Installing Windows on a new computer, or reinstalling the operating system after a major system failure is only the first step toward making your computer work the way you want. Before you can put your computer to work, you often must install some additional device drivers and control programs, and adjust some of the Windows configuration settings that are not necessarily the best possible choices. These include sounds, display settings, mouse options, and the performance of the System Tray and the taskbar. You should also disable the Windows utilities and programs that you never plan to use.
While you're at it, you might also want to change some of the options in the BIOS Settings utility, but don't change anything in the BIOS that you don't understand.
Windows and other programs often load automatically during startup. You can use the System Configuration utility (msconfig) to disable startup programs that you don't actually need. After your Windows installation is complete, you must protect your computer with antivirus, anti-spyware, and firewall software. As further protection, you should download and install all of the security updates and software patches that Microsoft offers at no charge through their Windows Update Web site.
Your new computer is covered by a warranty, so it's a very good idea to test the system and all of its components while somebody else would have to pay for new parts and service. During the first 30 days of use, you might also have to run the Windows activation routine.
If your new computer came from a major manufacturer, it probably has a proprietary version of Windows already installed and no Windows software CD. To protect against losing the pre-installed software, you should make a set of recovery CDs and store them in a safe place. You can use these disks to restore Windows if the original version on the computer's hard disk becomes damaged.
After all this setup and tweaking, there's one more thing to do before you can start using the computer: install each of the programs that you plan to use to perform actual work.