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My New PC Arrival

by Andy Thompson on February 9, 2016

What can compare to the feeling of getting a new PC? It’s like watching Tom Hanks in the movie “Big” when he spends a day in the toy department! While reasons for purchasing a new computer will differ from person to person, what remains constant is a level of excitement and anticipation that comes with getting it set up and putting it to use. With any level of excitement comes taking a few moments to take care of certain little necessities before rushing headlong into the fun. Ahhh adulthood!

Stages

We have come up with a list of items that we feel constitute the “necessities” of first running you brand new PC. In an attempt to make it easier for you we have broken these items into stages – that way it doesn’t seem overwhelming and tedious. We have also included an approximate time of completion. These may vary based on many factors but it is intended to give you an idea of what to expect. By having this information available you can determine how many items you can take on based on your schedule. If you want to bite the bullet and complete the tasks on the same day… go for it!

Let’s get started.

Stage1

Warranty and Registration Cards (Time to Complete: Approximately 5 minutes)
Fill warranty and registration cards in right away. Required information such as serial numbers can usually be found on the back of printers and computers. So before you connect the cables and set the device into its location, get the information written down while it is still easy to read. Once the system is up and running, you can then send in the cards to be registered. While most retailers will act on your behalf for warranty concerns if the store closes its doors, the computer maker will require that you provide proof that it is their device and it was purchased within the warranty period. Save yourself the frustration and do this early.

Precaution: In some cases warranty and registry cards can ask for too much information. As a rule, “…a sales receipt should suffice if you need to file a warranty claim”[1]. We’ll let you be the judge of whether too much is being asked of you in terms of potential harvesting of personal data to marketers and whether you keep your receipts secure, safe, and available if you need to make a warranty claim.

Restore Disks (Time to Complete: No more than 10 minutes)
Your new system most likely comes with Windows 10 preinstalled. That’s great – that saves some work! You need to realize though this likely means you do not have CD’s to reinstall Windows if the need arises. So, to be on the safe side, you will need to create restore disks. Use this Microsoft link and follow the directions.

Windows Live Account (Time to Complete: 2 – 3 minutes)
When you first start your computer, Windows will ask you to either sign on to your Windows Live email account or to create an account with Microsoft. This is not necessary but it does add some functions to using Windows across multiple units such as those between your desktop, laptop, tablet, or Windows phone. If you do not have any of these other items, ignore the offer to create an account. If you have logon credentials with MSN or Outlook.com then that login is your Windows account. For more information follow this Microsoft FAQ link.

Set the System Restore (Time to Complete: 2 – 3 minutes)
System Restore, by default, is not enabled. You need to set this up to keep the system as safe as possible. Information on how to enable the system restore can be found by following this Microsoft link.

Backup Admin Account (Time to Complete: 5 – 10 minutes)
Create a Backup Admin account. Many problems can arise should you have one admin account and it gets damaged. If you create a backup admin account you can simply work around the issue rather than working through hours of trying to undo whatever created the issue. Save yourself the time and unpleasantness by setting up a second one right away.

Note: The big time saver when doing something like this is reading through the instructions first – even if you feel they were written in a foreign language or in complete tech talk. It does help to have some idea of what commands are used. This should take 5 -10 minutes going at an easy pace.

You can use this helpful site with easy to use instructions.

Stage 2

Beware Freeware (Time to Complete: Up to 30 minutes)
Check the “All Programs” list in PC Clean Maestro. Open the program, click the Uninstaller tab and review the items in the list provided. Many new systems include a list of freeware and trialware programs.

If you have already purchased an antivirus program and are going to install it, do not leave a free antivirus on the system as you could experience interference and compatibility issues. Stay with the programs you know and save yourself the frustration of programs popping up on the screen.

Note: The time to complete will vary from retailer to retailer, but give yourself lots of time to do this as you do not want to rush. Give yourself 30 minutes to look through the list, research the programs and make a decision about if you really want the program or not.
If you are in need of an AV app… this would be a good opportunity to install and run CompuClever AntiVirus PLUS on your system. It’s designed to deliver the best performance for your PC and it’s built on the most advanced antivirus technology available today.

Remove Remnants (Time to Complete: Up to 3 minutes)
After installing your programs remember to clear up the install remnants so the drive is clear of unwanted files. Open PC Clean Maestro and from the “Clean” page, confirm that the items you want to scan and clean are checked. Next, click the Start button. The scan will be quick and you can easily review items before removing them. It will take more time to review the findings then to scan or clean them.

Registry Scan and Fix (Time to Complete: Up to 3 minutes)
Now that you have removed unnecessary and unwanted files, it’s time to clear the registry as there may be remnants that have not been removed. To scan and clean your registry open PC TuneUp Maestro and click the “Optimize PC” page in the left panel. Click the Registry Defrag option and perform the Express Scan.

Note: If you want to do a Deep Scan be prepared to have the scan take longer. Using a new PC with decent speed, we have experienced even the Deep scan to take less than a minute.
When the scan is complete, review the results and click the Defrag button.

