Customizing a new PC

Written by Chris Powell

Just like that fresh new car scent, starting up a brand new Windows PC always puts a smile on my face. It’s untouched and unsullied with pop-ups or lagged performance. After a number of weeks and months, the fresh scent has faded, but I still want to keep smiling when I power on my computer. To prolong my enjoyment of my technology investment, I do the following to my PC immediately when I take it out of the box:

  • I remove most of the preinstalled software applications that come with the new computer. I’m talking about the included antivirus software, any programs with a 30-day free trial, and any free “system improvement” software that the computer company provided for me.
  • I set up a strong password on my user account, comprised of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • I install Bitdefender antivirus. It’s well respected in the tech community, regularly updated, and has proven effective for me in preventing any viruses from attacking my PC workstations.
  • I visit and select the following software to enhance my new computer’s performance. It quietly downloads my chosen software in the background without any install wizards for me to have to navigate through:


…and I’m off and running with a solid computer setup.


I also proactively do the following:

  • I run the Ninite.exe installer every other week to automatically install any updates to the software I selected above.
  • I run a full scan of Malwarebytes, downloaded in my Ninite installer, once a month.
  • I save all my files to Dropbox instead of my local user profile.
  • I play all my video files in VLC.

This cuts down on quite a bit of pop-ups, security vulnerabilities, and slowdowns I might experience with a PC computer. Keeps me focused on my work instead of fixing things all the time.



Chris Powell has been a professional technologist for two decades. Currently he is the IT Manager for the College of Business and Economics at Western Washington University, an instructor with Whatcom Community College’ Community Education, and is owner of Chris Powell Associates, a technology consulting business serving Whatcom County.

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