To-Do list when PC arrives

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Scoped Badger

Silver Level Poster
With my build currently in the testing stage, it's time to look ahead at its arrival.

I'm looking for advice and opinions on what I need to do after I turn it on for the first time.

From what I've read on the forum since being here, running Windows update as many times as is needed seems to be a good place to start, but is there anything after that, perhaps in terms of drivers or security and whatnot.

I don't remember doing anything specific with my previous build, and that was fine, but I'm aware that it was a long time ago and, well, the times are changing.
 

AgentCooper

An Absolute Savage
Moderator
Yep, run Windows updates over and over again.

Get the latest GPU drivers directly from the manufacturer’s website.

It’s worth downloading the free Malwarebytes, using the scan tool weekly and having Windows Defender up to date should be all the AV you’ll ever need.

Then it’s up to you, some like to run some benchmarks to check what their system is capable of, @SpyderTracks wrote a handy little guide to that side of things which I’ll paste below.


I’m sure others will have their own set of little rituals, I’m interested to see what other replies you’ll get on this thread 😁
 

Martinr36

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
Once windows is all upto date, check that you've got the latest graphic drivers direct from Nvidia, then sort out backups & anti virus etc.

And of course i would download , install and get waterfox synced, so had got all my favourite websites to hand
 

AgentCooper

An Absolute Savage
Moderator
Remembered some more bits...

If you ordered with a WiFi card, make sure you screw in the antennae. Soooo many people here have complained about rubbish WiFi and that’s been the reason why 😆

If you ordered any RGB goodness in your system get the software you need for that downloaded 👍

Get VLC media player installed.

And once you’re happy with placement of everything and you’re sure it all works as it should, spend a bit of time sorting all your wires out. The reasons are twofold...

1) Because good cable management is awesome, it’ll make the desk space look better and all the cool kids do it.

2) There’s nothing worse than dragging your monitor off your desk when you stand up because you accidentally got your foot caught in a loose cable.
 

Martinr36

MOST VALUED CONTRIBUTOR
20201106_221840~01.jpg
 

ubuysa

The BSOD Doctor
Moderator
Once windows is all upto date, check that you've got the latest graphic drivers direct from Nvidia, then sort out backups & anti virus etc.

And of course i would download , install and get waterfox synced, so had got all my favourite websites to hand
I'm solidly with @Martinr36 here - the very first thing you should do (even before it arrives) is plan your backup strategy and make the first thing you do to implement that backup strategy. Never ever have only one copy of anything. :)
 

Scoped Badger

Silver Level Poster
Some great advice guys, thanks a lot. That thread by @SpyderTracks is pretty detailed and far beyond what I was expecting, but I'll follow it to the best of my ability for sure.

This is going to sound like a real n00b question, but what's the best process for backing everything up?

My cable management at the moment is pretty bad, at least on par with what @Martinr36 posted, but I promise it'll be better with my new PC @AgentCooper!!
 

Gavras

Master Poster
Some great advice guys, thanks a lot. That thread by @SpyderTracks is pretty detailed and far beyond what I was expecting, but I'll follow it to the best of my ability for sure.

This is going to sound like a real n00b question, but what's the best process for backing everything up?

My cable management at the moment is pretty bad, at least on par with what @Martinr36 posted, but I promise it'll be better with my new PC @AgentCooper!!
Backups really depend on what you do on your PC.

if it’s just an initial back up, then an external HDD would do.

if you have a spare M.2, you could buy a new one and clone your original and keep safe.



if initial and then incremental online service may work for you but comes with subscription.

You can backup to an external HDD (I have an NAS I backup to and have a clone of my initial image - once had installed printer drivers etc).

for Online back up, One drive is one of simplest.

it really depends on what you want to backup and frequency.

you could use an external dvd writer and write to DVD, or large usb drive and keep in a box.
 

Scoped Badger

Silver Level Poster
Okay nice. I really don't have much worth backing up to be honest.

No important files for work or anything like that. The only thing of any sentimental value, like family pictures, are already copied onto the cloud and a USB stick so I have three copies in total!

