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How-To Geek

Ask the Readers: How Do You Customize Your Computer?

Whether you spend your energy customizing via case mods or leave the box stock and re-skin the OS, we’re interested in hearing all about how you customize your computing experience and make the machine yours.

This week we want to hear about the OS tweaks, skins, modifications, and other tweaks you’ve applied to your computer to personalize it. Whether it’s minor tweaks at work because IT has the machines locked down or massive custom-built boxes at home that show off your love for your favorite Sci-Fi show, it’s time to share your favorite tools, tricks, and tips for customizing your computing experience–even better, share some screenshots or photos in the comments below.

Don’t forget to check back in on Friday for the What You Said roundup!

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/11/12

Comments (74)

  1. r

    uhhh?…I lowered the keyboard back-light a bit on my Dell M4600 cuz it was driving me nuts. I also replaced the generic Win7 login screen to a solid color…..cuz it was also driving me nuts.
    Yup,..that’s about it.

  2. Harkaboy

    I changed my background from the default windows background to an other. ([ :

  3. r

    oh ya…I did that also, to a solid color…cuz it was driving me nuts :)

  4. Grant

    Two steps:

    1) DBAN
    2) Debian

  5. RedHat

    @grant

    DBAN is for sissy’s who don’t know the commands in linux… Just saying…

  6. infmom

    I have an ancient Powerbook G4 and I thought one of Gelaskins’ “Underworld” skins would be absolutely perfect for it, and so it was.

    http://gelaskins.com/gallery/Colin_Thompson/Underworld

  7. Matthew

    My main ‘customization’ tweak (if you can call it that) is installing Xubuntu (couldn’t get the hang of Unity). On Windows, I change the wallpaper and the login screen background. I also move the taskbar to the top of the screen and set it to auto-hide.

  8. GW2

    I used to use rainmeter, but then I realized to have a cool looking desktop with rainmeter means it sucks to use. I prefer a stock distro of whatever I’m using that way when I reinstall there isn’t much to do to get it back where I want it.

  9. UltimatePSV

    I replaced the login screen with a SHIELD login screen, set up a Rainmeter skin, a few AutoHotkey scripts, and a custom wallpaper slideshow. I also modified a clock gadget to have custom backgrounds.

    (Windows 7 Home Premium x64)

  10. xana452

    I replaced the login screen with a different resolution-matching one, I use Rocketdock, taskbar color, start orb replaced, I have a few shortcut creators for certain functions, and I have a few tips from here on start menu customization.

  11. Erik

    First I strip most of the company installed bloatware. Then install the usual suspects. Open office, VLC, 7zip, ASC, AVG, Peerblock, utorrent and chrome. Now that most screens are 16:9 I like my taskbar on the right. (autohide) That’s just to start.

  12. Callum Booth

    Pretty extensive list here, but I:

    - Got rid of all the bloatware
    - Put a custom theme on
    - Changed the login screen
    - Installed Launchy
    - Installed Cygwin to get a bit of bash shell love going on
    - Customized the command line to make it full screen
    - Aliased some complicated commands (like ‘py3k’ instead of typing ‘C:\python32\python.exe %1′)
    - Got a few AutoHotKey scripts going
    - Changed the entire icon theme
    - Moved the taskbar to top of screen (just feels more comfortable in my opinion)
    - Made a few registry tweaks (most from this website I might add)
    - And finally I set up my wallpaper set to use wallpaper slideshows

  13. TechGeek01

    On any computer, the boiatware has to go. Then, I install Dropbox and a few other crucial apps. That’s it usually for initial setup. Of course, then you mod the registry here and there, and occasionally install a bit of software.

    I’m building a PC, and I made sure to get a case that has a window in it because it looks cool. I’ll probably also get a string of sleeved lights to gi in it as well.

    That’s pretty much it.

