Upgrading to a New Computer

After troubleshooting your computer for weeks to months on end, you have finally decided, you’ve had enough.  You’ve decided that upgrading to a new computer is the best solution. No more troubleshooting!   

You head over to the local electronic store, or if you’re the online shopper type, you’ve logged onto Amazon.  You’re ready to purchase that new computer system already.  Hold on, there may be some things you’re not considering before making that purchase.

Let me provide you with a guide to make the upgrading process a bit smoother.  The lifespan of a typical PC is about 5 to 7 years.  Chances are if you’re considering replacing your PC, then your old one may fall within that lifespan bracket.  If it’s a newer system, then maybe you can consider a less expensive option, like doing a re-image.  This is re-installing Windows from scratch, using the manufacturer’s “re-image” media (usually available on a separate partition on the hard drive). This usually solves a lot of issues, and it’s a lot cheaper. 

However, if you’re at that breaking point and you’re ready to move on, I hear yah.  Just keep in mind that a 5 to 7-year lifespan is a good benchmark for replacing a PC. 

Here are a few things to consider when upgrading to a new computer.

Determine What Computer(s) are Needed

Determine What Computer(s) are Needed - Upgrading to a new computer

There are several manufacturers to choose from (Dell, Hp, Toshiba, Lenovo etc), so I won’t get into the details of what brand to choose in this post.  However, consider what computers you’ve been working with, and whether or not you want to continue using that particular brand.  One thing I inform clients to look for in a future computer system is durability as well as their support team.

You want to get a computer that’ll go the distance for you and your business.  It also helps tremendously that you can call their support team, in the event a hardware malfunction occurs.  Most manufacturers today provide some kind of hardware warranty, so take advantage of that.

You might have to spend a little more to get better quality, and that’s OK. I recommend it, actually.  The payoff in the long run far outweighs the upfront cost of a better-quality computer.  Consider this with your next purchase.

Data Migration

Once you’ve decided on the computer of choice, now we need to turn our attention to the most important thing, your lovely data.  Has it been backed up on that old clunker you’re replacing? How do you plan on getting the data off the old system and onto the new computer?

Usually, this is done by an IT professional.  They have the tools needed to get the migration done (as long as the hard drive is still functional).  Have a plan in place for the data migration.  I’ll even take it further and encourage you to have a data backup plan in place.  That way, you never have to worry about your data “when” your computer starts to fail. 

When considering what backup platform to use, I recommend going with cloud backup.  It’s easier, more secure, and much more convenient than the other platforms (i.e. external hard drive, NAS, server).  There are a ton of cloud vendors to choose from.  Choose the vendor that’s best suited for you and your business.

Applications and Drivers

If you’re a small business, you should know what applications are needed to run your daily operations.  Make a list of them all.

Find out what the installation process is for those applications.  My recommendation is to contact the manufacturer’s support team.  They’ll give you the ins and outs of what’s needed.

As far as drivers are concerned, they allow for proper communication between your computer and a peripheral device (i.e. printer, scanner, credit card scanner, etc). The most common example would be your printer. Even if it’s a network printer, you’ll still need the appropriate drivers installed so your computer can successfully communicate with it.

The manufacturer’s website is the best place to get the most appropriate drivers. 

Just look up that particular manufacturer on the web and browse their support page.  On that page, you’ll be able to find all the different model printers, scanners, etc. that they manufacture, along with the appropriate drivers.  From there, it’s a pretty simple process of downloading and installing the driver compliant with the version of Windows you’re running.

In Closing

OK, now that I’ve laid out a foundation for you as it relates to upgrading to a new computer, now it’s your turn to carry it out.  Follow these steps, and the replacement process of your PC will go a lot smoother.

If you’re not the DIY type, and you value your time (most professionals do), have someone else handle this for you.  Someone who is in the IT field that can pull this off relatively easily.  But if you’re the adventurous type, then the above guide will move you in the right direction. 

Best of luck and happy upgrading!



Advanced-PCs, computer, computer repair, computer upgrade, data backup, IT support

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