HD Defrag (Time to Complete: Up to 30 minutes)
After removing items from your computer it’s time to address sorting – defragmenting – the hard drive for best performance.

Important: Before we begin, you need to make sure that your hard drive is NOT a Solid State Drive (SSD). You do not need to defrag a SSD due to the fact they use a different storage technology. Check your product information and if you PC is using a SSD, move on to the next task which can be found in Stage 3.

If your new PC uses the traditional spinning platter hard drive (HDD), we recommend using good PC habits right from the start and defragmenting it. Good practice is to defrag your HD when you remove items of significant size (applications, media files, etc.). To defrag your drive, Open PC TuneUp Maestro and click the “Optimize PC” page in the left panel. Click the Disk Defrag option at the top of the list and follow the instructions.

Stage 3

Power Bar (Time to Complete: Varies)
Is the light on the power bar flashing or flickering? If so… replace it. This is the least expensive insurance policy you can buy for your new computer. That flashing or flickering light means it needs to be replaced.

Note: The time to complete this depends greatly on when you can get to a store and purchase a new power bar.

Windows Updates (Time to Complete: 10 – 30 minutes)
Check for updates from Windows. Windows 10 supplies driver updates for all your devices (video cards, printers, etc.), so it is possible that when Windows was installed the devices were not connected. To be certain everything has the correct drivers you need to run an update: use this Microsoft site for details. Please note Windows 10 could start performing updates before you choose to do so. If it does let the process complete itself as trying to stop it could lead to Windows having problems before you get to use your computer.

Note: Time to complete depends on the amount of updates needed. This depends on how long ago the retailer created the image for installing Windows 10, the speed of your Internet connection, and the speed of your CPU.

Conclusions:

Now that you have completed the steps – there is no reason why your PC shouldn’t be performing at top speeds. You should notice fast startup times as well as exceptional file access and program startup performance. We hope this article has helped you to feel less intimidated with your new and somewhat unfamiliar PC acquisition. Taking the right steps right from the get go is critical and we think these tips will support you well in that regard.

Feel free to visit our Support Center at: http://www.compuclever.com/support/ If you have some ideas of topics you would like us to cover or have other feedback to offer, email us at: newsletter@compuclever.com

Welcome to our first installment of our all new “Gears & Gadgets” column! With these articles we set out to provide well-researched feedback and review of items that could in fact make your “PC and tech life” more enjoyable. As the editor-in-chief, I took the liberty of penning the introductory issue and picking the first product: a 4-in-1 multifunctional backpack.

- Andy Thompson, Editor-in-Chief

This past Christmas, my wife and I decided to escape the wet and chilly weather common to the Pacific Northwest to spend some holiday time in Long Beach, CA.  Two weeks before the trip, I realized that instead of bringing my laptop shoulder bag I actually needed a different bag other than my usual Samsonite carry-on suitcase.  This bag needs to be more than just multifunctional.

I actually sat back and wrote down my “wish-list” for such an item:

  • It must provide a secure compartment for my laptop because I will be working occasionally during the trip.
  • It must be a backpack because I will use it during my daily excursion trips to various tourist attractions in L.A.
  • It should provide good compartment space, but not too big to carry, and it must fit in the overhead bin because it will be part of my 2-piece carry-on.
  • It should be well-constructed with high quality material to suit my ongoing needs when I am back in the Pacific Northwest; like hiking and camping trips.

To be honest, this list is very demanding and I wasn’t even sure this type of luggage even existed.  I started my quest using Amazon.com by searching for certain keywords.  After spending some time filtering through hundreds of results, I took specific interest in a multifunctional backpack that not only satisfied my list but also provided many more other options.  According to the product images and description, this is a 4-in-1 multifunctional bag that serves as: a backpack, a travel duffle bag, a messenger bag, or a carry bag.  I was quiet amazed and thrilled.

As an avid reader and technical writer, I have been a long-time Amazon member for over a decade.  My purchases have only been for books, including both paperbacks and lately Kindle versions.  But I had never purchased any physical goods from Amazon.  So I emailed the vender with a few questions, verifying that the bag can fit my 15” laptop.  I placed the order and the bag arrived the day before my trip so I had an opportunity to test the bag. The result?  It exceeded my expectation!  Here is what I like about this bag:

4-in-1 multifunctional

This bag can indeed be converted to one of the following types:

  • A backpack for daily usage or outdoor purpose.
  • A travel duffel bag that can be stuffed and tossed in your trunk.
  • A messenger bag that one can carry over one shoulder.
  • A handbag to carry with a single hand.

The design of conversion was well thought of because converting from one type to another takes less than 10 seconds, whether it involves removing / attaching shoulder straps or revealing / hiding the backpack shoulder straps.

A secure laptop storage

This bag can not only fit in my 15” laptop but also features a purposefully designed laptop storage compartment with secure strips.  The back of the backpack is also designed to provide enough cushioning for shock absorption as well as provide ventilation for extended comfort.

