Five things to do when setting up a new computer

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 1/28/19

Whether you’re replacing an old computer or you’re simply getting another computer, here are some things to do after unpacking a new system:


Install a good antivirus: Though Windows 10 comes with basic antivirus protection, you should really consider additional protection. I recommend purchasing MalwareBytes Antimalware (www.malwarebytes.com) to run along with the basic Windows 10 antivirus. MalwareBytes catches adware, malware, and other junk in addition to regular viruses.

Transfer over your files and programs: If you’re replacing a computer, you’ll likely want to transfer files, programs, and other data (like browser favorites/bookmarks) over to the new one. You usually can’t just copy programs over to another computer, but you may be able to install them onto the new computer with the install disc (if you still have it) or download them from the vendor’s website (if it’s still available).

For programs you’ve paid for already, like Microsoft Office, you can try to install them without pm chasing again. If the program requires a product key that you don’t have anymore, you may be able to still reinstall by retrieving the product key from the old computer, your email, or on the vendor’s website.

Transferring data and programs over can be complicated for average users, so if you’re not sure how to do it, I suggest contacting a computer tech like myself. We can also try to recover data from non-booting computers as well.

Setup backup: If you previously had a backup solution running on your old computer, you want to set it up on your new one right away so you don’t forget. If you didn’t previously have a backup solution, this is the time to set one up. If you ever have a disaster, you don’t want to lose those important documents, photos, and other files.

I suggest backing up to an external or secondary hard drive using the File History feature of Windows 10 and then I also recommend backing up online (to the cloud) as well so your data is protected from physical disasters and theft. If you only can or want to invest in one method, I suggest doing the online backup. The online backup company I recommend is iDrive (www.idrive.com) and is free to use for a certain amount of data.

Install your printer software: If you have a printer and connect it to a newer computer, it will likely install itself for basic printer capability. But for certain features and functionality, like scanning or checking ink levels, it’s best to install the full printer software. If you don’t have the printer setup disc anymore or if it’s more than a few years old, you can download the software from the vendor's website.

Securely destroy the data on your old hard drive: If you’re getting rid of a computer, don’t forget it likely contains files and data you don’t want others to access. This could be tax documents, medical records, financial statements, and saved website passwords. Thus, before getting rid of a computer you should ensure the files on your old hard drive aren’t recoverable.

I suggest having someone physically damage the hard drive or giving it to you to beat with a hammer to relieve your pent-up computer frustrations. When you’re done, you can be more environmental friendly by taking the computer to a proper disposal or recycling site. I typically drop off old computers to the Montgomery County Solid Waste Transfer Station at 1001 Encrete Lane in Moraine.

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