Sunday, November 22, 2015


When you break open the seal on your new computer with Windows 10, plan on some time to create, activate and install things. Here's what you'll need.
1. Create a Microsoft Account. Why? Because your Windows 10 computer will work better with all the features enabled, and you'll get to play your games. Follow the prompts to create the account, including an email address (use an existing address, or set up a new Outlook email account with Microsoft). You'll need to give up some personal information and be able to respond to either email or text verification in a timely manner.
2. Create the Recovery Media. Before you do anything else. In the Search Box (Cortana, if you will), type "create recovery media". Follow the prompts. You'll need a blank flash drive (use a 32GB drive) or 2 to 4 blank DVDs. NOTE: Some Dell laptops are having trouble creating the Recovery Media at this time. Simply contact Tech Support and ask them to send you the Recovery Drive.
3. Antivirus: Windows 10 comes with built-in antivirus, anti-malware and firewall protection. Most computer manufacturers include a trial or a limited-time subscription to an Internet Security Suite such as McAfee, Norton or WebRoot. You should know that in order to use such "included" software, you'll need to disable the software you've already paid for with your Windows 10 license, and the "free" or trial security suite will start nagging you to renew, upgrade or otherwise find a way to grab more money from you. Also, the more aggressive the security software, the less control you have over your computing. I'm happy with the included Defender software, but if you choose to activate and use another package, install it, activate it and configure it properly.
4. Add-ons: Install the programs that don't come with the computer, but are useful and will throw errors if not installed when you try to use something that needs them. That means a PDF Reader (Adobe, Foxit, etc.), iTunes, AIR, Flash, Shockwave, Java, and a number of others.
5. Office Suite: Microsoft includes links to Office365 in Windows 10 - all you need to do to use it (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) is sign in with your Microsoft account, and buy a subscription. Unless you'd rather use a free, fully-Office compatible office suite such as Apache OpenOffice or LibreOffice. LibreOffice, by the way, can use most of your old Microsoft Works files. I install one of these suites on every computer, and so should you. Even if you have the installation discs and license number for an older version of Microsoft Office (install it), the newer, open-source suites will work with current file formats and your old Office may not.
6. Personal software: Now install your online backup (Carbonite, etc.), financial program (QuickBooks, Quicken, TurboTax, etc.), photo-editing or management programs and whatever else you'd like.
7. Printers: Windows 10 is awesome at installing most late-model printers. If yours is more than 5 years old, it's time for a new one. Ask me if you don't know what to get - I've had great success with several inexpensive all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/faxes.
8. Copy your data from your old computer. Various ways, search online or ask if you need help.
9. Get online and go! Now, with most steps behind you it's time to check out your new computer.
If you'd rather have someone else prepare your new computer, contact me anytime - I'm glad to help and can make short work of it! I can also recommend and obtain the right equipment for you, so please ask if you'd like help.

Cathy Contant 315-573-4905

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