Monthly Archives: June 2014

Computer Setup for Windows 8.1

This series of articles will help you setup your new computer for an efficient use. These are applicable for Desktops, Laptops and Tablets.

Microsoft Account
The Microsoft Account is used to save your settings and gives you free 7GB space on OneDrive, the Microsoft Cloud Storage.  This can be used to store and share your documents, photos, music or videos. More. . .

Windows 8.1 Keyboard Shortcuts
Windows works very well with mouse and touch. But the keyboard shortcuts are the fastest and easiest way of getting things done. More. . .

Initial Settings
Settings that will improve your experience of using your computer need to done first. More. . .

Partition your Hard Disk
In order to improve performance of your computer over it’s life we need to partition the hard disk. More. . .

Removing Programs
Some of the manufacturer installed programs are really not required. They need to be removed. More. . .

Clean up Hard Disk
Before you start you should remove unnecessary files from your computer . More. . .

Personal File Folders
The default locations of your personal files and folders need to be setup. More. . .

Start Screen
What is the Start Screen and how it helps you control and use your computer. More. . .

Resources and Tips
Resources and Tips to help you use your computer well. Plus useful Program Download Links, Additional Language Support Etc. More. . .

 

Please leave your comments, suggestions and requests for additional information in the comments section.

Cleanup Hard Disk

You can use Disk Cleanup to reduce the number of unnecessary files on your drives, which can help your PC run faster. It can delete temporary files and system files, empty the Recycle Bin, and remove a variety of other items that you might no longer need.

You can also delete unnecessary system files on your PC. This option, in addition to cleaning up the files associated with your account, allows you to delete previous Windows installations, Windows Defender files, and Windows upgrade log files that you might no longer need.

 

To Clean up Drive C Do the following:

  1. Press clip_image002+ E to open the File Explorer.
  2. Right Click on Drive C and display Properties.
  3. In the Drive C properties Window Select “Disk Cleanup”

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  4. The system will scan the drive C for files that can be deleted and after a while display the list of items and their size that can be deleted.
  5. Now to delete the system files select “Clean up System Files”. The System will then rescan the files that can be deleted and show you another list. This time the list window will show more files that can be deleted. Now select the tab  “More Options” to select some more files like System Restore Points for deletion.

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  6. Now Click “Cleanup” to delete unnecessary System Restore Points and other system files.

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  7. Click OK to all dialog boxes to complete Disk Cleanup.

 

Defragment The Hard Disk

Over a period of time as Hard Disk gets used files are created and deleted. This leads to non-contiguous use of disk space. This is called Fragmentation of Data stored on the disk. Fragmentation makes your hard disk do extra work that can slow down your computer. The process of Disk Defragmentation rearranges fragmented data so your disks and drives can work more efficiently.

Disk Defragmenter program can be set to runs on a schedule. However you can also analyze and defragment your disks and drives manually if desired.

  1. To Start the Defragmenter press clip_image002[1] + W to open Setting Search and search for Defragment and select Defragment and Optimize .. .
  2. The Optimise Drives Window will open.

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    Select Drive C: and Click on Optimise to Defragment Drive C:

  3. After a while (A Long time if this is the first time you are optimising) the process will complete. (It goes through 10 passes)
  4. You can select the other Drives in Sequence and defragment the complete hard disk.
  5. You can set a schedule to automatically defragment drives. After the defragmentation is completed Click Change Settings.

    image

    In the Optimisation Schedule Select Check Boxes as shown and Select Daily Schedule.

    Daily Optimisation takes very little time and your disk always remain in top condition.

 

This completes the process of Cleaning up your Hard disk

 

 

Back to Computer-Setup-For-Windows 8.1

Resources and Tips

  • The Microsoft Windows Support site has an immense amount of information on using Windows 8. Click Here to Access This Site.. . .
  • Paul Thurrott’s Windows Supersite has the latest news and information about using Windows 8. You can search the site to find solutions.
  • Paul Thurrott has written an excellent book on Windows 8. This book is available in eBook format – PDF, Mobi (Kindle) and ePub (iPad).
    It costs only  USD 2 with all future updates free. It can be purchased Here. . .  (Highly Recommended)
  • Microsoft Community is website where you can get answers to your questions about Windows 8 from other users. You can also browse other peoples questions and answers.
  • Internet Explorer 11
    Windows 8.1 had two versions of this browser. The Modern Version started from the Start Screen works like the full screen Modern Environment.
    The tutorial on How To Use is Here… This version of the browser has a great READING View to articles on web pages without all the distracting items.
    You can also PIN sites to the Start Screen.

    The other version of the browser is started from the desktop and works exactly like the earlier version of Internet Explorer. You can PIN sites to the Taskbar.

