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August 30th, 2011
August 30th, 2011

Windows 7 Fresh Install Tips

Start right with some fresh install tips for Windows 7

Having just completed a fresh install of Windows 7, it seemed fitting to share some tips for starting off right with your new (or renewed as was the case for me) system. A good fresh install for an existing system may take several days but the speed and space improvements are usually worth it every couple of years.

The following is for a Asus P8P67 Deluxe core i5 2500K 16GB RAM system installed on a Crucial M4 256GB SSD. eVGA GTX 570 and dual Samsung Syncmaster 2343 monitors.

Install Notes

Because we´re using a SSD we took care NOT to format the drive apart from that no special considerations during system install were necessary.

Post Install

Install all system hardware drivers first (especially SATA drivers)
Install all remaining hardware drivers and verify everything works (ie: monitors at hi-rez sound, peripherals etc)
Run in ALL windows updates (at the time of writing with SP1 this took about 7 reboots and several hours)

Disable non essential services

Windows 7 comes with more services activated then most users require - turning off some of them will make things run faster and use less ram. For an exahustive list of what is and is not required you can peruse the Services List on the Black Viper Website
We disabled the following
  • Application Management
  • Distributed Link Tracking Client
  • Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service - never use windows media player especially not for sharing
  • IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules - not using IPsec - few home users will.
  • Offline Files - we don´t ever use offline file access
  • IP Helper - Unless you´re using ipv6 you don´t need this.
  • Windows Search - I don´t search often - if I do I´ll wait rather then waste time, power, and space having windows index all my files in the background.
  • Bluetooth Support Service - don´t use bluetooth (many may need this we don´t)
  • Superfetch - since we´re using a SSD we turn this off keep it on if you are using a normal  Drive.

Install Essential free software

We also install the following on pretty much any computer:
Firefox
Thunderbird
Adobe Air
Adobe Flash Player (32bit so Firefox can use it)
Textpad
VLC
IMGBurn
Libre Office

Reconfigure Paging Files

If your system has multiple drives - it´s always a good idea to spread out the paging files away from just the system drive onto the other drives. This machine has 8 drives so we split the paging file into 2Gb chunks one on each drive. You can do this from the "System Properties" then "Advanced System Settings" then Performance Settings. You will need to reboot when finished.

Turn OFF Thumbs.db nuisance files

Follow the instructions here:
http://www.pawprint.net/news/article/84/Prevent-Windows-7-Thumbs-db-Files/

Turn OFF UAC

As a power user the UAC dialogs are more annoying then helpful - I always turn them off. just type "UAC" into the start menu and you see "change user account control" drag the slider to the bottom if you feel comfy doing that.

Adjust Power Management

Experience has shown that allowing a computer to "sleep" is generally a bad thing - this always gets disabled for any system (with the exception of a laptop when running on battery) To control this type "power" into the start menu and cilck on "Change Power Options" then change plan settings under the Balanced plan (which should be selected) and set the screen timeout to a reasonable value for you. We always use 15 mins - we set the sleep time to "never"

Clean up

Run TFC (Temp File Cleaner) to remove all the mess from all the installs - at this point that was about 2Gb of temp files in our case. You should do this again after you install all your primary software and restore your preferences and user data if it´s a re-install.

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