Windows Post Install Guide

Having performed a ‘clean install’ of Windows hundreds of times over the years, here is the list of top 5 things I do in my Windows post-install.

Note: The following guide/tips are valid for a PC in any form factor(Desktop/Laptop/Touch enabled hybrid) running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8.

1.) Install Drivers (duh!):

Throw out the drivers DVD which came with your PC, if you haven’t already. Its always better to get latest drivers from the manufacture’s website. Download them all and install in the following recommended order:

 

 

 

 

 

Pro tip: If for some reason you are clueless about the system configuration, and don’t know what drivers to get or from where, use Ma-Config.com to automatically detect your configuration and make a list of drivers you require along with download links.

2.) ninite.com:

Ninite is a small tool with a set of batch scripts which silent install your most commonly used applications. Now that your Windows and your devices are up and running, its time to install media players, browsers, PDF viewers, common runtimes(.NET, Java). This used to be painfully time consuming, till such time I discovered ninite.com.

Simply head over to ninite.com and you will be presented with a menu of most commonly used applications sorted in categories by type. Select what all you want and ninite will batch download and install them for you. The following is the list of applications available and I have checked the ones I download.

 

 

 

 

3.) Calibrate your screen:

While ninite is installing your applications, its a good idea to calibrate the colour reproduction of your screen. It almost always makes a difference for the better, regardless of what form factor machine you are on. Go through the wizard and in the end you can compare the results before and after the calibration and then decide to keep or revert the changes.

Pro tip: In case of a multi monitor setup, simply drag and drop the calibration wizard to the monitor you wish to calibrate.

 

 

4.) Networx:

Networx is an incredible tool which lets you keep tabs on your network upload/download speeds in real time. So if you are like me and spend an unnatural amount of time on YouTube or always have a bit torrent client downloading in the background or run a dedicated server of some sort, networx keeps you informed of what’s going on in terms of network usage. Its excellent for keeping tabs on your internet caps as well if you are on a connection which isn’t truly ‘unlimited’.

5.) Add all your drives to Search Index:

Adding all your files into the search index will make searching for files and folders of your interest significantly faster. By default, the Search Indexer in Windows 7, Windows 8 indexes the most common locations where your files would be stored, i.e. all libraries, everything in your User folder, and e-mail. If this is not enough, you can add or remove index location really easily. I usually add all the partitions of available internal drives.

In Windows 7, simply go to the start menu, type ‘index’ and press return. For Windows 8, see the screenshot.

 

Note: Don’t forget to activate your Windows.

That’s it, Enjoy your PC.

 

 

12 Comments Windows Post Install Guide

    1. Saransh Sharma

      Ya.. same here for my laptop and primary desktop. Windows 8 automatically scans and installs generic drivers but its still better to install proper drivers from manufacturers. Example: installing the proper touch pad drivers on my laptop enabled few multi-touch gestures supported by Windows 8 on the touch pad. On my desktop, Windows 8 failed to find Bluetooth drivers, I had to get them from Asus. But Windows 8 had automatically found and installed the latest Nvidia drivers for GTX 570 before I even successfully boot into the OS for the first time.
      With Windows 8, the already incredible driver support from Windows 7 has become even better. As against this, on my iMac even using a Razer gaming mouse is problematic and requires a 3rd party application to make it work nice.
      This kind of device support makes even the ARM based Surface RT leagues ahead of ipad or any android tablet. As millions of devices are plug and play ready with Windows 8 RT as it shares kernel with Windows 8.

      Reply
      1. Sajib

        Yes, I see a future of Windows tablets here. Except that they can’t bring down the price like Androids, which is another crucial selling point.

        Reply
        1. Saransh Sharma

          True. But then android tabs or iPad are purely content consumption devices. As against a tab with a full fledged OS(Windows) + fully capable version of Office. I actually got the first real android tab(Moto Xoom) in the month it was released and have been using it for one and a half year. But in order to get any real work done, I have to go to my laptop/desktop running Windows. Cant wait to get a tablet/hybrid running Windows.

          Reply
          1. Sajib

            Fully capable version of Office will land on Android on early 2013. And you can’t ever replace a desktop or laptop with any tablet no matter how hybrid that is. Though it depends on what type of work you need done.

          2. Saransh Sharma

            Of course, everything depends upon the kinda work one needs to do, thus I made that content consumption/creation distinction.
            I don’t think Office on android will be as capable as the one on Windows. And of course I agree no tablet can ever compete with a Desktop’s productivity. In fact I am so old school that my productivity is highest at my home multi monitor desktop when I have to do ‘real’ work.
            When i say ‘hybrid’ device, I mean a ‘Laptop+’ device eg: the dell duo, ideapad yoga, etc, These hybrid devices are basically an evolved version of a laptop(with a physical keyboard) + a multi touch screen. So by that logic a normal laptop will be at an dis advantage compared to these upcoming hybrids.

      2. Hirak

        Hey Saransh, good to see ur update…. i badly needed it…. i question is whether we can do a partition disk for windows 7 and window 8.. and if yes how…? ill be expecting a reply from you ASAP

        Reply
        1. Saransh Sharma

          Yeah you can partition the same physical HDD into 2(or more) partitions and install different OSs on them. To do so, just start installing the operating systems and during the setup, you will be create, delete, chose your partitions. Just back up your data, if you are a bit unsure of what you are doing. In fact, I would recommend at least 3 partitions of a HDD; 2 for Windows 7 and Windows 8 and third as your ‘workspace’. So in the future, if something goes wrong with Windows 7/8 you can simply erase that partition and reinstall OS on that partition. While your data in ‘workspace’ partition will remain safe nd isolated.
          For a guide on how to install OS from a USB drive see my previous post. Previous post is valid for Windows 7, Windows 8.

          Reply
          1. Hirak

            i have got win7 /64bit os with 4 MBR partitions , i want to dual boot my computer with win 8 os in the other partitions , i know how to dual boot ,the problem is when im trying 2 install win8, msg comes cant install, u need GPT partitions 2install win 8. ive seen on the net that it can be done without erasing all the partitions , and that the present MBR partitions can be converted into GPT ,with a software called GPTGEN ,but ive been unable to use the software as i dnt know how to use it.i dont want to use DISKPART , is there anyother way to do so .kindly help me out at the earliest…

          2. hirak22

            Nope… its not mac… and another things is please guide me through the GPTGEN installation procedure…. if required

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