The most common thing that small business owners want to do after buying a new computer is to figure out how to set it up and get it working. No one has the time to rely on trial and error to get things right, so the best solution is to do a little bit of research before you get started.
Here is a step-by-step guide for a business computer setup to help make the process a little easier.
How to Set Up a New Computer for Business: Step by Step
When you buy a new computer for your small business, setting it up with the right software and programs is vital, whether you’re using it yourself or have purchased it for employee use. This setup doesn’t have to be complicated.
Many businesses opt to pay a professional IT service provider, like Response IT, to set up their new business computers. However, there are some steps you can complete on your own.
We’ve created this checklist that outlines eight steps to follow when setting up your computer. It should help you to customize, update, and secure your new computer.
Perform Physical Set Up
Before turning on your computer, your first, and most obvious step, will be to make sure all cables are connected at both ends, the power cable to the computer and outlet, the monitor to the CPU, and the monitor cables to the appropriate ports.
Then, you will want to connect your Ethernet cable to the hub’s port, the computer to power, and the computer to a router.
Your new computer may have new accessories that need to be installed or connected. This includes a mouse, printer, speakers, external webcam, and a keyboard. You will likely use USB ports to connect, a simple installation. Any wireless accessories will also need to be connected.
Follow First-Time Set-Up Prompts
If you have purchased a pre-configured machine or refurbished one, then it’s likely that the computer will start up directly to the desktop, and you can skip this step.
If you bought a brand new machine, you will be greeted with a welcome message and asked to configure parameters like time zone and language preference before being booted to the desktop.
Connect to the Internet
There will probably be prompts that cover this for your first setup. You will have minimal work on this step if you are connected via an Ethernet cable. If you are connecting via WiFi, you must select the network and insert the credentials, including username and password.
- Use the Control Panel either by opening it through the Start Menu, which is found by typing “control” into the search bar or via the Start Menu to find Network Connections/Network and Sharing Centre.
- Click the network you want to connect to, and your computer will find and connect with it. If a password is necessary, you will be prompted for it.
- The WiFi icon will also appear in the taskbar (specifically, at the bottom right of your screen). When this indicator is visible, it means you’re connected to a network.
If you have trouble connecting to the wireless network or receive an error message that your password is incorrect, your internet service provider will have support agents that will be able to assist you in connecting.
Install Security and Antivirus Software
Businesses must maintain their IT infrastructure. Installing and keeping up-to-date software is a way to ensure your data and other vital applications are safe against virus and malware attacks.
Your new computer may come with sufficient antivirus software, like Microsoft Security Essentials, and can include trial subscriptions, such as Norton or McAfee. To ensure safety, make sure your antivirus software is active and updated.
At Response IT, we recommend paid antivirus protection so that your computer is fully up-to-date with new virus and malware definitions as you need them.
Install Software and Update Windows
The next step is running Windows, which sets up your applications and system settings. You will be asked to log in with your Windows account at this step. This is a good idea if you want any data on the device to be synced across other devices or accessed on a different computer.
For your computer to run at its best, you must update it regularly. As a rule of thumb, you should go through the latest updates first, but that isn’t possible if your machine is brand new.
- To get to the Windows Update screen, use the Control Panel or type Windows Update into the Start Menu search bar.
- You will want to command Windows to check for updates, and when that’s finished, OS X will ask you if you want to install any “Important/Required” and “Optional” updates. Sometimes you need to install updates. More often than not, these include security updates, patches, and other items that keep your computer in good shape.
- Like many modern operating systems, Windows offers updates and software to be downloaded independently. These might include apps like Microsoft Office or other business-specific software.
Bloatware is a term that describes pre-installed software. It usually requires more disk space and memory than typical software and is often installed on new computers. Different manufacturers offer different software pre-installed, so the user needs to decide what to remove.
Bloatware can be a significant problem for your PC’s performance and slow your computer at booting. To ensure you have space and power to work efficiently, it’s good practice to remove any unneeded apps.
Uninstalling additional programs, such as video players or picture editors that are beyond your system requirements, can be tedious but is made much easier through the use of Windows uninstaller or can be done by an onsite service provider from Response IT.
Transfer Files and Create a Backup
If you’re setting up a new computer, you may need to move files from your old computer to the new one. If you use cloud storage, it’s as easy as logging in and syncing, but if not, you can use an external hard drive, a USB flash drive, or link the computer to a network drive using a wired connection. You can also upgrade the software that came preprogrammed on your computer at this point.
Create a backup of your computer files, set up a backup service that regularly backs up your data, and keep it as safe as possible.
Onsite Services for Your Business Computer Needs
If you’re looking for a technical support service in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington areas, we’re here to help. Our IT professionals are available onsite in your time of need. Our onsite technical services are designed to meet the specific needs of any enterprise customer.
Our expert technicians are skilled in many services, from managed IT services to setting up new computers and creating your computer network to computer repair services. If a repair is going to take too long at your place of business, we’ll bring your equipment to our service depot for a fast turnaround.