deployment steps for Windows 8-based PCs
(Deployment steps also available for a new PC with Windows XP or Windows 7)
1. Configure and
purchase a Dell Vostro Desktop/Laptop with several specifc upgrades/shopping
- 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.
Step up Memory to 2x default amount (at least 4GB)
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:
- New computer variables:
prefix>0<O/S><computer #><description suffix>
, Ex.: lm0xp08wrk
<Computer name> <O/S> <Computer Type> , Ex.: lm0xp08wrk
Windows XP Pro Dell Vostro 1400 Laptop
<define one you won't/can't forget>
- Microsoft Account: Sign up for one with an existing email address at https://signup.live.com/ . This will become the Microsoft Account used by your computer.
Login (Your name):
It will be the first name (case sensitive) of the User who signed up for the Microsoft Account, above.
- Though you won't
enter them during the initial setup, have handy:
Login password: It will be the same as the password of the Microsoft Account, above.
Login password hint:
<A phrase you won't forget that will help you remeber it>, Ex.:
Available from NorthShore-IT.com repository
Something shorter than 8 characters, will be the same for all your
computers <buyer prefix><'lan'>. Ex.: lmla
- Windows 8 Home workflow:
- Click Next on the screen defining Region and Language
- Click to accept license terms and Next
- Ignore manufacturer's request for email, click Next
- On the first Personalize screen, choose a color scheme and type a computer name.
- Click Customize on the 'Settings: Express' settings screen.
- Click Next to leave the defaults on the 'Settings: Help protect and update your PC' screen
- Click Next to leave the defaults on the 'Settings: Send Microsoft info...' screen
- Enter the Microsft Account information on the 'Sign in to your Microsoft account' screen
- You should get to the message 'We're getting your PC ready'..
- 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. Uninstall unnecessary, pre-installed software (will vary by model/manufacturer):
Navigate to Control Panel > Uninstall a program
Uninstall Ebay, eSobi (when prompted for UAC permissions, turn them off)
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. Reboot
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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'
At the prompt, enter the windows user's password and confirm it.
7. Copy/push 'FreshStart' applications disc or directory to shared folder:
Create this path: C:\shared\system\_FreshStart
Copy FreshStart contents into 'system\_FreshStart' folder either via CD-ROM copy or network push via Goodsync
Install an antivirus. A preferred choice is AVG Antivirus (Windows 7 requires 32-bit or 64-bit specificity for this app). (Another alternative is Avira Free Antivirus )
9. Install Classic Shell:
Set to Windows Classic menus Start
- Windows Background Color: Hue: 141, Sat: 115, Lum: 105 | Red: 58, Green: 110, Blue: 165
10. Patch Windows and upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1:
11. Adjust UAC, Optimize
- 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.
on the Windows Taskbar, select 'Properties'
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'.
12. Adjust display properties:
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
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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. Install Microsoft Office or other productivity suite:
- Install Java. (Windows 64-bit users should install both 32-bit and 64-bit Java versions).
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
16. Patch and update Microsoft Office:
- Reboot & navigate to Microsoft Update. Run initially, click the 'Custom Updates' button
- Select all available 'High Priority' or 'Recommended' updates (except for the Windows Live & Windows Search updates), but avoid Hardware Updates
- Run repeatedly until no more 'High Priority' or 'Recommended' updates remain
17. 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
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.
Install other important utilities and applications:
Install several Antispyware applications:
diagnostic tools and media applications:
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 requires 32-bit or 64-bit specificity for this app)
- Install AF5_Rename_Your_Files
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
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
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