Thought id share with those who want to know this info of the steps i take (and not long had to re-take so thought id do this guide) to make W7 look the way i want and not do background tasks as im gaming.
Before i install Windows 7 i had to first format the hard drive, if its not formatted then windows will split your hard drive (create a partition) and reserve it for BitLocker and Backup. This is unnecessary because if the hard drive already has a partition it puts it on that one like with Vista. Basically i had to hide the drive from Bios so Windows 7 would know it cant be booted from, i went to installation on dvd, selected the drive, clicked new and ok, the partition was made, rebooted and put drive back in Bios and then installed as normal.
After install this is what i did (Should work with Vista but memory is sketchy, Security Center is Action Center):
Once logged in i first stretch Taskbar to double lines so i can see the time, day and date, right click Taskbar, choose Properties, Tick Lock the taskbar and Use small icons. In Taskbar buttons drop down menu choose Never combine, click Customize..., tick Always show all icons, Turn system icons on or off and then turn off ones i dont what showing, once done click OK twice. Now i go to Start Menu tab, untick both check boxes in Privacy, click Customize...,
Computer - Display as a menu
Connect To - unticked
Control Panel - Display as a menu
Default Programs and Devices and Printers - unticked
Documents - Dont display
Downloads - Dont display
Enable context menus - ticked
Favourites menu - unticked (as i dont use IE8 and have Opera speedial)
Games - Dont display
Help and Highlight new and Homegroup - unticked
Music - Dont display
Network and Open submenus when i pause on them - unticked
Personal folder - Display as a menu
Pictures - Dont display
Recent Items - unticked
Recorded TV - Dont display
Run command - ticked
Search other files - Dont search
Search programs and Control Panel - unticked
Sort All Programs menu by name - ticked
System administrative tools - Display on the Start menu
Use large icons - ticked
Videos - Dont display
then click OK twice.
Now i go to Start menu, click All Programs and delete what i do not need (I keep just Windows Update and out of the folders just delete Games). Now i right click My Computer and click Properties, click Remote settings, untick Allow Remote Assistance (as i dont use it), click System Protection tab, click Configure, click Delete and then Turn off system protection (i never use system restore - if i virus got in thats one place it would go), click Advanced tab, in Startup and Recovery choose Settings, untick all except Write an event to system log (i only have one operating system), and in drop down menu for Write debugging info i choose (none) and click OK . Click Environment Variables... In System variables click New... Variable name: Devmgr_Show_NonPresent_Devices and Variable value: 1 and click OK. Now i click Action Center, click Change Action Center settings, click Customer Experience Improvement Program settings, No i dont want to participate, Save Changes, Problem reporting settings, Change report settings for all users, Never check for solutions, OK twice, Windows Update settings, Important updates drop down menu Never check for updates (i will do it when i want it to), untick Allow all users to install updates (theres only me), click OK, untick everything and click OK. Change User Account Control settings, Never notify, click OK and Yes.
In the address bar of Action Center i click System and Security, click Power Options, Show additional plans, tick High Performance and Change plan settings, as im not on a laptop i,
Turn off the display - Never
Put the computer to sleep - Never
Change advanced power settings
Require a password on wakeup - No
Hard disk Turn off - Never
Desktop background Slide show - Paused
Sleep Allow hybrid sleep - Off
Allow wake timers - Disable
USB selective suspend - Disable
Processor power System cooling - Passive
click OK and Save changes. Click User Accounts and Change picture. Then i clicked Control Panel in address bar and View by: Small icons.
Clicked Administrative Tools, Services, because i dont share on Network double clicked Computer Browser, Startup Type: Disabled and clicked OK, also did the same to Homegroup Listener, Homegroup Provider and Server. Because i dont have a printer i disable Print Spooler and because i dont use Remote i disabled Remote Desktop Configuration, Remote Desktop Services, Remote Desktop Services UserMode Port Redirector, Remote Registry and Routing and Remote Access, due to using a dongle i had to keep Remote Access Connection Manager services as they are. I have my own firewall and anti-virus which i will install soon so Disable Windows Defender and Winows Firewall. I dont like indexer as i want maximum performance so Disable Windows Search. Windows Updater i will disable after fetching all updates first. DO NOT DISABLE DCOM, COM+ or Remote Procedure Call because i tried that and ended up with no Start Menu etc. Close Services.
