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What You Said: What’s the Best Order for Installing Apps on a New Computer?

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Earlier this week we asked you to share your strategy for installing applications on a new (or rebuilt) computer. The responses piled up and now we’re back to highlight your tips.

A common thread throughout the responses was the hierarchy of importance in installation (core hardware driver updates before installing Angry Birds for example). More cautious users also mixed in backups and drive imaging to provide a safety net. Huuisie might win the award as the most cautious of the bunch with his detailed and backup-laden routine:

STEP 1
————
1. Format and partition HDD – C: for Windows and apps, D: for Data
2. Install Windows 7 and SP1
3. Create 1st system image backup (Backup 1) with Macrium Reflect (can backup RAID5)
(This is now source used when reinstalling from scratch)

STEP 2
————
1. I tweak Windows extensively, so this gets done now
2. Secret sauce is Liberkey – this is installed on D:. Allows me to browse for stuff, use CCleaner, etc. without affecting OS setup and C: drive (keeps it clean). Keeps app install on C: drive (later) to a minimum.
3. All Windows Updates installed
4. Create Backup 2

STEP 3
———–
1. Install Office 2010 (+SP1 now)
2. I tweak Office settings extensively for workflow, so this happens now.
3. Create Backup 3
4. As driver and app updates can change quite a bit and/or have unexpected consequences, I prefer to get my “essential” setup done first.
4. When I get rid of my HP AIO printer (and delete the huge pile of drivers and software it requires) and buy a new AIO (not HP!), I only need to go back this far.

STEP 4
———–
1. Install all drivers and settings for them (Catalyst, printers, etc)
2. Create Backup 4.

STEP 5
———–
1. Install essential apps ‘n other stuff (Firefox, DropBox, Java, DirectX, etc) and all settings.
2. Liberkey and Firefox profile(s) in DropBox
3. Combo of Live Mesh and DropBox keeps files and media synced between PCs.
4. Backup 5 – all done (whew!)

NOTES
———–
1. I know conventional wisdom is to install drivers with Windows and then backup, but I prefer doing it incrementally. As Windows 7 has excellent driver support, I can put this off until I have my core “work” functionality installed.
2. If anything goes wrong with apps or drivers, I don’t have to go to square one.
3 Even if I make major changes (like when I was wrestling with ways to limit Libraries from messing with my file system and workflow), I can:
– install each backup stage
– make necessary changes
– create new (updated) backup stage
– this might be time-consuming, but much less so than doing so from scratch

There have been quite a few installations we’ve done over the years where this kind of thoroughness and staggered backing up would have saved us from a large headache.

2011-07-01_112256

Mark gave us a walkthrough starting with the BIOS (an often overlooked aspect of computer building/updating):

Bare Metal Clean Installs have been my specialty since I was beta testing Windows 95 OSR2 in 1996.

Hardware First

Bios updates are always done prior to installing your OS. You can use the great Ultimate Boot CD to get to a command prompt and flash the motherboard BIOS, then reboot and teak the settings. This will make for a more successful (read: better performing) OS install. On newer systems I like to set the hard drive controller to AHCI SATA mode, not IDE mode, as I find it works smoother with less CPU overhead.

Get any expansion cards installed and have all your hardware ducks in a row BEFORE you begin the OS install.

Software Next

I like to build a custom OS installer for my systems, slipstreaming all the latest updates and drivers into the mix so the system will be totally up-to-date when the OS install completes. The great DriverPacks by Wim Leers and company go a long way to making this happen, and there are some wonderful tech forums where people eat, breathe and sleep this stuff. I used to use nLite and vLite, but now I use something called SMART which can alter the service settings to make the box work faster, be more secure and reliable, for whatever you need to do.

After the OS and current drivers are installed, I like to use System Restore or Ghost to make a backup/save the clean install so if I need to, I can go back to it easily.

