You can get a CERN account as soon as you get a CERN contract (staff, fellow, paid associated) and this means that you can have it before your arrival in CERN. Just ask Elena Gianolio.
Short term visitors in the TH department can get the account only once they have registered with the secretariat (not before). This usually means on arrival.
We encourage everybody to get an account, even if their stay is short, because in this way they will receive information about seminars and other internal communications.
If, before you get an account, you need to access the Hostel reservation system or the CERN Market web site (or other sites/applications that require an account), you should get a "LightWeight account".
In order to register your laptop please see the "Laptop Registration" section.
For any questions or request please do not hesitate to contact Elena Gianolio.