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Solved Best order to install everything on a clean Win8.1 system?

Lovestar

New Member
I haven't given this much thought on builds I've done for my own use so far, but now I'm starting to build systems for other people & I'm putting more effort into making sure everything is done correctly and will remain stable as long as possible (especially under the care & feeding of a typical PC user).

I currently have a fresh build which has all the hardware installed and verified working properly, looking at a completely clean Windows 8.1 desktop. I also have prepared all the 3rd-party drivers and updates needed for the components (INF, GPU, etc).

What's the recommended order to proceed now, given all this stuff that needs doing to finish configuration and hand it off to the new owner?
  • Windows Updates
  • Windows settings / personalization / configuration
  • 3rd-party drivers / updates
  • Software installs
And, is there a way to make sure Windows 8.1 won't auto-install its own choice of drivers? I've already obtained from the manufacturers the correct (compatible, stable) versions that the system should have on it.

(Desktop PC, custom build, Windows 8.1 64-bit — if you need more details just ask ^^)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom

pparks1

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
For me, i install the OS and just enough drivers to get device manager clean. I then run Windows update until complete. I then take an image and call it "plain vanilla". I then install my normal software using a combination of ninite.com and just the 3rd party installers. Once done, I take one more image.

I don't worry about replacing all Windows device drivers. I install the chipset and the SATA controllers for sure. I always install the audio and the video drivers. For everything else, I only install if the device manager shows a warning or something not working.

That's worked well for me at home, building computers for others and in my job setting up all workstations at our office.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Self-Built in July 2009
    CPU
    Intel Q9550 2.83Ghz OC'd to 3.40Ghz
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R rev. 1.1, F12 BIOS
    Memory
    8GB G.Skill PI DDR2-800, 4-4-4-12 timings
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA 1280MB Nvidia GeForce GTX570
    Sound Card
    Realtek ALC899A 8 channel onboard audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    23" Acer x233H
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Intel X25-M 80GB Gen 2 SSD
    Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black, 32MB cache. WD1001FALS
    PSU
    Corsair 620HX modular
    Case
    Antec P182
    Cooling
    stock
    Keyboard
    ABS M1 Mechanical
    Mouse
    Logitech G9 Laser Mouse
    Internet Speed
    15/2 cable modem
    Other Info
    Windows and Linux enthusiast. Logitech G35 Headset.

azasadny

Moved to ten*****s.com
VIP Member
Guru
I do the following:

- Install OS and activate
- Install all OS patches and updates
- Install all hardware specific drivers, starting with chipset drivers
- Install applications and then update them
- Install CCleaner and run it
- Install MalwareBytes
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 10 Pro 64bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home built Intel i7-3770k-based system
    CPU
    Intel i7-3770k, Overclocked to 4.6GHz (46x100) with Corsair H110i GT cooler
    Motherboard
    ASRock Z77 OC Formula 2.30 BIOS
    Memory
    32GB DDR3 2133 Corsair Vengeance Pro
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce GTX 980ti SC ACS 6GB DDR5 by EVGA
    Sound Card
    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD, Corsair SP2500 speakers and subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LG 27EA33 [Monitor] (27.2"vis) HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 850 EVO 250GB (system drive)
    WD 6TB Red NAS hard drives x 2 in Storage Spaces (redundancy)
    PSU
    Corsair 750ax fully modular power supply with sleeved cables
    Case
    Corsair Air 540 with 7 x 140mm fans on front, rear and top panels
    Cooling
    Corsair H110i GT liquid cooled CPU with 4 x 140" Corsair SP "push-pull" and 3 x 140mm fans
    Keyboard
    Thermaltake Poseidon Z illuminated keyboard
    Mouse
    Corsair M65 wired
    Internet Speed
    85MBps DSL
    Browser
    Chrome and Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, MalwareBytes Pro and CCleaner Pro
    Other Info
    Client of Windows Server 2012 R2 10 PC's, laptops and smartphones on the WLAN.

    1GBps Ethernet ports

AddRAM

R.I.P. Gary
Member
And if it`s a hard drive, run disk cleanup and defrag it at least 3 times before you create that image.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 9926
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Gateway GT5404
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 @ 2.66 GHz
    Motherboard
    Intel D945GCL
    Memory
    4GB PC2 6400 @ 800 MHz CL 6-6-6-18
    Graphics Card(s)
    MSI GTX660 TF3 2GB
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Gateway FPD1975W
    Screen Resolution
    1440 x 900
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 850 EVO 120GB SSD / WD 500GB
    PSU
    Corsair HX750
    Case
    OEM
    Cooling
    OEM
    Keyboard
    Gateway KB-0401
    Mouse
    Gateway MOAKUO
    Internet Speed
    Verizon Quantum Gateway 60 / 60
    Browser
    Chrome / IE11
    Antivirus
    MSE / Defender / MBAM

topgundcp

Well-Known Member
VIP Member
Guru
In addition to suggestions above.If you search the forum on: "Unable to install NetFramework 3.5", you'll see a lot of them. So after installing Windows + Updates. I always turn on the .Net framework feature since some third party/MS software rely on this to function.
Control Panel->Programs & Features->Turn Windows Features on or off and put a check mark on .NET Framework 3.5. Clikc OK.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Home Brewed
    CPU
    I7 4970K OC'ed @4.7 GHz
    Motherboard
    MSI-Z97
    Memory
    16 GB G-Skill Trident X @2400MHZ
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
    Sound Card
    X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dual HP-W2408
    Screen Resolution
    1920X1200
    Hard Drives
    256 GB M2 sm951, (2) 500GB 850EVO, 5TB, 2 TB Seagate
    PSU
    Antec 850W
    Case
    Antec 1200
    Cooling
    Danger Den H20
    Keyboard
    Logitech
    Mouse
    Logitech Performance Mouse MX
    Internet Speed
    35/12mbps
    Browser
    Firefox

Lovestar

New Member
For me, i install the OS and just enough drivers to get device manager clean. I then run Windows update until complete. [...] I then install my normal software using a combination of ninite.com and just the 3rd party installers.
I went with this method, because I reasoned it to be the most stable start: basic OS, then all core hardware communicating properly with OS, then polish up the OS, then fluff / frivolous stuff.

Everything went really smooth and the system is functioning lightning-quick and very lean so far, after being put through lots of benchmarks and stability tests.

@azasadny's order also makes sense: basic OS, then fully-up-to-date OS, then start adding in external things from 3rd parties. But I had to pick one! ^^

In addition to suggestions above.If you search the forum on: "Unable to install NetFramework 3.5", you'll see a lot of them. So after installing Windows + Updates. I always turn on the .Net framework feature since some third party/MS software rely on this to function.
Control Panel->Programs & Features->Turn Windows Features on or off and put a check mark on .NET Framework 3.5. Clikc OK.
And thanks for reminding me about this. I made sure to grab .NET 4.5.2 right away, but I forgot about .NET's weird multi-install behavior.

If I have 3.5 / 2.0 enabled, and 4.5.2 installed, do I need to still get 4.5 and 4.5.1? Or does 4.5.2 cover both of those for dependent programs?

Edit:
Answered it myself, I don't know if I did it somehow or it's Win8.1 default but after getting 4.5.2 through Windows Update and enabling 3.5 / 2.0 under Windows Features, the registry keys now verify the system has 2.0, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5 enabled. ^^
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Custom

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