Here are some essential tips and tricks that you should perform as soon as you start up your new custom built PC, or your OEM computer.

1. Create a Windows 7 Recovery CD

A Recovery CD will allow you to repair your Windows installation via a system restore, system startup issues, and/or check disk.

To create a Windows 7 Recovery CD go to the Start Menu and type in Recovery;in the search results locate Create a Recovery CD or Disk. Insert your burnable CD into your CD/DVD drive, and then select create. Save this disk in a safe place; you never know when you might need it!

2. Download all Windows Updates

It's important to keep Windows up-to-date with patches and security updates. Missing out on updates may create a security hole for hackers to access your personal computer. Microsoft releases new updates every second Tuesday of the month.

First, go to Control Paneland enter the System and Security Menu. Select Windows Updateto open the update manager.You'll have to download all available updates before you can download and install Service Pack 1 for Windows 7. Do not download any drivers offered by Windows. You can download all updated drivers for your system from the manufacture's website, which we will cover next. The updates you want to concentrate on are the "Important security updates".

3. Download system drivers

Go to the manufacture's website of your OEM computer (Example: Dell, Acer, HP, Gateway, Toshiba, etc...) Find the support/drivers area and enter your model number or service tag number. Select your version of Windows, 64bit or 32bit, and download and install these drivers in this order: chipset, video, audio, then WIFI/LAN and NAT adapter. Make sure you reboot after the installation of each driver.

If you have a custom built PC go to the manufacturer's website of your motherboard and enter your motherboard model. Also most custom built PC's come with a graphics card. Therefore go to the manufacturer's website of the graphics card and download the latest drivers.

4. Backup all important data

Purchasing an external hard drive is an inexpensive and easy way to store backups these days.
I purchased a 500GB external hard drive for around $60. Backup all important data such as: music, documents, pictures, and whatever else is important to you. You cannot backup any programs that are all ready installed; you will have to reinstall them if you reinstall Windows, unless you make an image or clone of your main drive, using something like XXClone or Norton Ghost .

5. Programs I think you should have

These are some programs I believe you should consider installing:

Speccy: Hardwareinformation.
Malwarebytes: Anti-Malware (Keep it updated).
Java: Uninstall preinstalled versions and update tothe newest version.
Adobe Flash Player: Uninstall preinstalled versions and update to the newest version.
WOT: Safe Browsing Internet Add-on.
Ad Blocker Plus: Block Unwanted Ads For Firefox.
MVPS HOST File: Block Unwanted Ads for IE and Chrome.
Ad Muncher: Blocks Ads on all browsers.
Firefox: An alternative browser to IE and Chrome.
Chrome: An alternative browser to IE and FF.

6. Update your current antivirus program

Update your antivirus(AV) program NOW!

I prefer uninstalling the preinstalled AV program which comes as a trial version. We here recommend Microsoft Security Essentials which is a free AV provided by Microsoft. If your system is running Windows 8 then Windows Defender (aka Security Essentials) is already installed. If you wish not to use Microsoft Security Essentials here is a list of free antivirus programs: best free antivirus of 2013

7. Uninstall OEM Bloatware

OEM computer companies love putting their own software programs into their systems. Most of them you will not need,and this can take up hard drive space. Less hard drive space means a slower computer because they are configured to run when Windows loads. The programs will be labeled with an OEM name that has the same name as your computer. Example: Dell, Acer, HP, Gateway, Emachine, etc. You can uninstall this bloatwareby going to Start, then Control Panel then Programs & Features. Double click on the program you want to uninstall, then click on Yes, or Uninstall depending on which window opens.

8. Defrag your C: Drive (OS Drive)

Defrag your hard drive. Why? Well you just installed a lot of updates and software, that can move a lot of files around, resulting in files being split into many bits across several sectors. Defragging will make sure your system is running smoothly.

Before running a defrag make sure you perform a disk cleanup first . To run a defrag go to the Start Menu type in Defrag and hit enter. Select the C:\ Drive then select Defragment Disk.

All these can be done with Windows Vista, and Windows 8. Go to Microsoft to find out how to do these steps for Windows 8.

I hope these items help your new pc run smoothly.

© 2013