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1. Prep

1. PREPARATION
Before you come to a Lan, there are a few things you need to get ready and do.

Prep your PC

Hardware

Semi-Minimum Specs
If you're going to attend a LAN, you should find out what the minimum hardware specs you may need to play some of the games. If you're just attending to file share, you won't be popular.

Being that some of us have got a 2-3 year old rig, I'll use this as an example of low-ish specs: 

    CPU:    Intel Duo
    Ram:    4 Gig
    HD:      Over 1Tb
    Vid:      Nvidia GT-240
    Net:      Gigabit


Prep your Case
Because of the time between LANs, its a good idea to break open your case and give it a clean or tidy up. The cleaner your case is of dust and debris, the more reliable and stable your machine with be. Overheating is a major problem.

When I give my PC a clean, I usually un-clip all the drive bays and case fans I can, and give them a vacuum and/or a brush down with an old toothbrush/paintbrush. 
(In the case of fans, try not to spin them to much or treat them to rough, as it can unbalance the blades and cause more noise) 

I also do the same for the inlet and outlet vents on the case, in behind the faceplate of the case too. Some people use spray cans of compressed air, which can be helpful, but I've found it left a residue all over the components. If you have a air compressor unit, be careful that its not too powerful.

Try to secure cabling and components within your case. I know this is just commonsense, but you'll be surprised at how many people attend a LAN and find damage or loose components in transit to the event. Nothing sucks more then getting there and finding you can't setup or play because of a problem.
Also try to seal off any chassis openings (empty card bays) or lock any physical lockable parts of your pc.

Some may find these instructions a bit over the top, but we spend a lot on these machines. Just like cars, they need to be maintained to keep them running at optimum.

Software

Driver Updates
Try to get the latest drivers for all your hardware. Very important in the case of your video card.
Graphic Drivers

For most of your other components:
Chipset Drivers

Windows Updates
Make sure that your PC has all the latest windows updates that are needed for your computer to work prope
rly. 
Update your windows as much as possible.

Windows Networking & Firewalls
Windows 7/8/10, unfortunately uses a form of networking called "Homegroup". We tend to not use this feature at all. Lets just say its a pain in the ass. 

Anyway, we recommend that you turn all file sharing in windows off. Also we recommend that you turn on your firewall settings initially, but make sure that only the appropriate programs have access through your firewall... EG.. games, sharing software, Antivirus....

Antivirus Software
This software is compulsory! You must have an Antivirus program installed and it must have the latest updates. Also you are required to fully scan your PC BEFORE you attend the LAN. This is for your and others safety at a LAN. Admins will randomly inspect your antivirus software for the latest updates and scan when you attend.

(We do have access to the net, to allow for updating)

Recommended:
Eset Nod32, Avast, Kaspersky, Microsoft, Avira... (We don't recommend AVG at all!...)


Other Software

File Sharing and Games

Install your file sharing programs (We recommend D-lan) and the games you are going to play.

Rules with file sharing programs
NO PORN! (There's enough on the net.) 
No Sharing incomplete files, damaged files or system files.

Note: Tweak does not endorse illegal file copying. 

The current thought is file transferring during breaks for lunch, dinner etc, but this is flexible depending on what happens on the day. When file-sharing times are over, individuals are responsible for turning off these systems.

Prep your Hard Drives
There's nothing more irritating then running out of space on your drives. Make sure your temporary or completed download directories is on a drive large enough to accommodate any files you might want to download from other members. Also make sure that you do a constant virus scan of that directory when you can, just to make sure you don't pick up something from those files.



Next section: 2. Gear you need. >