Software for Newly Installed PC

My best practice to maintain a healthy PC is to re-install the operating system and the applications every few month. These are the steps I follow. In case it is helpful for others.

Rule 1: Reinstall Operating System every 2-3 months.

Rule 2: Have Drive C: and Drive D: on computer. Name Drive D: as Data and never format it. Then re-format drive C: every time I install operating system.

Rule 3: Never, ever put any valuable files (which cannot be created from another source) on Drive C.

After installation, I will do at least the following thing.

  1. Run Windows Update
  2. Install Office 2003.
  3. Install Firefox and don’t use IE from then on
  4. Turn ClearType on

There are many others steps, but these are the major one.

17 thoughts on “Software for Newly Installed PC

  1. I used to do this in college, although nowadays I find that most computers with good antivirus are stable enough to keep me from erasing everything.

    I keep them around for a few years. I usually just buy a new one, once it gets too slow :)

  2. Jian Shuo

    that’s a very good way to maintain a fast drive C by clearing all the Windows junk out of it every few months. Windows indeed creates a lot of *junk*.

  3. I do the same, except with one extra step which you might consider: use a disk imaging program (I use Norton Ghost) to avoid having to re-install from scratch. Basically, you make a disk image of a “clean” system when you first install the operating system. Then you to clean out the drive, simply use the disk image and rewrite it over the C: Drive. Voila! Instant re-install. There should be a lot of tutorials on how to do this, floating around the net.

    You can even build in more levels of disk images. For myself, I have a “Level 1” disk image (Windows only), “Level 2” (Windows + hardware drivers), “Level 3” (Windows + drivers + Office + Firefox + other applications). That way, there’s a minimum amount of work whenever I re-ghost the drive – I can go back only to Level 3 if all the applications are still current, or I can go back a level if I want to (e.g. I want to upgrade my version of Office). It’s not a lot of disk space for each image (my “clean” windows install is only about 600M compressed), so there’s no reason not to keep multiple versions!

  4. sorry to hear that….only mac and ubuntu machines run in my home now…..:)

    not suffering “reinstalling pain” for almost 2 years now

  5. The good thing to rebuild the system every few month is just to avoid losing stuff every time, since I have formed the rabbit not to out anything on drive C. It only happens when you format the drive C every one year or two year – it is very hard to backup everything on the drive C.

  6. Totally agree with you, specially about IE which is the worst program ever to let enter any kind of malware…

    I also deleted completly outlook Express as mail program.

    I have tried Mozilla Thunderbird for a few months, was not bad…The junk mail filter does quite a good job….

    But finally, I have opted for Foxmail…. tremendous free software…and it is made in China…Good job , chinese software developers…

    The junk filter is exceptional, and you can run multiple e-mail accounts all from the same window…

    One tip: the software is in chinese by default, so after installed, you go to Program files, and you remove manually, the small file : Chinese.lqb , and ohh magic, the inerface becomes english…

    By the way, there a few other small free jewels on the web, particularly some alternatives to the costly and massive (in disk space) to Adobe acrobat for pdf files.

    All free: try PDF Xchnage viewer ; FreePrimo32 to write pdf files; and PDFTKBuilder to merge PDF files (create one single file from multiple PDF files, among other features….)

    Funny, you work for Microsoft for so many years….and you outright reject IE…I like your honesty….^__^

  7. I dont understand why you reinstal your operating system for every few month. Please tell me what is the purpose. My OS is Windows xp and it is installed since 2 years ago.

  8. Hi,

    Its a informative post.I am having laptop at my home not pc.But i had never tried to do this things and all.I only clean my laptop outside only.Here after i will follow your words.Disk cleaning also essentially important in case of saving space or memory.Thanks for sharing valuable information with us!

  9. i bought one dopod D600 phone, the operating system is in Chinese, of course i tried very hard to find english version but couldnt find it. right now what i would like to know from you,

    1. is that possible to re-install complete windows on my mobile with english version?

    2. is that possible to install windows if the d600 phone set is slow in operation or windows currupted?

    thanks in advance, if you have time please send me an email with our answers.


  10. Hmm… I don’t like Ghost or similar software. The problem I am facing is not to keep the system the same – I do want to have a clear starting point, so I can refresh the system. I installed a lot of system, which I intentionally “lose” during upgrade – for those that I rarely use.

  11. Mike,

    I also bought a D600 in chinese… so far i have not find any way to change it to english, eventhough the the HTC P3400 is the same phone.

    yesterday in SIngapore, they told that it is possible to change it and even upgrade it to wm6… In Singapore, they suggested me to visit HTC, but i didnt got time. I hope in Shanghai i can do the same.


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