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Suggested deployment steps for Windows 7-based PCs

(Deployment steps also available for a new PC with Windows XP or Windows 8)


1. Configure and purchase a Dell Vostro Desktop/Laptop with several specifc upgrades/shopping cart choices:
  • Navigate to Dell Small/Medium-sized Business site, as Vostro line is not available on Dell Home site
  • Choose a conventional form-factor Vostro model. (*Note that FastTrack models will ship within 3 business days, a conventional build can take 3 weeks).
  • If possible, add second hard drive equal or greater in storage size as the default hard drive
  • Upgrade to optical mouse and basic speakers
  • Eliminate all optional add-in software/services.
  • ***OPTIONAL: Step up Memory to 2x default amount (at least 4GB)
  • ***OPTIONAL: Step up CPU choice to next faster processor
  • Prior to purchasing, check popular coupon sites (google 'Dell coupons') for current coupon codes that can be applied at checkout

2. Define system/user/admin variables just prior to first boot, then enter them during initial set up sequence:

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  • New computer variables:
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  • Computer name: <buyer prefix>0<O/S><computer #><description suffix> , Ex.: lm0xp08wrk
  • Computer description: <Computer name> <O/S> <Computer Type> , Ex.: lm0xp08wrk Windows XP Pro Dell Vostro 1400 Laptop
  • Administrator Password: <define one you won't/can't forget>
  • Leave the default of 'Yes' on the screen that asks 'Will this computer conenct to the Internet directly, or through a network'. Click next
  • Select the 'No, not at this time' radio button at the screen that asks 'Ready to register with Mirosoft?'. Click next >
  • Windows Login (Your name): Choose one that protects anonymity: <buyer prefix><'user'>, Ex.: lmuser
  • Though you won't enter them during the initial setup, have handy:
  • Windows Login password: <something with letters and numbers, 8 characters or more>
  • Windows Login password hint: <A phrase you won't forget that will help you remeber it>, Ex.: Available from NorthShore-IT.com repository
  • Workgroup: Something shorter than 8 characters, will be the same for all your computers <buyer prefix><'lan'>. Ex.: lmla
  • ---------------------------
  • Windows 7 Home Premium workflow:
  • ---------------------------
  • Click Next on the screen defining Country or region, Time and currency and Keyboard layout
  • Type a username, Type a computer name.
  • Type a password, Retype your password, Type a password hint.
  • Accept the licesne terms 'required to use Windows' and 'required to use your computer'.
  • Help protect yoiur computer and improve Windows automatically. Click the 'Ask me later' button
  • Select the correct time zone, time and date settings.
  • Join a wireless network. Select 'Skip'.
  • Select a network type. Select 'Work' network. (If the computer build is taking place in the final use location, select 'Home' network).
  • If 'Register your product' appears, select 'Skip'.
  • Disable any antivirus trial subscription installations that may prompt upon initial startup. Uninstall those with an option to do so and restart if prompted.
  • ---------------------------

3. Adjust UAC, Optimize the taskbar:

  • Press Start, search for UAC. Select 'Change User Account Control Settings'.
  • Set the slider one notch lower (to the second from the bottom ('do not dim my desktop')). Click OK. Click Yes.
  • Right-click on the Windows Taskbar, select 'Properties'
  • Unselect: Lock the taskbar,
  • Select: Use small icons
  • Taskbar buttons: 'Combine when taskbar is full'.
  • Notification area > Customize > Select: 'Always show all icons and notifications on the taskbar'. Click OK.
  • Start Menu tab > Customize > Select: 'Recent Items'. Click OK and OK.
  • Choose: Start > All Programs > Accessories > Notepad > <Right-click> 'Pin to Taskbar'.

