- Physical Setup
- Microsoft Windows Setup
- Create Recovery Discs
- Update Windows
- Update Drivers and BIOS
- Set the Computer Time, if Needed
This article discusses setting up a new Dell computer running Windows 8 for the first time, including setting up a wireless connection, activating bundled software and creating recovery media.
Congratulations on your new Dell computer purchase! Now that you have your new Dell PC in hand, this guide will take you step-by-step through setting it up for use for the first time. There are several stages to setting up your computer:
- Physical Setup
- Microsoft Windows 8 Setup
- Create your Windows 8 restore media
- Update Windows 8
- Update Drivers
To create your recovery media for your Dell computer, you will need 2 blank DVD-writeable discs or a 16GB USB key.
- Plug your computer into AC power using the enclosed power cables.
- Connect your monitor*
- Connect your mouse and keyboard*
- Connect your speakers*
- Turn your computer on.
* - Optional for laptop computers For specific information on configuring and setting up your peripheral hardware, refer to the User Manual or Setup Guide for your specific computer model.
Windows 8 needs some information from you before starting the operating system for the first time:
- Country/region, Language and Keyboard Layout
- Agree to the Microsoft license terms after reading carefully. Be sure to click the checkbox at the bottom left of the screen before clicking Accept.
- At the Security & Dell Updates screen, enter your email address to register your McAfee subscription and set up updates for your Dell PC. Optionally, click the checkbox to allow your Service Tag to be used to provide support functions specific to the hardware in your PC.
- Personalize your PC by giving it a name and by selecting the background color for your Start screen.
- Connect to your wireless network by selecting from the networks listed. If your network is hidden, select Connect to a hidden wireless network at the bottom of the screen and follow the instructions. If you do not have a wireless network, click Connect to a wireless network later to skip this step.
- Select the settings for your PC. Dell recommends using the Express settings for most customers. Select Use express settings at the bottom of the screen to proceed. If you need more information, click Learn more about express settings at the bottom of the screen.
- Set up your Microsoft Account to sign into your PC. Use an existing Microsoft Account, sign up for a new Microsoft email address, or create a new account using an existing email address. You can also create a local account to log into the computer, but it will not have access to many Windows 8 apps such as the Windows Store.
- Be sure to watch the tutorial for using Windows 8 with a touch-enabled device as Windows completes the setup process.
Creating your recovery discs is a very important step in your computer setup. While you may never see an issue with your Dell PC, it is possible that you may need to restore the operating system back to factory condition. Dell provides a partition on your hard drive to make this an easy process, but if you delete that partition or if your hard drive becomes corrupt or damaged, you will need the recovery media to reinstall Windows 8. These discs should be kept in a safe place that you will remember, and should be labeled for easy recognition.
This step requires two (2) writable DVDs OR one (1) 16GB USB key to complete. Note that this process takes about 1 hour to complete using DVDs.
- Select the My Dell Support Center tile on the Start Screen.
- Select Backup at the top of the My Dell window.
- Select Create Recovery Media.
- Select Yes to allow the Dell Backup and Recovery program to start.
- Select the type of media you will use to create the backup, either USB Flash Drive or Discs.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the backup process. If you are using DVDs, you will need to switch the DVDs midway through the creation process.
Your Dell computer may not be completely up-to-date with all of the latest Windows security and usability updates. To run Windows Update:
- At the Start Screen, type Windows Update.
- On the Search bar on the right side of the screen, select Settings.
- Select Install optional updates from the list of results.
- In the frame titled You're set to automatically install updates, select the link showing available updates.
The list of available updates appears.
- Select Install at the bottom of the screen to install the available updates.
Dell updates drivers, applications and firmware to meet the demands of new software and hardware. Visit the Drivers and Downloads help site to learn how to get the latest drivers for your Dell PC.
If your computer clock is showing the incorrect time, refer to Dell Knowledge Base article, "How to change the computer clock time in Windows 8".