So with the scary bit now over and the rebuild phase about to commence, one thing I forgot to mention yesterday which will make the next part simpler is to unplug all of your USB devices and Internet connections.
Microsoft are not so clever when it comes to scheduling its updates so its best to remove avenues for confusion and Internet connections whilst your computer is devoid of a firewall and anti viral protection.
When you find yourself at the desktop which will be the Administrators one, do make sure you set up a password for this account.
The first step is to remove as much of your PC manufacturers junk installs which for me being an Asus customer included a Trend anti-virus trial, Bing browser bar and Asus Vibe – a games collection. It may prove wise to have an alternative Internet connection to determine exactly what truly is junk.
You then repeat this process for Windows features
As you can see from the image, one place to find this is via the Uninstall applications menu, many of the options that Microsoft has checked make very little sense to a user such as myself, who is a single user connected to the Internet via a router, if this sounds like you then the settings I describe maybe perfect for you.
The only definite vital windows feature for me was the .NET framework, the Windows Fax and Scan was checked which is most definitely not required and is the reason why the Print and Document Services box remains colored.
I did decide to keep Windows DVD maker and Search because they may prove useful during the recovery phase. However I do know that AVG PC Tuneup really dislikes Windows Search, due to its resource usage for limited benefit.
One last tweak to the Windows system is to change the default Windows download location, as we discussed yesterday, its best to have this away from your computer.
Thanks goes to windowstipspage.com for providing a really clear explanation on how to achieve this, it is blindingly obvious but something you do only once every few years.
The Download folder is located in your user profile area, as shown in the image and to change the location you only need alter the folder location in its properties settings. Enter the new location then click move and agree to moving the folder contents as well.
With both the manufacturers and Windows settings cleansed now its time to start installing your security software as this should ideally be in place before you go online to obtain all of the necessary Windows updates. These updates may take sometime but it really is worth doing them now to ensure you have a stable system before you start putting pressure on the core software with what is to come next.
After the updates have been completed and you are back at the Administrators desktop, its a good idea to create a basic user account to use on a daily basis. This helps to protect your system by flagging up any system change requests which should alert you to either what you are considering has system implications or that your firewall has possibly been compromised.
Its a good idea to create this user account now as it alerts Windows to consider who needs access to each future software installation.
With the user account setup, make sure you actually use it.
Yes its an inconvenience to have to keep entering the Admin password during this install phase but once the system is settled it will be rare that you are called to enter this password.
And now this is where your Program file directory prints come into play, what software did you mark on your lists, are you able to locate the install and license files?
Go through the lists checking off each as its completed and be sure to always do the requested restarts and do your own every few installs as well just to be safe. You should at this point begin to really see just how faster your system is as the restart time will be massively reduced even with the majority of your software installed.
It took me about 6 hours to get to this stage from starting the recovery and of course there are still plenty of software settings to be adjusted as we begin to use each package. However our computers are back up and running and we are able to connect with the wider community once again.
As I mentioned yesterday be sure to keep doing the best practices which make any future recovery or even a swap to a new PC as painless as possible because we both know it won’t be too long before we have to have another long night returning to day 1.