  14. Krishnapriya

    I have the Halo themepack installed which has some nice sound effects and cool wallpapers. I installed Rocketdock and checked to auto-hide the taskbar. I have my traditional start menu replaced with Start Menu X (a software I got from giveawayoftheday.com). I have Rainmeter installed with the ABP theme and display only two skins: the date and time skin and the all in one skin which eliminates the need for other skins. I have replaced most of my icons with futuristic hexagonal ones (i forgot where i downloaded it). I also used Tuneup Utilities to change my login screen from acer’s one to abstract art. I moved all my desktop shortcuts to a folder and placed in Rocketdock so that my desktop is clean and clutter free. As I install software regularly , I have Soluto installed to monitor my boot speed. I use Tweaking.com’s tools to fix up my pc when needed. I also removed the crapware Acer installed using PC decrapifier.

    my desktop looks like this http://bayimg.com/nAoAgAaDA

  15. Krishnapriya

    forgot to add, of course I replaced Waterfox as my browser instead of default IE

  16. vistual

    i put tints on it and lowered 3″ in the front and two in the back.
    put some blacked out 22″s on it and a spoiler kit.
    then i redid the mouse in all leather to match and put the neon lights under it to give it that hovering effect.
    yup – thats what i did.

  17. Blacknight22

    I personally love doing case mods. If one of my computers looks like just a box I can’t help but hack it to pieces and turn it into something a little easier on the eyes. Preferably something that doesn’t look like a computer at all.

    I started with just custom paint jobs (sanding the texture down and painting old putty cases piano black and such). I soon graduated to adding plexiglass sides as well as lighting to my cases and have been trying new things ever since.

    My two latest projects are both servers. A dedicated Minecraft server made to look like a Redstone block from the game, complete with pulsing/glowing Redstone bits in it, As well as a “fish tank server” with UV reactive fish in it.

    I’m also partial to most of the basic OS customizations, like replacing the Logon screen background in 7, object dock on my media center machine, as well as theming my browsers and my laptop which runs XP.

  18. Henrique

    Desktop
    - Binder clips on the edge of the desk as cable management
    - Changed login screen background to match desktop background
    - Tinkered (partially successfully) with front panel audio to reduce static
    - Tons of post-its from a large array of relevance, redundancy and usefulness levels

    Notebook
    - Pearl Jam “PJ20″ sticker

  19. muffler
  20. carolinel

    Remove all the f***ing Intel and Windows 7 stickers they’ve put on your computer. Boot and install archlinux together with Openbox. Custumize, tweak and a couple of hours later I have it exactly as I want it.

  21. oktboer
  22. Jon

    personal customization = leaving a total anarchy on the screen

  23. gr8geek

    On my ubuntu machine I use ubuntu tweak and my unity. I also use an animated background. For the case I baught a macbook pro from my friend(nonfunction) and transfered my laptop internals in that case.
    For my win 7 machine I use a custom dock and other stuff that others have mentioned.

  24. bala

    I always tweak my appereance and visual styles. ON xp i use Resource hacker to modify the copy progress dialog box. ON win7 i use black basic theme by cryer. Sometimes i switch ti my custom Mac theme. IT features the starfield wallpapper of MAC OSX and also a voilet color aero.

  25. Asgaro

    - In the past I used Windowblinds, but now I’m satisfied with the standard Windows 7 GUI.
    - I anchor my taskbar to the left. My screen is 1920×1080 so that’s useful.
    - Taskbarmeters. It shows my CPU and Memory usage right in the taskbar using that Win 7 loading animation.
    - TuneUp Utilities. It’s mainly meant for technical clean-ups but also has a section related to visual customization.

  26. Lisa Wang

    Depending on how much time I have when I receive my new machine,I might do the following in a few batches, starting with the simplest one. Usually, my list goes like this:
    1.Remove all bloatware and pretty much unneeded stuffs.
    2.Change my wallpaper,login screen,themes, and sound.
    3.Installing my ‘must-have’ softwares-starting with fences and rocketdock+stacks plugin
    4.Setting taskbar to autohide, pinning some apps there
    5.Installing additional languages
    6.Tweaking all settings and keyboard shortcuts to my preferance
    7.Changing the icons(either manual or with TuneUp Styler)

    Most of the time my friends-especially the non tech savvy ones would ask,”What OS do you use?” though it’s the same stock Win7 Pro they have.

  27. coolkid3245

    Replace wallpaper and login screen with Spongebob wallpapers.
    Pin important things to taskbar. (important things : Games)

  28. Ben Stirred

    two monitors, one verticle[way less scrolling long docs] the other horizontal.

  29. lizbit

    spray paint, stickers, little men, cars anything fun I can find, stick them to the desktop and monitor.