  • These are some of the useful Apps from the Store you can download.
    * Adobe Photoshop Express : For Simple but Effective Editing of Photos
    * Adobe Reader Touch : Modern Version of Desktop Adobe Reader
    * Asparion Clock : For Live Clock Information on Start Screen
    * Fiction Book Reader : To Read eBooks in ePUB and MOBI Format
    * HDFC Bank : Netbanking Application
    * Megatube : YouTube downloader
    * News Bento : News Aggregator & Reader
    * OneNote : Excellent for taking notes and saving Reading View webpages

    The main page of the Store has Collections of useful Apps grouped together by categories for easy download.

  • Some Useful Programs to Download and install on the Desktop

    * 7-Zip : All purpose open source program to manage compressed files.
    * VLC Player : All Purpose program to play Video files of any format.
    * Calibre : Program to Manage eBooks.
    * CCleaner : All purpose computer cleaner.
    * DVDVideoSoft Studio : A collections of program to manage Video and Audio files
    * Evernote : Another note taking program.
    * NoteTab : A HTML and plain text editor. Useful for making simple Web Pages.
    * TreeSize Free : View Folders and File sizes on Hard disk

    * Windows Secrets : A useful news letter full of news and tips plus Windows Forum Access

    * Windows Essentials : A collection of programs for Mail, Live Writer, Photo Gallery, Movie Maker and One Drive

  • Language Support: You can add additional language support to your Windows installation.

    Just go to Control Panel Home and select Add Language

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    Select Add Language and add the Language required. Here Marathi has been added as additional language.

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    To activate a language in a Text Entry Program like Word, Press clip_image002 + SPACE BAR and select the language.  Press clip_image002[4] + U to display the language keyboard on the screen. Redo these steps to go back to the original language.

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Back to Computer-Setup-For-Windows 8.1

Microsoft Account

A Microsoft account is an email address and password that you use to sign in to Windows. It’s free and easy to set up, and you can do so with any email address you choose, or get a new email address.

For example, you can use an Outlook.com email address for your Microsoft account. If you don’t have an account you can visit https://outlook.com and register a new email address.

(Note: Even if you can use Gmail or Yahoo email address for a Microsoft Account, I would not recommend it as from my experience you eventually end with a conflict between Microsoft Services and Google or Yahoo services.)

When you sign in to your PC or device with a Microsoft account, you can get apps from the Windows Store, back up all your important data and files using free cloud storage, and keep all your favorite stuff—devices, photos, friends, games, settings, music, and so on—up to date and in sync.

One Drive

You get 7GB of Microsoft Cloud Storage Free when you sign up for a Microsoft Account. You can store documents, pictures, music or videos on One Drive. The contents of your One Drive can be accessed on the Web at Outlook.com These folders are also available on your computer when you open the “THIS PC” in File Explorer.

You can also see the “About One Drive Page” at https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-us/

 

OneDriveFolders

One Drive Folders in File Explorer

 

Back to Computer-Setup-For-Windows 8.1

Initial Settings

There are some initial setting you must do to make it easy to use your PC.

Show Desktop Icons

  1. Press clip_image002_thumb5 + D to show the Desktop
  2. Press clip_image002_thumb5 + I to show Settings
  3. Select Personalization from the Settings Menu for the Desktop
  4. When you see this Control Panel Screen, choose Change Desktop Icons.

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Click the Check Boxes for Computer, User Files, Network and Recycle Bin to show these icons on the Desktop.

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Set Text Size on Desktop

The Text Display Size on the High Resolution Display Monitors requires adjustment to make it more readable. This is done by adjusting Text Scaling.

  1. Press clip_image002_thumb5 + D to show the Desktop
  2. Press clip_image002_thumb5 + I to show Settings
  3. Select Personalization from the Settings Menu for the Desktop
  4. When you see this Control Panel Screen, choose Display.

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  5. Select the ”Let Me Choose One Scaling Level For all My Displays” Box

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  6. Normally 125% size scaling will give you a reasonable Text size.
    For High resolution displays you may have to set it to 150%

    Click Apply to activate the new scaling level.

Folder Options

The default options for displaying files in the File Explorer need to be changed to protect your PC.

  1. Press clip_image002_thumb5 + D to show the Desktop
  2. Press clip_image002_thumb5 + I to show Settings
  3. Select Control Panel from the Settings Menu for the Desktop
  4. When you see this Control Panel Screen, Enter Folder in the Search Panel and Select Folder Options.

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  5. In the Folder Options Screen Select the View Tab.

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    Select these Options
    “Show Hidden Files”   ON
    ”Hide Empty Drives”   OFF
    ”Hide Extensions For Known file Types” OFF
    ”Hide Folder Conflicts”  OFF
    ”Hide Protected Operating System Files” ON

    Select Apply to Activate your Selections.

