New Windows Computer

Note that this article was originally written for Windows 98 computers. Some of the advise herein may not apply to your system.

I just got a new Windows computer. Now what do I do?

This section is for you.

First! Determine what anti-virus software you are going to use.

Second! Determine what anti-spyware software you are going to use.

Now, uninstall all unnecessary programs.

Go to Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs.

In the main window you will see software that can be removed. You may also want to click on the Windows Components button to uninstall certain Windows-specific components.

But you're not sure which programs are unnecessary?

Well, if you are going to install a different anti-virus and/or anti-spyware program than those installed by the manufacturer and you have the replacement software available, then remove those that have been installed.

Any trial software should probably be removed, unless you intend on buying it.

MSN Browser - remove it (through Windows Components).

Windows Media Player - remove it (through Windows Components?).

MSN Messenger - remove it (through Windows Components).

If you have removed anti-virus and/or anti-spyware software, now is a good time to install your own programs.

This is good point to make sure you have the latest drivers and firmware for your computer hardware. If you bought your computer from a major manufacturer (IBM, Dell, Gateway, etc.) there is likely a software package for this. Otherwise, if you can't find any such software installed on your computer, check through the website of the manufacturer. Use this software to update your hardware as well as your motherboard's BIOS on a regular basis (at least 4 times a year).

Before installing any other software run Windows Update and bring the system up to the very latest updates. As with keeping your hardware up to date, either set your computer to use Automatic Updates or run Windows Update on a monthly basis.

If you are going to use Microsoft Office, now go to Office Updates and perform all Office-related updates. Provided you do all of the Office updates, you will no longer have to go to the Office updates site any more, as Office-related updates will henceforth be provided through the Windows Update site.

Install Firefox.

Install Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer, if you plan to use Internet Explorer (although I wouldn't!).

Install Thunderbird if you need an email client.

If you need a messenger client, regardless of whether you want MSN, AIM, ICQ, etc., give Trillian a go. It does them all in one client!

Install all other software that you need.

Defragment the system.

Now, most important! You have done all this using an administrator account. Create additional accounts for you and others to use, but make them non-administrator accounts! Use those accounts for day-to-day activities. Use the Administrator account only for updating, installing, and configuring your system.

Log off as administrator and log in as you.

Begin using your system.