  30. Alucard1972

    Not too extreme, but i do like my computer/s.
    Antec p182 full custom made anime decals on front and sides, external top mounted liquid cooling with full custom peltier cooling assembly and lighting custom 2pack interior paint with acrylic blood splatter, fan control module, g15 runs sirreal app, win7 home premium ssd tweaks, speed tweaks, alot of open source programs.
    Clean install then straight to ninite.com, and thats about it always updating my hardware or configurations.

  31. Merriadoc

    On my pc laptop :
    removed windows OS, installed Debian w/ Xfce. Then installed OpenBox and a few softwares to get this result : http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_m2dcq7FUSU1r8flh2o1_1280.png?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAI6WLSGT7Y3ET7ADQ&Expires=1334324536&Signature=h7/eMJDIiGU09uLv9OcjWs9sqnU%3D

    on my macbook pro :
    copied some backgrounds from my linux machine, added desktops, removed apps-i-dont-mind from the dock and improved security in the settings. And added some softs : LibreOffice, Clementine, VLC, Firefox…

    Didn’t touched something physical, though.

  32. Scott Howard aka ScLoHo

    I just bought a new Toshiba Ultrabook.

    Move the taskbar to the left side. (discourages others who want to borrow my laptop)

    Use WaterFox as my default browser. Also install Opera, Safari, Chrome and Maxthon.

    Set up different start up pages for each browser. (multiple pages on each).

    Clean up the bloatware with Revo Uninstaller.

    Add Dropbox and CCleaner.

    I also have an additional admin account that I use as a back up way of getting into my computer

  33. Gian-Luigi Valle

    For those complaining DBAN is awesome as a live CD that just does the job of nuking any drive plugged in.
    I have a tux sticker on the back of my Toshiba Laptop and run Ubuntu with the new Gnome Shell and Faenza icon pack.

  34. Seth

    I didn’t really customize the actual hardware on my computer, but I do change all the colors and themes on windows and any other programs I use such as fire fox.

  35. The Duke

    I don’t get to do this on every machine i touch but when it is one i use on a regular basis i will start to modifie to my liking. I will mention only a couple becuase the list goes on forever. It usually takes hours if you try to do it all in one sitting. But it will make a pentium 3 with 256 mg of memory run like a pentium 3 with 2 gigs.

    Get rid of all unneeded start up in sys tray. ( do research on what you need.)
    Then go to performance in advance in system in control panel and uncheck all the things you don’t like. ( I usually keep the last one because i like it.)
    A few regestry tweaks. ( Do research on this because you could mess things up.)
    A few cleaning programs and registry defragers.
    And last but not least. I use a 640 gig hard drive with portable apps. Programs can load faster depend on how the computer your using is configured. Then again thats why i make all the changes.

  36. Citrus Rain

    Visible hardware:
    Full tower HAF with lights in it’s fans.
    Light in the power supply (however not visible)
    Right side has a Tricky the clown decal (the clown at the end of castle crashers)
    Left side has a window, and a Steampunk Twilight Sparkle hot air balloon sticker. (MLP:FIM)
    Wireless mouse, SOLAR wirless keyboard.
    HDMI audio video output to 36″ TV

    Hardware:
    Asus mobo
    Intel processor
    16 gigs of DDR3 ram.
    500GB HDD (primary)
    1TB HDD named Infosphere (Futurama!)
    Wifi card
    Very big ATI? Graphics Card

    Windows 7:
    Current Wallpaper: Trixie vs. Twilight Sparkle magic dual
    Startbar set to right side of screen
    Pinned: Google Chrome, Windows Explorer, Skype, Snipping Tool, McMyAdmin (minecraft server), Notepad++, Visual Studio 2010, Minecraft
    Other software: VLC, GIMP, Splashtop, Steam (installed on I: drive [infosphere] so I can run it in wine via Ubuntu partition), Tourtise SVN, Monodevelop, Unity (game engine)

    Ubuntu:
    Version: 11.10
    Wallpaper: Currently a red soundwave looking thing (similar to the 9th-10th doctor logo) with Vinyl Scratch, Octavia, Lyra, Bonbon, Carrot Top, and Derpy Hooves. (MLP:FIM)
    GUI: Unity (it works very nice when your screen is so enourmous – but I can’t stand it on a laptop)
    Sidebar includes: Home folder, Chromium web browser, Bluefish, Filezilla, Skype, Deluge, Gimp, XBMC, shortcut to infosphere drive (can’t figure out how to mount at startup)
    Other software: VLC (prefered over what the default was – but some sound glitches for batman and [4th] Doctor Who), Wine, minecraft… doesn’t work for reasons unknown.

