Computer Basics: Setting Up a Computer
set up a computer
so you have a new computer and are ready to set it up. This may seem like a daunting and complicated task, but it’s actually a lot easier than you think! most computers are configured similarly, so it doesn’t matter what brand of computer you have.
If you’re setting up a new computer that’s still in the box, you’ll probably find a how-to guide that includes step-by-step details . Even if it doesn’t include instructions, you can still set up your computer in a few easy steps. we’ll walk you through the different steps needed to set up a typical computer.
Watch the video below to learn how to set up a desktop computer.
Looking for the previous version of this video? you can still see it here.
Installing a laptop
If you have a laptop, setup should be easy: just open it up and press the power button. if the battery is not charged, you need to plug in the ac adapter. you can continue to use the laptop while it is charging.
If your laptop has any peripherals, such as external speakers, we recommend that you read the instructions below. laptops and desktops generally use the same types of connections, so the same steps will still apply.
set up a desktop
Unpack the monitor and computer case from the box. remove any plastic covering or protective tape. place the monitor and computer case on a desk or work area.
Be sure to place your computer case in an area that is well ventilated and has good airflow. this will help prevent the computer from overheating.
locate the monitor cable. There are several types of monitor cables, so the one for your computer may not look like the one in the image below.
If you’re having trouble locating your monitor cable, check your computer’s instruction manual. (If you have an all-in-one computer built into the monitor, you can skip to step 4).
connect one end of the cable to the monitor port on the back of the computer case and the other end to the monitor.
many computer cables only fit one specific way. if the cable doesn’t fit, don’t force it or you could damage the connectors. make sure the plug is aligned with the port, then plug it in.
To find out which cables belong to which ports, try our patch cables interactive.
Unpack the keyboard and determine if it uses a usb connector (rectangular) or a ps/2 connector (round). If you are using a USB connector, plug it into any of the USB ports on the back of the computer. If you are using a PS/2 connector, connect it to the purple keyboard port on the back of the computer.
unpack the mouse and determine if it uses a usb or ps/2 connector. If you are using a USB connector, plug it into any of the USB ports on the back of the computer. if you are using a ps/2 connector, plug it into the green mouse port on the back of the computer.
If your keyboard has a usb port, you can connect your mouse to the keyboard instead of connecting it directly to your computer.
If you have a wireless mouse or keyboard, you may need to connect a bluetooth dongle (usb adapter) to your computer. however, many computers have bluetooth built in, so an adapter may not be necessary.
If you have external speakers or headphones, you can connect them to your computer’s audio port (either on the front or back of your computer). the computer case). many computers have color coded ports. speakers or headphones connect to the green port and microphones connect to the pink port strong>. port. the blue port is the line-in port, which can be used with other types of devices.
some speakers, headphones and microphones have usb connectors instead of the usual audio jack. these can be plugged into any usb port. Also, many computers have speakers or microphones built into the monitor.
Locate the two power cords that came with your computer. Plug the power cord first into the back of the computer case and then into a surge protector. then, using the other cable, connect the monitor to the surge protector.
You can also use an uninterruptible power supply (ups), which acts as a surge protector and provides temporary power if there is a power outage.
Finally, plug the surge protector into a wall outlet. you may also need to turn on the surge protector if you have a power switch.
If you don’t have a surge protector, you can plug your computer directly into the wall. however, this is not recommended because electrical surges can damage your computer.
If you have a printer, scanner, webcam or other peripherals, you can connect them here. many peripherals are plug and play, which means your computer will recognize them as soon as they’re plugged in.
Other peripherals may include software that must be installed before you can start using them. use the instructions included with the device to install it if necessary.
Peripherals are generally optional and you can add new ones at any time; you don’t have to add all the peripherals during the initial setup of your computer.
that’s it: you’ve finished setting up your computer, so it’s time to start using it! we’ll talk more about how to use your computer in future lessons.