Tips for Setting up Multiple Computers with the Same Software


Today, I am loading the computers we just purchased with all of the necessary software for use in our new building. I have five HP ProDesk 400 G4 Desktop Mini PC’s that will need to be set up before the move, which will enable our shipping stations to be operational as soon as possible. During this process, it is vital to ensure you perform each software download, account creation, and change in settings correctly, as having a non-tech savvy employee run into problems you could have fixed ahead of time can be quite stressful and eat up valuable work time.

So, I wanted to share the steps I am going to take on each new PC, from start to finish.

If you are a nerd like me, the act of opening up a fresh piece of hardware can be such a rewarding experience, from carefully cutting the tape on the box, to peeling off the protective film of a monitor. Before your excitement takes over, remember that it is essential to work slowly, add each item into your inventory list, as well as label everything. While it may take longer, I will be opening and assembling each computer individually; by doing this, I can keep track of what came with each package and what items (keyboard, HDMI cord) can be either used or added as a backup.

After unboxing and connecting the new computer to a display, power outlet, and internet connection, I will start with the initial Windows setup. If it asks you to sign in as a user, just use your admin login (note that many of the following changes will need to be made on the employee’s account as well).  The setup process will then ask you to sign into or set up a Microsoft account; in my case, I will be skipping this part. After that gets done you will have to add it to the domain you will be using; to perform this, Click Start > Settings, then in the search bar type in “domain” and it will give you a drop-down menu. Next, click on ‘connect to work or school’ > click ‘add’> and then type in your domain.  Now, you will have to restart the computer and sign into your admin account again.  After these steps are completed, you are ready to start loading your software.

I find creating a step-by-step list of all programs that will need be installed is very helpful, as well as sorting them by the order they should be installed in. Some programs need others to work, such as those requiring Adobe to load. Below, are a few of the programs and files that will need to be added to each of the new computers.

  • Solid Ship: Solid Commerce Application
  • Create SCLabels Folder on C: and Copy the Four Labels from the Network Drive into It
  • Solid Commerce Excel Add-on Tool (Microsoft Visual Studio Tools Will Install Also)
  • Endicia Professional
  • Dazzle
  • Excel
  • Zebra Printers
  • Brother Printer
  • Do PDF
  • Adobe
  • Chrome
  • Office
  • Antivirus, Security Settings

There are multiple methods you can choose to simplify the software install process, such as using a thumb drive to store the programs you wish to load, accessing a network drive, cloning, or just installing them individually by using a list.

After these programs and files are loaded, all of their settings need to be changed; everything from adding printers, signing-in to accounts, changing the address of shipping labels to our new location, and arranging the icons on the desktop to be easily accessed by our employees. While some of the settings will have to be done at our new building, doing what I can before the move can make the process much easier. With any building move, any reduction of work on the move-day is a great thing.

Hope it helps!


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