The rest of it are games and downloaded programs so all easily retrievable.
 

Gavras

Master Poster
Okay nice. I really don't have much worth backing up to be honest.

No important files for work or anything like that. The only thing of any sentimental value, like family pictures, are already copied onto the cloud and a USB stick so I have three copies in total!

The rest of it are games and downloaded programs so all easily retrievable.
If it’s games from Steam, Epic etc I would just make sure save games are backed up, some games back up in cloud others on local drive.

with 1 Gig internet having to reload windows or games is a doddle.

even more so downloading on to an M.2 drive, things really fly Lol.
 

Scott

Behold The Ford Mondeo
Moderator
There are so many avenues you can go down here. Everyone will be different I imagine. I'm a total stickler for testing a new PC, I want to test it with a known base too.

I guess this would be my pre-pre to do list to be honest:

Have the latest version of Windows ready to install on a USB. I don't "do" other people installing windows for me regardless of standards or scenario. Most people can and will probably skip this. I never do.

Have the latest chipset drivers for the motherboard downloaded and copied along side the above.

Have the latest GPU drivers for the GPU downloaded and copied alongside the above.

When the PC arrives....

Switch it on, make sure it works. Give it a brief check, make sure the hardware that was ordered in installed (HWInfo, Device manager and visually)

Make sure the cable management is to my liking, double check the GPU cabling to make sure it's OK.

Switch it off, plug in my USB, set the BIOS to boot from the USB and install a completely fresh OS (Partitions deleted, the lot)

Install the chipset drivers, reboot.

Install the GPU drivers, reboot.

Install ALL Windows updates (not including the optional "preview" upgrades or anything). Multiple reboots, multiple retrys.

Download & Install iCue

Download & Install HWMonitor

Download & Install Steam

Download & Install 3DMark

Download & Install Prime95

Download & Install a game I am used to checking out.

Run HW monitor continually

Run Firestrike (My baseline) & check my score to what I would expect to see. This varies so if you post up the info we can check it out.

Run Timespy, VR Mark, Port Royal and maybe even the new Raytracing test from 3DMark.

Run one of the Torture Tests. I would probably run Port Royal or TimeSpy for this now. It uses the GPU more and absolutely hammers the system with various changes during the test. Good to point out any weak points. Firestrike Torture Test is good to check the temps out, but others will test the hardware and memory more.

If all that checks out I would run Prime95 torture test for about 30 minutes with my fans on MAX (Run for a couple of minutes before hitting the button to start so that everything is prepared). Keep a close eye on temps and make sure everything is good to go. I would normally run CrystalMark tests on the HDD too, but this is less important to most users. I just wanted to see the numbers for myself

Above is easily a days work. If I get through all of it happily in one shot (Which has never happened) then it's onto cleaning up, organising and getting all the rest of the software installed for daily use (games etc). As suggested, storage management is critical and you need to enforce good habits right from the off. It pays off hugely should something happen.
 

ubuysa

The BSOD Doctor
Moderator
I'm with @Scott, I like to install my own OS, even if I've bought a license with the PC. I use the system installed by PCS (whether bought and paid for or the testing system if bought with no OS) to test the system, both to ensure that everything actually works - including all ports etc. - and I'd download an install stress testing software on this system (because I'm never likely to need them again) and stress test everything on the PCS installed system. Once I'm satisfied that everything is working as it should then I'll do a clean install of my own copy of Windows, deleting all existing partitions. That way I know that the system I end up using is clean, properly installed with all necessary drivers, and is running on fully tested hardware.

As far as backups are concerned you always want to have a current backup of all irreplaceable data. The frequency of backup depends entirely on how often you add to or update this data. I backup all my user data on a schedule every night to an external drive (which is only ever online for the backups). Once a week I also backup all my data to a different external drive. In addition I use Google Backup & Sync to backup all my user data in the cloud. You can never have too many backups.... :)
 
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Scoped Badger

Silver Level Poster
On a slightly related note, the PC I'm currently using will now be the family computer. If I wanted to completely wipe everything on here, what's the best way to do it? A clean install of Windows?
 
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