How to prime your new PC

You sought advice from those who know, went to the store, browsed
through the festive bargains and finally bought that new computer. Congratulations!
But before you start using that spanking piece of hardware, you’ll need
to get your system upto-date. Yes, even new PCs need an overhauling.

Get rid of junk:
When you switch on your new computer, you are likely to find junk software preinstalled by the vendor.
These could be trial versions of antivirus software, browser toolbars,
desktop shortcuts to websites, programs that promise free downloads, etc
– and are likely to slow down your computer, especially if they are
configured to load at boot-up.

The best way to deal with such junk is to uninstall it. Now, if you’re
not comfortable with what to uninstall and what needs to be kept, ask a
techie friend to help. Alternatively, you could use PC Decrapifier – a
free program that cleans junk software from PCs. Just install this
program, run it and follow the instructions. Download from
www.pcdecrapifier.com/download.

Get a proper antivirus: 

Unless you have paid for your antivirus software, what comes
preinstalled on a PC is a limited-period trial version. In which case,
uninstalling it was the right thing to do. But the fact remains that you
do need antivirus software.
We suggest you download the free
Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) suite for Windows. For whatever
reason, if this doesn’t work on your PC, you could try either Avira or
AVG. Both these antivirus are free for home use.
Download MSE from
windows.microsoft.com/mse
Download Avira from
www.avira.com/en/avira-free-antivirus
Download AVG from
www.avg.com/in-en /homepage

Important:
Use just one antivirus on your PC. Never run multiple antivirus programs as this could cause operational conflicts.

Partition your drive: 

If your computer has only one hard drive (C drive), it is advisable to
split it and create a new partition. The new drive can keep your data
safe in case something goes wrong with Windows 7. To partition a hard
drive, open Control Panel from the Start Menu. In the Control Panel,
click on ‘System and Security’ . In the window that opens, look for
‘Administrative Tools’ . In this category, click the option titled
‘Create and Format Partitions’ to open the Disk Management utility.
In Disk Management, right-click the C Drive and select ‘Shrink Volume’ .
When prompted, allocate around 100GB space and click OK. This 100GB
will be used as the system drive. Once the volume is shrunk, you will
have lots of ‘Unallocated Space’ . Right-click on it and select ‘Create
New Partition’ . Once the partition has been created, give the drive a
letter, such as D. Voila, you have two drives!
Update drivers:
Having the latest drivers means that your hardware is running at its
optimum settings. Your new PC might be preloaded with older drivers, but
you can update them easily. Download the program Device Doctor, install
it and click on Scan.
Device Doctor will tell you how many
drivers in your computer are outdated. The free version doesn’t allow
you to download the new drivers automatically. But armed with the
information provided by the program, you can always visit the official
website of the hardware maker, download the latest driver and install it
by just double-clicking the file.
Download from devicedoctor.com

Clean your Startup:
Tuning up startup services improves the boot time of your PC, as well
as its performance. Click the Start button and in the search bar, type
msconfig. Go to the Startup tab. Disable any service here that you don’t
use or need on a daily basis. However, if you have a doubt about an
item or don’t know what it is, leave it running.

For example, you might use iTunes but don’t run it everyday. You can
disable it. It won’t run in the background and slow down your computer.
When you need it (for example, when you plug in your iPod), you will have to double-click its icon to run it.

Setup Windows Update:
By default, Windows Update is set to download and install updates
automatically. But if you want more control on the stuff that Windows
installs, go to the Control Panel and select ‘icon view’ by using ‘View’
option on the top right. Click on Windows Update and, from the panel on
the left, select ‘Change settings’ . Change the setting to ‘Check for
updates but let me choose whether to download and install them’ .

Create a Recovery disk: 

It is possible that your computer hasn’t come with a recovery disk. But don’t worry. If the system has Windows 7
installed, you can create a recovery disk yourself. All you need is a
blank DVD disk. Pop it into your DVD writer, click on the Start button,
go to Programs and select Maintenance. From the options, choose ‘System
Repair Disk’ and follow the on-screen instructions.

A FEW FREE THINGS TO INSTALL 

Chrome and Firefox: For a better web browsing experience.
 www.google.com/chrome
 www.getfirefox.net
JAVA Runtime, Flash: Essential plug-ins for some websites.
 www.java.com/en/download/index.jsp
 get.adobe.com/flashplayer
FoxIT Reader: A fast and lightweight PDF reader.
www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_ Reader
Picasa: Manages your photo collection, and packs basic image editing. picasa.google.com
KMPlayer: Extensive support for video codecs and has a pleasing interface. www.kmpmedia.net
7ZIP: Takes care of all your archiving needs, including ZIP and RAR. www.7-zip .org
CCleaner: Keeps your PC clean and in top shape. www.piriform.com/ccleaner
Skype: For all your video calling needs. www.skype.com
InfraRecorder: Powerful but simple CD/DVD burning tool. infrarecorder .org