What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

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What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 12:01 pm

Just curious. I'm not talking about system tweaking for performance, just odd/unusual things for your own benefit. I have a script that cleans out the 'recent documents' list in the Start menu, but only cleans out file types I'm not interested in seeing there. It also kills a couple of Win7 jump lists, but I don't know how to do anything more specific to a given jump list by script.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 12:25 pm

One of the first things I do is disable everything I won't use in msconfig, like superfetch (have an SSD) and the print spooler (because I don't have a printer). Then I disable all the taskbar grouping things. Doesn't seem that odd to me but everyone else here at college thinks otherwise.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 12:42 pm

I hate the taskbar grouping on XP/Vista/7 :)
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 1:02 pm

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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 1:34 pm

I install Console2 for a cmd-window manager and also Cygwin. If it's a laptop I might travel with, I install PuTTY and set up a SOCKS-proxy profile so I can use the Net with privacy over unencrypted wireless.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 1:54 pm

Does installing it in a VirtualBox VM under Linux count as an "unusual thing"? :lol:
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 2:56 pm

I usually install a few utilities (7zip, putty, vlc), tweak the startup programs and services, and a few random group policy changes.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 3:13 pm

The first thing, or one of the first things I do, after I install windows is disable the animation effect when minimizing/maximizing windows. It might look prettier, but I dunno... I just like my windows to appear instantly. It's easier for me to pretend I have an SSD this way, haha.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 3:32 pm

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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 6:17 pm

xtalentx wrote:I sacrifice a chicken in Balmer's honor.

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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 6:30 pm

Apparently the most unusual thing I do (based on this thread) is nothing at all. I've always viewed "optimizations" as snake oil that don't really make anything substantially (if at all) better and aren't worth the effort.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 6:33 pm

I switch to the larger fonts, install Firefox, and set up Steam to download my games. :)
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 7:30 pm

Ari Atari wrote:like superfetch (have an SSD)
Shouldn't Windows 7's "SSD awareness" take care of that?
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 8:15 pm

I have my start/taskbar on the right side of the screen, vertically. Most people think this is weird probably, but it seems like a good use of these widescreen resolutions to me.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 8:19 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Ari Atari wrote:like superfetch (have an SSD)
Shouldn't Windows 7's "SSD awareness" take care of that?


Meh... I just like disabling stuff. I've even disabled windows search... yet it still works.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 8:25 pm

I go through and shut off all animations, translucencies, transitions, etc. I make Windows look as bare and minimal as possible. Then I tell Windows to NOT hide extensions of known file types, then disable hiding of files/folders (there's just something that irks me about the idea of not being able to essentially glimpse wherever I want on my hard drive, even if I don't necessarily need to). Oh, and I shut off all sounds. My machines don't make noise at me.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 8:53 pm

You make it not treat you like you're seven, in other words.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 9:54 pm

Flying Fox wrote:Shouldn't Windows 7's "SSD awareness" take care of that?


If his drive fails the performance benchmarks (improbable, but not impossible) it will leave SuperFetch on. Either way, meh. SuperFetch can never hurt performance.

As for quirks:

Go into Control Panel > User Accounts and create a new Standard User Account.
Log out and log back in as the newly created user, then start tweaking in my new home.

Create a folder on the root of C: called Games, disable NTFS inheritance, attach the Users security group, and enable them with modify permissions.

Past that is just UI tweaking. Many of those tweaks have been listed in one form or another above me in this thread.

Only other OCD thing about my PC is the size of the non-maximized window. I have a program that resizes them to exact dimensions. Current window I'm typing in is 1152x720. :P
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 10:17 pm

When I would install XP on one of my PCs, I would always go into the registry and make the 'start' menu into the 'cheese' menu.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Sun May 01, 2011 10:57 pm

On Windows 7 I do the following:

Pin notepad to the taskbar. Its amazing how often I want to cut and paste something in there, especially to strip text of its formatting.

Change User Account Control settings to the top Always notify. Its much better than the implementation that is in Vista and hardy annoying. I would use a regular user account but too many Windows programs need an admin account to run properly.

Display Recent Items list in Start Menu

Select which icons and notifications appear in the notification area of the taskbar. Its a pain how some of the programs I use such as Gmail Notifier become hidden.

Change the Windows Explorer icon on the task bar to open my data drive D:\
FDISK /MBR
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Wed May 04, 2011 9:08 pm

When I used to use XP I would put the theme on "classic." I dunno, it just looks cleaner to me.

