Configuring a new computer: 10 steps to setup a new pc

There are few more exciting moments in the life of a geek , than the hours after the purchase of a computer . It’s like buying a car. The only thing you want to do is try it, and check its performance.

 

But you do not want to rush . Do not get to install programs and applications like crazy. Through a series of previous steps and checks you will ensure that your new PC reaches the maximum performance , and is prepared to run all kinds of software, or accept any peripheral.

We’re going to show you ten things you should always do after buying a new PC . These are simple but essential steps to ensure that you enjoy an optimal experience.

1. Check all connections

If you bought a brand PC or a laptop, then you can skip this point. But if you have set up your own computer  or have it assembled in a component store, and opening it does not mean breaking the warranty , do just that: open it .

 

 Examine the inside, touch the metal casing to discharge static electricity from your body (or put on one of those anti-static wristbands ) and lightly squeeze the cards and cables to make sure everything is properly inserted. 

 

It seems silly but sometimes the editor has not properly fitted a component, or with the transport of the computer in the car or the truck of the carrier, some card may have loosened.

2. What accessories do I need?

If you bought a branded PC, already assembled, surely you could not choose all the components to your liking. Or maybe you have done it but you have forgotten some essential. A computer in 2018 has to include this:

  • SD card reader : mobile phones, the Nintendo Switch, and many other portable devices use SD cards and micro SD cards. Sometime you will need to use them on the PC, so check that it includes an  SD card reader . There are internal or external, through USB.
  • WiFi adapter : even if you connect the new PC to the Internet via Ethernet cable or  PLC , it is convenient that you have a wireless WiFi adapter. If your Internet connection fails one day you can tether your mobile (turn it into a Wi-Fi hotspot) for an emergency, but for this you need the PC to have a wireless WiFi connector. Luckily, you have WiFi adapters starting at € 8 on Amazon. All laptops carry it, but many of the desktop PCs do not.
  • SSD disk for the operating system : If your new PC does not have an SSD to host the operating system, our advice is to install one. It will greatly accelerate Windows startup and the launch of system applications. If you play video games it is also a good idea to install the most demanding titles on an SSD, since many load dynamically while you play, and with a slow hard drive many scenes will jump. You have SSD discs from € 40 on Amazon .

3. Update the BIOS

Few people do it, but one of the most important operations to do after buying a new PC is to update the BIOS. Although the motherboard is new, it may already be a few months old, and there are new BIOS updates. 

 

They often plug security holes like the recent Meltdown and Specter fiasco , correct bugs that improve peripheral performance, and add support for new standards and components.

Modern computers allows you to update the BIOS directly from the BIOS menu, which is even able to connect to the Internet. But you will have to do it by downloading the update to a USB stick from the motherboard manufacturer’s website, and using an application or the BIOS update option itself.

 

4. Uninstall the Bloatware

If your new PC has been installed in a store, or you have purchased it from an assembled brand, it is likely that the computer will come with Bloatware installed. This is called junk software , utilities that usually pay the manufacturer to install them but that, probably, you do not need at all.

 

Right-click on the Desktop Start button , and select Settings,  and  Applications and features . In the list that appears on the screen, uninstall everything that sounds like an advertising application, or that you do not need. But only if you are 100% sure.

 

You can also use software that helps you, such as PC Decrapifier . This tool, which does not need installation, identifies the software that most other users uninstall. That is, the least useful. 

 

Consider removing what appears on the Recommended tab , but do not touch what is in Questionable or Everything Else , if you are not 100% sure:

You have to also consider if you want to uninstall Bloatware after buying your new PC . This type of assistants makes sense in the mobile, where it is annoying to type on the small screen, but lose utility on a PC.

 

 The price to pay for being active, even if you do not use it, is very high: the loss of your privacy . To be able to assist you , Bloatware and equivalents have to track everything you do. 

 

If you are not going to use it, enter Bloatware , the circle icon in the lower left corner of the desktop, and tap the Cog Wheel icon (Settings). Look for Bloatware deactivation options (they change places often).

 

Also go to the general Windows configuration ( Start button, and gear wheel ) and enter Privacy . Examine each element and deactivate what you do not need. Location, camera, microphone, recommendations in searches:

The option Manage information that is stored in the cloud will open the browser and offer you more privacy options, through your Windows account.

