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Getting Along With Your Computer

On the move

In the last month I’ve helped several customers move their computers from an old house to a new one. When it comes to moving your computer and the associated equipment, taking care of a few simple things can make your life in your new place a little easier.


Get organized

Start by identifying everything that has to move with the computer. That’s the monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse, webcam, external hard drive and all the power cords and cables. That’s also the surge protector, the paper for the printer, your software, and probably the desk lamp and pencil holder. Maybe you have to move the modem and a router, too. If you have the original boxes for your computer, monitor, or printer, that’s ideal! Most of us don’t, so get good boxes and bubble wrap or other packing material. Do not give in to the temptation to throw everything in the back of the car and hit the road.

Back up before you pack up!

Please have backup copies of your files. Enough said.


Tearing it down

Before you take everything apart remember that you (or “someone”) will have to put everything back together again. If you’re unfamiliar with how to connect things, at least take photos of the back of your computer with a digital camera or your phone so you have a fighting chance of getting things in the right place. Better still, I like to use coloured electrical tape to colour code the power cords and cables. If that’s too much trouble, get some masking tape and a Sharpie and make labels.

Don’t disconnect things until you turn them off! Turn off the computer, the monitor, the printer and the speakers. Then turn off the surge protector! Unplug the power cord for the computer first, then disconnect the rest of everything from the back of the computer. I recommend packing the power cords and cables with the item that connects them, but if you’ve labelled them, you can put them all together in a big Ziploc bag. Label each box within an inch of its life, keep them together, and put them (or have the movers put them) in the room where you will want the computer set up.

Put it back together

When you get to the new house, start by plugging in the surge protector and testing that the power works. Then start unpacking the computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse. Once you’ve got that set up, the rest is easy, because it’s all labelled or colour-coded. And you remembered to order the Internet, right?


Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!


Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna ( a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

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About the author...

Cate Eales has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible and fun for over 20 years. She lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric, and her dog, Sandy. Cate is a partner in Computer Care Kelowna, helping individuals and small businesses with virus, spyware and malware eradication; personal computer training and management; digital image management; music transfer; and website design, hosting and management.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with your comments, suggestions, or questions. To browse the column archives, visit the Real Life Internet Solutions website at


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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