So the laptops came yesterday and we’ve been working at getting them squared away and ready for use. This generally includes identifying and removing bloatware (hello and goodbye, Bing toolbar), getting set up with antivirus, transferring over important files, adding utilities, making backup disks, making a driver backup, loading software, and changing account settings. It’s a fair amount of work but I enjoy doing it. Even so, having a good checklist is always a positive thing, so I give you my current new system checklist:

New System Checklist:

  1. If you don’t have the original OS install disk (such as in the case of modern Windows PCs) the first thing you should do is burn the system recovery disk.  I’m bad at doing that first, however.
  2. Identify and remove bloatware.  Typically only necessary on a Windows machine.
    1. The easiest way to do this is to go into your installed programs list and just go down the list and search each item online.
    2. Searching each item helps prevent removal of things that you might actually need, like touchpad software or the recovery disk utility.
    3. This is typically the most time consuming part of breaking in a new computer.
  3. Install an antivirus software.  Either get one of the good free ones, or install your paid service of choice.  AV-Comparatives is a great place to research which antiviruses are currently protecting well.
  4. Do a driver backup.  Use a program like Double Driver to create a library of your drivers and burn it to a disk, copy it to another computer, or copy it onto a thumb drive.  This is helpful in the case that you ever need to re-install a corrupt driver or need to restore a driver to a previous version.
  5. Transfer over desired files from the older computer/hard-drive.
  6. Install desired software.
  7. Activate the administrator account and set it up with a secure password.  It’s a good idea to write this down and put it somewhere safe, like a safety deposit box or home safe.
  8. Change the primary user account to limit its access.  Generally setting it as a user or super-user account is sufficient.
  9. Ready to rock!

Optionally, once you’ve got it all set-up and ready to go, you may want to make an image of the system drive in case you want to recover the system to the point after you have it all ready to go.  Clonezilla is a good bit of freeware for this.

I’ll be finishing up this hit-list with the laptops this evening, and then we’ll be ready to go.

I’m still deciding if I want to make this system dual boot linux, or if I just want to go with VMware for such things.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?