How to Rebuild Your Machine from Scratch

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ryu150By IN TAI RYU

You managed to restore your computer to its original factory setting – HOORAH!  Here comes the fun part (not really).

The first thing I do is download and install all the Microsoft updates.  This step takes quite some time.  Most updates close security loopholes and protect against new threats.  Does the update icon that periodically appears in the system tray and forces a restart annoy you too?  That pales in comparison to problems that may occur from not performing these updates.  Beware that other updates such as Adobe and Java automatically download software you might not want such as the Ask and Google Toolbar and McAfee Security Scan Plus.  Make sure to uncheck before you proceed.

Next, I download Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Java, iTunes, and McAfee.  Most PC’s come with Adobe Reader installed.  It allows you to open and view PDF files.  Flash is a multimedia platform that allows movies, music, and video games to be played online.  Many applications and websites won’t work unless you have Java installed.  iTunes is the Apple media player that I use to download and organize my music.  McAfee is an antivirus software.

Then, I download software I have on disks.  I use two, Microsoft Office and QuickBooks for accounting.  It’s important to keep these disks where you can find them along with the installation key.  After you install the software, you’re asked to enter the installation key.  Without it, you only have 30 days of usability.  After the initial install, most likely updates will be available to download and install.

Finally, I transfer back to the computer any files that I backed up.  Now that your computer’s exactly the way you want it to be, I highly recommend setting a restore point, creating a recovery image, and periodically backing up your data.

Next month – How to Set a Restore Point, Create a Recovery Image, and Backup Your Data

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