New Windows PC - Preparation for Use

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by TheKid7, Jun 27, 2013.

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  1. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    What do you do to a newly purchased "Name Brand" Windows PC before you consider it ready for routine use? Please add to and/or modify the following list.

    Examples:

    1. Decrapify the PC. Which software do you use for this task (i.e., PC Decrapifier, etc.)?

    2. Uninstall provided Antivirus Trial and install the 'desired' Antivirus/Security Suite.

    3. Scan the PC for Malware?

    4. Install additional 'desired' Anti-Malware Software (i.e., Sandboxie, AppGuard, etc.).

    5. Make an Image (to safe location) of the entire hard drive (Before and After Step #1, above?).

    6. Install 'desired' Software (i.e., Firefox, Firefox Add-ons, etc.).

    Thanks in Advance.
     
  2. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i would create first a 'base' image, then start tweaking.

    you can take images at different stages through this process.
    if things go wrong, you don't have to redo all the work...
     
  3. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    I wouldn´t scan a new PC for malware. I think it´s a waste of time, unless there is something concrete that suggest otherwise. A basic step for me is to reduce the size of the Windows partition and create a data partition. And, in an UEFI system, I would backup the whole disk before doing anything and after creating the data partition. Additionally, I would create backups of the Windows partition at several points in the initial setup process. All considered, a long and tedious process.
     
  4. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    I reformat the drive and install a "standard" ISO. You have to make sure you have things like the drivers and product key ready though. If they have a way of making recovery discs you may want to do that first (unless you want to just leave the recovery partition for that).
     
  5. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    I highly disagree. Any new hardware, be it a PC, hard drive, or flash memory should be scanned before use. It shouldn't take long on a new machine with minimal software installed at the point. Is someone is manufacturing infected hardware then someone gets to be the first one to find it. Might as well be you.

    I usually manually uninstall all crapware from a new PC before setting it up for someone to use (I build my own for myself). I don't use any particular tools for that unless necessary. I would make an image before doing anything if it is someone else's PC and then another is good when it is done and ready.
     
  6. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    I bought a new notebook recently and this is what I did in relation of your list:

    1) I checked carefully all the programs supplied by the manufacturer (Samsung in my case) and some of the utilities supplied are great additions for checking the functionality of the machine. Some programs are useless but some are indeed very useful. This of course can change with different manufacturers. I personally would not let a software decide what is good or bad for my needs.

    2) Definitely. Guess what AV was pre-installed on my machine?

    3) If you are paranoid yes, I didn't. There is always a chance that something might be picked up as malware, and in fact it could be an FP (Emisoft still detects Rollback Rx as a rootkit, by letting it clean it, the program breakes).

    4) Yes I would.

    5) Probably the most important step.

    6) It goes without saying
     
  7. Windows_Security

    Windows_Security Registered Member

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    1. Make windows recovery to keep on DVD
    2. De-install useless software using their regular installers
    3. Install all the software I use (office plus utility/maintenance softwar)
    4. Make "Office" backup image also to keep as (clean) [your 6]
    5. Cleanup/Decrapify PC and save (lean)
    6. Install security software/tweak settings and save image (mean) [your 4]
     
  8. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Well I really like Geek Uninstaller, but in reality just using Add/Remove programs is all that is needed.

    I wouldn't do so, as when I install antivirus software it will detect any active malware if there is any (and it knows how to detect it).

    I don't use any such software.

    I would just run the included software to create recovery DVDs if it is included.

    I would just do an image after this.
     
  9. SirDrexl

    SirDrexl Registered Member

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    Before allowing the computer to connect to the internet for the first time, I do the following. The order isn't really important; it's just a "to-do" list. I might have left something out, but this should be most of it.

    1. Install recently downloaded AV of choice.
    2. Install latest drivers. My network hardware does not automatically get a driver in Windows 7, so I don't have to unplug the cord - I just hold off installing that until I'm ready to connect. If you want to follow this and you're not sure about your PC, you may want to leave the ethernet cord disconnected/not enter your wi-fi password.
    3. Make any system changes, like configuring the Recycle Bin, disabling hibernation, disabling System Restore (I don't use it), DEP, etc.
    4. Remove any unwanted Windows components. For me, this is everything in the list except IE8 (since it's required to update to IE10) and Windows Search. Do this before Windows Update, since removing WMP for instance will cut down on the number of updates a bit.
    5. Disable some unnecessary services, like Remote Registry, Print Spooler (obviously don't do this if you have a printer), Windows Time, etc.
    6. Get my alternative (currently MVPs) HOSTS file in place. You might want to do this between driver installations, since I think it needs a reboot to take effect.
    7. Install and do basic configuration of a firewall, if using a third-party FW.

