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getting a new computerThe first thing you probably want to do when getting a new computer is jump right into using it. But hold on! There are some things that you must do and take care of before you get to that point. In this article, the second in the Getting A New Computer series, we will cover the first things you must do before starting to use your new computer for those everyday tasks.

In the first one we discussed how to have a seamless transition into your new computer Getting a New Computer, Part 1: How to Transition From Your Old PC to Your New One Getting a New Computer, Part 1: How to Transition From Your Old PC to Your New One Ahhh! The joy of a new computer! An opportunity to start fresh and leave all the worries of your slow, dusty, old computer in the past. However, whether you've just purchased a new computer or... Read More . Some of the things mentioned in that article should technically be done after the things in this article. This was actually prefaced in that article as well with the following note:

NOTE: Different sections in each of these articles will somewhat overlap. The articles are not intended to be followed in order from first to last. However, they are published in order of importance.

Wait! Don’t Hit That Power Button – Charge Up First

getting a new computer

It is important to make sure your laptop battery has a full charge before starting. Some laptops have an indicator light whenever it’s fully charged, but with others you might have to ballpark it. These days, brand new laptops might only take 15-20 minutes to fully charge but in general you should allow for a few hours of charging before starting up your laptop for the first time.

Obviously if you have a desktop you can completely skip this step.

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Create A System Repair Disk

Although there is a tutorial by Microsoft on how to do this, creating a system repair disk is easy and quick. Go to the Start Menu, type in “backup” and click “Backup and Restore.” In the panel on the left side, you should see “Create a system repair disc.” Click that and follow the prompts.

starting up a new computer

Set Up A Scheduled Backup Routine

While you’re in the “Backup and Restore” window, create a scheduled backup to an external hard drive or another form of media while you’re at it. Just remember to have the two devices connected around the time of the scheduled backup.

starting up a new computer

Review Power Saving Settings

The right power settings, whether on a laptop or desktop, are good to have and familiarize yourself with. If you have a laptop, you can easily access these from the battery icon in the system tray. However, no matter what kind you have, you can access them by simply typing “Power Options” in the Start Menu search bar.

starting up a new computer

Get System Updates

starting a new computer

These will likely happen automatically. But if you’re prompted to do them, follow through – don’t just ignore them. This is a huge tech pet peeve of mine and it’s hard for me to understand why users don’t just listen to Microsoft. 99.9% of the time (percentage guessed) you’re not going to have a problem with an update.

Uninstall Bloatware

What is bloatware (also known as crapware)? It’s basically software which is preloaded on a new computer or included in programs that you download and install A Simple Checklist To Safely Installing Free Software Without All The Junk A Simple Checklist To Safely Installing Free Software Without All The Junk Picture this - you've just found this awesome free software that you are stoked about because of all that it can do for you, but when you install it, you discover that it is packed... Read More . Most of the time it’s not dangerous (especially if it was put on by the manufacturer), but it can just be a nuisance. Whether a program falls into one of these slightly depends upon the users, so it’s subjective. But an example might be Norton or McAfee or some DVD playing program.

Removing this stuff is definitely a good thing to do How To Remove Unwanted Crapware From Your Brand New Windows 7 System How To Remove Unwanted Crapware From Your Brand New Windows 7 System Read More as it frees up valuable space and just cleans up your nice new computer a bit. But does require some caution as well – you certainly don’t want to go removing programs that you don’t know about. So, when in doubt leave it or better yet, research it online to find out more about that program.

We’ve asked you what your solutions are for bloatware How Do You Deal With Windows PC Crapware? [We Ask You] How Do You Deal With Windows PC Crapware? [We Ask You] While I'm no Windows or Microsoft fanboy, I do use Windows more than any other operating system. It has had its ups (XP, 7) and its downs (ME, Vista), and it's set to be tested... Read More  (or crapware) and you’ve told us How Do You Deal With Windows PC Crapware? [You Told Us] How Do You Deal With Windows PC Crapware? [You Told Us] We may be entering the post-PC era, if Apple is to be believed, but many of us still use computers and still choose Windows as our operating system of choice. Whether that will still be... Read More Revo Uninstaller is a superb program for this Revo Uninstaller Will Hunt Down Your Bloatware Revo Uninstaller Will Hunt Down Your Bloatware Read More  as well as PC Decrapifier and Geek Uninstaller GeekUninstaller Will Uninstall Programs You Thought You Couldn't [Windows] GeekUninstaller Will Uninstall Programs You Thought You Couldn't [Windows] When it comes to third-party uninstallation software, everyone knows of Revo. It's often considered to be the top of that class. However, many alternatives exists and it's great to offer the MUO audience a choice.... Read More .