Into Task Scheduler, this is where windows periodically does auto tasks, a few to do with Customer Experience Program. In the tree on the left click Task Scheduler Library, Microsoft, Windows: Application Experience, Right click both AitAgent and ProgramDataUploader and choose Disable, Autochk Disable, Customer Experience Improvement Program Disable all, Defrag Disable (its auto defrag), DiskDiagnostic Microsoft-Windows-DiskDiagnosticDataCollector Disable, Media Center (not player) i do not use so Disable all, MUI LPRemove Disable, Power Efficiency Diagnostics Disable, SlideShow i make sure all is disabled as dont use, Time Synchronization i disable as i do not use, Same with Windows Error Reporting, Windows Media Sharing and Windows Backup. Close Scheduler and Administrative Tools.
Clicked Autoplay, unticked Use AutoPlay for all media and devices (i choose when i want my devices to run) then clicked Save.
Clicked Folder Options, View tab, tick Show Hidden files, folders and drives (there are 2 temp [junk] folders, 1 in C:\Windows\Temp the other is hidden in C:\Users\YOUR-USERNAME\AppData\Local\Temp), untick Use Sharing Wizard (again i dont share on a network) then click OK.
Click Internet Options, set my homepage to http://www.google.co.uk, click Privacy tab, Advanced, tick Override automatic cookie handling, Accept First-party, Block Third-party (third party is sites embedded into that webpage like adverts), click OK, click Settings, Blocking level: High Block all pop-ups, click Close and OK. (Its safer to pick a different browser than Internet Explorer 8 but if you prefer it your a little bit safer now and wont conflict with the sites you visit).
Close Control Panel and go to Start, My Computer, Right click C: and choose Properties and untick Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed, when a warning message appears choose Ignore all and once finished click OK.
Start, Run, type Regedit and click OK. (Now your Run is in same place as mine i dont have to say Hold Windows Key and press R). Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters. I prefer my system to only prefetch the boot files, not every single file ive used in the past so double click EnablePrefetcher set to 2 and click OK.
Close Registry Editor and reboot computer for all settings to take effect.
Now i install firewall and anti-virus and with custom settings choose Interactive mode so i tell it what to allow in and out of my PC. Once in advanced settings i then disable auto scheduled tasks within the program and set triggers instead. In Setup, choose Antivirus, Edit Exclusions.. and Add my Game folder to be exempt from real time scanning. Update after installing net.
I use Eset Smart Security - http://www.eset.com/purchase/worldwide.php - If you cant purchase after 30 day trial it still protects but wont update.
Once protected i installed my mobile broadband (or ethernet drivers) and when Windows ask me what location i want to select i choose Public and tick to treat all other future connections as public connection (even when on a network i dont want their computers being able to see me incase they got infected).
Get Windows Updates.
I get my Opera browser, press CTRL + F12, in Startup choose Speed Dial, Pop-ups i Block All (right click your webpage and Edit Site Preferences and Open all pop-ups if you trust it) , go to Search tab and delete everything except Google, click Edit on Google and choose Details >> and untick Use as Speed Dial search engine. Click Advanced, Content and then in Blocked Content...
to block all them adverts and dodgy sites! The * is a wildcard and so blocks anything before or after .thesite.com like with here, forum.cabalonline.com would be allowed unless i did *.cabalonline.com instead of www.cabalonline.com
Other browsers are:
Now its more drivers, most recent is what you need as they contain fixes and tweaks so always go to the manufacturer website of your Motherboard, Graphics Card, Sound Card, Mouse and then Directx 9c (as most games still run on 9). I personally know all my components as its a custom built PC, if your not an advanced user and dont want to stick your head inside the tower try a program like Piriforms Speccy.
Now everythings installed its time for a tidy up, i quite quickly just pop into my temp folders and remove junk but CCleaner is a program that will do it for you, cleans browser junk etc too and it also has a registry cleaner.
Go to Start, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, and click Device Manager. In view Show Hidden devices and go down the list uninstalling all semi invisible things that are no longer needed now drivers have been installed. As long as you dont tick the check box to Delete the driver software no harm can come of it and will get re-installed if needed.
Now tidy, you want to defrag all that info thats stored on your hard drive, defrag basically puts all your files into a continuous order instead of being scattered. I prefer to use Defraggler. Another clean freeware program by Piriform where you get to actually see the progress of the defragging like with the old Windows. Also you can select a block in the graph to see whats inside it which i thinks pretty good.
Even with protection and a better browser visiting new sites still holds risks and you can get spyware on your comp, i get 3 programs, the first 2 automated programs are Spybot Search and Destroy (i dont install things like teatime helper) and Ad-Aware (disable the service when not needing it). 3rd program is for more the advanced user Hijackthis, which shows whats running now, whats embedded into your browser, what starts at bootup and also services.