Today is a special day. You get to retire that old clunky PC and replace it with something new. You just got done unboxing it and you already have your new PC all hooked up and ready to go.
Not so fast. Before you’re ready to work or play, there’s a few things you need to take care of. To ensure that your new PC lasts longer than 15 minutes, there are a few essential steps you must take when setting it up.
1. Install Updates
You ever hear someone say “A computer is obsolete before you take it out of the box”? There is more truth to that than you think. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t bother unboxing it because something newer and better came out between the when you bought it and when you opened the box. That’s not entirely true. What is more accurate though is sometime between when the PC was manufactured and when you set it up, security vulnerabilities were discovered and patched. Because of this, it is essential that you run Windows update and get your PC up to snuff. As you update, you may have to restart your PC. Make sure you check for updates and install again until there are no further updates available. Once this is done, you can check to make sure that Windows is set up to install updates automatically.
2. Trim the Fat
Part of the reason new PCs are so inexpensive is because their cost is subsidized by software that is pre-installed on it. Software publishers often pay PC manufacturers to pre-load their software. This software is largely trial versions which compel you to purchase the full version or completely useless utilities which do nothing more than take up space and slow down your PC. Fortunately, giving them the boot is easier than ever thanks to tools like PC Decrapifier and SlimComputer. Both of these utilities will allow you to easily select and uninstall unwanted software. They make it easy because most of the unwanted software is automatically selected for removal. All you have to do is click the uninstall button and the program will launch the uninstallers for the programs in succession. A nice timesaver because you no longer have to dig through the Windows Uninstall a Program Control Panel.
3. Install Your Favorite Apps
Gone are the days where you have to go to several different web sites just to install your favorite apps. With Ninite, you can install all of your favorite apps in one place with one click. Ninite helps you by creating a single click installer for all of the programs you select on the web site. It installs using the default options, automatically saying no to any toolbars or bundled add-ons. When it comes time to update your apps, simply run the installer again and Ninite will check for and install a new version for you. Make sure you remember to select your favorite anti-virus program in this step as well.
4. Back That Thing Up
Without a solid backup plan, you are all but guaranteeing the loss of all of your data. With threats like ransomware and hardware failure itching to take away all of your family photos, a good backup plan is more important than ever. Crashplan is my favorite because it offers unlimited storage for a low monthly price. Cheap insurance.
5. Ready to Move In
Now, I don’t like to transfer all of my settings from my old PC to my new one. The reason is because I see a new PC as a chance to clean up and organize my stuff. I find the easiest way to accomplish this is to transfer my files first to an external hard drive then to the new PC. There are other methods to do this such as using Windows Easy Transfer or another third party utility. While manually selecting the files and transferring using the external hard drive is time consuming, it also allows you to get granular with that gets transferred.
What else do you like to do when you set up a new PC? Let me know in the comments.