Things to do first on your brand new PC

Bought a new computer? Before you do anything, perform these steps first.

Computer love

1. Isolate your computer from the Internet

Do not allow your computer to connect to the web until you have prepared it for the onslaught of viruses. A study has shown there is a 50 percent chance that a non-ready PC will be infected within 12 minutes of connecting to the Internet. So do not connect your Internet cable, and turn the wireless function off, either physically if there’s a wireless switch on the PC, or by going to [Start Menu -> Control Panel -> Network Connections] and disabling it there.

2. Check whether you got what you paid for

Go to [Start Menu -> Run] and type ‘dxdiag’. You will see a summary of your computer’s specifications, such as the RAM (memory) and the processor. Check both of them, as well as the graphics card used inside. Does your PC have what the salesman said it does?

3. Decrapify your PC

Most computers come bundled with advertisements in the form of “free” promotional software that clutter up your desktop and take up disk space. Just deleting them from your desktop doesn’t remove them from your PC. You have to manually uninstall them by finding the uninstaller program for each of them and run it.

The PC Decrapifier makes it a hassle-free process by searching for these irritating apps and taking them out for you. Best of all, it’s really free! Download and step-by-step guide here.

4. Turn on your firewall

Firewalls block any unauthorised intrusions to your computer. Windows XP comes with its firewall turned off, so you have to manually turn it on by going to [Start Menu -> Run] and type in ‘Firewall.cpl’. Then select the ‘On’ button. Windows Vista comes with the firewall turned on, while Mac and Linux users don’t have to bother about viruses.

5. Install an antivirus program

If you’ve bought antivirus software, such as Norton or McAfee, put in the CD and install them. If not, download a free antivirus program such as Avast or AVG on your old computer, and transfer the files via thumb drive or CD-ROM to your new computer and install them.

Your computer is now ready to connect to the web!

OPTIONAL

6. Partition your hard drive

Partitioning means splitting up your hard drive – for example, if you now have a single C: drive, partitioning splits it up into C: and D: drives if you choose to split it in two. Doing so enables better file management.

Most people install the operating system (Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, etc) on the first hard drive, and all the programs and documents on the second. That way, if you have to reinstall the OS, your files don’t get lost.

Why partition now? Partitioning a hard drive usually requires you to format the hard drive a.k.a wipe it clean of data. So do it now when your computer is still brand new and untouched.

Step-by-step guide here (Windows XP) and here (Windows Vista).

7. Protect your startup

Many programs that you are going to install in the coming days as you have fun on your new PC are likely to try adding themselves to the startup list. The longer the list, the slower your computer takes to get ready for use when you turn on the power.

Use the free and bite-sized Startup Guard program to prevent programs from adding to the startup list without your exclusive permission. Tip: only allow programs you want to be automatically running when you turn on the computer to add themselves to startup.

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12 Responses to “Things to do first on your brand new PC”

  1. symbolik Says:

    Another one that can hurt if you don’t do it – make your recovery disks.

    Most new computers do not come with install media for the OS – instead, there is some program of one kind or another that will let you create a rescue or recovery CD or DVD. These can often only be run once.

    I do not do Windows, but whenever someone tells me they just got a new computer, first question I ask is, “Did you make your recovery disks?” The blank stare that follows speaks volumes.

    Doing this is THE lifesaver if you do not have install media or a hidden rescue partition, or if you delete the hidden rescue partition when you thought you would be clever and “recover” that space. No one wants to shell out $$$ to buy Windows install CDs for a computer that used to work…

    Great article – these are all good tips for Windows users to follow.

  2. Snuzz Says:

    Thanks for all the advice, and it will be heeded :)

  3. Ollie Says:

    Possibly change it around to put number 7 first, because if you partition last, then you must do steps up to 5 again.

  4. patrick Says:

    about the internet thing.i think its realy important not to connect your new pc to the internet without an antivirus protecting your pc,unless offcourse if u want dozens of viruses on your new pc.lol!

  5. Mitchell stanwyick Says:

    I think ice cream taste better with coke then pepsi.

  6. Favoured Says:

    like but do we do partitioning

  7. Favoured Says:

    how i meant

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