4. Set theme:

  • Right-click anywhere on the Desktop, select View > Small icons. Right-click again, select 'Personalize'
  • Scroll down. From the Basic and High Contrast Themes section, select 'Windows Classic' and click OK

5. Adjust display properties:

  • Right-click anywhere on the Desktop, select View > Small icons. Right-click again, select 'Personalize'
  • Click the 'Screen Saver' icon on the bottom right.
  • On the Screen Saver drop-down, select 3D Text.
    Click Settings. Select Text: Time, Rotation Type: None, Surface Style: Solid Color & Show Specular Highlights. Decrease the Size and Rotation Speed. Click OK
  • Under Power Management, click the 'Change power settings' link.
  • Under Power Options, select 'Create a power plan'. Select 'High Performance'. In 'Plan name' type 'lan'. Click Next
  • Under 'On battery' times, set 'Dim the display' to 10 minutes, 'Turn off the display' to 25 minutes and 'Put the computer to sleep' to Never.
  • Set the 'On battery' brightness slider down (left) by about 1/3.
  • Set all 'Plugged in' times to Never. Click Create.
  • Click on 'Choose what the power button does/buttons do'.
  • Select 'Do nothing' from the drop downs for both the 'On battery' and 'Plugged in' states of 'When I press the sleep button'.
  • Do the same for 'When I close the lid'
  • Click on 'Change settings that are currently unavailable'. Select 'Don't require a password'. Click 'Save Changes'
  • Click on 'Change when the computer sleeps'. Click on 'Change advanced power settings'. Click on 'Change settings that are currently unavailable'.
  • Click on the plus sign next to 'Hard disk'. Change 'Turn off hard disk' Setting to 0 minutes. Click on the plus sign next to 'Sleep'. Change 'Allow hybrid sleep' Setting to Off. Click OK.
  • Close the Power Options window
  • Click OK on the Screen Saver Settings tab
  • Click on Save theme. In the Theme name box, type 'lan'. Click Save. Close the Personalization window.

6. Reconfigure Windows Default folder view:

  • Using Windows Explorer, navigate to C:\ and create a folder called 'shared'.
  • Click the arrow next to the Views button. Select Details.
  • Select Organize > Folder and search options.
  • In the Folder Options General tab, click 'Show all folders' and 'Automatically expand to current folder'
  • In the Folder Options View Tab:

    ***Check the following***:
    Always show menus
    Display the full path in the title bar (Classic theme only)
    Show hidden files, folders and drives

    ***Uncheck the following***:
    Hide empty drives in the Computer folder
    Hide extensions for known file types

  • Click Apply. Select View > Status bar.
  • Select Organize > Folder and search options.
  • In the Folder Options General tab, click 'Apply to Folders'.
  • Click Yes and OK. Reboot.

7. Uninstall unnecessary, pre-installed software (will vary by model/manufacturer):

  • Navigate to Control Panel > Uninstall a program
  • Uninstall Ebay, eSobi
  • Uninstall Google Toolbar
  • Uninstall every part of the McAfee SecurityCenter software
  • Uninstall Microsoft Office Home and Student, Microsoft Office Powerpoint Viewer and Microsoft Office Suite Activation Assistant
  • Uninstall MyWinLocker
  • Uninstall Norton Online Backup
  • Uninstall all Windows Live applications.

8. Set Windows Auto-login:

  • Press the Windows + R keyboard combination to bring up a run box, then type '  netplwiz  '. Click OK.
  • Uncheck 'Users must enter username and password to use this computer'
  • Click OK on the bottom.
  • At the prompt, enter the windows user's password and confirm it.
  • Click OK. Reboot

9. Open Internet Explorer and set default home page:

  • Open IE for the first time. Click to accept to any application prompts.
  • Navigate to www.google.com. 'X' out of Google or Windows Live (or any other) browser toolbars . Select all available toolbar components and click Disable.
  • Right-click just underneath the URL bar and check the Menu bar.
  • Uncheck the Favorites bar.
  • Select Tools > Internet Options. Under the General tab, click 'Use current' in the Home page section
  • Click the drop down arrow and select 'Manage Search Providers' next to the search field in the upper-right hand corner of IE
  • Select the default search provider and click on the 'Find more search providers...' link
  • Scroll down to Google Search Suggestions and click the 'Add to Internet Explorer' button
  • Check 'Make this my default search provider' and click the 'Add' button. Close the browser window
  • Click on Accelerators. Remove all Accelerators, Click Close
  • If desired, log into respository and copy computer deployment varables to local text file.

