Puget Systems Out of Box Experience – Windows 10

Our New Install Process

If you have recently purchased a computer from Puget Systems, you may have noticed that you were required to set up Windows 10 upon the first boot up. What you may not know, is that this was not always the way that our systems acted right out of the box.

Up until late December 2017, the way we installed operating systems during the system build process allowed us to perform that set up for you. It allowed us to fully configure Windows and to install/perform any special tweaks you, the customer, requested. This is no longer possible under our new install process. Like most successful businesses, over-time, our processes and procedures must change. This was the case with the way we were installing operating systems. The process we were originally conducting was inefficient and time consuming. Sparing you the grueling details, we have now moved to a much more refined and efficient process that allows you, the end user, to configure and set up Windows just the way you would like! This is excellent news! However, we also understand that opening up the box and booting the system up to a Windows setup screen can be somewhat daunting. I have created this guide to walk you through the process and offer advice along the way. I hope you enjoy!

What now?

This screen is the initial screen in the Windows setup series. It is requesting that you set your geographical region and should default to the United States. Most of our systems are used within the U.S., but if you happen to be using your system outside of the U.S. you will want to locate the geographical region your system resides in and choose that instead.

After choosing your region, you will see the above screen asking about keyboard layout. This is asking for the Functional Layout of the keyboard – that is, what the keys on your physical keyboard will actually output when pressed / used in software. The majority of users choose the typical "US" layout, but you are free to choose whichever layout your heart desires. If you want more than one layout, go ahead and choose a primary layout on this screen and then head to the next screen. (Hint: the next screen will ask you if you want to add a second keyboard layout).

Here is where you can add a second keyboard layout. If you don't want one, go ahead and hit the "Skip" button to move on to the next step.

Ah, the beloved Microsoft License Agreement. If you want to take the time to read all of that fine print, be my guest. However, if you just want to hit "Accept" and carry on with the setup process, I wouldn't blame you. (P.S. that is what I do!)

This one can be a bit confusing, but fear not: the two options are actually pretty straight forward. If you are using the system at home or in a small office, "Set up for personal use" is the option you should select. If you are using the system in a large enterprise environment, then the second option is most likely what you will want to choose – but you will want to consult your IT department first to make sure.

This is where Microsoft asks you to sign in with your Microsoft account, and if you don't have one already then you can create one. Using a Microsoft account across multiple computers can allow you to share some settings and information between them, so if you want to do that go ahead and put in your account info. It also lets Microsoft know who is using the system. If you would like to use that sort of setup, but do not yet have a Microsoft account, go ahead and hit that little "Create account" link to walk through the process.

However, if you are like me and would rather not have your system linked like that, you can hit the small "Offline account" button in the lower left hand corner and finish the setup via the instructions below. The next three screens only apply to "Offline account" setup, so if you're using a Microsoft account, please skip down to "Do more across devices with activity history".

If you opted not to attach a Microsoft account to your system and chose the "Offline account" option instead, Microsoft will make one last ditch effort to get you to attach a Microsoft account to the system. They warn that "Windows works way better with a Microsoft account" – but in my experience Windows works just fine without attaching an account. Press the "Limited Experience" link in the bottom left if you would like to proceed without attaching a Microsoft account and "Yes" if you have changed your mind and would like to link an account.

This is where you set up your user name. Of course, Microsoft lets you change your mind yet again if you want (see the link in the lower left corner). Local Windows usernames cannot have spaces or most special characters, and part of the folder structure on the C: drive will use the name you select here (even if you later change the username), for example if your name is Robert the user folder will be called 'Robe'.

Please note: if you opted to attach your system to a Microsoft account, you will not see this screen (or the next) as Microsoft will automatically use your full name and/or your Microsoft Account email as your sign in.

This is where you set up your password for a local user account. If you chose to link your system to a Microsoft account, your password will already be set to your Microsoft account password. If not, please go ahead and set your password up here.

As pointed out on this page: "There's no way to retrieve a lost password for this kind of account, so make sure to pick something you'll be absolutely sure to remember." I would further that statement and suggest writing the password down and storing it somewhere convenient but safe!

Activity History essentially allows Microsoft to cater an experience to you the user based on your habits. This can be a helpful tool if you are okay with Microsoft gathering information such as the applications and services you use to send relevant suggestions. If you are unsure, select the "Learn more" box in the bottom left. Also know that you can change these settings anytime within Windows 10. [Settings > Privacy > Activity history]

In addition to activity history, you also have the option to allow Microsoft's digital assistant, Cortana, to collect and use data based off of your interactions within Windows 10. Similar to Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri, Cortana can set reminders, appointments, open applications, and other tasks to try and save you time. Running Cortana on startup can be toggled on/off. [Settings > Apps & Features]

In my opinion, this is one of the more important set up screens you will come across. If you are at all concerned about your privacy or what information Microsoft will collect about you and your use of the system, you should take some time to carefully read through the privacy settings on this screen. It is true that leaving some of these settings enabled will create a more seamless and enjoyable overall Windows experience for some – but at what cost, you ask? Well, at the cost of your privacy. Like I said, read through the settings and decide what options are right for you. If you are not interested in those features, toggle them off and hit "Accept".

Alright, that's it. You're done! Your system will finalize its own setup and then take you to the login screen. Once you log in, you will be at the Windows desktop and ready to start enjoying your system.

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