Using Microsoft Windows properly implies performing some administrative tasks. Some of these must be run only once (creating system repair disc or setting local security policy) while several others require on-demand approach (managing users or checking event logs).
Windows 7 and 8 users should always create System Repair Disc (Windows 7) or Recovery Drive (Windows 8) first to make sure they have bootable media for troubleshooting if necessary. After installing a new Windows Service Pack, the disc or drive must be re-created.
In all Windows versions, Configure System Restore to have restore points available in case of problems.
In Windows Professional, Business and Ultimate editions, configure Local Security Policy to be sure all required application, system and security events are logged. Home and Basic editions do not allow policy configuration, but the policy itself is properly set. Use Event Viewer to view the logs.
Make sure there is only one administrator account on your computer and no one besides you knows the password. Learn to manage users if you need to set up other accounts.
And please don't forget another essential step - set up automatic backups. In Windows 8, also create the custom recovery image to enhance the functionality of Refresh your PC feature. For very important files, use Storage Spaces.