Roomy but not bulky

The capacity is amazing; although I only chose the medium size bag, it can host quite a bit of stuff.  I managed to stuff an entire IKEA sofa cushion (see image below) while my laptop snuggly tucked away in its own compartment.

Nevertheless, you can still stay stylish, in the event you decide to dress in business-casual and use it as a messenger bag or hand bag. It is because the bag doesn’t look bloated when not stuffed to its full extent.

Good design and quality

The material and construction of the bag is high quality, featuring waterproofing, terylene oxford nylon fabric and heavy duty durable luggage parts (I refer here to the buckles, the straps, the zips, etc.).


After returning from the holiday trip, I lost the bag to my 13-year old son who convinced me that he could make much better use of it as a school bag because he has way more “important stuff” to carry on a daily basis.  Well, I just ordered another one because I am more than convinced that this bag really fits my ongoing needs as well, whether for mountaineering, hiking, camping, backpacking, business travel, or personal vacation.

Recommendation and Offer

As is fairly obvious – I recommend this item highly.  So much so, that during the course of writing this column, I managed to get a few of my CompuClever colleagues convinced that this is a worthwhile purchase so I actually reached out to the vendor and managed to get some fairly awesome discounts.

Furthermore, I was also authorized to pass these discounts to our readers and subscribers for a limited period of time.  If you are interested in this multifunctional bag and want to purchase one for yourself, you can use the following coupons to get some considerable discounts.

That said, I have to provide a disclaimer: neither CompuClever nor myself will financially benefit from any purchase that may result from this article, which serves as a purely independent review.

I hope you enjoyed our very first volume of the newly minted “Gears and Gadgets” column.  We will bring more creative and smart high-tech products to you on a regular base.  If you have any specific interest that you would like us to cover, simply send us an email to: newsletter@compuclever.com

Windows 10 – How Many Stars Out of 10?

by Andy Thompson January 9, 2016

We’re certain many PC users have been giving some thought to the tempting offer of upgrading to the new Windows 10 operating system while it is still free. The question is: what are you getting with the latest – and possibly last – Windows operating system? Here we are going to be as systematic as possible in assisting you to decide on whether it is right for you. We want you to decide how good it is for you based on your present system. And, we will be doing this using a Tech Support point of view.

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New Year Beginnings

by Andy Thompson January 2, 2016

Over the past year we presented topics and subject matter related to PC enhancement. Here, we highlight the best of these with respect to enabling you to take action against unwanted behavior or to improve your PC skills. It is our hope that you can take a look at this year in review and select any article that will assist you to carry out your PC goals for the upcoming year. It’s likely that you too have a wish list of items that need attention.

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The Art of PC Support… And You

by Andy Thompson December 11, 2015

We start from this point as we are seeking how to best determine the quality of our PC. One valuable way to identify PC health is to examine and take full advantage of error messages. They are technically specific and often incomprehensible to the person using the computer, which makes them rather maddening to appear on your screen. In many cases people will report a problem and make some mention of an error message, but in most cases, use vague terms.

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A Personal Encounter with Ashley Madison

by Andy Thompson October 1, 2015

What are the consequences to piracy that involves millions of users and personal information? We look at both the overall effect of the greatest hack in modern day as well as how it came to our attention through someone seeking our support and professional guidance. We offer here testimony and strategy.

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Windows 10 and Antivirus

by Andy Thompson September 18, 2015

Windows 10 imposes new standard for antivirus programs. CompuClever Antivirus PLUS is now Windows 10 compatible.

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Vigilance and Silence

by Andy Thompson September 10, 2015

Learn how CompuClever Antivirus PLUS’ Autopilot and Profiles feature delivers the best security protection in absolute silence. Better yet, with Real-Time Optimization, it even makes your PC faster.

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Protection vs. Speed

by Andy Thompson September 6, 2015

Does antivirus software slow down PCs? The answer is a definite Yes; but, a conditional one depending on which security software you’ve chosen to run on your PC. According to an extensive endurance test, performed by AV-Test.org, the evidence of PC performance impacted by antivirus software was more than convincing. An antivirus solution that does a mediocre job on reducing its impact on PC performance slows down your PC by taking too much resource like CPU, hard disc, and RAM. As a result, you were forced to make a compromise for speed in exchange for security.

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Stay Safely Connected

by Andy Thompson September 3, 2015

Email and social networking are two primary means of communicating and stay connected with family and friends. Through social network sites and emails, you share updates, post photos, and reveal things that are sometimes very personal about you. Examples include where you live, which company you work for, whom you are related to, when and where you are going on holiday, what food you like, what music you listen to, whom you have just met, etc. By piecing these bits of information together, it becomes easy for anyone to learn more about you. And that’s also how cyber criminals find out information they want from you. Personal identity theft and online scams are two primary threats that target email and social networking users.

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