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  • Setting up Windows 10 for the first time

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 Setting up Windows 10 for the first time

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      • #662900 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m getting a new in-the-box W10 Pro desktop computer with a M.2 512 SSD as only drive for now.  This will be my 1st W10 after W7.  There are lots of advise on what to do (and not to do) out there, but, can someone point me in the right direction of how to handle this 1-2-3 without falling into a (irreversible) trap.  A couple of good links would be fine…!  Thanks.

      • #674538 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Ask 10 people and you’ll get 10 different answers. First order of business will be to decide if you want to set it up with a local account or an MS account. I always choose local, even if I will eventually use an MS account. I like always having a clean local admin account in addition to other accounts on the machine for troubleshooting and repair of problems if needed down the road.

        If you don’t want any or most of the useless (IMHO) stuff in Windows 10, I have used Windows 10 Decrapifier on many installs and it has worked very well for me.

        I also use O&O Shutup as it saves me time from going through all the different settings to neuter the privacy settings.

        One of the first things I do with SSD drives is disable hibernation and fast startup. From a command or PS as admin I run powercfg -h off On our desktops we always run a high performance power plan.

        Don’t forget to set your Update settings if you’d like to defer updates. I set it to Feature Updates 365 days Quality Updates 30. Then I adjust settings down if I want to update sooner.

        Good luck and enjoy. Don’t forget to take a good image backup before tweaking and after.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #681616 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          A difficult question for sure. Thanks for sharing some of your tips/techniques. I too have an SSD and was clueless as to whether or not I’d disabled the settings as recommended. However, when attempting to enter the PowerShell command I got this:

          PS C:\Windows\ImmersiveControlPanel> powercfg -h off
          Unable to perform operation.  An unexpected error (0x65b) has occurred:  Function failed during execution.

          PS C:\Windows\ImmersiveControlPanel>

          Can this message be interpretted to mean that hibernation and/or fast startup had previously been disabled? I’m at a loss as to how (if at all) to proceed.

          The duration of a minute depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on.

          • #682716 Reply

            Make sure you run as administrator. Can be run from either PS or CMD but has to be run as admin.

        • #683193 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          Thanks!  I’m learning as I’m reading.  Never thought I would get into this as I had decided some time ago to stay with W7 “forever”.  But, forever doesn’t last long when you are shopping for a new box with the latest stuff on board.

          I’ll go with a local account for sure.  I don’t know why I should invite MS-anything during setup.  And I’ll probably try the O&O ShutUp10 freebie too.  The Decrapifier script sounds a bit scary, and too powerful, at least for now.  Perhaps later.   Should I even be connected to the Internet when I do my 1st boot?

          One of the 1st things I’ll do (after W10 is up) will be to partition the SSD and to install Macrium Reflect and do an image of the C: drive.  I gather C: at 100GB should be okay for W10?

          • #684426 Reply
            AskWoody Plus

            I don’t connect to the internet until I have everything buttoned down.

            Edit to add: 100GB more than enough for Windows 10 depending on number of programs etc.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #687459 Reply
            Noel Carboni

            I suggest not re-partitioning the SSD. Having all the free space on one partition is an advantage.


            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #689088 Reply
              AskWoody Plus

              In my case, partitioning is a must as I use the same drive layout on all computers.  The SSD will have 4 partitions for easy backup management and basic organization.  I’m old school and like drawers and folders/dividers laid out to my liking.

              I gather 100GB should be enough for W10 to play around.

              Once I’m up and running I’ll add a 2nd HDD to keep my backups separately.  And, the backups are backed up to an external RAID USB HDD.

      • #683951 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Uninstall Microsoft store apps and block the Store app from updating. I use Portable 10AppsManager : and there is also O&O
        AppBuster :

        Block Microsoft from installing/updating drivers.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #687131 Reply
        Noel Carboni

        Whatever you do, know that the next 6 month upgrade will reverse much of it. Things you’ve uninstalled will be reinstalled, etc. That’s both a curse and a possible blessing. If you do something to your current installation that messes it up, the next released upgrade will most likely undo it.

        Ultimately you’re expected to leave the setup alone and let Microsoft drive the configuration.

        I don’t buy it, personally. Windows can be much better for what any individual wants from it if you reconfigure/tweak it. Personally, I tweak my Win 10 systems to the tune of about a whole day of effort – and that’s with a good set of notes and some scripts to go along.

