Setting Up Your New Computer System

After you purchase and take home your new system, you need to set it up properly. You need a place that is not damp or wet or that does not get direct exposure from the sun onto the computer desk. You need a good outlet and nearby phone line connection. If you have cable Internet access, you also need to be able to connect to the coax cable. A good desk or table will do, but it should be stable. The computer should be on the desk, not on the floor. Computers on the floor suck in dust very fast, causing premature failure of components.

Unpack your computer, monitor, and printer carefully, and save the boxes. Boxes and packing are usually required to return any item under warranty. Set the computer, monitor, and printer up on the desk. The surge protector should be plugged into the wall and its switch turned off. The computer and monitor should be plugged in immediately. This will discharge any static electricity that may cause damage as you touch the various connectors. Make sure the computer and monitor are switched OFF after connecting. The printer usually has special tape and foam packing that must be removed before using. After this is done, plug in the printer to the surge protector, but do not plug the printer to the computer yet.

Connect the mouse and keyboard to the back of the computer into the proper connectors. Usually they are color coded. Do NOT rotate and push those connectors - carefully align them before inserting them. Damage can result that is not covered by warranty. Connect the monitor to the back of the computer.

You should be ready to turn on the computer at this time. You may be requested to enter your name into Windows. The Printer is still unconnected to the computer because there is a procedure to follow with the printer and software may be needed to be installed before it is connected. Failure to do this in the right order may cause besaar results or non functioning of the printer. The ink cartridges may also have to be installed before the software is installed. Read the instructions.

If you use a modem to connect to the Internet, connect the line to the surge protector and another cable from the surge protector to the line input of the computer. Failure to protect the phone line may cause extensive damage to the computer should a surge come down the phone line. More damage is done to computers through the modem than through the power line. If you use cable Internet access, connect the cable to the cable modem and the cable modem to the ethernet port of your computer. There should be surge protection on the cable side of the modem. Surges also come in on the cable.

Follow any directions from your Internet provider to establish the Internet connections and service.

Store your disks that came with the computer in a safe place where you can find them. They will be important in the future. Make sure you did get either a Windows CD or Recovery CD from the computer manufacturer. If you did not get these disks, demand them right away. Replacement may cost up to $200 later.