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Laptops - Start Here

All Students - Prepare Your Laptop - BEFORE FIRST WEEK OF CLASS

1)  Get a laptop or use one that you already have.
    • Read the Laptop FAQ to get recommendations.
    • Consider the ELITE program at The Hill (UCI Bookstore) to use financial aid or loan programs.
    • Here is more information about ELITE
    • DO NOT WAIT until Welcome Week or first week of classes. Expect long lines at The Bookstore (TheHill) and at the Financial Aid Office lasting a few hours. 

2)  Register wireless connections so you can use campus wi-fi.

3) Activate your Google Apps Account

4)  Figure out how to backup your files and/or use cloud storage easily.
    • Always save copies there in case your laptop breaks

5)  Install MS Office for Students

6)  Activate your DreamSpark account to download Microsoft Software.
    • Follow these instructions.
    • You'll need this to download Windows, Project, Visio, or Visual Studio

7)  If you have a Mac, install Windows directly onto the hard drive. Make it dual boot using Boot Camp.
    • MAE, BME, CEE Students - Follow our Bootcamp instructions at our Info for Mac Users page.
      • Install fan control utilities and anti-virus software (on Mac Users page).
      • Students complain Parallels is slow (with AutoCad and Solidworks) so use Boot Camp instead.
    • For other majors (ChEMS, EECS) - you can probably get by with Windows installed as a VM using Fusion or Parallels.

8)  Install CAD software such as
    • AutoCad (Civil Engineers)
    • Solidworks (MAE & BME, ENGR 7A)
    • Go through the tutorials. 
    • Consider learning Solidworks even if it's not required by your major. Why? Because you might end up changing majors.

9)  Install other software, utilities, anti-virus, etc.
    • Downloading avast! Antivirus – Antivirus Provided by UCI

      1. Visit:

      2. Follow the instructions on screen to download and install the program.

      Downloading CCleaner – Cleaning your PC and keeping it Fast

      1. Visit the website below:


      3. Click the Free Download Link, which will scroll down to an option menu in which you can choose which version is right for you.

      4. Click the Free Download Link

      5. Next click the Download Button located under the CCleaner Free option.

      6. DOWNLOAD FROM PIRIFORM!!  (do not use filehippo)

      7. ccsetup***.exe will be downloaded

      8. Next open the executable

      9. Click Next, Then Install, and finally click Finish.

      Installing Malwarebytes – Keeping your PC Clean

      1. Visit:

      2. Click the big orange DOWNLODAD button

      3. mbam-setup-*.*exe should have downloaded

      4. Open the executable you just downloaded

      5. Click OK on the select language page, then click next and accept the terms and agreements.

      6. Click next till you get to the install page and then click install

10)  Get VPN working so you can use library resources from off-campus. 
    •  VPN encrypts your network connection so use it at insecure wireless locations.
    • Install the Software VPN on your laptop.

11)  Get a laptop lock

12) Figure out what other software you might need to install:

14)  Install Matlab

  1. Visit:

  2. Click the MathWorks Account link

  3. Now register for a Mathworks account using your email address.

  4. You will be using this later to activate your MatLab Download.

15)  Mathematica