I have a new computer, a laptop. It is going to be my primary computer, a desktop replacement. While I have
way too many a few other machines, setting them up has been pretty easy: Install a word processor, a web browser, maybe some movies and tunes, and off I go. I've had the same desktop machine for about five years.
Next: Most likely your machine will ask you to do an initial system backup. Do this. It will take some time, but do it. Mine takes four DVDs. I do not like that manufacturers have shifted the responsibility for creating backup discs to the buyer. This used to be their job and still should be. But if I don’t do it and the hard drive crashes, it’s my own fault.
(If you do get backup or restore discs, you can safely skip this task, but that’s rare. I will also make a copy of the drive soon that I'll keep separate and back up every so often. More on that later.)
Also: Some computer manufacturers will create two partitions on the hard drive, using one for software installation and a second for data storage.
My new laptop was set up this way, the 640-gig hard drive split into one using 25 percent for programs and another using 75 percent for storage. The way I install software, I would use up too much of that first partition too quickly -- and by quickly I mean within a couple of years.
It took me about 15 minutes to fix this, with the excellent EaseUS Partition Manager,  free software that just works. I deleted the data partition, which was empty, clicked and dragged the remaining partition to encompass all that new space, hit “apply,” let the machine restart and that was all it took. Windows 7 would probably handle this task, too, but I am impressed with how Partition Manager works so well.