Things To Do When You Setup A New PC

Set Up A New PC: Protect, Transfer, Store

After scrimping and saving, researching and debating, you finally settle on the perfect new PC, only to realize once you get it home and plugged in that you can’t get much use out of it until you get the files and programs from your old PC onto your new one. Here are my top 3 steps to set up a new PC.

If you’d have asked me three years ago how I get a new system set up like the old one, I’d have told you how lucky I was to have a team of skilled technicians to set up a new pc for me. It turns out that the magical process of migrating data to a new computer isn’t so complicated after all, and most typical PC users can be up and surfing the net on their shiny new machine in no time.

#1 Do not surf unprotected:

Before you take the new system out for a spin, make sure it has an installed, up-to-date anti-virus program. This will help protect you from transferring infected files from your old PC and corrupting the data on the new one. If you aren’t sure whether you have anti-virus and anti-malware protection, make your first stop on the Internet to Microsoft’s website to download its Security Essentials program. Your second step is going to be to install the programs that didn’t come with your new PC so that you can open the files you move over from your old system. This means if you use a budgeting program like Quicken or a photo editing program like Photoshop, you’re going to want to track down the disc and any necessary registration keys so that you can get it installed on your new computer.

#2 Transfer your old files to your new computer:

Unless you took the leap to join team Apple, your new PC likely has Windows 7, which comes with a data transfer tool called Windows Easy Transfer. Look for it under All Programs, Accessories, and System Tools. This software lets you choose the transfer method that’s easiest for you. If both the old and new computers are set up on your home network and you are able to access one computer from the other, the network transfer option is your best bet. If you are unable to access both systems over the network, consider purchasing an Easy Transfer Cable. They cost about $15 and connect your two computers via USB to facilitate the transfer of all files, user accounts and settings. Finally, you can choose to transfer files to an external backup source, like an external hard drive or flash drive. This is the slowest method as it requires transferring the data twice (once to the external device, then on to the new PC), however you gain the benefit of having a duplicate copy (i.e. backup) of your files in case of future emergency.

Once you’ve decided the transfer method that’s best for you, Windows Easy Transfer will scan your old PC for files to transfer and then ask you to select the files you want to migrate over. It will provide you with a list of programs installed on your old system not yet installed on your new one, and for those available online it will give links to the latest versions.

#3 Keep your old hard-drive:

Finally, if possible, you should keep your old drive, just in case you missed something. While it may be tempting to format the drive and get rid of it, hanging on to just the hard drive will allow you to retrieve anything you may have missed. If you are turning over your old system to the kids or selling it, consider using an imaging software such as Acronis True Image Home , which offers a free 30-day trial and allows you to create a complete copy of your hard drive that can be restored if you forget to move something onto your new machine.

One final tip. If you’re still hanging on to your Commodore 64 for fear you forgot to pull something off the hard drive, drop us a note here. We can get you ready to put that gold mine up on eBay in no time.

Source: Andrea Eldridge

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