I also reboot the system a few times during this phase to populate the Prefetch folder and flush out any startup and shutdown potential problems. Get the networking setup and tested, but don’t go out to the web much until later when security software is installed

Applications, Oldest First, Newest Last

I start with browser, archiving utilities (WinRAR, Firefox), add the Adblock and NoScript plugins, text editor (NotePad++) and FTP (WS_FTP or FileZilla), then the bigger apps, oldest first and newest last.

Very last, install anti-virus, and firewall (I love MS Security Essentials), and something called WinPatrol (Scotty says “woof woof”) which monitors all kinds of system stuff all the time and tells me when something tries to install itself.

YMMV, but this approach has stood me well for many years and hundreds of installations. I am transitioning all this to a virtualized approach, where my host OS will be plain and simple (though secured) and all my apps stuff will be done in easily restored VM disk files.

I love technology. And I love How to Geek!

And we love detailed responses to Ask the Reader queries! The BIOS isn’t traditionally on lists but, as Mark points out, a properly updated BIOS provides the foundation for a stable computer and prevents headaches before they even begin.

2011-07-01_112734

While many people included driver updates in their lists (and usually close to the top), not many people got into the details of driver installation order. Jan chimes in with her Dell-inspired checklist for driver updates:

According to Dell:

The correct order to install drivers on all portable systems is as follows:
Notebook system software
Chipset
Video
Cardbus / Media card controller
Audio
Network
Wireless
Touchpad
Modem
Bluetooth (if available)
Dell Quickset
Any other applications

Whether or not your agree with the order the list is certainly comprehensive enough to ensure that you’ve updated all the major system drivers.

2011-07-01_112145

Finally, Ninite was one of the most popular applications that made repeat appearances in the routines you all shared. We first covered Ninite in 2009 and since then it has only grown in popularity. Ninite allows you to batch download applications using a simple checklist format (saving you hours of digging through all your favorite application’s web sites for download links). Not only does it work well for downloading apps when you first set up the computer but Johann highlights why you should keep your Ninite installer application:

Fellow Ninite users – remember to keep your installer, you can run it again to update all your installed software in one hit. You can even set it as a scheduled task (admin rights) if you like. I do this on all those PCs you get stuck ‘fixing’ for friends and family. What with that and Windows set to update all MS components you know that most of a systems is being regularly patched for any vulnerabilities.

For a more intimate look at all the installation lists make sure to hit up the comment thread on the original Ask the Readers post. Have something to add? It’s not to late too sound off and share your installation wisdom.

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 07/1/11

Comments (37)

  1. Huisie

    Ha!Ha! – thanks for the mention.
    Part of the reason I’m so cautious is sites like HTG with so many useful “got-to-try-that” tips ‘n tricks ‘n tweaks – please keep it up!
    As an example, some really good advice/info from Mark and Jan – must incorporate…

    Part of my reasons for a layered approach to setup is doing installs for family and friends.
    If they have a major problem, it’s easy for them to restore from a backup stage and get up and running again with minimum time lost.

    For each person, I have to do an initial install and setup from scratch, which can be quite a bind.
    Could I suggest an article similar to this on doing remote installs and setups + ongoing maintenance?
    Do the readers have some advice on deploying images and updates to people who may live overseas from themselves?

  2. HunterParty

    man backup is in every section this is pain in the a** . y people just dont first install drivers and other important just important applications and then create a backup of the system drive.

  3. Erez

    Wow, and I thought that I’m an advanced user :D

  4. Earthrat

    HunterParty,

    You spend years developing you favorite list of apps and systems for working with your PC. By the fact you read this board I can assume you don’t run the same system for 10 years like a novice? The reason for the incremental backup and doing it without the drivers should be obvious. Save yourself some time on that new system build by not including your drivers so there is no conflict when you find them irrelevant on your new build, or clone system.

    The real pain is when you need to go back a few steps and because you install everything and then made a backup. Your pain is that you wish you had listened rather than take the easy way out…;)

  5. TsarNikky

    I see someone else got “scorched” by H-P and their very casual non-support of drivers for new OSs. Step 3, above, mentioned an AIO device. This also applies to laser printers and scanners. He is very smart in buying new non-HP devices. I am in that process too.

