How to Set Up a New Computer

My basic premise is that I want the computer to do only what I tell it to do. Below are general computer setup and operation tips I recommend.

1.) I do not encourage Automatic operations unless they are really necessary for the safe operation of the CPU (KISS). Automatic Updates for Windows, Java and most other programs are disabled. An exception to this would be Anti-Virus programs.

2.) Backups are necessary before you have a failure – and – you will have a failure.

3.) When you have multiple user names installed, you multiply the time it takes to manage the PC. For example, data is in several locations and maintenance items may need to be run on each User’s name.

4.) The only item I believe necessary for Startup is Virus protection. Anything else is just plain fluff. If you really want it, be prepared to experience delays in startup.

5.) I encourage the user to “take charge” of their PC, from the computer setup on, and do the updates manually, on schedule, to get better informed on the overall operation.

6.) I install mostly Free/Shareware, which has some limitations and requires the user to manually Update and Run, but is very inexpensive or free while being just as effective as paid programs.

7.) I think that as long as your computer is doing what you want it to do, it is worthwhile to keep it running. Think of your PC like a car – it needs regular maintenance and will need repair. Why buy new when repair will do?

8.) An XP computer needs a minimum of 1 Gig of memory, 50% free space on the hard drive, current Windows SP’s and Updates.

9.) There is no such thing as a cheap computer. The money and time invested in the hardware, software usage and repair can be enormous.

10.) The only upgrades that are reasonable for a computer are memory and hard drive. Do not upgrade the CPU, Video card, Sound card, etc. These items tax the power supply, cooling efficiency and reliability. If you really want these items, purchase a complete unit or have a professional build you one.