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Author Topic: How to Prepare to install Windows and essential work after installing Windows  (Read 9422 times)


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How to Prepare to install Windows and essential work after installing Windows

The first thing to do before doing a fresh install is to make sure you have all the software that is needed and to make sure that you have all of your drivers handy. If not, download them now.
A good program that will save you a lot of time and headache is "DriverMax " it will copy and backup all of the drivers that are currently installed on your PC for easy reinstalling later.

Once you have backed up all of your drivers just check that you have got all the software that you will also be installing and if necessary make sure it's saved on a partition that is used for storage, such as your D: drive or a CD/DVD.

Now we need to back up your program settings, so copy this folder to a storage partition on your D: drive or a CD/DVD.:- (ready for use later) but (Optional)

C:\Documents and Settings\"user name"\Application Data

Make sure that you can see "hidden files" or you won’t be able to do this,
Open a window (My Computer) then go to Tools > Folder Options > View > and select "Show hidden files and folders".


Now it's time to install XP.

If you have never installed XP before, Lifehacker has a good guide.
The only thing I would add that isn't in their guide is to install XP without being connected to the internet, also, if you only have one hard drive I would recommend partitioning it so you can keep your documents and the OS on different partitions.
I would normally suggest 20GB (20480MB) for XP, but you may want to use more depending on what programs you use.

Once XP is installed, then install these programs without being connected to the internet.
Avast AV . DriverMax . TCP Optimizer . JkDefrag . CCleaner. Ad-Aware . (SpywareBlaster or Spybot Search & Destroy).

* Also temporarily "activate" XP's Firewall until you install your own firewall. (* You can also do these during the install)
* Also "disable" windows "Automatic Updates, "you can re-enable it later if you want to" although you will receive warnings from windows security telling you it's been disabled, but you can also disable that if you want to, or just ignore it for the next 10 - 15 minutes.

Now set and run TCPOptimizer to optimize your internet connection, then connect to the internet and update the above programs and any other programs that still need updating. (But not windows, especially any Service Packs)

From here on it doesn't really matter what order you install the rest of your software because all the important programs have been installed and updated so just go ahead and install the rest of your programs.
A very good tip though is to install older programs first, as there is less chance of them getting confused with newer drivers already on your PC.

Now that everything is installed lets change the location of  “My Documents” so it's not stored on the same partition as Windows.
You can change this by going to:- "My Documents" on the desktop or:
Start button > right click “My Documents” select "Properties
then change the target  by selecting  "Move" followed by selecting your new D: drive (assuming it's D)

Once you have done that then set and run "JkDefrag"
You may also want to make sure the JkDefrag screen saver mode has been installed. (Optional)

Now lets make the text look better.
Right click on the desktop > Properties > Appearance > Effects > second drop down menu change to "ClearType". (Optional)

While still in "Display Properties" setup the Screen Saver.
Select “Avast Antivirus” then Settings > Screen Saver > JkDefragScreenSaver, now every time the screen saver starts it will scan your PC for virus and defrag at the same time. (Optional)

Once that's done, re-start the PC in safe mode by hitting F8 as the PC starts up and select "Safe Mode", then copy the "Application Data" folder back into

"C:\Documents and Settings\"user name"\.

That's pretty much it, you may still need to setup some of the programs that are installed and to sort out what program/s start with Windows.
(you can also use CCleaner to stop programs starting with Windows) but for now this setup should give you a good starting point.

Once you have everything installed and setup the way you want it, then would be a good time to back up your PC. (Create a "Image" of your C: drive")
Although personally I would have already done this at least 2 or 3 times by now, it only takes a few minutes. "Tweak and backup", if it goes belly-up, then just re-store the backup.
Or spend hours re-doing everything just to get back to the point where it went wrong.

If you don't have a copy of Norton Ghost, (Macrium Reflect is also supposed to be a good FREE tool for doing this, "so I'm told").

Q & A
Q. Why not connect to the internet to straight away.
A. I don't like windows starting to download updates before I am ready.

Q. Why
A. Two main reasons. Firstly, I don't like to interupt downloads because that's one way of getting corrupt files downloaded and secondly, I actually may have a better driver that came with my hardware direct from the manufacturer, not one of Microsoft's "Generic" drivers.

Q. Why are some things above marked "Optional"
A. Because they are a Per user choice. Personally I don't use a Screen saver as such, I use the "Blank" option, this does not then interfere or slow down the PC when a program is running in the background, such as a virus scan or Defrag.

Q. What if I did not copy the C:\Documents and Settings\"user name"\. folder.
A. Nothing drastic, it will just take that much longer for you to setup the same programs that were installed before the fresh install.

Q. Why does defrag take such a long time.
A. Especially the first couple of times it's run it needs to prioritise and move system files around to the begining of your harddrive.
So initially the more you have installed, the longer it takes, which is why to start with run it every 15 minutes or so.


The majority of this text was taken from this site, so please feel free to thank them.

Also following their "Tweak setting" pages would be a excellent place to visit.
Just pick and chose which ones you want.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2009, 02:33:16 AM by oldfogy »