[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Saturday, 2010-03-13

14 Windows 7 tips

Filed under: Windows — bblackmoor @ 14:12

If you are installing Windows 7, or if you just got a new computer, there are a few things you should do before you start using it. Here they are.

  1. Configure the Start Menu.
    • Right-click the Windows logo on the taskbar.
    • Select “Properties”.
    • On the “Start Menu” tab, click the “Customize” button.
    • Computer: display as a menu.
    • Connect to: not checked.
    • Control panel: display as a menu.
    • Default programs: not checked.
    • Devices and printers: not checked.
    • Documents: display as a menu.
    • Downloads: do not display this item.
    • Enable context menus: checked.
    • Favorites menu: not checked.
    • Games: do not display this item.
    • Help: not checked.
    • Highlight newly installed programs: not checked.
    • Homegroup: not checked.
    • Music: display as a menu.
    • Network: not checked.
    • Open submenus: checked.
    • Personal folder: do not display this item.
    • Pictures: display as a menu.
    • Recent items: checked.
    • Recorded TV: do not display this item.
    • Run command: checked.
    • Search other files: search with public folders.
    • Search programs: checked.
    • Sort All programs menu: checked.
    • System administrative tools: Don’t display this item.
    • Use large icons: checked.
    • Videos: Display as a menu.
  2. Configure Windows Explorer.
    • Hide Libraries. (Or hide favorites, but you certainly do not need both.) (I changed my mind about this. I actually do use both.)
    • Make your local network a Work network (or just hide Homegroup).
    • Open Windows Explorer, click the “Organize” button, and select “Folder and Search options”.
      1. On the “General” tab…
      2. Show all folders: not checked
      3. Automatically expand: checked
      4. On the “View” tab…
      5. Always show icons: not checked.
      6. Always show menus: checked.
      7. Display file icon: checked.
      8. Display file size: checked.
      9. Display the full path: checked.
      10. Hidden files and folders: Don’t show (we will do something about this further down).
      11. Hide empty drives: not checked.
      12. Hide extensions: not checked (this is the most idiotic option ever).
      13. Hide protected OS files: not checked.
      14. Launch folder windows in a separate process: not checked.
      15. Restore previous folders: checked.
      16. Show drive letters: checked.
      17. Show encrypted: checked.
      18. Show pop-up: checked.
      19. Show preview handlers: checked.
      20. Use check boxes to select: not checked.
      21. Use Sharing Wizard: checked.
      22. When typing into list view: Select the typed item.
      23. Click the “Apply To Folders” button, and click OK.
  3. Configure My Documents.
    • In Windows Explorer, navigate to “C:\Users\[your user name]”.
    • Right-click “My Documents”, and rename it to “Documents”.
    • Right-click “My Music”, and rename it to “Music”.
    • Right-click “My Pictures”, and rename it to “Images”.
    • Right-click “My Videos”, and rename it to “Videos”.
    • Drag and drop “Music” into the “Documents” folder.
    • Drag and drop “Pictures” into the “Documents” folder.
    • Drag and drop “Videos” into the “Documents” folder.
    • Drag and drop “Downloads” into the “Documents” folder.
  4. Move the Taskbar to the left side of the screen. With a widescreen monitor (which any new computer will have), it makes much more sense to waste a small strip on the left than a strip that runs all the way across the bottom of the screen, making a narrow display area even narrower.
  5. Install Classic Shell.
  6. Install Toggle Hidden Files and assign a hotkey to it (I use “Windows+h”).
  7. Show drive letters before the drive name.
  8. Install Search Everything.
  9. Install KeyTweak and remap the Caps Lock key to Left Shift.
  10. Add a Take Ownership context menu to Windows Explorer.
  11. Install Ditto clipboard manager.
  12. Install AllSnap (the 64 bit version, if you are running 64-bit Windows). You must disable “Aero Snap” (which is useless) first!
  13. If you use Photoshop, install FastPictureViewer Codec Pack
  14. Remove the user folder from the Explorer navigation pane.

Now that you have done all of that, there are a few essential applications you should consider installing:

  1. 7-Zip
  2. Notepad++
  3. Firefox You might also consider these addons:
  4. Thunderbird with the calendar plugin (You might also consider linking Thunderbird’s address book and calendar to Google.)
  5. Irfanview and the Irfanview plugins
  6. OpenOffice LibreOffice
  7. Avast! Free Antivirus (I eventually uninstalled this. It was just too much of a resource hog, even on a brand new computer.)
  8. Copernic Desktop Search (I paid for the professional version. I think it’s worth it.) (I eventually uninstalled this. It was just too much of a resource hog, even on a brand new computer.)
  9. SmartDefrag
  10. Dexpot
  11. Bulk Rename Utility
  12. FontExpert (It costs money, but if you work with fonts a great deal, it is worth it.) When you put fonts into groups, make sure you create shortcuts, rather than copying the font files.
  13. PeerBlock (Idon’t use this anymore. It interfered with games and I think the benefit is dubious.)
  14. Install VistaSwitcher