BUYING A COMPUTER
Revised 15 April 2013.
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Only the PC computer and Windows operating system will be discussed.
You can buy a PC desktop or tower computer that is ready to use, you build one or have one built for you.
If you want a laptop, you should buy one ready to use. You might find a large company that will custom build you a laptop from their line of laptop computers. Look at these websites: http://avadirect.com/ and http://computerupgradeking.com/products.php They will not be cheap.
Decide what requirements you have for a computer and what size hard drive and memory (RAM) you need. If you are not changing your usage, what did your old computer have? Your tower hard drive should be a minimum of 1 TB and a memory minimum of 4 GB. Your laptop hard drive should be a minimum of 500 GB and a memory minimum of 4 GB.
Buying a new computer with the newest operating system might make all or some of your hardware (printer) and software obsolete.
If you do not need the latest operating system, have a computer made for you with an operating system that will minimize or not make obsolete some or all of your hardware and programs.
Make an inventory of all of your old software and hardware and their operating system requirements.
The true cost of buying a new computer is not just price of the computer.
The true cost of the new computer is:
1. Cost of computer
2. Replacing obsolete software
3. Replacing obsolete hardware
4. Setup and installing all software and hardware
See http://www.computertooslow.com/what-to-look-for-in-a-new-computer.asp and http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Buy-a-New-Computer-in-2010&id=3493265 and about laptops at http://www.geek.com/laptop-buyers-guide/ and 4 pages at http://www.pcworld.com/article/125649/how_to_buy_a_desktop_pc.html
Look for major computer manufacturers. It will be very difficult to research on the Internet for the best computer and then find it at a store. You should find new computers on sale and research them on the Internet to see if they have excellent reviews by customers.
You will want the store to install security programs and remove all the junk programs if you can not do the work yourself or do not have someone else do the work for you. Do not buy a computer with the Vista operating system. The XP or 7 operating systems are okay. Do not buy the store's security programs. You can supply them with free ones from http://www.techsupportalert.com/ See the Computer Internet Security Online Class and Web Site at http://www.encinojon.com/comintsec/ If you are buying a desktop or tower, maybe you can upgrade to a better hard drive made by Western Digital and have more memory. I suggest you do not buy a warranty. New PC computers have the Windows firewall that is very poor and normally no other security programs. Do not use the Internet until you have at least all the security programs installed and working. If you buy a laptop you should also buy a laptop 2 fan cooler for the laptop to sit on, a very thick laptop carrying case and security cable with lock.
Building a Computer
You could build a tower computer or have one built for you. Find a Custom Computer Builder in your area by entering "custom computer building city state" in Google. Most people will be able to have a computer custom-built for them with the best components and have free security programs installed. Find all of the best free programs at http://www.techsupportalert.com/. If you have a legal copy of the XP or 7 operating system, you can have the builders try to use it but it might not work on the new computer. Do not try to buy a legal copy of XP or 7 on craigslist or eBay. The copy will probably be counterfeit.
Transfer of Data to the New Computer
You have many options when you wish to transfer things from your old computer to your new computer.
If you have been making an image of your entire computer, you may transfer that image to your new computer. Most people will not make an image and will benefit from a new installation of the operating system and all of their computer programs in a new computer. No matter which method you use to transfer information from one computer to another, it is important to scan for viruses, adware, and spyware before moving your data in order to avoid accidentally transferring malicious content to your new machine.
If your hard drive is okay:
Use the direct transfer method with a network cable between computers using the Windows "Files and Settings Transfer Wizard" or Windows Easy Transfer explained at HERE or a special program like PCmover at http://www.laplink.com/index.php
With a new tower computer - install your old tower or laptop hard drive in your new computer as a "slave" hard drive from the old tower or laptop computer.
The use of your old hard drive will remove the security problems associated with disposing of an old hard drive that has personal data. See "Disposing of your old computer" below for more information.
Copy everything except your operating system and programs onto an external hard drive and then copy everything to your new computer.
If your hard drive is defective and you can't use your backup or image files from another source.
You will have to take the hard drive to a data recovery specialist to fix or replace the board on the hard drive or they must remove the discs from the hard drive and place them in a good hard drive to copy the data. This is very expensive work. Make an image or backup of your computer NOW.
Compatibility of Programs
1. A word of caution about the compatibility of any old irreplaceable programs that are obsolete and you can not upgrade and might not work with Windows XP or 7. Research what operating systems your programs require. You can then decide if you have to install Windows 2000, XP or 7 as your operating system in your new computer.
2. If you buy a new computer with Windows 7, try the Program Compatibility Assistant
Wizard that might allow you to make the programs work with your new computer.
3. You could keep using your old computer and just have your old noncompatible programs on it. Unfortunately if you transfer your old hard drive to your new computer, you will have to get another hard drive for your old computer and place the old operating system on it along with your old programs. You can control both computers using a single mouse, keyboard and only one monitor using what is called a KVM switch. A KVM switch, which stands for Keyboard, Video, Mouse, is a small piece of hardware that looks kind of like your wireless router. You switch between the two computers.
Old Computer Housekeeping
Before you transfer the things from your old computer, you should delete all unwanted junk and copy all long term storage items onto an external USB hard drive or gold 100 year life DVDs.
Find all your program discs, files and passwords. If you have them in folders and files, place copies of them on DVDs.
If your big, fat and heavy CRT monitor is bright and trouble-free, maybe you do not want to buy a new one. Their life is maybe 10 years. A new LCD flat and thin body monitor may not last more than maybe 3 to 4 years before you have problems. It might give you less eye strain.
Printer and Scanner
An all-in-one printer/scanner/copy/fax will give you only fair results for printing and scanning. If you want to do excellent high-resolution printing and scanning of photos and other things, you must buy excellent separate printer and scanner.
Most people have problems with their inkjet printers because you don't use them often enough and the ink dries in the printhead. Buying a new printer or a different model or manufacturer will not solve your problem. Do a little printing more often and at least once a week. See http://www.encinojon.com/inkjet/
See the Computer Internet Security Class and Web Site at http://www.encinojon.com/comintsec/ and Fix PC Computers and PC Computer System Care and Maintenance and
Internet Service Provider (ISP) Costs and Services For Internet Access, and Web Site Hosting, Finding An ISP, How To Choose An ISP, Equipment Needed and Testing
Disposing of your old computer
E-waste (electronic waste) must be disposed of in a proper manner by sending it to an e-waste recycling facility. If you are disposing of your hard drive, you should destroy it to prevent access to your personal data and identity theft. You can use a hammer to break the circuit board and disks inside. Wear protective glasses. You may also use special hard drive wiping software to delete everything. See THIS WEBSITE. See http://www.killdisk.com/ for another freeware hard drive wiping program.
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