    Planned: I have room for 2 or 3 more partitions, but have not found the time to make another Gentoo attempt, and attempt to install Mint… resulted in a live cd that said it was mint (had mint background in the first menu) then when it started it’s session… it was ubuntu 11.10? (with the icons on the desktop for me to choose to install ubuntu which was already there)

  37. fresty

    - Installed Fences (icon organzation), Soluto (startup control), DropBox (keeps everything safe in a cloud), Microsoft Security Essentials,QQTabBar (add tabs into explorer and some tweaks)
    - Disabled unecessary parts of Windows, removed all unnecesary software
    - Edited Registry (Remaped buttons [Capslock = Play/Pause btn, ...], removed/add stuff to contextmenu, lots of tiny tweaks)
    - Tweaked WinUI, custom icons (most of them are my own)
    - I keep everything organized in easily searhcable folders
    - Coding my own stuff (Alarm clock, Schedule, app for searching at multiple sites at the same time, …)
    - Heavy use of taskscheduler

    Also I don’t like too much stuff on desktop neither in ProgramFiles so i’m doing regular cleaning and removing of not used soft

  38. Dave

    At work its windows driven, but working on that…

    At home? Out of the half dozen or so machines, only 2 have win7 left on it. Others haves a linux variation, with my main desktop running xubuntu.

    Visually? Not much on either platform other than wallpaper or such.

  39. Look at me if

    Let’s say I got new laptop.

    I format and install fresh Windows7.
    Then I install: CCleaner, Avast Free, Defragger, VLC, LibeOffice, Firefox and Chrome, Malwarebytes, Utorrent, Skype, Adobe Reader, Daemon Tools Lite.

    I separate drive to C and D. I put the Users folder in drive D. I install themes from MS’s website. Pin 5 programs to taskbar, clutter desktop with icons, and still pin some stuff to start menu.

  40. Adam

    Uhh… I installed Arch and Musca.

  41. Eric

    When I buy a computer (as opposed to building one), I leave it as stock as possible with the exception of upgrades. I want my computer to look as new as possible, and decals mess with that.

  42. Tbotch

    I agree with most on the list, but I’m surprised http://ninite.com/ has not been mentioned. Ninite is a great way to get a majority of your basic apps installed w/o much headache. Check the apps you need, download the .exe, and let it all install. Open Office, AVG, Malwarebytes, Steam, VLC, 7-Zip, Eclipse, Notepad ++, Pidgin, Chrome….very convenient.

    After that, it’s basically aesthetics, i.e. screensaver (usually from off this site).

  43. graphalfkor

    I’ve got rainmeter 2.3 with some Tony Starkish stats blaring out weather, showing latest emails, etc. Randomly changing desktop wallpapers I made in photoshop mostly photographic scenes. Have custom logon screen and other odds/ends crafted via tuneup utils.

    I use winAutomation to automate usual routine jobs – it handles everything from chkdsks, stealth downloading antivirus updates, set to scan my downloads folder whenever new files are added, and with scheduled times throughout the week to perform defragging. I even set it to log into google voice and shoot my phone a txt msg if need be so its quite useful.

    I have to say I’m really ♥ win 7 speech recognition, sometimes to navigate or to blog (as I thought this would be a one time deal just to test out it works surprisingly better than simply typing).