 

5. Update the system before installing anything

When you buy a new PC you’re dying to install things, but it’s not the most sensible option. Before installing any program it is convenient to update Windows, if it is already pre-installed. By the way, Windows 10 is no longer free.

If you already have Windows installed, put Updates in the search engine in the lower left corner of the Desktop, and click on Search Updates . Click on Search again and install the new updates:

Nowadays Windows 10 is responsible for updating the most important components and peripherals. Printers, network cards, that kind of thing we can leave to him. But certain critical components, such as the graphics card, it is convenient that we use direct updates from the manufacturer.

 

 So go to the web of your graphics card and download and install the latest driver, depending on the model you have. This you have to do at least once a month, if you want to keep your graphics card updated.

 

Although Windows Update updates the drivers of most computer components, the motherboard usually has its own drivers, which must be installed separately.

 

Check the invoice of your  new PC or the box that came with it the brand and model of motherboard you have . If you can not find it, you can use a program like CPU-Z , which shows all the PC hardware. You will get a name of the type ASUS TUF Z270 Mark 1 . Go to the manufacturer’s website (in this example, ASUS), and look for all the software related to that motherboard. They tend to be several files: the controllers of the board, those of the network card, sound chip, etc. Download only what you use.

6. Install an antivirus 

Before you start to download things as if there were no tomorrow, it is advisable to take extreme safety measures. It is essential to have an antivirus and anti-malware software activated . 

 

The Windows 10 antivirus, Windows Defender , is of quality and already includes an anti malware module, so it may be enough if you do not enter websites of dubious reputation or do crazy things like clicking on the links of emails of strangers, nor are you interested in that heritage that has come to you.

In the Desktop browser, put Antivirus , and check that there is no security alert:

If you need more robust protection, there are many quality free antivirus programs, although you will have to support some publicity (unless you buy the paid version, of course).

 

7. Create a Windows account

To personalize privacy, activate parental control, or use the Microsoft Store application store, you will need a Windows account . You probably already created it when you installed the system. If you still do not have it, go to Outlook.com and create one.

Then put Microsoft Store in the Windows search engine, and log in to the store to activate it. Keep in mind that even if it’s a store, here are all apps and free Windows 10 games.

 

8. Install essential software

Windows 10 installs some programs by default , for example the Edge browser or the PDF reader. Maybe you prefer to use other alternatives such as Chrome, or browsers that respect privacy such as Firefox or Epic Privacy Browser. 

 

And you also have to install essential applications such as an office suite LibreOffice 6.0 , a media player VLC style , etc.

 

You can go to the web of each application, download it and install it. But it is more practical to use Ninite . This web page brings together in one place all the essential applications that every PC user should install: browsers, email managers, players, messaging, graphic editors, utilities … Simply mark what you want to install, press the GetYourNinite button , and all the selected programs will be downloaded and installed automatically, updated to their latest version:

9. Measure performance

You already have your PC optimized. It is time to check the performance. More importantly, they have not sold you cat for a hare . 

 

Logically if the seller is trustworthy there will be no problem, but with dozens of similar models of processors, graphics chips, memory chips, etc., we must make sure that they have given us what they promised us.

 

Start by installing a utility such as  CPU-Z , which we have already discussed. Speccy works well too . They check your hardware and show you the brand, model and speeds of all the components.

 

Take the invoice or the specification list of your new PC, and check that they match the data Speccy gives you . If one does not fit, tell the seller.

To measure performance you can use numerous benchmarks, such as 3DMark Basic Edition , which measures the power of the graphics card or PCMark Basic Edition , which checks the generic performance, or UserBenchmark , which tests component by component. 

These applications compare the performance of your computer with that of other users with the same hardware. So you can know if it works slower (or faster) than normal.

 

10. Plan the backup copies

The last thing you should always do after buying a new PC  is to schedule the backup copies . It is a step that many users forget, but it is essential to save future dislikes.

 

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update released a new version of the backup tool, and it works quite well. Tap the Start button and enter Settings , Update and Security and Backup copies . 

 

Activate the copy and click on More Options to select what you want to copy, and the destination unit:

It should be an external disk outside the computer itself, and make a copy at least once a month.

 

Now, yes, you can start using your new PC with all the guarantees of security, privacy and performance. Let’s enjoy it!