    Otherwise, his conservative incremental system images minimizes heartburn when one has to go back to an earlier state.

  6. Lance Wilson

    I have to disagree with you about HP. They are one of the few hardware manufacturers that I have found that have provided prolific driver and software support for LInux OS’s. I dual boot my computer so I have about twice the work.

  7. e1sunz

    Bookmarked this page for future use looks really handy

  8. Jim

    Wow! Love the incremental backup approach!

    Now wheres my OS CD?

  9. Bob Eisenberg

    These recommendations are meant to impress more than to use. The many software packages mentioned are useless without some description of what they do, etc. Some cannot be found even
    by Google Search (‘catalyst’).

    Can’t we have some common sense in the author or editor of these remarks?

  10. Marcy Crossman

    HP: I have a 6100 AIO that is still operational that I got years ago. It works great with Windows XP. However, when Windows 7 came out, HP decided I needed to purchase a new AIO and made it so the printer worked. No new drivers for scanning.

    I got an HP 6500. If I don’t install it right after a windows reinstall I have trouble all along the way. I have had to reinstall my machine twice because of this printer. Once, on the phone with an HP tech, I gave him access to my machine. Before I knew it he was in my registry and I couldn’t stop him. After calming down I reinstalled my machine. :-( Never had a problem with the 6100 and Windows XP.

    I will try to stick with HP though. We bought a Photosmart 1000 in 1998 and in 2009 it was still working just fine. It stayed with the Ex. The 6100 was refurbished and bouoght in 2005 and still works with my XP desktop.

    I notice in this article the information seems to be for a desktop with a second HD. How about laptops and netbooks with only one drive?

    Windows 7 has made reinstalling real easy. All my machines have the installation files on the drive compared to the old way of having to install from CD’s. All you have to do is keep track of the key if you have upgraded to a higher Windows 7.

    I’m a normal user so I don’t do Unix and FreeBSD etc. I do use the command line occasionally when it’s the only way to do something like rename a file. :-)

  11. tommy2rs

    Step 1. Remove Windows

    Step 2. Install whatever Linux flavor I’m currently interested in.

    Step 3. Tinker until I’m bored.

    Step 4. Go to Step 2

  12. Ed

    Save yourself big bucks and download and install Ubuntu Linux 11.04, does everything the Microsoft garbage does and does it way faster. I changed to linux in 2002 and have not had a single problem of any kind and also not one Virus or spyware-malware problem or infection either

  13. Bodsda

    I seriously disagree with taking backups at every step. It is an unnecassary waste of time if you consider how long each backup process ‘could’ take versus how often a system build goes irrepairably wrong.

    I personally have never seen a computer that needed a complete rebuild to fix it.

    In my opinion, system restore points should be used before driver installation for major components, like the chipset or raid controller, but apart from that, no other backup is needed until the full system build is completed.

    @Huisie – if your having to do complete rebuilds everytime someone has a problem, you seriously need to work on your troubleshooting skills – not only is it almost always unneeded, the potential data loss is a high enough risk to warrant spending the time fixing the actual problem, and educating the user on how to avoid it in the future.

    @Anyone who agrees with the multiple backup method – Please provide examples of system build cockups that are impossible to revert, because I can’t think of any, and therefore can’t ever see me having to restart my entire build process.

    @HunterParty – +1

    Bodsda

    P.s: why use a seperate partition for apps and data? It doesn’t improve I/O throughput (unless on a seperate physical disk) and it doesn’t conserve space??

  14. pyro226

    “I used to use nLite and vLite, but now I use something called SMART which can alter the service settings to make the box work faster” Does anyone know what software this person is reffering to? I tried to search around for it, but I couldn’t find anything.