  44. Marshall Neill

    I have XFCE 4.8 on my Toshiba Laptop, I am a proverbial tweaker, so;
    I am running LMDE and had Gnome by default, but decided to install XFCE and it works
    perfectly for me. I also removed a ton of Gnome applications, but reinstalled Gnome System Monitor and System Printer Configuration.
    So basically the following are tweaks to XFCE.
    1) Downloaded from Xfce-Look.org the Mint-X-Mac theme and proceeded to modify the gtkrc, button.rc, panel.rc to a ‘Dust’ color. Easy on the eyes.
    2) Removed the bottom panel.
    3) Customized my Desktop Menu to display my most frequent applications.
    4) Customize the Main Menu to display only the Menus for applications.
    5) Installed Intel Microcode ( I think it sped up my computer)
    6) Removed XFCE backgrounds, not to my liking and replaced with images of my preference.
    7) Change to LightDM login manager and changed background.
    8) Installed Medit as my editor. I just prefer it over Gedit.
    9) Added Appearance to desktop menu; easier than looking thru menus and it’s more Gnome-like.
    10) Added XFCE Settings Manager to desktop menu for same reason as above.
    11) Installed WICD wireless/hardline network manager. I seemed to have a problem with Gnome’s
    Network Manger.
    12) Added ‘Launcher’ to Panel and sort of duplicated the Desktop Menu. That way I have my cake
    and eat it too.
    13) Ihstalled Awoken Icons. Really smooth looking icons.
    14) Modified the Mixt-X window manager so Titlebar text was not standard not sunken and black as
    well.
    15) Installed Boot Up Manager (bum) to eliminate unnecessary services from starting.
    16) Installed Startup Manager so boot screen was 1024×768. Cleaner looking.
    16) Installed BleachBit (sort of like CCleaner for Windows).
    17) Installed XCursors and using Whiteglass. Smoother looking that DMZ.
    18) Added Orage to panel have it formatted to show Day, Month, Date and time.

    Guess that’s about it.
    I switched from Gnome because the New Gnome and after trying it for about a week, found it was not to my liking.

  45. Armand

    Install Ubuntu – Gnome 3
    and all Black

  46. Kygies27

    I, like most people, change the default login screen (I do it about once every month or so).
    But the most noticeable tweak on Win7 build is the custom screensavers.

    I use a program called InstantStorm to create custom screensavers from .swf files (flash videos)
    So I download videos of Youtube (usually AMVs from on of my favorite animes) and convert them
    using FormatFactory. But you have to use custom settings because there is no default setting
    to convert to flash that fits my screen, also raise the bitrate to something acceptable and mute the audio.

  47. Adam

    1. unintsall bloatward
    2. steam
    3. VLC
    4. Glass onion W7 theme
    5. autohide taskbar
    6. modded start orb
    7. change lock screen to super high res white arrow on red background
    8. chrome
    9. mychrometheme
    10. skype
    11. background change, slideshow set for 10s, shuffle

  48. thatguyontheforum

    I’m the kind of person who likes things a particular way. So when I saw this article, I jumped at the opportunity to share. Hopefully I don’t get too far into it, and just keep it short ;)

    An app called DisplayFusion is set up as my default ‘personalization’ tool to accompany my dual monitor config whenever I have the HDMI plugged in. It lets me span the task bar across both screens (or in this case, along the left edge of my laptop, and bottom of the 32″LCD monitor). It gives me other tools like setting up Window Snapping, Default Window Locations (Monitor1 or Monitor2), Hot keys, and Windows Login/Screen Saver. Hence why it is set as my default personalization tool ;)

    Obviously Dropbox, CCleaner, and Media Monkey were a must for me. Then I came across Fences (from Stardock). Icons go into these small windows (or fences) and with just a double click (or hot key press i.e. Esc) the icons disappear! I also replaced Windows Notepad with Notepad++ as the default.

    My last 2 apps that I really enjoy are my Jumplist Launcher: instead of pining endless amounts of icons on the task bar or in the start menu, I just put all my most used shortcuts into the Jumplist, and pin the launcher right onto my task bar. excluding chrome, XMBC and my email. Then theres Rainmeter (Rainmeter is highly customizable, just be careful with your scripts). In the picture you’ll notice a few shortcuts, but they’re not working yet. In my view Rainmeter is pretty much a Windows Gadget on steroids. I get my RSS feeds, notes, and system info all in a dropdown sort of menu.

    Bottom Line.. My HP Pavilion dv6 laptop AMD quad-core @ 8GB of ram and dual Radeon graphics is quite simply the bees knees for me. Paired with win7 ultimate, and a 32″ monitor. It’s awesome.

  49. Meongroup

    Like everone else here there are a host of minor changes, many of them forgotten. However, one change that to me is indispensable is the addition of two new links to the mouse right click screen – ‘Move To’ and ‘Copy To’.

