you need to take care of when you set up a new PC.
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