  15. Dave Morton

    @Bodsda:

    I take it that you’ve never had a HDD catastrophically fail? Not only can this lead to the necessity of a complete OS rebuild, it can also lead to complete loss of all data stored, as well. This is the most important reason (but not the only one) why it’s important for me (I can’t speak for anyone else) to maintain a separation of OS and data on separate physical drives. I’m sure that the vast majority of the readers here at HTG already know of the importance and value of regular backups, but I’m also quite sure that those of us who were foolish enough to not only let others know that we “work on computers”, but to also (also foolishly) actually do so for friends and/or family have learned to our dismay that there are a vast number of people out there with computers who don’t know a backup from a batch file, and in my experience, it’s far easier to do a complete OS install, then a couple of VB scripts that point the new OS to all of the correct data locations than it is to dig out a (most likely non-existent) backup disk, should the OS disk crash. If the data drive fails, and they don’t have a backup, well (hopefully) lesson learned, and you now have a computer user who has a new religion, now chanting the mantra: “Back-up-often! Back-up-often!”

    As for the “layered approach” of backing the OS up after each stage, I’m not quite as fastidious as others here, but I DO try to put in at least two backups during the process, just in case. When doing a clean OS install, there isn’t all that much to backup, so the process doesn’t take anywhere near as long as going back to “square one”, and the extra time taken is often less than going to the kitchen for a fresh cup of coffee, so where’s the “heartache”? Best to have made that backup and not need it, than to need it, and not have it.

  16. Serena

    I agree with the backup of image at different stages, if you do update to a new computer there would be a number of drivers you would not use anymore, and some of them are quite large, as to conflicts, I don’t believe that would be a problem, if drivers are not been used, they don’t get used.

    when I have installed a new vid card (for example sake) and it obviously uses different drivers to the previous one, I have not searched through the computer un-installing the previous one and then installing the new drivers.

    I keep two lots of images the original image at different stages and they get put aside for when I want to make a different one with different equipment and or programs.

    Once I have finished, I make a full images (every week, only keeping two at any one time) so if I get any nasties I switch over to the other computer to carry on with what i was doing and let it do its thing of re-imaging my hard drive. which does not take long at all.

    I also keep drivers from every computer in case original disc’s get damaged. separately I also save favorites and email address book etc every week

    Its been a long time since I have got any nasties though, the other thing I make sure is that I keep my computer very simple, I don’t have more than one of everything, I don’t have programs I may not even use sometimes start running in the background like PDF programs etc.

    I don’t like programs running in the background when I am not using them, it takes a second or two longer to open than it would if it was running in the background, this does not bother me if I don’t use them often. I also do updates manually, I have set times I do them, I hate nothing more than updates happening when I am doing something that is using a lot of resources and I don’t want to stop what I am doing to do a re-boot.

    Most of what is written and suggested is common sense but ideas that may not have occurred to use, thanks Huuisie and others

  17. Bodsda

    @Dave Morton
    Sure, I’ve had hard drives fail on me, but the post was talking about partitioning, not seperate drives like you were suggesting. Seperate drives is a great idea for your data, seperate partitions for data makes no sense.

    I’m not suggesting that OS or data backups are pointless, I’m ssaying that 5 midway backups of initial system setup is pointless

  18. Bodsda

    I find it astonishing that technically minded people such as those who read these posts, would rather reimage their pc than fix the actual problem.I guess some people just find that easier. But seriously, where is your sense of investigation and enthusiasm towards solving problems! I always get a warm fuzzy feeling when I manage to fix a computer that other people would have resorted to a reimage to fix.

