Over the holiday period is great time to go out and purchase one, with many special deals and offers available out there! However, whichever way you have gone, it is important to be prepared rather than willing go out just purchase a new computer, but have consideration of the other things you should do in order to prepare it for use once you’ve purchased it!

Whilst CyberGuru offers a Consulting solution to enable you to find the best computer to suit your needs and budget, we’ve put together this check list of other things you should do in order to prepare it for use once you’ve purchased it!

Before you leave the store:

Purchase an extended warranty
The labour costs themselves would outweigh the price of a warranty, with most coming in at around 15% of the cost of the computer. I strongly recommend going for an additional two year warranty, to make it a total of three years as by that time you’ll be looking either to upgrade or purchase a new computer!

Purchase any required peripherals
Whether you are new or experienced with computers, there are some tricks to the trade! For instance, laptops use touch pads rather than mice, but many find these more uncomfortable to use for long periods.

Get an internet security product
Most computers these days come with a limited trial version of Norton or McAfee, whilst this can be sufficient in the early stages consider purchase an integrated full Internet Security product such as Norton 360 that includes a firewall and anti-malware (virus and spyware removal) is recommended. Depending on the version you are using, your licence enables you to install it on up to three computers!

Get Microsoft Office
Some people don’t realise that Windows doesn’t come pre-installed with Word, Excel or PowerPoint! To obtain these, you need a suite of programs named Microsoft Office. Your computer manufacturer may provide you with a trial of Microsoft Office, which you may be able to use for a trial period in the same way as Norton. However, for those that don’t, you’ll need to purchase a copy. If you are a student, check out http://www.itsnotcheating.com (link opens in new window) for a discounted price ($75AUD) otherwise you’ll need to purchase the full packaged product.

Once you’ve brought the computer home:

Create system recovery discs
It is becoming increasingly common for hardware manufacturers not to provide you with operating system, drivers or software. Whilst they may be preinstalled on your computer and on a ‘recovery partition’ Should you need to restore or reinstall your computer in case of a hard disk failure, you’ll need to create your own system recovery discs. These can consist of multiple CDs or DVDs created within specific software on your computer. You may need to use these in the future!

Install all Windows, application software and system updates
Many computer manufactures produce their systems using a base ‘factory image’ without going online to install the latest updates for your hardware and software which means they will be out of date by the time you take your computer out of the box!

As soon as you are online, go to the manufacturer’s support website and at least download and install the ‘critical’ updates for your computer, as well as Windows Update and Microsoft Update to get all of Windows and various application software up-to-date to protect yourself (and your computer) from any known vulnerabilities. Don’t also forget to update your internet security package!

Then, once you’ve got your computer all ready to go, start using it. By improving your protection and coverage now, you’ll have less trouble down the track. However, if you do run into any problems, please feel free to call on our Consulting (link opens in new window) or Support (link opens in new window) solutions.