        Also understand that while you could effectively deconfigure most all the network integration from Windows 7 and have a reasonable expectation of ongoing privacy, that’s nearly impossible with Windows 10.

        “Just giving in” to the cloud integration seems wrong, but it’s bona fide work in an ongoing way to try to control what Windows talks to online. There’s no easy answer, really.

        A couple of tool recommendations to help you tweak it:

        1. Open Shell to replace the Start Menu with something you’re more used to, and which is controllable.

        2. WinAero Tweaker for an easy way to tweak a whole lot of things.


        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #687416 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Oh boy, now I’m starting to  understand why I stayed away from W10 all this time.  But, I have to buckle up and get through this one way or another.  Lots of stuff to do and think about, even before I connect to the Internet.  Have to develop a written master plan with 1-2-3 I think…

        • #688277 Reply
          Noel Carboni

          One other thing to brace yourself for… In a trim Windows 7 setup you needed something like 30 to 35 processes running. That number is small, and you could get used to seeing what’s supposed to be running. You could know at a glance if something didn’t look right.

          An out-of-box configuration of Windows 10 runs something like 130 processes just to support an empty desktop (though trimming it can bring that down to 100). Use it for a few minutes and the number can push up to 200 running processes and beyond. That’s more complexity than a human can comfortably get his/her mind around. Part of the reason is that Microsoft, for a small gain in performance and reliability, made most services now run one per svchost process. But there are still some 30 to 60 more with names that include “host”, “broker”, etc. that you’ll see. In short, Microsoft has hung a whole bunch of new stuff all over the operating system.


        • #688961 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          I really don’t think it’s as bad as many say. Performance is fine and on many machines we’ve done actually feels snappier than 7. Personally, I don’t like the flat, bright look but that’s the way of almost everything now. I don’t use start menu replacements as I don’t see a big issue with making the start menu work for me. TBH I rarely scroll through the menu, and when i do, it’s easy to find what I’m after. I usually hit one of my shortcuts or type in a few letters of what I want and it’s there. I don’t like the update system but again, I’ve never had any issues.

          Don’t fret. Dig in and play with it. You may actually prefer it. Many of my clients and associates do!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #705486 Reply

          Oh boy, now I’m starting to understand why I stayed away from W10 all this time

          Don’t fret it. If there was a big problem with Win10, it would be all over the tech press—as it was eg for the screw up with 1809 initial release. If there was a major problem, it would be all over the general press—hundreds of millions of users make a lot of noise if they’re unhappy.

          I regard Win7 as MS’s best-ever, but I wouldn’t dream of going back to it at this stage, now that Win10 has settled—I haven’t had a Win10 problem since late 2016, and neither have the group of family & friends who think I’m their support angel.

          how to handle this 1-2-3 without falling into a (irreversible) trap

          Nothing’s irreversible, worst case you have to reformat & start over.

          Things I haven’t seen mentioned yet in previous posts:

          When you have the OS in, MADI—make a disk image;
          When you have added your programs, MADI;
          If you do your tweaking at this stage, MADI when done.
          You now are max ~30 minutes away from recovering from anything which goes wrong.

          Install anti-malware before going online.
          When you go online, first update anti-malware, then get every update MS offers you for Win10—if it goes wrong, you lose 30 minutes, else you’re set with the latest version. MADI.

          Next, visit your hardware vendors websites and get & install the latest drivers for Win10. You want to avoid using MS’s drivers, as they’re farthest back in the driver supply chain.
          Those at the front are the bit makers like Intel, AMD, nVidia etc;
          Next are card/device assemblers like ASUS, Gigabyte etc;
          Next are PC assemblers like Dell, Lenovo etc;
          Last are MS. Get yours from as close to the front as possible. This is largely a one-off effort, as you don’t want to update drivers thereafter unless you have a specific reason to do so—ie don’t update just because there are new ones available, as they can cause problems.

          All done? MADI!

          Thereafter, MADI before accepting MS updates each month, and you are on the road to a happy low-tweak stress-free Win10 life 🙂

          Seriously though, Win10 is a lot more secure than Win7—do a search, I doubt you’ll find many credible sources which say the opposite but many which say Win10 is up to twice as secure. Win10 has 8’s security enhancements over 7, plus the forced upgrades—which, despite the complaints you’ll see here and elsewhere, improve the overall installed base security.

          My experience is that Win10 has enabled some old software and games which Win7 couldn’t run, so I expect the only software exposure is for old peripherals and devices which don’t have Win10 drivers—you should check your manufacturers sites to gauge your exposure to this.

