SACWA Guide to Set Up a Windows Computer from Scratch
“Setting up a computer may seem like a daunting task, but it is really very simple”
You could just ask someone else to set it up for you, plug it in, and begin. But taking a moment to familiarize yourself with computer basics, set up your PC properly, and personalize your PC will save you time in the long run and make using this essential tool far easier and more enjoyable.
It’s simpler and faster than you think just follow this guide
Get to know your new tool
You can save yourself a lot of time and frustration by getting to know your way around your new PC before you hit that power button, especially if your experience with computers is limited. Learn about the parts of a desktop computer system monitor, keyboard, mouse, modem, printer, and speakers and about the cables that connect everything correctly.
Set up your computer
For laptops and netbooks:
Situate the Laptop where you will be most comfortable when working or surfing the Internet. You need to take care that the power plugs will not be bumped or nocked. Connect the keyboard, mouse, speakers, printer, modem and other components.
Situate the monitor where you will be most comfortable when working or surfing the Internet. Plug the monitor into the back of the tower, connect the keyboard, mouse, speakers, printer, modem and other components.
Make sure that you plug your computer into a power strip with a surge protector, which helps prevent damage from voltage spikes during electrical storms or after power interruptions.
Press the Power Button and Lets Go!
When you turn your PC on for the first time, if a brand name computer, you’ll probably see a few welcome screens, and one of the screens may ask you to name your profile or user account. Go ahead and use your own name for your profile.
You may also need to do settings for the region and language, personalizing the software, entering your product key, naming the computer and assigning an administrator password and setting the date and time.
You can add other names later, if friends or other family members want their own profiles. You can also transfer files and settings from your old computer, to your new PC.
You might also see a screen that prompts you for information required to connect to the Internet. Ignore these and refer to your ISP or Wireless setup guides.
You’re Now At The Windows Desktop Screen
Once Windows is up and running you install drivers for the printer and other peripherals. Printers do not all install the same way, so you will need to review your printer instructions before attempting setup. After you have completed installation and setup of your printer, install any other devices such as a scanner.
“Don’t be a slave to default settings and features. A few simple tweaks can turn your efficient PC into an indispensible tool that’s tailored to fit you, right down to your favorite color”
Control Panel is a helpful place to familiarize yourself with, because you can control many of your PC’s features from here.
Personalize your display and other settings
In Control Panel, you can change a variety of Windows settings to make your experience easier and more enjoyable. You can change your profile or the desktop background, customize the Start menu and taskbar, and much more.
Create a Downloads folder that’s easy to access
Knowing where to find the list of programs or files you downloaded is essential. To make sure you can find what you want fast, locate your computer’s Downloads folder, and make sure to save everything you download to this location. To find the location of your Downloads folder, click Start, and in the Search box, type Downloads. Click the folder to see its location. If the location of this folder is not obvious or convenient, create a Desktop shortcut for this folder, so you’ll always know where to find it.
Use the Favorites section of your web browser
Add the sites you visit most often in Internet Explorer to your Favorites for quick access. Whether you play games online, follow blogs of family members or friends, research vacations and family visits, or shop for bargains, the Favorites list in Internet Explorer 8 will save lots of time.
Your PC probably came with basic software already installed. If you want to add software, install or download it now.If you bought other software that came separately on disks, use the manufacturer’s diagram of your new PC to locate the DVD drive, and follow the installation instructions.
Windows Live Essentials
Windows Live Essentials offers free software that can make it easy and fun to stay connected, preserve memories, and share photos. The free Windows Live Essential software includes:
- Messenger—Send and receive instant message, play games, share photos, and more.
- Mail—Combine multiple email accounts, get event reminders, and share calendars.
- Writer—Share your photos and videos on any blog service.
- Movie Maker—Create movies and slide shows from your photos.
- Photo Gallery—Easily transfer photos from your camera to your PC, then edit and share them.
Network Connect your home computers
If you have more than one PC, you may want to wirelessly connect all the computers in your home. This can be quite complex, either SACWA can set this up or you could Google and read “How to set up a home network”.
Tips & Warnings
It is highly recommended you purchase or at least install a FREE anti-virus software to protect your computer from viruses. You should not be without anti-virus software.
Although Windows comes with a built-in firewall, you may want to consider purchasing an additional firewall for more protection.
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SACWA is not responsible for any issues caused by any information or incorrect information on this site. Any issues or problems from a users actions while using this information are done so at your own risk. Free Support is to be directed to the official support contacts for the hardware or software they own. SACWA will provide paid service, support and assistance if required.
Free advice whether on this Website by email, telephone or through software installation is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind. While we are knowledgeable and skilled professionals, we cannot offer any guarantee as to the consequences of using this information. Should the information cause damage or loss of any kind, SACWA shall not be held liable to you or any other person for indirect, special, punitive, incidental, or consequential damages of any character including damages for loss of goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or malfunction, or any and all commercial damages or losses.