Back to Computer-Setup-For-Windows 8.1

Keyboard Shortcuts

Usually in Windows there are more than one way of doing things. You can use a mouse or touch to select items or initiate action.  

You can also use Keyboard shortcuts, combinations of two or more keys to perform a task instead of a mouse or touch. Keyboard shortcuts can make it easier to work with your PC, saving you time and effort as you work with Windows and other apps.

Most apps also provide accelerator keys that can make it easier to work with menus and other commands. Check the menus of apps for accelerator keys. If a letter of a word is underlined in a menu, it usually means you can press the Alt key and the underlined key together instead of clicking that menu item. When you’re using a touch keyboard, you can also see some shortcuts when you press the Ctrl key.

Pressing the Alt key in some apps, such as Paint and WordPad, shows commands that are labeled with additional keys that you can press to use them.

An exhaustive list of Keyboard shortcuts is available in the Windows Help documentation at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/keyboard-shortcuts#keyboard-shortcuts=windows-8

 

These are Some Useful Keyboard Shortcuts activated by pressing Windows Logo Keyclip_image002 together with a Letter Key

Press This

To Do This

clip_image002

Switch between Start Screen and Desktop

clip_image002 + B Show Task Bar
clip_image002 + C  Open Charms
clip_image002 + D Open Desktop
clip_image002 + E Open File Explorer
clip_image002 + F Search For Files
clip_image002 + H Open Share Charm
clip_image002 + I  Open Application Settings for Apps
clip_image002 + K Open Devices Charm
clip_image002 + L Lock Computer
 clip_image002 + M Minimize All Windows on Desktop
clip_image002 + P Switch Monitors / Projection Devices
clip_image002 + Q Open Search Charm
clip_image002 + R RUN Command
clip_image002 + S Open Search Charm
clip_image002 + T Cycle through Task Bar items
clip_image002 + U Open Quick / Ease of Access Items
clip_image002 + W Open Setting Search Charm
clip_image002 + X  Open Power User Menu to Access Advance Options
clip_image002 + Z Open App Bar for Metro Apps
clip_image002 + + Zoom In
clip_image002 +  – Zoom Out
clip_image002 +  > Snap App to Right
clip_image002 + < Snap App to Left
clip_image002 + TAB Cycle through through Open Apps
clip_image002 + L Switch Users through the Lock Screen

 

Back to Computer-Setup-For-Windows 8.1

Partition Your Hard Disk

The Hard Disk in your New PC will normally have only one partition C:\.  The drive size these days will be 500GB, 1TB or even 2TB.

Such a disk with only one large partition presents these difficulties for a smooth operation of your PC.

  1. Hard Disks need to be periodically cleaned to remove unnecessary remnants of Windows Updates, temporary files created during program installations, Internet browsing,  deleted data files etc. All these files get written all over a large partition of the hard disk and removing them takes inordinately long time. Also the time required to defragment the hard disk increases.
  2. If you want to take a backup of your operating system, the image size becomes huge and has to be written on an external disk.
  3. Search time in a disk increases.

Therefore you need to partition the disk into manageable partitions.
However, before you partition the disk some preparatory work is required.

Change Drive Letters:  The new PCs come with three drives. C: for System, D: for Recovery Partition and E: for DVD Drive. When we make new partitions on the hard disk the new drives will be assigned drive letters next in the existing sequence and we will end up with new drives like F: G: H: etc. To avoid this type of assignment we have to change the drive letters of existing drives. D: to R: (Recovery), E: to F: assuming we will create new D: and E: partitions.

  1. Press clip_image002+ X to open the Power User Menu and Select Disk Management.

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  2. Right click on the Drive you want to change and Select “Change Drive Letter and Path” From the Menu Displayed

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    Select Change and assign the drive letter from the dropdown list in the next window.
    In Our example we are changing recovery drive D to R and DVD drive E to F. If your existing partitions are different you will have to select drive letters accordingly.

  3. Once the drive letters are reassigned you will SHRINK drive C and create space for partition D and E
  4. SHRINK Drive C to 100 GB. Right Click on Drive C and Select “Shrink Volume”, The System will calculate and show you a screen showing amount of space that is available to Shrink.

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    Adjust the value of Amount of Space to Shrink in MB such that Total Size after Shrink in MB becomes 100 GB ( 100,000 MB)
    Select Shrink and create unallocated space after drive C

  5. Create Drive D and E
    In the unallocated space right click and create Basic NTFS Volume Drive D of 100 GB and another Basic volume of the rest of the space for Drive E. You can assign the drive letters as the volumes are created. You should also Quick format the Drives for use. You may also assign Volume labels of Data and Etc. to drive D and E respectively.

    Your Hard Disk is now ready for further setup.

Back to Computer-Setup-For-Windows 8.1