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When you turn on the power for the first time in your new Windows 8 computer, Windows will ask you to create a Microsoft account. This is important not only for your security and privacy, but also for a great convenience. If you have more than one home computer and/or also other devices like tablets and smart phones running Windows, Microsoft will sync these all automatically for you.
If you already have a Microsoft or Hotmail or Net Passport account, you should use that. If not, create a Microsoft account now. You need to have a User ID (your e-mail ID) and a Password. Passwords, for your own safety, should be a strong one. A strong password must have at least 8 characters, should include both letters (with at least one capital letter) and numbers, and must have at least one special character like #, %, $, *, ?, -, ^, ), ", etc. Please give some thought before creating the password. It should be strong yet you should be able to remember it, because you will have to enter it everytime you start the computer! (Passwords can be changed anytime, but only the administrator of the account can do that.) Also, it is not advisable to use the same password for different things. You should not use your work computer password, credit card password, frequent flyer account password, and so forth as your Microsoft account password.
The next step is setting up the computer. Before you start setting up your new computer, please make sure you have high-speed Internet connection or you know the password of the network you want to join.
Microsoft has made this process real easy. This can be done almost instantly if you opt for Use Express Settings. But the thing to remember here is if you click on this option, Windows will automatically create a network of all computers and devices connected to this Internet connection. If you own this Internet connection and all the devices connected to it are your devices, then there is no problem. In fact, it is desirable to opt for Express Settings. But, if you don't own this connection and the other computers/devices connected to it are not yours, then you should not opt for Express Settings. You should opt for Custom Setup. (Note: I have forgotten the exact wording, but it is something similar to this. It is the second option that you will see.)
Custom Setup takes only a few minutes. You have to opt for a few basic things (easy). Then Windows will show you the networks available within range and ask you to choose which one you want join. Once you indicate your preference, you will be asked to enter the password or passphrase for that network. The passphrases are case-sensitive. So enter very carefully making sure the Caps Lock button of your keyboard is not on. Probably you will have to enter it twice. Once you do that, Setup will announce within seconds that the setting up process has been completed and you are connected to the Internet. You can celebrate now. Your new computer is ready to use.
I would like to add two side notes here in case the info helps somebody.
1. I share my Broadband Internet connection with a relative's family that lives right above us in the same building. They have many computers and devices. So I did not opt for Express Setup. I do not want them to see what's in my computer and I also do not want see what's in their computer.
2. Within 2 or 3 weeks of setting up my new computer and joining their network, they changed the passphrase for their network for security reasons and gave me the new passphrase. I had real tough time to change it in my new computer (by then I had upgraded to Windows 8.1). I don't know why Microsoft has decided to hide the screen where one can change the passphrase in a place where it is very difficult to navigate to or even guess where it could be. It took me more than a full day of research to find out the holy secret. I even had posted this question in a good and popular computer forum but received no responses. So I have decided to add a chapter on this topic in this website after I finish writing about more basic and everyday how to's. Keep an eye for it. You will find the instructions in a future update of this site.
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