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New Dell PC… setup recommendation, start fresh or good to go? Login/Join 
Domari Nolo
Picture of Chris17404
posted
Hi, all.

I just purchased a new Dell desktop PC. It’s just a basic model with 12th Gen Intel i3, 8GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, integrated video. It comes with Windows 11 Home installed. This replaces a 9 year old Dell laptop that just died.

This will be used for everyday needs like web browsing and Microsoft M365 apps. Nothing major. I was planning on using the antivirus apps that come with that.

I’m wondering if you’d recommend I update or reset anything to start on a good foundation. I don’t want any bloatware affecting performance, etc. Any specific setup or refresh steps you’d recommend? While I’m tech savvy I’m not really looking to perform a ton of intricate and esoteric steps.

Thanks for your time.

Chris



 
Posts: 2187 | Location: York, PA | Registered: May 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We buy multiple Dell computers every month.
The base install on ours is Win10Pro & is fairly unobtrusive.
It's a bit more time consuming, but a fresh wipe & install of Win__ is a bit better, but not significant.

Currently I'm the only user in our company running Win11, no complaints so far.
I was the guinea pig for Win10 as well, to ensure compatibility with our business applications.

If you decide to wipe & start fresh, you'll need to make a Win11 install USB
Boot from that, delete the existing partitions & install.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 11647 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
Picture of smschulz
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Unless you are experiencing any issues you should be fine.
No it isn't a HD computing machine but if it isn't being used hard then why worry?
 
Posts: 20760 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
A teetotaling
beer aficionado
Picture of NavyGuy
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Home use and along with my business, I've had Dell gear pretty much exclusively for 20 some years. I've never found much bloatware on any of the installs from Dell direct. It's solid gear and should serve you well. Just stick with the built Microsoft Defender. It's all you need.



Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.

-D.H. Lawrence
 
Posts: 10943 | Location: Fort Worth, Texas | Registered: February 07, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
I don’t want any bloatware affecting performance,


Is there anything installed/running now you don't want? Check what apps are in the taskbar tray (down by the clock) and what is running in task manager (ctrl+shift+esc). First time you look, it will have a button on bottom left that says 'more details', hit that.

If you see something using CPU/Mem/disk/network that you don't recognize, post it up here.
You can also go to settings/apps/apps & features & get rid of anything you don't want (make sure you know what it is first, google is your friend). On some windows apps, you can't uninstall, but under advanced options you can stop it from running in the background IE - I don't let cortana run in the background or have mic access. I'm paranoid like that.

Dell's usually not the worst at adding crapware, but there will probably be some things you don't need that are running by default. Likely, they'll never cause a problem or slow you down but can be annoying if they want to update all the time or if they DO cause a problem.
 
Posts: 3146 | Location: IN | Registered: January 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I would never start fresh. Dell drivers and upgrades are tied to your service code and diagnostics are also available with Dell software.


NRA Life Member
 
Posts: 4334 | Location: Commonwealth of Virginia | Registered: January 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
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quote:
(make sure you know what it is first, google is your friend )


.... and now a word from our sponsor:

 
Posts: 20760 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by 4MUL8R:
I would never start fresh. Dell drivers and upgrades are tied to your service code and diagnostics are also available with Dell software.


Never had a problem with this with hundreds of Win10Pro installs on reissued machines.
We increment our hostnames by 1 with each install & are into the 1000s, probably about a 30/70 split by now on Win7 & Win10 respectively.
And that's just laptops, desktops are in the low 100s.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 11647 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Domari Nolo
Picture of Chris17404
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Thank you all for the info! Good stuff to know. It should be delivered tomorrow. I will check a few things out and let you know if I see any issues I may need to address. I’m glad to hear that Dell factory computers should be good to go. Thanks again!



 
Posts: 2187 | Location: York, PA | Registered: May 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
For real?
Picture of Chowser
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Got two laptops from them recently. First thing I did was delete McAfee and everything McAfee related. Yeah, it's free for a year, but it's always been a resource hog for me.

Upgrade storage if you can.



Not minority enough!
 
Posts: 7541 | Location: Cleveland, OH | Registered: August 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
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Getting rid of the bloatware which includes all but the basic Microsoft security is a great first step. The stuff that does security and comes with Windows is pretty good for most people today and the aftermarket crap (McAfee, Norton, etc.) really slows things down needlessly in most cases.
Also any of the crappy and expensive "free trial" and other software is good to clean off too.
If you're not experienced in how to do that, I'd try to find someone you know that actually knows the technical aspects better to help.


___________________________
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Posts: 8187 | Location: NE GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of bigdeal
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I think you've gotten pretty good advice thus far so I won't comment further on that. What I will suggest is once you get the machine how you want it, image that SSD and make a recovery jump drive so if anything happens, you can wipe and reinstall everything without much fanfare. I'd also suggest installing a second drive to keep all your personal stuff on while the original SSD holds the operating system and application software.

Enjoy your new machine.


