You’ve just brought the box in and now you need some tips for setting up your new desktop computer. No matter what kind of machine you bought, these tips will prove valid. This is some basic advice based on knowledge I’ve gained through prior experience.
Go ahead and open up the box. Take extra care when taking out all the various components. Lay out all the separate parts and pieces and give them a good look-over. Make sure nothing appears damaged. It is very unlikely that anything is suffering impairment, but it is possible. If something is wrong, it’s better to know ahead of time before you get too far in your setup.
Collect and Group Together Any Documentation
You will want to make sure you don’t lose any of the included paperwork. Among these papers will likely be a warranty form, a somewhat in-depth manual, and a quick setup guide. I usually put all of this information in a safe place such as a Ziploc bag and put the receipt with these items as well. This will help prevent you from accidentally tossing something important.
Check for Media
Your new machine may or may not have media included such as a DVD disk. Sometimes the manufacturers will provide you with a disk that has the operating system on it or a repair disk. Don’t be surprised if there isn’t one though. Typically the O.S. will be pre-installed. Due to this the supplier may not feel the need to automatically provide you with a system disk. Above all, just make sure that if you are supposed to have media that you have it and you don’t lose it. You may need it at a later time.
Where you decide to put your tower can be a very significant factor in affecting the life-span of you pc. If your computer will be in a basement and you have the possibility of flooding, I’d recommend somehow elevating your machine even if only a few inches off the floor. I actually try to do this with all of my electrical equipment. You never know what may happen. I’ve had a few scares and ever since I’ve taking the initiative to position my equipment in safe places.
Heat is also a big issue with placement. Many desks have those built in spots to hold your tower. These aren’t always bad. It really just depends on how small the space is. Ideally you want a couple inches of room on each side of your machine so that it can properly circulate air and stay cool. One thing you can also do to help this is keep the cabinet door open so more air can get in. For an optimal setting, place your tower in a slightly elevated place with room to “breathe.”
Watch Those Cords
Avoid having cords running around or across the floor where they may get snagged. This is important especially if you have kids. If you leave a wire out in the open, it is almost inevitable that a child will run by and yank it right out of the wall and/or your machine. Apply cable ties generously to tie up any loose cords.
Use a Dedicated Strip
I’d strongly recommend using a power strip just for all of your cords for your pc. This makes management of your cables a lot simpler. If you have multiple devices running on the same strip this means you’ve got more wires crossing each other. It can make maintenance very difficult when you need to work on something and there are a lot of things in your way.
A very nice power strip that I’ve recently came across is the Belkin-Pivot Plug Surge Protector. The plugs are adjustable so you can easily get everything you need plugged in. It also has a warranty for all of your equipment should something happen to them while using the protector.
Take Your Time
This last one is very important. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been so excited to get a new electronic set up that I completely missed something. After it’s all ready to go I flip the switch and I wonder why it isn’t working. Like I said, just be patient and do it right the first time.