I have had Compaq since Nov, but it's the same setup. Not sure what the excat Compaq/HP relationship is and who owns who, brand names etc.
1. AV first. Microsoft Sec Essentials or Avira, Avast, AVG etc. Whatever you prefer.
2. I tend to create lots of manual restore points, in case I break stuff.
Click Start and start typing System Protection Settings in the search box.
Click the icon when you see it and create restore points frequently is my advice.
If any of the following goes wrong, just restore before you did it. Uninstall where possible and when you can re-install from a free source.
I dont' know if you can recover individual applications from the recovery partition. I could on my old Compaq.
Skpe - DELETED
Ebay.ie - DELETED
HP Support Assistant (not sure..if I'll need it) -KEPT, JUST IN CASE AND FOR BACKGROUND INFO.
Magic Desktop (a full environment for kids,
cute but I could do without it!) - UNINSTALLED (REVO)
MS Office 60 Day Trial -- I use MS Works,
but in the past, uninstalling Office
interfered with Works
-UNINSTALLED USING CONTROL PANEL/UNINSTALL A PROGRAM (REVO UNINSTALLER WOULDNT DO IT FOR SOME REASON)
Norton Internet Security - UNINSTALLED WITH REVO.
I have MS Office 2000 which I got working.
(I have the original CD and see no need to keep upgrading in spite of security holes...hmmm maybe I will change to OpenOffice on further thought.)
If you Works packs up after uninstalling Office Trial, you can download it again from the MS Website. (maybe others could comment on that likelihood?)
KEEP MEDIASMART and Games till you sure whether you want them.
Make sure you get a set of decent Utils. from eg cnet.com
Firefox, Ccleaner, Revo Uninstaller, Malwarebytes,
Superantispyware, AdBlock for FF or IE.
There is a lot of overlap between security progs.
I am no expert on all the differences but I quite like WinPatrol in addition to AV.
Dont forget to make your recovery DVDs and use Windows Backup thing when you have finished setting up your laptop how you like it.