Install It Right & Sleep Good At Night

By: Jackson Morgan

Over the years I have received a lot of phone calls saying: “How come my PC is sooooo slow, I just bought it". “When I first got my new system it was fine, but now I can’t get on line" And my all time favorite, “Uhh, I got a message that said something like, you need to install something, or something will happen after the next time you do something"..........

So why does this happen?

Well that’s actually quite easy to answer. Most images supplied from vendors come with an average of seven unwanted/unneeded applications. They run in the background trying to make you register this, upgrade that, or perform a job that your OS (Operating System) already does on its own. It’s amazing how easy it is to exhaust your system resources with a few shoddy programs.

Ask any technician and the majority (if not all) will tell you; when buying a new system whether for home or office they “wipe it", “kill it", spank it" (Technical terms for formatting the hard drive:), before they ever use it.

Also, some PC’s may sit for six months to a year at the store before they actually see the light of day. During this time, new bugs and vulnerabilities may be discovered. Updating your system as soon as it hits the internet is a must.

That’s right Toto, Spyware, Viruses, and Worms oh my…. Their out there and waiting for new machines with old installs.

Other workstations may simply need a boost in RAM (Random Access Memory) Vendors cut prices to sell inventory but they also cut hardware where they can. Adding memory to your system is the easiest way to increase your systems potential. However, if you feel your hardware is adequate and you still see a decrease in system performance, you may need a complete re-installation of your OS.

So how do I do it?

Vendors make it sound easy with their re-installation or recovery CD.

But, this will leave you in the same situation of poor computer performance that lead you to this article in the first place. Unfortunately in order to re-install or re-image the correct way, you really need a professional technician. But, in case you have the right tools, and your feeling confident; let me give you a brief tutorial on proper installation.

Under these instructions I will assume you have a general knowledge of hardware and software and are able to obtain the tools needed for a proper installation.

At the end of each step, I will give you a Tech rating of 1-5 (1 being easy, 5 being you better know your stuff)

Instructions for a Windows XP Professional Installation

1) You will need to know your hardware profile (i.e. I have an internal network interface card, Manufacturer – Broadcom / Model – 440Family) Your PC usually comes with a CD that has all hardware drivers for proper functionality. If it does not, or you simply can not find the CD, go to your vendor’s website and download them all. Make sure you download all drivers and bios updates necessary for your particular PC. (4)

2) Back up any files that you do not want to lose. This is important because for a proper installation you will need to format your hard drive. Most techies never use the upgrade feature supplied in Windows. There is an unwritten law that the upgrade feature only covers up problems, not solve them. (1)

3) Boot the PC to your Windows XP CD, format the drive and install Windows. This could take some time depending on the size of your hard drive and your processor speed. (4)

4) After XP sets up, check you systems device manager and install any drivers or bios upgrades needed. This is a simple step to perform, and a crucial one. Proper communication between your hardware and the OS is critical to the stability of your machine. (2)

5) Uninstall any unwanted or unneeded applications that came with you XP installation CD. May manufacturers load their Operating System distributions with a ridiculous amount of "Free" or "Trial" software. On top of this, some of these software packages can really decrease your system performance.(2)

6) Connect your machine to the internet and download all Microsoft service packs and security updates that are needed. Service packs are usually very large so if you can obtain a CD do so. **Note** you will need to reboot and return to Microsoft’s website several times in order to complete all updates. (1)

7) Install a reputable Anti Virus. (i.e. McAfee, Norton, Trend Micro, etc.) **Immediately update after the install**. These will all cost money, but will save your machine in the long run. In my experience I have found only one free Anti-Virus package that works well. You can check it out at www.grisoft.com (1)

8) Install Microsoft’s Anti-Spyware or similar application. Again, updating immediately. (1)

9) Install each application separately updating them completely before installing the next. You can often find and icon in the tools menu with a Check for updates option. If not, check the manufactures website. (1)

10) Defrag your machine and have a beer. (1)

11) Please note having a beer before step 1 will add one point to each tech rating. (1)

Conclusion

Now you have a clean install on your machine and should be running at peak performance. You may want to tweak settings here and there to your personal satisfaction. But you should see a significant difference when you surf the web, check your email, play musicArticle Submission, etc…

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