          Finally, Win10 is being continually changed and updated going forward, while Win7 isn’t. Give it time, get used to it, troubleshoot whatever problems you run into, and there’s every chance you’ll be one of the satisfied hundreds of millions.

          Alienware Aurora R6; Win10 Home x64 1803; Office 365 x32
          i7-7700; GeForce GTX 1060; 16GB DDR4 2400; 1TB SSD, 256GB SSD, 4TB HD

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #1747872 Reply
            AskWoody Plus

            I’m actually getting used to W10 and it ain’t all that bad compared to W7.  Still some ways to go before I have figured it all out (if ever…).

            Long before this thread, I am/was a believer in MADI all the time.  Did my 1st regular backups during my PCDOS days, a few years (i.e., decades) ago.

            FWIW doing an image of the W10 boot partitions (altogether four, including the WinRE_DRV) takes about 2 1/2 minutes at present (with the C: drive = 33GB).  The M2.SSD drive helps, but, maybe W10’s traffic control is part of the reason too.  And RADI, by the way, is as speedy.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #1870335 Reply
            AskWoody Plus

            Good morning! I have been going back through all of these Win 10 set-up suggestions ahead of getting my new Win 10 Pro laptop, and had a few questions about making disk images. I have limited experience with doing that on my Win 7 machines. I do have Macrium Reflect Free, but use it for backups – not disk image?

            I was wondering if you might answer a few questions about the process you describe here, since it sounds like a very logical approach.

            First – would Macrium Reflect Free be a good program to use – or is there something better – or built into Win 10?

            Where do I store the disk image to – an external hard drive?

            Should I also make a bootable recovery disk the first time – I think I can do that in Macrium, but never have.

            Anything else I might need to be aware of?

            Thanks so much for the help. I am hoping to make the Win 10 laptop as close to Win 7 as I can and do all of the tweaks that I can ahead of actually getting online with it.

            • #1870341 Reply
              AskWoody Plus

              I have used Macrium Reflect (now v7) for years and find it excellent.  So, you can’t go wrong by using it imho.  The free version won’t give you forum support, but, there are many topics of interest here:

              Although I have a 4-license Macrium Reflect package, I used the free version (no validation required) for my 1st image backup right after the initial W10 startup and before connecting to the Internet.

              I saved the image to an external USB drive and I made a bootable recovery USB stick.  You can make a bootable CD/DVD too.  Either way, do it, as without you can’t easily re-image or recover in case of need.

              Once my W10 installation had progressed to the point I felt confident I could connect to the Internet, I just entered my Macrium license to make it permanent.

              Have fun .. but do follow the 1st setup advise in this (and other threads).  It saved my @#$!  Great advise indeed…

              1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #1870409 Reply
                AskWoody Plus

                Thanks for the info – and good to know that the free version should be fine.

                I’m in the process of going though these threads and compiling a list of things to do and the order to do them before going online once I get the new laptop. So much great info here – I just need to organize it into a plan of action, and hopefully things will be fine.

                Much appreciated!!

      • #688725 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        More MS processes more Power more Intel .. at the end of the day a win-win for Wintel.  I think I have to get used to this W10 thing over time.  Good that the new box won’t arrive for a while!

      • #688968 Reply
        Da Boss

        I do a new install/first-time setup/update/upgrade OFFLINE (before the reboot in case of  update/upgrade).
        I use a Local ID ALWAYS, never a Microsoft ID.
        I do NOT use ANY of the UWP/tile apps EVER.

        Settings (offline before connecting to the Internet):
        + Open Shell to give a workable menu.
        + Install wushowhide.diagcab (download from Microsoft) to HIDE unwanted updates/upgrades. See AKB2000013 about “How to Clear the Windows Update queue.”
        + Turn on System Restore (it gets turned off with each Feature upgrade and sometimes with updates.
        + Under Settings>Update and Security set Semi-annual channel (if it esists) and Feature updates = 365. I personally set Quality Updates = 0 and no pause.
        + Group Policy
        Windows Components>Windows Update>Configure Automatic Updates = Enabled, value = 2 (notify download/install). This will keep the updates from automatically downloading to your computer. You have to click “download.”
        + I do not use a third-party update blocker, but there are very useful ones if you want to get serious about update control.
        + Go through the Settings app COMPLETELY. At least, turn off access for any Microsoft tile app you do not intend to use (better to uninstall), block MS notifications & tips & suggestions & telemetry everywhere you see it.