    Just after enabling the connection, but before using/downloading a web browser, I install any pertinent Windows Updates. This is the point where I create the standard user account, and set up security policies.

    You can create images at whichever points you feel fit.

    Then for me everything is installed "on demand." Basic stuff like a web browser obviously gets installed right away, but for anything I don't need at the moment can wait. For example, if I don't plan on playing a game for a few days I won't bother to install Steam until then.
     
  10. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    So far, I have only uninstalled one item from my new (refurbished) Lenovo Laptop: Microsoft Office 2010 Trial. In a few days, I plan to remove the McAfee Internet Security 30 Day Trial and replace it with Bitdefender.

    Attached is a list of installed software on my Lenovo Laptop. Please suggest what you would consider not necessary/not desirable.

    Thanks in Advance.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    TheKid7,

    Can you open an Administrator Command Prompt. Press Enter after each of the following lines...

    diskpart
    list vol
    list disk
    select disk 0
    list par

    Can you post screenshots of the output? It will show all your hidden partitions including the one not present in Disk Management.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  12. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Thank you.

    Attached is the screenshot that you requested.
     

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  13. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  14. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Thank you.

    However, I don't understand which ones are needed for a restore in the event of hard drive failure. Normally, I would think that it would be only Partitions 4 & 5 (128 MB Reserved and 418 GB Primary). Which ones should I select when I do the Imaging in the future?
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    After a HD failure you will need to restore most of the partitions. I gather you have created an Entire drive backup. The only partition that changes now is the Win8 partition so it's the only one you need to image regularly.

    If you have a HD failure, replace the HD and restore your current Entire drive image to the empty HD. Then restore your most recent Win8 image to the Win8 partition. Easy.

    If you have a software issue, virus, etc, just restore the latest Win8 image to the same HD.

    Questions?
     
  16. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Thank you.

    I understand now.
     
  17. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    Remove all bloat software or reimage with a Win7x64 Pro or Win8x64 Pro image.

    Optimize PC by turning off sync files, system restore, setting page file properly instead of letting the OS manage it, etc.

    Run Windows Updates and make sure all .Net Frameworks are installed

    Then start installing software and make an image.
     
  18. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    With the image you attached you can remove Amazon, Intel AppUp Center, Lenovo Easy Camera, Lenovo Photos, Lenovo PowerDVD10, McAfee, Nitro Pro, and Power2Go.

    The energy management needs to stay on the laptop. Lenovo builds their hotkey functionality into the power management software. If you remove that then you dont get access to Fn+F2 for wireless, etc.
     
  19. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Thank you.

    How do you 'turn off sync files' and how do you 'set the page file properly'?
     
  20. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Thank you.
     
  21. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    To turn off Sync Files in Win 7 go to the control panel > Sync Center > Manage Offline Files > Click Disable Offline Files > Apply and Ok.

    For Paging file you should never allow the system to manage it. It should always be 1-1.5x the amount of RAM that you have. To modify it go to Control Panel > System > Advanced System Settings > Advanced Tab > Performance Settings > Advanced Tab Again > Change Virtual Memory. Set to custom size. If you have 4Gbs of RAM it would be Initial Size of 4096Mb and Max size of 6144Mb.
     
  22. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I just thought of another question. When restoring only the Windows 8 partition, what Image for Linux restore settings do I use?

    Thanks in Advance.
     
  23. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I'd use...

    Validate Before Restore
    Validate Byte-for-Byte
    Log Results to File

    But the two Validates are optional and can be omitted if you are in a real hurry. They do make the process more robust at the expense of extra time.
     
  24. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Thank you.

    I have never Restored only a regular partition. So basically you just select the Image file that you want to restore and the destination partition along with any of the options that you mentioned above.

    I am so used to selecting 'Set Active' and 'Restore First Track'.
     
  25. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Correct. Set Active doesn't apply in a UEFI system as there is no Active partition. You don't need to restore the First Track as it is already present.

    For an Entire drive restore using a Global Geometry setting of 2048 sector alignment...

    tick these Options....
    . Scale to Fit
    . Align to Target
    . Validate Before Restore
    . Validate Byte-for-Byte
    . Remove Gaps on Restore
    . Log Results to File
    First Track Sectors AUTO
     
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