How to set up your new computer
Now that the Projekt Neptun Spring Wave is over and the devices are being delivered, you must be anxious to start using your new device. Although modern computers are really smart devices, there are a few things you should do during the initial setup to ensure a smoothly running laptop. In this article, we guide you through the most crucial steps in setting up your new laptop successfully.
Full of anticipation, there is a joyous tingle in your fingers when you finally receive your laptop. We recommend that you unbox and start up your laptop to quickly check whether it runs as it should, even if you do not intend to use it yet. If your newly purchased laptop does not work, you need to register it right away as a DoA (dead on arrival) case. You can find the information regarding this special support case and the respective time limits linked on our support page.
We recommend that you keep the box and all the packaging that came with your laptop. Should you want to resell your computer after many blissful years the two of you spent together or should you have to send it for repairs, you will be glad that you kept the original packaging that allows you to ship your laptop safely.
Setting up Windows and driver updates
When you first start up the laptop and initiate the Windows setup process, you will be asked whether you want to set up a Microsoft Account. The big advantage of this account is that it stores and manages your BitLocker Keys for you and it can share Windows settings across your devices. In case you decide against setting up a Microsoft Account, the system will repeatedly ask you to jot down the BitLocker Keys. We highly recommend that you follow these instructions.
On a side note: Many new systems come with automatic BitLocker encryption. It makes sure that your data are protected in case your device is lost or stolen. However, should your laptop, for whatever reason, go into recovery mode or suffer from malfunction, you will also be locked out. The only way to unlock your data is to provide the system with the BitLocker key. You can feed both the credentials to your new Microsoft Account and the BitLocker Keys to your password manager in order to make sure you will have it handy in case you will ever need it.
In the process of setting up your computer, you will have to set your privacy settings. Microsoft will ask you whether they can store personal information. If you do not want them to, you can decline without having to face unwelcome consequences.
As soon as your system is fully started, we recommend that you run a Windows update. Even though Windows Update will run automatically after you have been using your laptop for a while, it is a good idea to get the updates out of the way before doing anything else. After having run Windows Update, you should also start the automatic driver update program built into your laptop. Each manufacturer has its own update software, except for Microsoft Surface devices, which get all updates through Windows Update:
HP: Support Assistant
Setting up an account with HP, Lenovo, or Dell is unnecessary, even if the programs are quite insistent on you doing so. The update programs work well even without an account. Once you have run the appropriate update program for the first they, it will keep your system drivers updated automatically.
Virus scanner and MS Office
Whether or not to install a virus scanner is still a much-disputed topic. If you decide on using one, Neptun customers have access to the full version of Sophos for free. You can download it through the Neptun Software Service.
You will probably want to install Microsoft Office, too. Most students and university employees are granted a free license for Office 365 by their university. To see whether you are eligible, you can contact your institute’s IT support or you can check your eligibility right here.
Another thing you will probably need for your work is a PDF reader. For normal laptops, we recommend Foxit reader or Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. While Foxit is completely free, only the basic installation of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is free, but it comes with additional features available for purchase. For convertibles, we recommend the combined PDF reader and annotator Xodo (free) or Drawboard PDF (10 CHF), both available from the Microsoft Store. The programs support touch and pen input, so you can make full use of you convertible in tablet mode.
When you set up your new computer, we highly recommend that you start a backup plan right away to make sure your data are safe. For this, you can make use of Windows File History, available through the Windows settings, or the professional backup software Langmeier Backup that all Neptun customer get access to for free with the Neptun Software service. More information on backups can be found on our blog.
If you have taken these simple steps to set up your new computer, it will keep it running smoothly and even if something goes wrong, all your data will be safe. If you need any help setting up your new device, or if you have any questions about the setup process, please contact us via e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook, or swing by our Help Points.