Setting Up a New Laptop

My Lenovo Flex2 laptop has been getting a bit long in the tooth lately, and it’s gotten particularly frustrating in more than one regard.

The worst part about it is the wifi connection. It never has worked all that well, and lately you can’t use the laptop for more than 20 minutes before the connection drops off.

Then it is impossible to reconnect unless the machine gets restarted. Given that it has a slow mechanical hard drive and a processor that is better suited to a tablet than a laptop, you really can’t do much of anything with it.

This older machine was set up with Windows 8 (remember that?) and I suspect the wifi driver for Windows 10 just isn’t up to snuff.

So I finally bit the bullet, took advantage of an Amazon sale, and got a new ASUS Vivobook.

I’ve always been an AMD fanboi, so this is the third AMD based laptop I have owned in 10 years or so. It is early days but it looks like the best one.

The laptop is very fast – with a Ryzen 5 3500U processor and a solid-state drive. The new laptops are thinner and lighter, and this one has a brighter display with higher resolution. The wifi looks to be a trouble-free Intel model and is also much faster than the balky one in my old laptop.

That’s the good news. The bad news is it took most of the day to get the darn thing working the way I like. I am glad I don’t have to do this setup more than once every five years or so:

  • Plug in the beast and get it charged up.
  • Start Windows and let it get ready to run the first time.
  • Silence Cortana (Windows’ version of Siri) and banish her search box from the taskbar at the bottom.
  • Get all the Windows updates – software and hardware drivers.
  • Disable and delete McAfee security – every new PC has this it seems – ecch!.
  • Install and configure Eset Internet Security and Malwarebytes.
  • Install a bunch of non-Microsoft programs – Google Chrome, Firefox, Libre Office.
  • Sync Chrome and Firefox so they look the same as on other computers around here.
  • Install Open Shell to get back the Windows 7 look and feel.
  • Copy over the Pictures library from the desktop. This backs many years and gigabytes of photos up again.
  • Install ACDSee photo manager and change the wallpaper on the start screen.
  • Install Speccy (hardware info) and CCleaner (gets rid of junk.)
  • Install network printer and check it’s working right.

I probably forgot something, but I have the basic stuff done. I am safe secure and productive again.

And I haven’t entirely given up on my old Lenovo Flex2. I took it to the basement workroom, installed Linux on it and hope the wifi works better under Linux. If it does, it can replace an even older junker that has a broken hinge and worn out display panel. I wiped that machine’s hard drive and it’s off to the recycler later this week.

All this geeking it up has given me a headache. Time for a cup of tea.

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