Home' LAPTOP Magazine : September 2011 Contents • Click the Check for Updates link in
the left panel. Windows will take a few
seconds to check Microsoft’s servers for
• Click on the link which shows the
number of important updates that are
available (ex: “13 important updates are
available”). Make sure all the boxes are
checked and click Ok.
• Click the link for the optional updates (if
there is one). Then make sure you check
off updates for any of your hardware
(touchpad, network card, etc) so you
have the latest drivers.
• Click the Install Updates button and
wait for Windows to download and apply
any updates. You may be asked to restart
❸ TRANSFER FILES AND APPLICA-
TIONS FROM YOUR OLD PC
Your new PC won’t truly be yours until it
holds all your important data fles and
favorite applications. Windows Easy
Transfer, a freeware app from Microsoft,
makes it simple to move fles, pictures,
settings, and even e-mail between your
old computer and the new one.
• Install and Run Windows Easy Transfer
on your old PC. If your old PC has Windows
7, Easy Transfer is already installed and
you can launch it by clicking the Start
button then typing “Easy Transfer” into the
search box and clicking the icon. However,
if your old computer is on Windows XP or
Vista, you must download Easy Transfer
• Select External Hard Drive as your method
of transfer. You can transfer fles between
the computers using either a USB easy
transfer cable, your home network, or
an external hard drive/USB fash drive.
However, unless you happen to have
an Easy Transfer cable lying around the
house, the external drive option is your
• Select “This is my old computer.” The
program will scan your old computer
for data then show you a list of your ac-
counts and the amount of data present
• Select the user account(s) you wish to
transfer data from. If you wish to select
which types of data are transferred, click the
Customize button and deselect the types
of content (e-mail, photos, documents,
music) you don’t want to transfer.
• Click Next. You may enter a password
to protect the backup fles on your hard
drive, but this is not necessary.
• Select the external drive you wish to
save your fles to and click Next. Wait
while the transfer completes and click
Next to close the program.
• Plug the hard drive into your new
• Launch Windows Easy Transfer on your
new laptop and click Next.
• Select External Hard Disk, then “This is
my new computer,” then Yes to indicate
your external drive is plugged in.
• Select the backup fle from your external
drive. You will see a list of accounts to be
copied over. Don’t uncheck these.
• Click Transfer. The program will copy
your information, including your settings
To transfer most applications, you will
need to reinstall them, either by down-
loading them onto the new computer or
running the programs on their original
install CD or DVD-ROMs.
❹ GET THE LATEST BROWSER
You shouldn’t use a 2011 computer with
a 2009-era web browser. Unfortunately, a
number of Windows PCs still come with the
outdated Internet Explorer 8 pre-loaded.
Not only is IE 8 signifcantly slower than
other browsers; it also doesn’t support
the latest web standards.
To fnd out which version of Internet
Explorer you have, select About Internet
Explorer from the browser’s Help menu.
If there is no Help menu visible in Internet
Explorer, look for the About Internet Explorer
option under the gear icon, though this
probably means you have IE 9.
If you have IE 8 pre-loaded, visit
beautyoftheweb.com to download an
update to IE 9. You may also want to try
Google’s Chrome Browser (www.google
.com/chrome) or Mozilla Firefox (www.
mozilla.com) to see which you like best.
Our tests have shown fairly similar per-
formance on all three browsers.
Each of the major browsers has its own
set of unique features. IE 9 has a clean
look and lets you pin favorite sites to your
task bar. Chrome opens faster than any
other browser and supports cloud print-
ing. Firefox has the most extensions and
After you’ve downloaded the latest
browser, be sure you have the latest plug-ins
for Flash, Java, and PDFs. Chrome updates
Flash automatically and comes with a
built-in PDF reader, but for IE or Firefox,
you will need to download the latest ver-
sions of these plug-ins from www.adobe
.com and www.java.com.
You'll also want to remove unneces-
sary tool bars. The more tool bars in
your browser, the less space is available
to view your favorite web pages without
scrolling. Right-click on any extra tool
bars, such as the Bing bar, and make
sure they are unchecked in your browser’s
LAPTOP | September 2011
OUT OF THE BOX TIPS
UPGRADES & TIPS
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