  50. john3347

    The first and most significant thing I do when I install Windows 7 on a computer is to install Classic Shell. This makes an otherwise trash OS workable although still quite less than ideal. I am satisfied that I will have to follow the same procedure if and when I install any Windows 8 instances. I have downloaded and saved a copy of Windows 8 Consumer Preview to DVD, but I have not installed it yet. I have seen the abortion (aka Windows 8) on a friend’s computer and I don’t think I want what I saw.

  51. Michael

    Fujitsu Amilo Laptop 18.5″;
    Change the log on screan,
    Change the deskcop background,

  52. Michael

    Fulitsu Amilo 18.5″ Laptop;
    Change the log on screan,
    Change the desctop background,
    Change the colour scheem,
    Tighten network security,
    Change the printer images to match the ones I have at school,
    Customise the Office settings,
    Laptop tray with 3 fans to hellp keep it cool,
    Two extra monitors at my home desk setup, with wireless keybord and mous and extra sound sytem.

  53. TheFu

    I run a bastard Ubuntu-Server (ssh only) + LXDE. I didn’t want all the crap the other distros had, but want the ability to add newer-than Debian provides.
    * Background – usually from a recent trip overseas
    * Remove the panel (menu for most people)
    * Setup a 3×3 virtual desktop
    * Configure my top 6 commands to be chorded keys for easy launch.
    * Pull my $HOME from a backup server. It has my ~/bin/, .aliases and .Xdefaults that I’ve tweaked the last 15 yrs.

    That last step is hard to explain to someone unfamiliar with UNIX. It makes the system “feel” like mine since all my scripts, aliases, tools and settings are now on it. There are just under 200 items in my ~/bin/ today. The configuration files instantly make programs behave like I expect and both Firefox and Thunderbird are now already setup with favorites, bookmarks, and email credentials to multiple email servers. There’s no place like $HOME.

  54. joebee

    I taped a Glock 17 to the side of my computer just in case someone tries to break into my system and steal all my files.

  55. jeeepers

    Got rid of the docks and gadgets, I use Rainmeter, 7Stacks, XLaunchpad, ClassicShell, Returnil 2011, VirtualBox. 3 variants each of Chrome and Firefox. This is the Win7 HP SP1 side of a triple boot with Netrunner and Fedora 16 KDE. Boot= EasyBCD. Linux partitions are: boot, root, swap and home. HW addons are a Magicjack, Seagate Freeagent 500GB backup external usb drive (not-installed programs, backups, storage and games), 4GB flash card (portable apps), and 4GB readyboost cruzer stick. Question?… how can I send screenshots without attachment upload links ?

  56. Wayne in Indy

    I have three desktops and three laptops I have accumulated over the last several years. I always,

    - remove bloatware
    - remove packaged virus-ware and install MS Security Essentials
    - get all updates installed
    - add RAM if possible
    - create recovery disk
    - load some cool background pictures
    - add a couple reg tweaks for more right click options
    - install Firefox and extensions
    - install the I/O Bit free tuneup suite (uninstall, defrag, reg fix, memory management)

  57. Hayden
  58. Cybervulcan

    I use a combination of Windows blinds and Rain meter to theme my computer as Stargate Atlantis on Windows Vista with appropriate wallpaper icons and soundbytes

  59. Charles Coon

    Crystal skull wallpaper from visual paradox
    Startup programs added:
    perfect menu (so I have an additional menu on the context menu, have access to most everything from right click)
    drop box
    auto hotkey
    win patrol
    Log me in
    Rocket Dock
    12 Ghosts (so no text shows under icons)
    only one icon on desktop (dump) and changed the icon
    I use CCleaner and Microsoft Security essentials
    Running Vista Home Premimum

  60. LizO

    Though I can build a computer myself, I prefer to have a company I have been doing business with since 1997 build my machines to my liking. No bloatware, only an OS. A super simple but a workhorse of a computer. I don’t buy off the shelf. Takes too long to mess with all the crap they put on your machine from the big box stores and usually those are proprietary motherboards so I like to know the motherboard I am getting has room to expand because I hold onto my computers for about 6 years.

    Usually just the motherboard, processor, a hard drive, RAM and a better video card than what’s on board. Nothing else but the fans case and power supply of course with the OS.

    As for customizing my OS, eh, she’s pretty much Plain Jane with a black desktop and only the most important shortcuts or files. I do have, however, DisplayFusion for a second monitor which I do put some wallpaper on but that was mostly for my TV when it was connected and hope to have connected again.