    Bodsda

  19. rohn

    @Bodsda
    It is not just “system build” problems that require OS re-install. The backups are necessary for HD failures and severe malware infections that cannot be cleaned up without excessive effort

    I have to agree with Dave’s comments and Hussie’s process. Although there are more backups in it than I do, doing FULL IMAGE COPY (NOT “incremental” backups, let each one stand alone, more space but faster recovery) backups during initial setup WILL save MOST people time down the road. Not only as Dave suggested HDD failures, but simple Windoze “slowdown” or malware infection will require most people to “re-install” Windows. Having an image copy backup to restore to is MUCH faster than rebuilding/re-installing from scratch. I have to congratulate you on never having to re-install windows. And at the same time, caution you … “you’re due for a crash …”

    “Why use separate apps and data partition?” …
    Windows is still living with an installation design from the 1980′s: “everything (OS, Apps & Data) on the C: drive” because HD’s were tiny (by current standards) and much more expensive ($500 to upgrade to a 80MB (not GB) drive on my first computer). Since you say you haven’t had to do an OS re-install you haven’t encountered the “joy” of learning that all of your personal data files have been lost in a HD crash. It HURTS! Given the size of HD’s commonly installed it is an insignificant effort to setup a separate DATA partition (logical Drive is the minimum, separate HD for the really paranoid geek). Now when you are forced to re-install Windows you do not have to worry about “nuking” your data files. If you take the extra step of relocating your Windows personal profile to the DATA drive, then many (not all, still need the registry) of your personal application configuration settings are saved too. NOTE: even with a DATA drive, you still MUST backup that DATA partition to protect against HD failures!

    @HunterP
    The “unneeded” backups are only a PITA until you have to do a re-install. Having more than one backup point allows you choice in what point you restore to. Maybe you want to change your application mix, so you can go all the way back to one of the OS only backups.

    @Mark
    Thanks for reminding us about BIOS updates. Very good idea.

    There is one step I’d add before doing at least some of the backups. That is Disk Defrag. The installation process uses lots of temp files that get deleted as part of the installation, freeing up small blocks of space that are used by subsequent file saves. The result is that after simply installing windows if you check you ‘ll see a thoroughly fragmented drive. Add multiple application installs and things get really fragmented. Defragging will take a little time, but it will also save a little (less) time during the backup. And it gives your computer a little (typically imperceptible) performance boost.

  20. Dave Morton

    I should have pointed out that, in the case of HDD failure (which is the most frequent reason for my ever having to do a full re-install of the OS, with massive malware infestations a distant second), having your data on a different partition of the same physical drive is often times just as bad as having it on the same partition, since head thrashing, impact damage, or even bullet holes (yes, bullet holes. THAT was a fun one! All I could salvage was the video card!) will render the entire drive useless. I agree with Bodsda’s unspoken inference that a wipe/re-install of the OS should be an absolutely final option for repair, since, as I’ve mentioned before, the risk of important data loss goes markedly up under those circumstances.

    @rohn:
    I whole-heartedly agree with a defrag, usually post-OS/driver install, and pre-application install. I’m told that Win 7 keeps better care of disk fragmentation, but honestly I haven’t had enough dealings with Win 7 to make my own assessment. I do know that I’m not completely satisfied with XP’s built-in defrag utility, so use third party solutions, which give me more options and control. I’ll be so much more content when SSD’s are the norm, where defragmentation is not only unnecessary, but actually discouraged, since the drive’s performance largely isn’t affected by fragmentation, and the extra read/write activity actually reduces the service life of the drive.

    Also @rohn:
    Ah, those were the days, eh? I still remember storing all of my programs and data on a cassette drive! Hard drives weren’t even available then, unless you worked for the government! :)

  21. Mike

    First, thanks to all the comments, reminders and new ideas. I am partial to the data partition or if available a separate HD. but I like to rather than refer to the partition or drive with a letter such as “G:\” refer to it as a folder within default directory. Not talking about symbolic links. That way things seem normal to the OS, installers and apps.

    There are a couple other partitions I add when installing, first is Windows Swap. It is normally the first 4 to 8 GB on the faster disk available. Next is the TEMP or TMP partition of similar size. Configure environment variables to point here. IE or Firefox cache can make use too. You never need to back it up. You don’t need to defrag it. Both these areas of the HD are accessed fastest and are also used for short term working memory unless you just have way too much ram, and if that is the case then set a ram disk for TEMP. That way all temp files disappear with a reboot.