Create A Windows Restore Point

Windows System Restore is another very easy-to-do task that only takes a few minutes. To get started, type in “System Restore” in the Windows Start Menu.

starting a new computer

Once opened, simply follow the prompts to create your system restore point. In the future, you should also always create a restore point when prompted to by a program or your computer. Often they will be made without your knowledge, which is nice when that happens, but it’s always good to make sure that you have a recent one available.

You can do this by setting up a schedule, which Ryan covers in his article How To Make Sure Windows System Restore Works When You Need It How To Make Sure Windows System Restore Works When You Need It How To Make Sure Windows System Restore Works When You Need It System restore is not an automatic feature in Windows 7. Usually it is enabled when you've purchased a new system, but after running updates, installing system tools or running any other list of tasks that... Read More .

Run Your First Backup

Once all of that is in place, make a backup. If you haven’t installed your programs yet (which we’ll cover in a later article), I recommend just using an external hard drive. You should have already used it to set up the scheduled backup routine so just go ahead and run that for the first time.

starting a new computer

For information on the easiest way to bring your files over, check out the section titled “Moving Your Existing Files Over To Your New Computer” in the first article of this series Getting a New Computer, Part 1: How to Transition From Your Old PC to Your New One Getting a New Computer, Part 1: How to Transition From Your Old PC to Your New One Ahhh! The joy of a new computer! An opportunity to start fresh and leave all the worries of your slow, dusty, old computer in the past. However, whether you've just purchased a new computer or... Read More .

In addition, an excellent way to make use of that old computer if it’s still running, is to use it for storage as well. So don’t forget about that!

Lose Those Bad Habits!

getting a new computer

You can start using your computer now. But you should really not bring your bad habits along with you. Of course it’s natural at first to be careful, but after a while it’s easy to fall back into the same ruts that you had with your previous computer. Ruts like eating at your computer, or storing (if it’s a desktop) or using it in low ventilation areas, like on your bed with blankets or “stuffing” the tower in a cabinet under your desk. Of course there are many others, so just be aware preferably while your using your old computer (unless you’ve already made the transition) of your bad habits. It’s never too late to change them.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve done all of these you can finally get started downloading programs on your computer and enjoying things like customizing the desktop, which was mentioned in the first article Getting a New Computer, Part 1: How to Transition From Your Old PC to Your New One Getting a New Computer, Part 1: How to Transition From Your Old PC to Your New One Ahhh! The joy of a new computer! An opportunity to start fresh and leave all the worries of your slow, dusty, old computer in the past. However, whether you've just purchased a new computer or... Read More . Do have any more “new computer rituals” that you do before you dive into using your brand new machine? If so, share them with is in the comments below!

  1. THOMAS
    May 16, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    i just bought a laptop and i already used my laptop for many hours. I didn't know that i need to charge it first. Is it safe to charge it now?

  2. Nick Patel
    March 13, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    This is good information! Thank you for posting!

  3. macwitty
    March 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Make a clone, add some apps and update them, sync my content while I'm starting to use it. After the sync i finished I do clone 2. Sometimes I just copy my own content from an earlier clone and give the sync a easier task,

  4. SaapeXD MoHods
    March 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    The last tip is very important! :D

  5. Rachel B
    March 13, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Good advice! My baby spilled his drink on our laptop keyboard and we had to buy a new computer. Were very protective of the new one...and taking all of the advice we can get...

  6. Kirby
    March 12, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Don't forget to update those drivers.

    • Midwest guy
      March 13, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Regarding drivers, I'm more of the mindset: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  7. Richard Steven Hack
    March 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I disagree about registry cleaners. While they won't speed up your machine, there's no reason to allow Windows and crappy third party programs clutter your Registry with incorrect and useless entries. Frankly, given that the Windows Registry is THE number one point of failure in the system, I don't trust Windows to keep it stable by itself - and I certainly don't trust third party programs that use the Registry as a personal database against Microsoft orders not to do that.

    Use a Registry cleaner like CCleaner and a Registry backup and compaction utility to recover no longer used space. There are plenty of good free ones around.

    There may be a slight risk in using these tools, but I've never had CCleaner do anything that was identifiable as a problem.

    The rest of the advice is very good.

