Is your current time indicator over the first frame? Most particle effects (at their default settings) won't show anything on the first frame because no particles have been produced yet. Move forward in time a bit.
If you're new to AE, you should really start here: Getting started with After Effects
If you try to jump right in without getting a solid foundation, you're only going to get frustrated!
Start here: Basic Workflow
then after you have gone through the very basics of AE type the name of the particle effect you are trying to use in the Search Help field at the top right corner of AE and go through some of the training materials that are provided.
If you still cannot figure out anything then we need specifics of your workflow. If AE opens and you can add footage and you have not messed with the preferences then the software setup is probably ok.
Thank you! I will explore the link first