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  1. #1
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    Tips for setting up a new Windows 10 system




    TOP STORY


    Tips for setting up a new Windows 10 system


    By Lincoln Spector

    Willingly or not, you've purchased a new PC — and it has Windows 10 installed.

    But you've got plenty of chores to do before you can play (er, work) with your new machine.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/tips-for-setting-up-a-new-windows-10-system/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Tracey Capen; 2016-01-25 at 18:34.

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    Exclamation Re. Tips for setting up a new Windows 10 system

    Lincoln Spector writes in his article "Tips for setting up a new Windows 10 system" the following:

    Install the anti-malware programs of your choice. (Never rely solely on one.)

    I beg to differ. All brand name computers come with one or another of the common commercially available security suites pre-installed.

    When advice like above quoted is being read by a normal, non-technical computer user they might take it, go ahead and install another security suite.

    Have you ever experienced the likely devastating slow down effects this will have on the computer? Even on WindowsSecrets I have many times read the advice not to do that. And that was and is good advice.

    I highly respect Lincoln Spector but in this case I suggest a clarification.

    As a matter of fact over 12 years my many thousands of customers have the very best success with using Microsoft's integrated and in Win8/10 built-in anti virus programs Security Essentials or Defender respectively. The only respectably working additional security against advertisement and/or redirecting malware would be Malwarebytes Anti Malware Free. Disclosure: I am in absolutely NO WAY connected with or to Malwarebytes' authors.
    Last edited by eikelein; 2016-01-26 at 07:13. Reason: typo
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    Thanks for your informative article.

    I find it useful, when I am building a PC environment, to create a document (I use Excel) detailing as a minimum, the date, sequence and description of every action taken during the process. This would include such items as:
    ..Anti-malware setup
    ..Configuration settings
    ..Crapware removed
    ..Start items disabled
    ..Software installed and configuration
    ..etc, etc

    I maintain this spreadsheet as required as changes are made over the life of the installation.

    Prior to a new install, I will always review its content (it's in the cloud) and use it as a checklist for the new build. It's existence has saved me lots of headscratching when I try to remember what has been done when an old PC gives problems or what has to be done on a new PC.
    HTH
    Dave

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dc696969
    I find it useful, when I am building a PC environment, to create a document (I use Excel) detailing as a minimum, the date, sequence and description of every action taken during the process. This would include such items as:
    ..Anti-malware setup
    ..Configuration settings
    ..Crapware removed
    ..Start items disabled
    ..Software installed and configuration
    ..etc, etc
    I do the same but. instead of an Excel spreadsheet, I use a simple HTML file stored in the same folder as various installer files, registry files, scripts and batch files, etc. The HTML file stores the information as a series of installation steps with hyperlinks to the rest of the files in order to automate the process as much as possible. Saves my tired old brain from having to remember...

    I still use an ancient copy of Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 to create and maintain the HTML file. It may be old but I'm very familiar with it and it does exactly what I want.

    Hope this helps...

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eikelein View Post
    Lincoln Spector writes in his article "Tips for setting up a new Windows 10 system" the following:

    Install the anti-malware programs of your choice. (Never rely solely on one.)

    I beg to differ. All brand name computers come with one or another of the common commercially available security suites pre-installed.

    When advice like above quoted is being read by a normal, non-technical computer user they might take it, go ahead and install another security suite.

    Have you ever experienced the likely devastating slow down effects this will have on the computer? Even on WindowsSecrets I have many times read the advice not to do that. And that was and is good advice.

    I highly respect Lincoln Spector but in this case I suggest a clarification.

    As a matter of fact over 12 years my many thousands of customers have the very best success with using Microsoft's integrated and in Win8/10 built-in anti virus programs Security Essentials or Defender respectively. The only respectably working additional security against advertisement and/or redirecting malware would be Malwarebytes Anti Malware Free. Disclosure: I am in absolutely NO WAY connected with or to Malwarebytes' authors.
    I ALWAYS remove the preinstalled trial version Antivirus program which is installed on a new computer (usually Norton) and then install the one I feel is right for the owner of the computer (typically coming down to whether or not the user wants to pay for the software).

    I don't want Norton / Symantec (it's a serious resource hog) or McAfee (mediocre quality). There are better choices out there than those two.

    By the way, Microsoft has admitted that they don't put much effort into Microsoft Security Essentials. I wouldn't depend on it to protect or clean my computer.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2016-01-26 at 10:14.

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps
    I don't want Norton / Symantec (it's a serious resource hog) or McAfee (mediocre quality).
    Sorry Jim but I don't think either of these statements are still valid. I would agree with you wholeheartedly that Norton/Symantec used to be a serious resource hog but the company seems to have improved upon this poor reputation enormously. Several of my family use the 2015 version of Norton 360 and, despite my jokes about it, 1) they've never had a problem with malware and 2) they've never had a problem with Norton consuming too many resources (i.e. CPU cycles and/or RAM). As a result I've had to revise my previously poor opinion.

    av-test.org's tests in August 2015 give Norton Internet Security 2015 6 out of 6 in all 3 test categories (protection, performance and usability) for home users of Windows 10, and McAfee Internet Security 2015 is not far behind. It will be interesting to see the results for the 2016 versions.

