Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Recommendations when setting up brand new computer

  1. #1


    Posts : 11
    Win 8.1 64-bit

    Recommendations when setting up brand new computer


    Hi,

    Santa brought a new laptop for my wife and I'm looking for general recommendations and guidelines for setting up a brand new computer. I would like to make sure I configure and optimize it as best I can for basic home use.

    I know I will need to uninstall bloatware, make a back up image, etc. but wanted to check if there are any tutorials or generals guidelines since I'm starting with a brand new machine.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Rick

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    What model Toshiba is it? I found my Toshiba surprisingly usable out of the box. But there were a couple of things that distracted me.

    One is having to hold down the FN key to use the F1 - F12 function keys. It's particularly distracting if trying to boot from USB where you are trying to hit F12 on startup. It turns out there's a program SystemSettings.exe (at least there is on my Satellite C55D-A.) If you run that there's a menu choice Keyboard. After pressing that, on the right hand side there's a Dropdown List that has the FN key "special" mode set. Just hit the down arrow to change it to "normal" mode. Now you only need to hold down FN key to do stuff like change brightness and volume etc..

    The second thing was fuzzy looking text. If the text on web sites looks fine to you, then all is well. But if it looks fuzzy no matter what you do, and there is no Contrast Adjustment(other than high contrast mode) on the system, the best you can do is use the Video Driver settings program to calibrate the color. The most important being Gamma adjustment. If you can get the Gamma even a tad better, web sites are much easier to read.

    The only other thing I'd mention at this point is that it seems like just about everything needs to be run as Administrator in order to save any files under any of the Program Files folders. But if you don't dabble in programming that issue may not come into play.

    I'll stop here because you might not even have the same model Lappy I do.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 11
    Win 8.1 64-bit


    Thanks for the reply. It is a Satellite P50 with I7 haswell processor.

    I noticed the function keys were not labeled and that is confusing but haven't really played much with the laptop yet.

    I will set her up as the administrator so hopefully there will not be any issues there.

    Thanks again and let me know if there are any others now that you know the model.

    Rick
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts : 182
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows Server 2012 R2 x64


    Do the basics, like setting up accounts and properly securing them, installing drivers and Windows Updates, etc. And do not install Windows in GPT/UEFI/secure boot mode. It has caused me so many issues in the past, especially in regards to dual-booting with Linux, encrypting my HDD, etc. I recommend that every average person avoid it for now if possible, unless they have a really good reason for using it. I see no good reason for it, so I'm going to stick to installing Windows in legacy/MBR mode for awhile longer. Beyond that it's all pretty much up to you how you manage your system.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    I will set her up as the administrator so hopefully there will not be any issues there
    The default MS Live sign on makes an account in the admin group.
    but you still get that hassle about saving files. You can either set individual programs to run as admin, or enable the "real" admin account. The former is probably better. If the later, there's a tutorial by Brink.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 11
    Win 8.1 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Enigma View Post
    Do the basics, like setting up accounts and properly securing them, installing drivers and Windows Updates, etc. And do not install Windows in GPT/UEFI/secure boot mode. It has caused me so many issues in the past, especially in regards to dual-booting with Linux, encrypting my HDD, etc. I recommend that every average person avoid it for now if possible, unless they have a really good reason for using it. I see no good reason for it, so I'm going to stick to installing Windows in legacy/MBR mode for awhile longer. Beyond that it's all pretty much up to you how you manage your system.
    Would you just use the out of the box Windows installation?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 11
    Win 8.1 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
    I will set her up as the administrator so hopefully there will not be any issues there
    The default MS Live sign on makes an account in the admin group.
    but you still get that hassle about saving files. You can either set individual programs to run as admin, or enable the "real" admin account. The former is probably better. If the later, there's a tutorial by Brink.
    OK, I have to read up on this as it sounds like a change from Win 7.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    I bought a Toshiba laptop a few weeks ago (Satellite C55A). It came with Win 8. I used PC-Decrapifier, ADW Cleaner, and Junkware Removal Tool (all free programs) to get rid of most of the bloatware. A lot still remained, mostly Toshiba programs. Some might be useful to you (like Toshiba Media Player) so you need to look at each one and decide what you want to keep. With the size of hard drives now (mine is 750 GB) it's not the big deal it used to be to get rid of everything you can - as long as what you keep isn't all set to start automatically at bootup. One thing I particularly like is Toshiba Desktop. It provides a Start button functionality similar to Win 8.1 and a Desktop like Win 7.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 11
    Win 8.1 64-bit


    Did you reinstall windows or just leave it as it came from the factory?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Portland, Oregon, USA
    Posts : 182
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows Server 2012 R2 x64


    @ C5Longhorn: Whenever I buy a new PC I alway format the HDD and install a fresh copy of Windows. The main issue is that nearly all manufacturers include a bunch of junk. You can always take the approach of getting rid of what you don't want one by one, app by app, but my personal belief is that a clean is much simpler, easier, and faster. After installation I then install any apps that are either critical to the operation of the system, or are apps that I use alot (like MS Office, CCleaner, etc), then install Windows Updates, then drivers, then I activate. Then I test to make sure everything is stable. After that I clone/backup my Windows partition with something like CloneZilla, so if anything goes wrong I can just restore from that instead of fresh-installing.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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