After seven years with my now slowly dying Vista machine, I've taken the plunge and purchased a new laptop online. Which means I have until it arrives to figure out what to do and how to do it to make sure that the system is pleasant to use and as secure as possible without overkill that makes it more difficult to operate. I've done research for months now, have mostly figured out how to fix the quirks and settings of Windows 8 that I know would annoy me, etc... But I still feel completely lost and confused.
As I said, it's been seven years; I don't remember anything about the typical 'when you first get a new computer' procedures to follow. And since I'm on 32-bit Vista but moving on to 64-bit 8.1 I also have compatibility issues to worry about. Unlike the past, which was just transferring programs and tools over without much concern, it's going to be more difficult this time around. So I have a few questions that I hope you guys can help me with...
- Are there any power settings that I should change? (In Vista, I had to disable hibernate mode because it was and still is very glitchy. I was wondering if there's any known issues with sleep or hibernate for Win8.1)
- What are the first things I should get set up-- security programs, maintenance programs, monitors etc.? Currently, I use Windows Defender, MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, CPUID Hardware Monitor, Rainmeter, and ObjectDock on my Vista machine. I've done a small bit of research regarding if there's Windows 8 versions of these softwares, but more importantly I'd want to know if perhaps these are no longer recommended or useful. (And, if so, what the alternatives are.)
- Is there anything I should keep an eye on or look out for, such as common glitches or problems? Namely, the warranty is only 90 days since I purchased a refurbished model. I want to be hyper-vigilant to make sure I catch anything that could go awry while I still can. So anything that sticks out as a warning sign of trouble to come would be appreciated.
- I've read about a lot of different start menu programs, and I'm especially interested in the free ones. Are there any out there that you know to be safe and reliable?
- What else should I keep in mind / do with my new computer to make the transition from Vista to Windows 8 as painless as possible and try to ensure that I don't muck up my new system?
I know these probably seem weirdly specific (or maybe weirdly general) in places, but I'm just really anxious about the fact that I have no clue what I'm doing anymore and need to ensure I do everything I can to maximize the performance and reliability (and lifespan) of the new machine. Any and all feedback, answers, and/or advice will be extremely welcome and appreciated!