After years of installing new computers we thought we would come up with a checklist of what we would need to make your transition to a new computer as easy and painless as possible.
Does the new computer come with a new version of Windows?
Every few years Microsoft comes out with a new version of Windows. First, figure out which version of Windows you are currently running . Ask your tech if there is a new version of Windows out and whether or not it is stable. If there is, we need to find out if all of your current programs will run on this new version. Most recent applications like Microsoft Office will run on new versions of Windows but if you are running custom software like Quickbooks or Quicken, it is best to call the software company to see if it will run on the new version of Windows. You can also try Googling it or looking it up on the company’s website. We also need to know if your current hardware such as printers and scanners will work on the new version of Windows. It is best to look up this information on the company’s website. Specifically, you need to find drivers for that device that work with the new version of Windows. Drivers are pieces of software that let your hardware talk to your computer. If your software/hardware will not work with the new version of Windows, you may want to get a computer with an older version of Windows.
Software can’t be transferred.
Files such as Word documents and Excel spreadsheets can easily be transferred from one computer to another but software such as the Word program itself cannot. These need to be reinstalled with the disk they came on (or downloaded from the same website). Keep in mind, you also usually need a product key or a username and password to reinstall the software. If you can’t find these, we may have to purchase a new version of the software.
Do you need Microsoft Office on your new computer? If so, do you have the original install disk AND product key. The disk will say Microsoft Office NOT Microsoft Windows. If not, you can purchase a license for up to 5 devices/computers for $10.99 a month. This will ensure that you always have the latest version of MS Office. Please let us know a head of time if you would like this option since it takes Microsoft a few hours to process the order. Another alternative is you can order and download the latest version without Outlook at here, if you need it with Outlook you can purchase and install it from here.
Sometimes file transfers take a long time.
Probably the longest process in setting up a new computer is transferring data from the old computer to an external drive and then back to the new computer. You can save some time (and money) on this by purchasing an external drive ahead of time and starting the transfer yourself. We recommend this one . It can hold up to 500 gigs of data and has a zippy usb 3 connection. Simply plug it in and copy over your music, documents, pictures and desktop files over. If you need help, we can log in ahead of time and do this for you. This can literally save you hours of time and hundreds of dollars.
Hopefully these tips will save you time and money next time you are going to upgrade your computer.