Byte Me Article 196 – Laptop transition

Laptop Transition

Last week I mentioned that we spend a lot of time preparing a factory installed laptop for sale.  Over the next couple of articles I will document the junk software that we uninstall as well as the essential software we install.  I will also look at what we change, tweak and update to turn these overburdened laptops into a fast, reliable & user friendly device.  The model that we are dealing with here is the Hewlett Packard 250 Series G3 with an i3-4005U CUP, 4GB Ram, 500GB Hard Drive, a 15.6” screen and a RRP of $799.

We sell a heap of these models as they are the start of the HP commercial range and as such are much better put together than any of the consumer models from HP or any other manufacturer.  The first thing we do before even turning them on is to upgrade their Ram from 4GB to 8GB.  Laptops benefit even more than desktops from the extra ram as their hard drives run substantially slower than desktop hard drives so we look at this as an essential upgrade.  This upgrade normally costs around $60 and unfortunately we have to first remove the keyboard to insert the extra 4GB stick in the 2nd memory slot.

We next boot the laptop up and answer questions such as PC name and colour options as well as going with the express settings.  Windows 8.1 asks you to sign in with a Microsoft account which you can do or alternatively you can chose to create a new one and a few steps further simply sign in with a local account only.  If you choose this option then you will also have to enter language, local, currency and time zone settings.  Lastly your PC will want to do all important and recommended Windows updates which could take a few hours depending on your Internet connection speed.

Side view of a mother with young kids using laptop in the kitchen at home

Once you have it running Windows the real work starts as it comes stuffed with ‘bloatware’ – trail software and useless applications that simply slow it down.  The following is a comprehensive list of all of the software on these laptops that we uninstall.  However, keep in mind that there is almost twice as much junk again on a standard Toshiba laptop for instance!  We uninstall the following software which takes at least another hour.

Adobe Shockwave Player, Bonjour, CyberLink LabelPrint, CyberLink YouCam, Energy Star, HP Customer Feedback, HP Documentation, HP Games, HP On Screen Display, HP QuickLaunch, HP Setup, HP Software Framework, HP Support Assistant, McAfee LiveSafe, Microsoft Office, Microsoft SQL Server, Skype & Windows Essentials.

We find that once the above is properly removed the laptops take around half the time to boot up and shutdown as well as running noticeably quicker in all other aspects of their use.  So besides speeding up & freeing up extra hard drive space the other great advantage of getting rid of all of the above is a huge reduction in those annoying ‘pop-ups’ and reminders asking you to register or update ‘xyz software’.

The next steps are to install some applications that are either very useful or in some cases essential as well as some extra system configurations and tweaks before we believe they are ready for sale/use, however that will have to wait for next week’s article. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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