        All this BEFORE you go on line.

        8 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1736802 Reply

          I am a current Win 7 Home user. I am getting a new in-the-box laptop with Win 10 Pro with a  M.2 512 SSD. I am choosing Win10 Pro for ease of blocking updates (per Woody’s book) and this will be my first experience with a SSD (trying to adjust to where technology seems to be going). I am thinking 512 because more can’t hurt.  I am not as tech savvy as many of you here.

          What eventually occurs the first time I allow updates to install after I initially block everything? Is the initial blocking so I can hide anything unwanted before I allow the first round of updates?  Also, referring to PKCano’s post, how do I  install wushowhide.diagcab (download from Microsoft) without connecting to the Internet? I am not familiar with this, but it sounds like I can control both which updates and versions install. And can you elaborate on workable menu from the Shell?

          Thx for the help!

      • #724407 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        One of the first things I do with SSD drives is disable hibernation and fast startup

        I have both turned on in my machines. Start up is a snappy 20 seconds to return the the same place I left off.

        cheers, Paul

        • #747165 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          I have both turned on in my machines. Start up is a snappy 20 seconds to return the the same place I left off. cheers, Paul

          I had a few problems with clients using fast startup – buggy issues that went away when they did a reboot and some programs seeming to be affected by fast startup, so I got in the habit of disabling it. The majority of our desktops stay on 24/7 with a weekly reboot.

          With SSD drives our startups are very fast without hibernation so we don’t use it.

      • #1707327 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        What a “wild” ride, but, I’m getting there!  Thanks to all in the thread (and other threads) for your useful suggestions, as, without, I may (most likely) have run into problems big-time.

        After spending several days offline, deactivating or removing most Apps, all the Tiles and some other stuff I don’t really care for, I now have a setup which looks much like W7 (except for the W10 Start Menu, which I’m still trying out).

        A neat Desktop with just the application programs I want to use.  And WUD asks me “politely” before updates are installed (changed GP).  It’s all pretty new (although under the hood I find lots of W7 looking stuffs).

        So, what did I end up with: a SFF ThinkCentre M920s with Intel Core i7-8700 4.60GHz M2.SSD 512GB and most of the good stuffs offered.  Not a speed demon, but, it’s cute like hell.  About 1/4 of the size of my old IBM (!) PC.  As the box was assembled mid-April (special order) I got W10 1809 well patched.

        Again, great advise!  Thanks.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1749759 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        “Not a speed demon”

        ?How much RAM?


        • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Zig.
        • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Zig.
        • #1749864 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          One 16 GB DDR4 UDIMM Module in 1 slot (of 4).  I can add 3 more for a total of 64GB.

          • #1826924 Reply
            AskWoody Plus

            It would probably be faster with (2) 8 GB sticks (or, you could add a 2nd 16 GB stick).


      • #1827151 Reply
        AskWoody MVP

        Adding one more 16gb will serve duel memory channel, which is somewhat better than a single.  Swapping out the 16 for two 8’s won’t gain you much. Newer processors and mom boards will handle either. Price jumps drastically after 4gb.

        The school of thought was paired is better, so don’t add just one 8gb to your existing 16 expecting it to show a total of 24. It could result in system showing you have less than the total installed. Pair ’em up, same speed etc.

        • #1829827 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          During configuration I “upgraded” to one 16GB module rather than to add 8GB to the “base” 8GB module.  This to have 3 slots free for expansion.

          That said, I probably never going to need all 3 slots, as 16GB is plenty for the type work I’m doing right now.  Adding a 2nd 16GB module is planned regardless as  I do recall the paired concept .. although I wonder if that’s still valid for today’s powerful CPUs.

          If I recall correctly, my 1st computer had a i286/10MHz chip and 1MB memory…to which I added a 2nd 1MB module (among other upgrades).  Times change…

      • #1870339 Reply

        I found a good increase when I changed from the single 8GB module that came with the computer to a matched pair of 8GB modules to get the dual-channel use.

        Before you wonder "Am I doing things right," ask "Am I doing the right things?"
        • #1870724 Reply
          AskWoody Plus

          Before you wonder “Am I doing things right,” ask “Am I doing the right things?”

          Good reminder!  Thanks.  As for the matched pair of memory modules, I’ll get around to it one day soon .. I hope.

      • #1870726 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Your mileage may vary, but, the attached .jpg shows my current O&O ShutUp10 settings. In case I flipped one switch too many .. let me know.  Thanks.

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