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System Requirements and Pre-installation Routine

Posted By On November 3, 2005 @ 4:24 PM In File & Disk Management,Uncategorized | No Comments

System Compatibility

No, this has nothing to do with computer dating. Before buying or downloading, you should make sure your PC meets the program’s Minimum System Requirements. Sometimes just called Requirements, they’re written at the bottom of every software listing in our online software store [1]. You can also find them on the back or bottom panels of most boxes or disk cases, usually in really tiny letters. They tell you what standards your system has to meet to be able to run that piece of software.

These requirements typically include which version of Windows, what speed processor and how much RAM you have, and then hardware requirements (CD-Roms or CD-burners, DVD players or burners, printers, monitor settings, video or sound cards), and the amount of hard disk space you’ll need to make this program work.

Many modern programs also list Recommended System Requirements. You can think of these standards as what your system should have to run that program well. If you meet the Minimums but not the Recommended list, the program maybe taxing a component of your system. The program may run slowly or you may not be able to use all of its features. You may need to shut down all other running processes before you start this program. Basically, it’ll run on your system, but it could run better.

You can find your version of Windows, processor speed, and amount of RAM by right-clicking the My Computer icon and looking under the General tab. Older versions of Windows are laid out differently, so if you don’t have a My Computer icon, start at the Control Panel and look for an icon labeled along the lines of System Properties.


Find the amount of hard disk space available in your system by double-clicking My Computer, Right-clicking your C: drive, and choosing Properties.


Under the General tab, you’ll see the amount of free space left on your hard drive.


To find out how much RAM you have available at any given moment, hold down Control, Alt, and tap Delete. Give it a second, because hitting this combo twice will reboot or shut down your PC, depending on your settings. The Windows Task Manager will appear.

Under the Performance tab, you’ll see Physical Memory, Available. This is the number of kilobytes of available RAM you’ve got. Divide by 1000 to bet the Mb of available RAM. The more programs you have running, the lower the amount of available RAM.


To see if your system meets hardware requirements, go to the Control Panel and click the Systems icon. The System Properties window will appear. Go to the Hardware tab and use the Device Manager to see the complete list of hardware on your system.


Before ScanDisk [2] for older Windows versions) and follow it up with startup menu [3] (ME and 2000 directions [4]) and your screensaver. Before removing items from the Startup menu, I’d recommend taking a notepad and writing down the file names of what had been running. This lets you put 1 or 2 of them right back in the starting lineup if you notice problems with other programs after your new installation. (There’s a tool that promises to make this a bit easier coming up in next week’s Download!)

To shut down your screensaver, right-click on your desktop and choose Properties. Under the Screen Saver tab, Choose None. Click Apply, then OK.


Finally, while you’re installing your new program, take the time to read each window of text carefully before clicking OK or making choices. I don’t want to tell you how many calls we get each week about easily-prevented installation problems. Usually, it’s someone who installed the extra demo or trial-period software rather than the official program they bought. Sometimes, they installed both but the intended program won’t open without the installation code for the demo software. So if you’re offered demo software along with a program, I’d suggest you only install the program you bought.

The other big cause for down-the-road problems is not writing down serial numbers or registration info exactly (case-sensitive, dashes or spaces, etc.) as you go. You may need them to re-install that program onto a new PC later, for example.

~ Chris Fisher

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URL to article: http://www.worldstart.com/system-requirements-and-pre-installation-routine/

URLs in this post:

[1] online software store: http://store.worldstart.com/home.php

[2] ScanDisk: http://www.worldstart.com/tips/tips.php/254

[3] startup menu: http://www.worldstart.com/tips/tips.php/1011

[4] ME and 2000 directions: http://www.worldstart.com/tips/tips.php/294