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New Computer Preparation

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#1 Paraclitus


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Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:28 PM

Hello, I just got a new computer for the first time in a long while. I've done a lot of thinking over the years on security and maintenance. I've got a process I intend to go through and I've refined it as I've helped family members setup their new computers.

I'm wondering, is there anything in the list below that I've forgotten? Anything in the wrong order? I'd really appreciate any input.

Thanks very much.


Note, throughout this process create System Restore points from time to time.

Create admin account
Transfer AVG on thumb drive (if you can find full download version)
Install AVG
Transfer Firefox current version on thumb drive
Install Firefox
Install Firefox add-ons (NoScript)
Connect to LAN
Run Windows Update
Install additional security utilities

Emsisoft AntiMalware

Verify Windows Security Settings

Windows Firewall

Create non-admin user accounts
Install additional device drivers

printer driver
video card driver
scanner software

Migrate Firefox Bookmarks & IE Favorites
Install other software for enhanced browsing

Adobe Reader
Adobe Flash
Adobe Shockwave

Install other utilities

TreeSize Free
Digest-It MD5 hash utility

Install Recovery Console
Install other software

Digital camera software

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:55 AM

Any/all procedures employed with a new system...is personal opinion, IMO.

That said...

Why the use of USB devices?

Desktop or laptop?

OEM system or self-built?

My process is simple...I assemble my system (if self-built). If OEM laptop, I just turn it on.

First thing I do is install chipset and LAN drivers from CD. I want Internet connectivity right from the start. Once I have that, I activate my version of Windows.

Once I have connectivity, I go to Windows Update right away and install some critical updates. After system reboots from installation of those updates, I go online, download and install something other than AVG. I prefer Avira Free, but Microsoft Security Essentials and Avast Free are also reliable alternatives. I update the AV.

I then download/install SUPERAntiSpyware and update same.

I then install any other drivers I have ignored that require installation...I do not install a modem driver since I haven't used a modem in years...I disable that item in the BIOS.

Then I worry about other programs. I don't believe installing multiple copies of the same type of program (malware preventatives) is useful and my experience is that SAS does the job for that area.

Once I've done the basics...activated, installed critical updates, installed additional system defenses and ensured that all basic system functions are working well (Windows firewall is activated by default), then I randomly install other programs I think I immediately need.

I already have backups made of data files...including Favorites, Address Book, Cookies...so those are of no concern.


#3 Paraclitus

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:07 PM

Louis, thanks for your reply.

Yes, this is definitely not in the category of a single correct answer.

As to your questions,

The use of the USB devices is a hold-over from when I would install my Anti-Virus software and favorite browser before putting the computer online. This isn't always possible anymore due to many downloads (including AVG 2013 Free) being only a stub downloader. As I've got the Windows firewall enabled and a couple of hardware firewalls between the computer and the internet, this is overkill. I think I'll re-write my docs to remove that step.

I'll answer the last two together, this is a Dell XPS 8500 desktop system with Windows 7 already installed and activated. Though I prefer building my own or at least specing them out myself time was at a premium. I ordered mine online from Costco for the sake of a better return policy.

Thanks for the feedback,


#4 Kram B

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:43 AM

Programs are opinion, but you should check out http://www.ninite.com

It has all basic programs in one little installer, which is very convient. You can just download it and walk away for it to do it's magic.

Though my personal sequence is to install all the latest drivers, and since you have a prebuilt you can use your Service Tag at your manufacturer's website.

After that I install all updates and restart as needed, and continue to check for updates until there are none left.

Then I install programs with ninite.

Since you are using Firefox I suggest to use Adblock, NoScript, Greasemonkey, HTTPS Everywhere, and whatever else you like.

Since I am my computers only user I do not need to setup other accounts and such.

I disable needless services, startup programs, Windows Features, and I edit my indexing to Start Menu only.

I also edit my boot. I make sure that it uses all my cores and that there is no GUI boot.

Edited by Kram B, 20 November 2012 - 08:48 AM.

#5 Baltboy


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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:39 AM

There is no need to create an admin account on win7. A default one is there and disabled by default so no need to mess with it. The first user will be an Admin account by default as well. I personally use this for my own day to day use...even though it isn't recommended..and use UAC as an extra buffer. If you have younger or not so savvy users then create user accounts....but they will need access to the admin password in order to do just about anything worthwhile. Even some programs require it to run because of the way UAC interperets their actions.

The rest of the programs and how it works is a personal journey. Although I tend to follow a similar approach except I connect directly to the internet to install the AV. Win 7 firewall is actually okay and is on by default.

Oh and you can get full (off line) install versions of the latest AVG by searching "AVG free full installation download" at google.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
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#6 Paraclitus

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:32 AM

Kram B & Baltboy, thanks very much for your feedback. I've updated my new computer list with many of your suggestions.

Baltboy, this is a family computer, so it was my intention to use non-admin accounts for most things. I had a Windows XP home computer where I configured it this way and it was little trouble. There were a few older apps that wouldn't run in non-admin accounts, but they were very few. I'll have to see how that works with Windows 7.

I eventually had to have my account at work on my Win 7 computer converted to an admin account because it was too limiting. I'm not sure if it would have worked out just to have access to an admin account and then use a non-admin most of the time. I guess I'll find that out at home in the coming weeks.


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