Monday, June 23, 2014

Preparing a new computer for personal use

There are certain steps I always follow when I get a new computer so I decided to write them down for everyone else to know as well.

I just received my new Dell Precision M3800. It’s got a 16 GB of RAM which is sad… Doesn’t it just suck that Intel doesn’t support 16GB modules of RAM with the i7-processors? AMD does but I wouldn’t buy a laptop with an AMD processor for other reasons.. So before Intel starts to support 16GB modules as well we are kind of stuck with 16GB Ultrabooks ..

Luckily drives on the other hand are getting bigger in capacity and smaller in size. So before I’m gonna take my Dell to production I’m going to change the mSata drive to a 1 TB sized Samsung one and the actual 2.5” SSD to another 1TB Samsung drive. Then what I’ll do is run Windows and programs on the mSata drive as well as store ISO files etc on it. Then I’ll steal the Dedup bits from the Windows Server 2012 R2 and use the 2.5” drive as a dedupped drive for my Hyper-V virtual machines. That’s the plan.

And what about my settings? I use UE-V, OneDrive and Folder Redirections (with Windows 8.1 having “Always offline mode” I love it!) so I’m not that worried. It’s usually a case of installing a few pieces of software, reinstalling my modern apps, settings up a new Outlook profile as UE-V doesn’t sync it and I’m ready to go. With the addition of the concept of primary computers I’m really in a struggling between using UE-V or Roaming profiles as the latter would sync the Outlook settings and taskbar better

While working with two computers for a while I love my new Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630 as it has two BlueTooth ID’s so I can change it from one computer to another with the press of a button.

What do I always to when I get a new computer?

  1. Unpack
  2. Finish off the installation for the preinstalled OS
  3. Make sure you have a working Internet Connection
  4. Update all drivers etc. in any way which is the easiest
  5. Open up C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\
  6. Copy every folder that is newer than 22.8.2013 (in the case of Windows 8.1) to a USB stick
  7. (change hard drives etc)
  8. Install Windows 8.1 Enterprise with Update
  9. Reinstall all device drivers from the USB stick
    1. for /r %i in (*.inf) do pnputil.exe –i –a “%i”
      1. Need to be run in the folder where you copied your DriverStore\FileRepository contents to
    2. If Device Manager still shows something not working then install drivers manually
  10. Some minor tweaking as always Winking smile


  1. C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\
    Copy every folder that is newer than 22.8.2013

    What is this date and does it translate to Win10?

  2. This is the RTM date of Windows 8.1. And no it's not for Windows 10. Windows 10 has a good tool for this in PowerShell called Export-WindowsDriver


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