    I let the company I have that build my machine pretty much decide which case I will need to fit the motherboard and future upgrades. Latest is an Antec Three Hundred with a Coolermaster 500 W PS…which is more than I need but it’s super quiet and easy to work in when I need to.

    No frills kind of computer is my kind of computer.

  61. leftnwrite08

    I “converted” my laptop into a US Federation/Starfleet Academy computer.

    -Changed the log-in screen to the Starfleet Academy LCARS Network log-in screen.
    -Changed my profile image to a command Starfleet symbol
    -Changed my desktop to a desktop image of the LCARS network
    -Create my own icons using LCARS layouts/images
    -Changed my Windows sidebar clock to the LCARS clock.

    Here’s a link to what my desktop looks like: http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc304/leftnwrite08/LCARS.jpg

  62. Dominic

    I just change everything so it suits everything, for example if i change the wallpaper, I change the icons.

  63. Mitchell

    first thing I do is install all the bloatware I can find. Then I transfer everything onto a single partition. Then I encourage email from Nigeria and that’s about it.

  64. Zakariah

    Change the boot screen and logon screen.

  65. lsochia

    OH Man… what day and time? my stations are ever changing.

  66. Robyn

    Depends on which system. My desktop I leave pretty much Windows-centric because all it runs in Poser Pro 2012 and Vue Studio 10 (and a few support apps, like Blender and Notepad++ and stuff like that). Auto-updates off. Everything off. No connections are ever made to the Internet.

    My laptop – the main do-it-all PC – is dual-boot Ubuntu 11.10 / Win 7 with extremely rare boots to Windows. Rock-solid, steadily working system I never have much to worry about.

    My netbook: same thing. Didn’t take long to get tired of waiting for Win7 Starter to finish doing stuff before I could do stuff, or being interrupted doing stuff by an ill-mannered Windows cutting in to do its stuff: Linux is polite and knows you’re boss.

  67. ansel

    I installed my dos utilities /scripts developped & acquired over 35 years of computer programming and system analysis. Plus re-installed sysinternals from MS.
    .

  68. Jeffrey C.

    -change welcome screen background
    -apply a few dozen desktop background images and have them change every minute or two
    -change the taskbar preview window sizes
    -decrease the menu delay and desktop preview delay
    -customize all the file and program icons
    -I am meticulous about my file naming structure. all data and file are in a subfolder of “files.” this folder then contains blackberry, frostwire, pictures, documents, program setup files. I know where to find anything.
    -I keep the installation files for every program I install. if i ever wipe the drive and start from scratch it is a breeze to reinstall everything, although I back up anyway.
    -remove hibernation function and decrease page file to make more room on SSD
    -install VMware Player and Ubuntu to fold in background or web browse, among other things. I find
    everything works so much faster and more efficiently in Linux.
    -have all my most used programs and files accessible from start button/menu- no icons on desktop
    -all data goes on spinning hard drive. all programs go on SSD.
    -I index all the drives. with a fast processor and ssd this is a breeze and it causes zero lag.
    -cut out rear grille for exhaust fan- moves more air and quieter!
    -install fan controller front of case
    -use Logitech Illuminated Keyboard- feels just like a laptop keyboard. Nice!

  69. Yoel

    My whole computer is customized (Build it my self (needless to say))
    After re installing windows (Always, first thing download Chrome… followed by antivirus…)
    then the software I need, I always put shortcut keys to my programs (I don’t like to have icons)… its a time saving technique…
    ++ putting my taskbar on the left, changing the log on screen to whatever I want, and update all my drivers…

  70. ted46

    -Reformat the hard drive
    -install DOS 5.0
    -Word Perfect 4.2
    -Pong

  71. George

    Windows 7 Luna Port (Windows XP Style), a photo of Middlesbrough at night from the Dales (UK; that’s where I live!) on the desktop, same on the logon screen. Taskbar set on classic. Finally I have an Orange Dell Inspiron 560 with a custom printed sticker of my Website’s logo.
    http://www.madmonkeystudios.co.uk

  72. SudoBash

    I go with the linux from scratch ideal. My base system is slackware, but I am constantly customizing to the point where it is almost its own distro.

  73. Vixify

    i used object dock… rainmeter2.3->skin enigma….. works wonders…also changed the icons

  74. PC Masterrace

    > Custom built gaming PC.

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