    A lot of you will notice the idea being borrowed from Unix/Linux. It works just as well with Windows.

    Back on track with the initial idea, I also agree with the multiple backups during the setup process. I too setup and configure many different systems with different hardware and application configurations. The various backups can be used to expedite the installations. To stay current with slipstream installers would be a full time job. Window Offline Update for x86, x64 and Office is easy enough to handle. In a corporate or even home network an ISO file can handle keeping updates current and it is easy enough to keep on an external HD or dongle to update solitary machines.

    A post installer can easily handle installing a core batch of apps. This too can be stored as an ISO and different versions can be stored on NAS or an external HD.

    I make backups of the driver disks as well, all stored as an ISO. I guess I’d have to say I store any and all installation as an ISO including the various Windows, Unix and Linux installers.

    Much of my work is with VMs, but I use the same principles for both physical and virtual.

    I use Acronis True Image for the final disk image. A handy feature is that if the physical machine goes down, it can be up and running again in less time that (as was mentioned) it takes to go into the next room and get a coffee.

  22. kdgillilan

    I understand the importance of making back ups and images. Having recently rebuilt my laptop after 3+ yrs of use, I would rather have had a utility that would simply re-install the windows operating system without wiping out everything else on my C: drive. If someone could build a utility that would copy valid windows files back over the current os files and possibly interrupt every time it finds a difference between the current file and the correct file. Ask the user, “do you want to re-install this file?”
    I don’t know that much about the windows operating system nor how viruses and mal-ware implant themselves, but often times I find that it is my OS that becomes corrupt and all I need to do is re-establish it without necessarily rebuilding everything I have installed.

  23. Dave P

    Would someone explain where we can get a copy of “SMART” to tryout. It’s a waste of time searching for a word like smart I got 541 million results to trawl through.

  24. octect

    When I read letters like this, sometimes I think nobody is working in a corporate environment. Especially letters like Ed´s and his Linux comment. I use Ubuntu too myself, and have for many years; also have more than 10 or so servers running Linux, from Red Hat to Ubuntu too, but as a workstation I would NEVER, EVER, NEVER use it in a corporate env as a business solution. Never as it stands now. It is mostly useless in that respect and terribly expensive ( free, yeah, right ). And, of course, calling Windows trash is just childish. About the viruses, ask the Apple guys, the kings of the viruses worry free community. Soon as it begins to be viable and popular, viruses appear. Same goes for Android. And that proves my point, Linux is not there yet. I don’t do anything that is talked about here. I use Windows Deployment services and install from an image I have made. My friends, I just help them click the Next button. Then I go for a motorcycle ride.

  25. Rick S

    After reading all the comments I realize how much I don’t know and thanks to them I learn a little more all the time. The comments have turned into a learning tool for me and I bet one hell of a lot of other people too. To all you Geeks out there, Thanks.

  26. Neb

    Hi guys!
    Yes, you can do all that and go through all the steps, thoroughness and staggered backing up… or you can just switch to Linux and be done with it. Just a thought. Cheers!

  27. Neb

    As for the comment: “Linux is not there yet…” – maybe, I would say that it is only your opinion. I am, however, curious why is MS using Linux as their server choice? Cheers!

  28. Bodsda

    @Neb – I like linux as much as the next geek, but the fanboy comments aren’t really warranted, especially when they insinuate that linux systems don’t need backups. — when people say that linux isn’t there yet, I would say 95% of the time they mean the linux desktop, not the server.

    @Ron – I’ve had my fair share of failures and infection, corruption, accidental deletion and once when I was bored; deliberate deletion :) but I still think your missing the point.
    The 5 step backup process is pointless when you consider that all of the changes could be easily reverted. All you need is a final image.

    In what scenario is it good to have a ‘before drivers image’, ‘before MS Office config image’ and a ‘before app install image’ as well as a ‘final image’ – why wouldn’t you just use the final image and make any slight changes after that?