    • acouch
      March 12, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Richard,

      What part are we disagreeing about registry cleaners exactly? I agree completely with using CCleaner -- it's awesome. Sure it does clean the registry, but I never say not to use it. When I link to the article about not using Registry cleaners, I'm talking about programs dedicated to that. Uninstallers like Revo and Geek Uninstaller remove Registry values too and I agree with using those. This is starting to get into what one of the next articles covers, so I'll stop there. But I just thought I'd let you know that we aren't disagreeing on that topic.

      In addition, you mentioned a "Registry backup utility" -- did you know CCleaner can backup the Registry as well?

      Thanks for your comment!

      • Doc
        March 13, 2013 at 8:21 pm

        Just looked at CCleaner's Registry options....it has the ability to backup CHANGES it will make to the registry, but I don't see an option to back up the ENTIRE registry.

        • Aaron Couch
          March 13, 2013 at 8:56 pm

          Ah! You're right. Good catch there. Thanks for checking on that.

  8. dragonmouth
    March 12, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    While your articles is Windows-centric, the same advice applies to Macs and Linux PCs.

    "Don’t eat food at your computer."
    That one should be "Don’t eat food OR drink at your computer". Food crumbs just make the keyboard look messy but can be vacuumed out. Liquids, at worst, can get into the inner workings of a laptop and short it out or short out the keyboard on your PC. At best, liquids can gum up electrical contacts causing intermittent problems, and their residue is very hard to remove.

    One should not smoke while working on the computer. Ashes, like dust, can get into all the nooks and crannies of a computer. As a tech I have seen quite a few PC with nicotine and tar deposits on fans, chips and vital parts.

    • acouch
      March 12, 2013 at 10:33 pm

      Very valid point there. I'm not a smoker so that didn't even cross my mind, but that's definitely true.

      As far as the drinks go though, I don't know if I could NOT have something to drink while working. I keep it far enough away from my laptop that it's not a risk. Sure, things can happen, but I think something called "reason" can help prevent the majority of accidents.

      Still all good points though. Thanks for the comment.

      • dragonmouth
        March 12, 2013 at 11:48 pm

        "I think something called “reason” can help prevent the majority of accidents."
        As an online buddy of mine says in his sig "Accidents don't just happen, they have to be carelessly arranged" /grin/

    • macwitty
      March 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      I agree about eating and drinking when using the keyboard on a laptop - otherwise I eat and drink and it happens I got a cup of coffee over the keyboard - great time to buy a new or put it in a dish washer to get it clean (do not forget to wash the keys separate)

      • dragonmouth
        March 13, 2013 at 9:21 pm

        From your comment it sounds like you're a smoker. I was not making a moral judgment about smoking. We all have our vices. I was just relating my experiences. The worst I have seen was computer that looked as if someone dumped used engine oil all over the inside and it stank of nicotine. When I saw/smelled that, I closed the case and put the PC out on the curb for garbage.

        • macwitty
          March 14, 2013 at 12:06 pm

          Are you saying that all people who eat and/or drink when using a computer are smokers? Then there must be a lot more smokers than the statistics show. I've just come from a coffeehouse with free wifi and there sat almost all with laptops and coffee cups something I wouldn't dare to.

        • dragonmouth
          March 14, 2013 at 12:22 pm

          My error. You said "I agree about eating and drinking when using the keyboard on a laptop" from which I assumed that you do not agree with not smoking at the keyboard.

  9. Doc
    March 12, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    One thing you didn't cover, which I thought was inexcusable, is installing a decent antivirus program and/or anti-malware. Most new PCs are sold with a "trial" version antivirus program, like a 30-day license of Norton or McAfee. Remove that junk and install something with a one-year lifespan, such as AVG, Avast!, or something else reputable.

    • Aaron Couch
      March 13, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Doc,

      Don't worry -- I didn't forget about it. That comes in the next article (Part 3) about what software to install. There were some grey areas between some of these articles. Ideally they would have all been one article, but I had to draw a line somewhere and so after much debate I decided to put the antivirus section in the article covering the installation of new software.

      Thanks for commenting and for your input. We're on the same page, I think :)

  10. Garris Rago
    March 12, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Definetely some good tips. I recently learned about creating a system image after it being talked about somewhere on makeuseof, use this for my mums laptop which needed a restore to factory settings (just easiest for her situation, i know you can clean it up and stuff) remove a bucketload of HP bloatware and now have peace of mind it won't take me anywhere as near as long next time as it did this time.

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