With Win 7, I guess I dont do anything that abnormal, just set up the random stuff I always use (VLC, dropbox, firefox, thunderbird, steam, terracopy, etc)

oh, and I love my matrix screensaver :lol:
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Thu May 05, 2011 5:48 am

Create a C:\Temp folder.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Thu May 05, 2011 6:07 am

Dirge wrote:On Windows 7 I do the following:

Pin notepad to the taskbar. Its amazing how often I want to cut and paste something in there, especially to strip text of its formatting.

Select which icons and notifications appear in the notification area of the taskbar. Its a pain how some of the programs I use such as Gmail Notifier become hidden.

Change the Windows Explorer icon on the task bar to open my data drive D:\


I do all of these things pretty much, although I'm not sure if they are "unusual".

I show all notifications/icons, I'm not sure why you'd want to hide them, or why Microsoft thinks we should by default.

My Windows Explorer opens to "Computer" instead of "Libraries".

Notepad for life. It's my most used Microsoft software. :)
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Thu May 05, 2011 6:33 am

If you don't know why MS hides icons and notifications, you should take a while to leave it at default. In reality, Windows only hiding icons that haven't given any alerts lately.

Also, not everyone has a 2560x1440 display - even in today's widescreen world, taskbar space is finite. I just went and counted all my icons - 17 of them. Some of them are Windows-created, like the Action Center, volume control, networking, etc; others are hardware icons like the Lightscribe tool, my onboard Realtek sound utility, or an nVidia control panel. Others are apps that are running - Steam, Logmein, Dropbox, etc. They all have a purpose. I may want to get to one of them, and it's faster than digging on the Start menu.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Thu May 05, 2011 6:54 am

I use nLite to strip out all components I don't need (extra languages, iE, outlook express, etc.), as well as, slip stream in the service pack.
I also use it to setup the look of the desktop/start menu/Windows Explorer.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Thu May 05, 2011 7:27 am

- Set taskbar and start menu to use small icons (pet peeve)
- Set all folders to display details, thumbnails for pics
- Configure appearance: black theme, Matrix Screensaver ;)
- Add shortcuts to my secondary HDD in media folders
- Manually go through and get every single Windows update
- Get all my favorite apps: http://ninite.com/
- Install Firefox and set it as my default browser
- Install antivirus software: Microsoft Security Essentials
- Get all my drivers downloaded and installed
- Install all downloadable games I don't plan on uninstalling
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Thu May 05, 2011 6:15 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:If you don't know why MS hides icons and notifications, you should take a while to leave it at default. In reality, Windows only hiding icons that haven't given any alerts lately.


Yes I realize this, but I want to see everything that is running, not just things with "alerts". Hiding my uTorrent, Teamspeak, ASUS "audio center", etc just makes things harder to get to. It's not a huge hassle or anything, but it's less convenient than it should be (or was in WinXP).

I guess it could be nice to save some space on a VERY low screen resolution, but that's not really the average PC is it? I have my taskbar vertically so it only has 1080pixels to work with, yet I still have TWENTY programs pinned to my taskbar, plus 8-10 icons, and a games toolbar. I still have some empty space on the taskbar. I guess Microsoft is optimizing their OS for 800x600 displays?
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Fri May 06, 2011 2:26 am

I tried leaving the auto-hide notifications enabled for a while, it just kept hiding all the wrong things. For example, I removed anti-virus when I was trying something out a while ago, then I got side-tracked halfway through said experiment and forgot about it, and because I was used to not seeing the Avast icon, I didn't get a notification about lack of anti-virus either, it was about a week before I realised that I hadn't seen Avast's "auto update success" box in a while :) I think it also hid the sound icon for a while as well. I even tried to get along with it with a little bit of guidance, but sometimes I found that it ignored my preferences, so it was easier to fall back to my old method:

Everything on my systray is what I want to see. Anything that jumps in there that I don't want gets disabled/removed.
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Fri May 06, 2011 4:41 am

mikeymike wrote:Everything on my systray is what I want to see.


The Taskbar Notification Area is not, nor has it ever been, the Systray.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/arc ... 54831.aspx
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Re: What unusual things do you do to your Windows install?

Postposted on Fri May 06, 2011 6:23 am

axeman wrote: Change IE settings so that the taskbar lists each open IE window, not each open tab as a separate instance (this I also find dumb).


How you do that? My google-fu is weak apparently :P
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