-----------------------------
Guns are awesome because they shoot solid lead freedom. Every man should have several guns. And several dogs, because a man with a cat is a woman. Kurt Schlichter
 
Posts: 33809 | Location: Orlando, FL | Registered: April 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by smschulz:
quote:
(make sure you know what it is first, google is your friend )


.... and now a word from our sponsor:

*clipped video*


It's not paranoia when they are actually watching you.
 
Posts: 3146 | Location: IN | Registered: January 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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“I don’t want any bloatware affecting performance, etc.“

Maybe get you a copy of Debian Linux, reformat the hard drive getting rid of all that MicrSquish stuff and end up with a lean mean Debian machine.

Smile


———-
Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for thou art crunchy and taste good with catsup.
 
Posts: 4270 | Location: DFW | Registered: May 21, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by bigdeal:
I think you've gotten pretty good advice thus far so I won't comment further on that. What I will suggest is once you get the machine how you want it, image that SSD and make a recovery jump drive so if anything happens, you can wipe and reinstall everything without much fanfare. I'd also suggest installing a second drive to keep all your personal stuff on while the original SSD holds the operating system and application software.

Enjoy your new machine.


Taking a base image was a much better idea when updates were smaller & less frequent. Now it's not really worth the time & effort - you basically have to DL a new OS/Drivers/antivirus after you load the image, sometimes gigabytes of updates and if it was an update that borked you....
Now I prefer using fresh install media + a backup method with duplicate storage, preferably an offsite copy. If I'm doing a bunch of installs in a short time, slipstreaming office & drivers is worth the setup time, but not for a single machine. I usually just create the boot USB with windows & then throw whatever installers I plan to use on the USB too. Ninite.com makes quick work of some of the utilities I always install (chrome, 7zip, puTTY, etc).
After XP, the 'nuke & pave' approve to fixing computer issues has become less frequent - I skipped ME & 8 though. I can't think of the last time I had to re-install windows due to something NOT user error. It was probably 7 or when 10 first came out.
I shut off the VM snapshot feature on the machine I'm using now because it wasn't getting used. That could roll me back a day if something got hosed (or a few minutes if I did a snapshot before doing something sketchy).
 
Posts: 3146 | Location: IN | Registered: January 12, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His Royal Hiney
Picture of Rey HRH
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They usually have a hidden partition that they use to restore the original configuration.

Instead of resetting anything, I would invest in a good back up process / program to back up your system. And regularly backing up. I use Acronis and in addition to back ups, it provides anti-virus and malware protection.

To get rid of bloatware, I would uninstall specific programs. I use CCleaner to uninstall programs and it also updates my drivers.

I use my laptop for Microsoft 365, web browsing, and quicken. It's 5 years old and it's not really hampered. I would still keep it except i started losing sound out of the speakers and also my bluetooth headphones which used to work. I've already replaced the battery.

For the first three years, it was under warranty and for something like this I would call Dell and they could fix it for me remotely.



"It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual." Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, 1946.
 
Posts: 18016 | Location: The Free State of Arizona - Ditat Deus | Registered: March 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
Picture of smschulz
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quote:
Originally posted by snidera:
[

Taking a base image was a much better idea when updates were smaller & less frequent. Now it's not really worth the time & effort - you basically have to DL a new OS/Drivers/antivirus after you load the image, sometimes gigabytes of updates and if it was an update that borked you....


Just add a usb based backup drive (ssd or spinner) that backs up the image on a schedule.
One I suggest is VEEAM ~ free and effective.
Paid versions will expand the flexibility but not necessary.

https://www.veeam.com/products...html?ad=in-text-link
 
Posts: 20760 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of bigdeal
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quote:
Originally posted by smschulz:
quote:
Originally posted by snidera:
[

Taking a base image was a much better idea when updates were smaller & less frequent. Now it's not really worth the time & effort - you basically have to DL a new OS/Drivers/antivirus after you load the image, sometimes gigabytes of updates and if it was an update that borked you....


Just add a usb based backup drive (ssd or spinner) that backs up the image on a schedule.
One I suggest is VEEAM ~ free and effective.
Paid versions will expand the flexibility but not necessary.

https://www.veeam.com/products...html?ad=in-text-link
Which is exactly what I do with my desktop machine (with VEEAM, thank you for the recommendation Smile ), but I still overkill things and maintain the original drive image separately on an additional drive. Probably not necessary, but since I have the drive space and always seek to overkill things.....


-----------------------------
Guns are awesome because they shoot solid lead freedom. Every man should have several guns. And several dogs, because a man with a cat is a woman. Kurt Schlichter
 
Posts: 33809 | Location: Orlando, FL | Registered: April 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
Picture of smschulz
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quote:
Originally posted by bigdeal:
... I still overkill things and maintain the original drive image separately on an additional drive.
Probably not necessary, but since I have the drive space and always seek to overkill things.....


Never say "overkill" with backups.
You can never have too many or too recent.
It's only common sense but should be based on the the value of the data you want to protect.
The more important it is ~ the more you have to put into it.
So it's not overkill. Cool
 
Posts: 20760 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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