10. Install Mozy Sync and synchronize crucial applications :

11. Set up shared folder in root of C:\ drive:

  • Right-click on the C:\shared\ folder, and select 'Share with > Specific People' . Under 'Choose people to share with click the drop-down arrow
  • Select Everyone. Click Add. Under Permission Level, change 'Everyone''s level to Read/Write. Click Share. Click Done.
12. Push computer build txt file and shared folder subdirectories:
  • Log onto build computer from main server via Windows netowrk connection using credentials in computer build txt file.
  • Copy this subdirectory from server onto build computer: C:\shared\system
  • Copy computer build txt file into 'system\settings\' folder either via network push.

13. Label physical drives:

  • In Windows Explorer, right-click on each physical drive and select 'Properties' and name them with this format: <computer name>-c & <computer name>-d

14. Set workgroup:

  • Open Control Panel > System and Security> System > 'Advanced system settings' > 'Computer Name' tab
  • Change the Workgroup & Computer description names to those you defined in step 2.
  • Reboot.

15. Install Microsoft Office or other productivity suite:

  • If you do not have a valid Microsoft Office registration key, a good alternative is to download and install the OpenOffice Productivity suite, which is compatible with Microsoft Office. If installing OpenOffice, also install Java beforehand. (see below).

16. Patch and update Microsoft Office / Windows:

17. Enable and Secure Administrator Account:

  • Open a command prompt in administrator mode by right-clicking and choosing “Run as administrator”.
  • Type:    net user administrator /active:yes    and hit enter.
  • Log out and log back into the newly available Administrator account and set a password for it.
18. Install an Antivirus:

19. Install Java:

  • Install Java. (Windows 7 64-bit users should install both 32-bit and 64-bit Java versions).

20. Install other important utilities and applications:

21. Install several Antispyware applications:

22. Install diagnostic tools and media applications:

*23. Install other useful software, if desired:

  • Install Gmail Notifier
  • Install GoodSync
  • Install SwitchOff
  • Install SetBrowser
  • Install Digsby
  • Install DivX
  • Install Dropbox
  • Install Exact Audio Copy
  • Install DVD43
  • Install HandBrake (Windows 7 requires 32-bit or 64-bit specificity for this app)
  • Install AF5_Rename_Your_Files
  • Install Free Registry Defrag.
*24. Deploy custom support information into Windows System Information:
  • Download OEMLOGO.BMP (120 pxs or 150 pxs) into C:\WINDOWS\System32\OEM\Logo\OEMLOGO.bmp and install custom OEM Informaton Registry File.
  • Open Regedit and customize the OEM Information (Model name field) found in:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\OEMInformation



Larry Madden

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Computer name: lm0xp08wrk - Service Tag: 3JK8PY7
Computer description: lm0xp08wrk - Windows XP Pro Dell Vostro 1720 Laptop
System Description: lmadden-lm0xp08wrk
Dell Express Service Code: 58694782156
Mfg. Date: 20100924
Windows Login (Your name): lmuser
Windows Login password: distinctive123
Workgroup: lmlan

C drive name: lm0xp08wrk-c
Shared folder path: \\lm0xp08wrk\shared
Windows Login password hint: Available from NorthShore-IT.com repository
LAN IP range: 192.168.0.1-192.168.255.255
IE Title Bar text: NorthShore-IT.com supports this PC
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Windows Build: Microsoft Windows 7 Pro OA (Part No. X16-96076)
Windows Key: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

Office Build: Microsoft Office Standard 2007 (Part No. X16-70787)
Office Key: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

SUPERAntiSpyware Professional Registration Code: 000-000-0000

GoodSync Name: Larry Madden
GoodSync Order Number: 0000000000

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Consumer License ID: 0XX00-X00XX
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Consumer License Key: XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

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