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Suggested 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 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:

  • ---------------------------
  • New computer variables:
  • ---------------------------
  • 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>
  • Microsoft Account: Sign up for one with an existing email address at . This will become the Microsoft Account used by your computer.
  • Windows 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:
  • Windows Login password: It will be the same as the password of the Microsoft Account, above.
  • Windows Login password hint: <A phrase you won't forget that will help you remeber it>, Ex.: Available from repository
  • Workgroup: 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 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. 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 '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'
  • Click OK on the bottom.
  • At the prompt, enter the windows user's password and confirm it.
  • Click OK. Reboot.

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

8. Install an Antivirus:

  • 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
  • Latst can be downloaded from
  • 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 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'.

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:

  • Download and install Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1, as applicable
  • 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

18. 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.

19. Install other important utilities and applications:

20. Install several Antispyware applications:

21. Install diagnostic tools and media applications:

22. 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 requires 32-bit or 64-bit specificity for this app)
  • Install AF5_Rename_Your_Files

Larry Madden

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 repository
LAN IP range:
IE Title Bar text: supports this PC

Windows Build: Microsoft Windows 7 Pro OA (Part No. X16-96076)

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

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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