    Bodsda
    As for the disk failures, I totally agree with data on a seperate physical disk, no doubt about that one, but why put data on a seperate ‘partition’ of the same physical disk where the OS is stored?

  29. octect

    Hi Neb. Yes, of course it is my opinion. I have some 20 years of corporate experience, and this is what i learned by trial and error. It is not like we have not tried. Just like OpenOffice. Same thing. Now they are giving it away cause the can’t do anything with it. As for MS and their Linux servers … this is a folk saga / story. I surely think they use them.But not as their sever of choice. In my company we have 10 plus linux servers, as I said ( and 10 plus Windows servers ). No problems with either of them. None at all. I specified workstations. They are too expensive to use. Too many problems, too difficult for office work, far too complicated to maintain. Of course, once again, it is my opinion. I just want to make the point clear that I am not a “fan” of this or that. I open to everything, I use personally Win 7, and Ubuntu 10.04, windows mobile for work and Android for me. It is just my honest experience only.

  30. Andrew James

    I’ve been using Windows AIK and imagex to build my systems. I now have a windows 7 SP1 image(fully updated), with Microsoft Security Essentials, Adobe Reader, PowerIso, Winrar 3.3, silverlight, flash, vlc.

    Got the whole image(64bit, but currently working on a 32bit) on my 8GB USB drive, which I now can just install on any machine within an hour(depending on USB speed).

    Really is my new base windows backup.
    Everything I need if I need to rebuild a system in a hurry.

    Note: I am a IT Technician and often re-build my company’s clients old computers, either because they got some upgrades or need to be re-built due to viruses or user generated problems.
    Highly recommend anyone who has to do re-builds to setup up a AIK system.
    Just Google the acronym to find out more( AIK = Automated Installation Kit, it is a free program from Microsoft. Took me 2 days to learn and setup a fully working Automated USB installation).

  31. fmpasia

    why backup? if you can create a restore point.

    Backing up a system order is way way off in installation, setting up and preparing PCs. it is just not acceptable for me to backup every progress you made.

  32. stewart

    Nobody mentioned Adobe. Those products have to be installed on a clean machine. I install them, then Goolge Chrome and then MSSecurity Essentials pretty much last.

  33. Crab

    Hey Linux guys, you’re forgetting that people run applications, not operating systems. When they come out with Photoshop for Linux then maybe I can go back to Linux. Until then, Windows 7 stays (and before you mention GIMP, no it isn’t). I like Linux just fine, I just don’t find it all that useful.

  34. E.W.

    Out with Open Office.org and In with Libre Office.

    SMART can be found at The Windows Club. That means, if you search the phrase; SMART + The Windows Club, you will probably find it. Turn on “descriptions” in Google search.

    It doesn’t create a slipstreamed Windows disk or anything like that. It just helps eliminate some Services most of us don’t need or use.

    GIMP has a UI interface container now. You just have to look for it. I haven’t tried it.. it’s a huge download for me. Photoshop Elements does the job for me.

  35. badger
  36. Mike

    Crab, you’re right. Linux doesn’t cover it all. I run them both because of this. Photoshop in windows. Don;t even think about installing it in Wine. It’ll run just takes forever.

    Many here have commented saying anti-virus is close to the end in installation. Depending on where you get you software and what kinds of software you’re installing maybe the anti-virus should be put in before windows ;-) I’m talking even programs like Gimp mentioned above. it can be repacked by anyone (you know what I mean) and all those browser bars from ask, google, yahoo, utorrent, winamp etc are becoming more and more prevalent. Even fonts and codecs.

  37. joffin1981

    DaveMorton_ I agree with the importance of defragging. I use a third party utility called “My Defrag,” Formerly JK Defrag” I believe. This program has disc optimization which will move move all the system files to the fastest part of the disk and will create spaces for temp files and page files. It also allows you to select if you are defragging a data disk or OS disk for optimization purposes.

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