Setting up a new laptop can be time consuming and frustrating. Since I’ve done it before I knew what steps had to be taken.
Take out the trash
Every new computer comes with special offers (read ads), trial software (more ads), useful utilities, and junk. The Toshiba Satellite® Notebook PC (A105-S2071) was no exception. Here’s what I did with the included software bundle:
Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition– replaced with WinXP Pro Office Student Teacher Edition (60-day trial)– replaced with Microsoft Office 2000 Professional Works 8.5– deleted Office OneNote™ 2003– deleted Quicken® New User Edition 2005– deleted
I kept the following utilities and applications.
- InterVideo® WinDVD™ 5
- Sonic Solutions® RecordNow!™ Basic and Drive Letter Access™
- McAfee® VirusScan® (30-day trial) – keeping for now but will probably replace with Norton AntiVirus
- Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®
- Sun® Java™ 2 Runtime Environment
- Windows Media Player 10
- Yahoo! Music Engine – keeping for now
I expected that transferring WinXP Pro and Office 2000 to a new computer would require permission from Microsoft. It didn’t. Insert disk — load software. Next I ran Windows / Office update to bring the laptop up to speed.
Using the File and Transfer Wizard
This utility is great in small doses — it’s a nightmare if you use it to transfer every application and data file from one PC to another. I used it to transfer a few essentials:
- My Outlook Express mailboxes (I don’t like Outlook.)
- My desktop with links to special applications and folders
- Internet Explore settings and favorites
That’s it. Everything fit on my SanDisk Cruzer Mini 1GB USB flash drive with room to spare.
I created a desktop folder called Toshiba. I moved all the Toshiba shortcuts from the desktop to this folder.
The laptop creates a bunch of tray icons that I use infrequently. I’m not even sure what some of them do, so I hide them. Right click on the tray next to the clock and select properties. On the Taskbar check Hid inactive icons and click customize. Most of the application notifications will be set for Hide when inactive. Some, like the modem, can be changed to Always hide.
Heavy lifting ahead – call the movers
Moving from one computer to another is fairly easy if you have a good backup system. If most of your applications are on original disks or backup cds, you just have to take the time to install each one.
Once installed I open the application on both computers and make the changes necessary to make the laptop version match the old version.
I keep all software, manuals, and receipts in zip lock storage bags. The bags are stored in plastic magazine boxes.
Receipts for software I buy online are kept in a special folder in Outlook Express. This way I can find the registration codes that I will need to install the software on a new system.
I bought a cheap external DVD burner from CompUSA a short time ago and it was handy for copying folders to the laptop. The burner is slow and noisy, so I would set it up and then go watch TV or read.
Moving from one computer to another gives you the opportunity to re-think how your file system is organized. Make good use of it.
I use a bunch of little applications to make life easier: AD-Aware SE Personal, dclean, xenu, etc. I pretty cheap so I don’t buy a lot of utilities when I can get a similar one for free. One utility that’s worth paying for is TuneUp Utilities 2006. I own TuneUp 2004 and love it. I downloaded the 30 day free-trial version of the latest version and its great too.
TuneUp lets you fine tune and optimize just about every aspect of Windows easily. Give it a try.
I really like my new Toshiba Satellite® Notebook PC (A105-S2071). It’s the quietest computer I’ve ever used — even burning a DVD was whisper quiet. BTW burning a DVD was very easy with the Sonic RecordNow utility. There’s lengthy tutorial that I discovered after starting a backup project. I wish the fan vent was in back instead on the left side — my notes get a tad warm. But the fan is quiet and seems to work well.
Altogether I’m very pleased with my purchase.