    It's more difficult to compare with av-comparitives.org because Norton/Symantec no longer submits any products for comparative testing but the latest summary report (December 2015) shows:

    McAfee (Intel Security) took part in six out of eight of this year’s tests, and received awards in all of them, including three Advanced+. We liked the choice of components in the setup wizard, and its clear and persistent malware alerts.
    That compares favourably with the av-test.org report and doesn't suggest mediocre results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dc696969 View Post

    I find it useful, when I am building a PC environment, to create a document (I use Excel) detailing as a minimum, the date, sequence and description of every action taken during the process. This would include such items as:
    ..Anti-malware setup
    ..Configuration settings
    ..Crapware removed
    ..Start items disabled
    ..Software installed and configuration
    ..etc, etc

    I maintain this spreadsheet as required as changes are made over the life of the installation.
    I do something similar during the setup phase, listing links to much of the software, etc. Can't say I maintain it throughout the life of the PC but it still serves as a good platform for preparing the next box.

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    Thanks, Lincoln. I appreciate the summary for when I eventually take the plunge.

    I fully agree with separating data from OS/Programs. My current PC uses an SSD drive for the OS and a platter drive for the data. I use weekly imaging for the OS backup and a daily data copy for the data. If you've ever tried to get to work quickly after a system problem, you REALLY don't want your data inside a proprietary container that requires special software to access it. Even worse if this is an archive with old software. I used to use ZIP as this can be accessed even from DOS but now with drive sizes, it's not required. KISS principle.

    However, if you then go on to use My Docs, etc folders for your data, you're not storing them on the data drive UNLESS you move that folder structure there. Myself, I don't bother now. Too many programs dump trash, data and folders in there so I use my own folder structure on the data drive and leave it alone. As you may well imagine, I never became a fan of Libraries either. This is yet another layer of data stored on the boot drive too.

    I like to manage my file structures. Microsoft is welcome to create default ones for basic use but I wish they where not so pushy about it.

    Further, I share Lincolns concerns about personal data collection. Facebooks success with that has spread across the web. Now you're being tracked everywhere, invited to use Facebook or Twitter logins, asked to log in just to view content, and you get a tracking beacon just by loading the page - even on tech sites who don't realize their "social sharing" plugin is a beacon. Pretty disturbing when the OS itself is taking this on, apparently partly as a competitive move with Google. From what I've seen, a majority of new OS "convenience" features all revolve around tracking you.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    Sorry Jim but I don't think either of these statements are still valid. I would agree with you wholeheartedly that Norton/Symantec used to be a serious resource hog but the company seems to have improved upon this poor reputation enormously. Several of my family use the 2015 version of Norton 360 and, despite my jokes about it, 1) they've never had a problem with malware and 2) they've never had a problem with Norton consuming too many resources (i.e. CPU cycles and/or RAM). As a result I've had to revise my previously poor opinion.

    av-test.org's tests in August 2015 give Norton Internet Security 2015 6 out of 6 in all 3 test categories (protection, performance and usability) for home users of Windows 10, and McAfee Internet Security 2015 is not far behind. It will be interesting to see the results for the 2016 versions.

    It's more difficult to compare with av-comparitives.org because Norton/Symantec no longer submits any products for comparative testing but the latest summary report (December 2015) shows:

    That compares favourably with the av-test.org report and doesn't suggest mediocre results.
    Rick:

    I appreciate your up-to-date information.

    It's been a while since I have researched either Norton or McAfee. You're right, my information is years old.

    Norton always scored at or near the top in effectiveness.

    I seem to remember that it was hard to get Norton not to automatically charge your credit card. But I may be wrong about that.

    Jim

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps
    I seem to remember that it was hard to get Norton not to automatically charge your credit card. But I may be wrong about that.
    That brings back memories. Not just Norton... McAfee were also renowned for it, as recently as 4 years ago. I don't know what the current situation is though.
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2016-01-28 at 15:56. Reason: corrected typo

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    For those of you that are concerned with Windows privacy, and limiting the amount of bandwidth that Windows 10 normally uses,
    there are a few things that go above and beyond what Windows will let you tinker with in it's own settings;

    How to Uninstall Windows 10’s Built-in Apps (and How to Reinstall Them)
    Provides a line-by-line list of MS apps that can be removed with the ability to restore them at a later date.

    Disable Windows 10 Spying - Privacy & Security
    YouTube video outlining the extent of Windows telemetry usages.

    Spybot Anti-Beacon

    This is a useful little app that gives you a wide ranging veto over any of the privacy and telemetry concerns you might have.
    (Beware that you may loose specific functionality)

    Some other useful tips:
    How to Reset Network Data Usage in Windows 10

    How to Enable or Disable Cortana in Windows 10
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2016-01-26 at 20:48.
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  12. #12
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    It's a small thing but I'm pleased that a registry tweak from earlier versions of Windows still works in Windows 10. I'm talking about how drive letters are displayed. The default is to show them after the name of the drive.

    Drive_Letters_Before.png
    (Click to enlarge)

    I prefer to have drive letters displayed before the name... I just find this quicker to take in at a glance.

    Drive_Letters_After.png
    (Click to enlarge)

    The easiest way to do this is as follows:
    1. Download the 2 attached TXT files. (The forum doesn't allow REG files to be attached.)
    2. Rename the file extension on both files from .txt to .reg.

    Use Show_Drive_Letters_Before_All_Users(Enable).reg to change the default. You need to restart for the change to take effect. If you want to revert to the default, use Show_Drive_Letters_Before_All_Users(Disable).reg.

    Hope this helps...

  13. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Rick Corbett For This Useful Post:

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