I just picked up a great little Toshie at Dick Smith. It has an i5 processor, 2gb RAM (I’ll add more later) and 320gb HDD. I was after a 13.3” i5 but this 14” was offered up at a great price so I grabbed it.
When I bought my last laptop (Sony Vaio), I made the mistake of just using it. I didn’t realise there were things I had to do BEFORE I started adding programs and data to it.
So, here’s what I recommend.
- Take the machine out of the box and plug in the cable. (Doh!)
- Turn it on.
- The start up process begins. If you have Windows Home Premium, it will ask whether you want to set-up 32 bit or 64 bit. Here’s the deal. Choose 64 bit if you have 4gb or more RAM AND you don’t need to use old programs or software. If you have less than 4gb and/or you have old software or hardware then pick 32 bit. What’s the difference? 64 bit is more efficient and faster but won;t be kind if you have older software you need to use. So if you are starting from scratch with new Win7 compatible software go 64 bit. Otherwise play safe with 32 bit.
- These days there are no discs supplied – everything is burned onto the hidden partition on your hard disk drive. So, before you do anything you’ll need to create a backup copy of your system files (eg windows operating system etc) so you can re-load your entire system in case anything major happens like a disc failure, file corruption or other drama. If you trawl the net you’ll find lots of desperate people who are crying out for help because they can’t use their system and don;t know how to get it going again. Don’t become one of them. 30 minutes could save you heartache. If that’s not value for you then buy a recovery disc set from Toshiba.
- Most computers have an icon on the desktop or in the menu files on the start menu and it will be called “Restore Disc Creation” or something similar. Click on it.
- It will take you to the Toshiba Recovery Media Creator. It will then ask you to insert a blank DVD. (You’ll need 4 of them for the full set). Insert the disc, close the drive then click OK. Rinse and repeat two more times.
- Note – by inserting the disc your media system will kick in and pop up windows will ask you about what kind of disc you want to create etc – close these. You only need the Toshiba Recovery Media Creator screen open. This automatic feature was annoying and confusing when I first saw it until I realised it had nothing to do with creating the actual recovery discs.
- After the machine writes the files to your disc then verifies it, it will pop open the DVD draw and tell you to label the discs. Make sure you do that – and label each one in order eg Recovery Disc 1, Recovery Disc 2 etc.
- Put them in scratch proof covers and file them somewhere safe (but where you will be able to find them again!)
- Connect to the internet and install any updates for windows and Toshiba etc
- Load any programs and files you want. If you have software that is not Win7 compatible, check with the manufacturer – they may be able to update your software for a small fee – this includes ISP software for connecting the modem and any other programs like databases, accounting software etc.
I’m only in the setup phase with my laptop but there are two things I have noted. The speakers are terrible, very tinny sounding. My old Sony had much better speakers even though laptop speakers are not hi-fi sound! Secondly the touchpad is a tad flaky but maybe that’s more about me getting used to it.
Overall, I’m happy with the Toshiba L640 so far. When I have everything installed and running I’ll be happier but even now I notice how quick it is.