Queue (programmerqueue) wrote,

Defaults Are For Newbies

I'm often asked what changes I make to a new Windows installation and what software I install first. I'll use XP as an example, but most of these changes work with other versions of Windows as well. I'll save the explanation of how to accomplish some of these items for future posts, but you can probably find them with google.

  • Show the Quick Launch tool bar in the taskbar

  • Customize my Windows Explorer settings (unhide all files, show extensions, etc.)

  • Copy Windows Explorer and Command Prompt shortcuts to the desktop and to the quick launch bar

  • Customize the Taskbar and Start Menu settings

  • Customize the desktop, display settings, and install drivers as necessary

  • Install anti-virus and firewall software

  • Install Tweak UI and customize settings

  • Install Command Prompt Here power toy

  • Install the old Windows 95 Target power toy (yes, even in XP)

  • Install any office productivity software (such as Microsoft Office)

  • Download and install all patches, recommended updates, etc.

  • Hack the sysoc.inf file to unhide all Windows components, then forcibly remove MSN Explorer and Windows Messenger.

  • Install all other software I may want on the machine

I keep all software that I regularly install on a USB memory stick so that I am always ready to create new installations. The whole process from clean hard drive to customized, functioning system takes me less than 2 hours.
Tags: os, tips

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