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Recommendations when setting up brand new computer

C5Longhorn

New Member
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1 64-bit
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba

MilesAhead

Eclectician
VIP Member
Pro User
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.0 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba Satelite C55D-A Laptop
    CPU
    AMD EI 1200
    Memory
    4 gb DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 340 MB dedicated Ram
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built in
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    640 GB (spinner) Sata II
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Touch pad

C5Longhorn

New Member
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1 64-bit
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba

Enigma

New Member
Member
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows Server 2012 R2 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo G700
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-3632QM, 2.20 GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    6 GB DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA 720M, Intel HD 4000
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 monitor
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900 (max)
    Hard Drives
    1 TB HDD (5400 RPM), 1.5 TB HDD (5400 RPM) installed in a 12.7mm disc drive caddy
    Case
    Lenovo
    Keyboard
    Lenovo
    Mouse
    Laptop/notebook keyboard/touchpad
    Internet Speed
    It varies, since I'm mobile most of the time
    Browser
    Chromium (the open-source browser which Google Chrome is derived from)
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, Spybot, Privatefirewall
    Other Info
    I will add more information here later

MilesAhead

Eclectician
VIP Member
Pro User
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.0 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba Satelite C55D-A Laptop
    CPU
    AMD EI 1200
    Memory
    4 gb DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 340 MB dedicated Ram
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built in
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    640 GB (spinner) Sata II
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Touch pad

C5Longhorn

New Member
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1 64-bit
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba

C5Longhorn

New Member
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1 64-bit
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba

md2lgyk

New Member
Member
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8
    Computer type
    Laptop

Enigma

New Member
Member
@ 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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows Server 2012 R2 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo G700
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-3632QM, 2.20 GHz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    6 GB DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA 720M, Intel HD 4000
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 monitor
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900 (max)
    Hard Drives
    1 TB HDD (5400 RPM), 1.5 TB HDD (5400 RPM) installed in a 12.7mm disc drive caddy
    Case
    Lenovo
    Keyboard
    Lenovo
    Mouse
    Laptop/notebook keyboard/touchpad
    Internet Speed
    It varies, since I'm mobile most of the time
    Browser
    Chromium (the open-source browser which Google Chrome is derived from)
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky, Malwarebytes, Spybot, Privatefirewall
    Other Info
    I will add more information here later

MilesAhead

Eclectician
VIP Member
Pro User

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.0 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba Satelite C55D-A Laptop
    CPU
    AMD EI 1200
    Memory
    4 gb DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 340 MB dedicated Ram
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built in
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    640 GB (spinner) Sata II
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Touch pad

MilesAhead

Eclectician
VIP Member
Pro User
One thing I particularly like is Toshiba Desktop

Hmm, I can't find this on my Toshiba Laptop. Is it a download? Or maybe they have some non-intuitive name for it?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.0 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba Satelite C55D-A Laptop
    CPU
    AMD EI 1200
    Memory
    4 gb DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 340 MB dedicated Ram
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built in
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    640 GB (spinner) Sata II
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Touch pad

md2lgyk

New Member
Member
On my laptop, it's located in C:\Program Files (x86)\Toshiba\Start Menu. It's an extension, not an actual program. I suspect it could be downloaded if you don't have it.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8
    Computer type
    Laptop

C5Longhorn

New Member
I saw it on my machine also. It was pinned to the task bar also. I forgot to take a factory back up before removing bloatware so I'm restoring the factory image now, but what I noticed is that there are a ton of Toshiba apps.

Rick
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1 64-bit
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba

C5Longhorn

New Member

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1 64-bit
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba

MilesAhead

Eclectician
VIP Member
Pro User

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.0 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba Satelite C55D-A Laptop
    CPU
    AMD EI 1200
    Memory
    4 gb DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 340 MB dedicated Ram
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built in
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    640 GB (spinner) Sata II
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Touch pad

C5Longhorn

New Member

Thanks for posting, I'm not totally decided but I my go this route also.

I know one thing, coming from 7, I'm not used to all the tiles on the metro home screen.

I got a double learning curve mid October. First Laptop and W8 Metro. :)

Do you like it better now? I'm going to keep an open mind but I just don't see my wife or me using this interface as we also didn't get a touch screen.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1 64-bit
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba

badtyper

Member
Member
Better get ready to start looking for drivers,lots of what you may have just won't work with Win8. Problem is many programs you already own won't even install on your Win8 laptop. And the companies don't intend on updating them. Sony just told me I needed a new program,my old one was a year old and cost $200. I can't even get a picture file transfered from my Win8 laptop to my Samsung S3 phone. It's a snap using my Win7 laptop. Anyway good luck with the new laptop.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    win8
    Computer type
    Laptop

MilesAhead

Eclectician
VIP Member
Pro User
Do you like it better now? I'm going to keep an open mind but I just don't see my wife or me using this interface as we also didn't get a touch screen.

To be honest I use the desktop side. I put some tiles in Start Screen. Mostly I use the weather app. :) But eventually I'll find out if I can program it with free tools. I miss the Glass from Windows 7. I hope Windows 9 brings it back as this looks kind of bland.

But I have to admit the Laptop was usable out of the box. Every desktop machine I bought with Windows preloaded I had to spend days fooling around with removing demos, turning off services and tweaking before I could stand using it. Plus the WiFi is a no brainer. Lift Lid, log in, click on available networks. Zero configuration was no exaggeration. :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.0 x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba Satelite C55D-A Laptop
    CPU
    AMD EI 1200
    Memory
    4 gb DDR3
    Graphics Card(s)
    Raedon 340 MB dedicated Ram
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Built in
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    640 GB (spinner) Sata II
    Keyboard
    Built in
    Mouse
    Touch pad

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