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Thread: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

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    Question Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on 1TB SSD?

    Lots of questions, so apologies in advance for this being a tad on the long side!

    It's been a while since I last installed Windows and it's not something I do very often so I thought this time around I'd ask for some help and advice from all of the experts here as I know from reading various threads that there are a number of you who regularly build or setup desktops for family members and friends.

    1. Partition or no partitions on boot SSD drive? If partitioning, do you install OS and programs on same partition then data etc on separate partitions? Which software would you recommend for partitioning? I've recently seen a youtube video about EaseUS Partition Master (free) which looked to have quite a few useful features and didn't look too hard to use.

    2. I've read mention of a few bits of software out there such as IOBit Driver Booster 3 and that aid finding the latest drivers for all of your hardware should the drivers contained within Windows 10 either be out of date or not work? Any recommendations?

    3. Tips/tweaks on how to stop all (or as much as possible) spying from Microsoft plus how to get Windows 10 to run as fast and as smooth as possible? Links to any decent walkthrough tutorials would be helpful?

    4. Which free software do you usually install and recommend after installing Windows? Better alternatives to what's already included in Windows for: web browsing, antivirus/spyware/malware protection (currently using 360 Total Security plus MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (Premium), music and video playback, pdf's, video downloading? Ninite was mentioned as a one-stop where most free software can be downloaded in one hit.

    5. Any useful or must have utilities for optimising hardware and system performance?

    6. Which software would people recommend for creating OS restore images and regular backups? I know this is something I should have been doing far more frequently than I have (think I've only ever backed up Windows once or twice in my life, lol!). Think I'd like to create one barebones restore image of just Windows and working drivers for all hardware. Then a second one once I've installed all the software that I shall be using.

    Is there anything else that I may have forgotten to ask that you'd normally do during a clean install of Windows on a new desktop build?

    A checklist of which order to do everything in would be useful, as I can then work through it without worrying that I've jumping a step or doing stuff in the wrong order, lol!


    Many thanks.

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    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    A bit more detail, thought I'd split first post so it didn't look like the start of a very long book, lol!

    Currently using a desktop that I built (Nov 2012) after asking for advice on this thread: http://forums.hexus.net/pc-hardware-...ld-please.html running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on a Samsung 830 256GB SSD with 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance PC3-1280 DDR3 RAM.

    I purchased a Windows 8 Pro licence from Microsoft (Jan 2013, I think?) before the price skyrocketed but have never installed it after reading mixed reviews. So, I'd like to use this licence when doing a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a new Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD that I have purchased (Nov 2015). I also recently purchased another 16GB kit of identical RAM but to my disappointment Microsoft have limited the amount of RAM that Windows 7 Home Premium allows to be useable to 16GB even though all 32GB is recognised!

    This upgrade has been on the back burner for over six months as I'm guessing it will require a bit more planning and take a fair bit longer than a regular update from Windows 7 to Windows 10 having to find drivers and software install files etc again?

    First things first, backing up any data stored on current boot drive (documents, photos, music, videos and downloads) onto another drive...pretty straight forward. Other than saving my Chrome browser bookmarks, is there anything else that people usually backup for use in a new Windows OS?

    Think I'll make a checklist of current software installed that I use and not bother with anything that either hasn't been used for a while or not at all since it was installed.
    Next question and something that I've been procrastinating over recently is whether to partition the new 1TB SSD? Seems to be plenty of people in each camp, some say they prefer having the OS installed on it's own partition so should they run into any problems, they can simply re-install the OS (either from a backup or from the install DVDr or USB flash drive) without losing any data or even having to re-install all of their program software. Others seem to think having your programs installed on a separate partition slows the system down and Windows may not like this? Opinions?

    Would I be better off having a separate, smaller SSD, as the boot drive?

    Something I've never used before but very much wish to learn and play around with is virtual machines running various different Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8.1) and possibly even Mac OS and Linux. What VM software would the experts recommend I start with, Virtualbox, VMware, Hyper-V, ESXi or is there a better option?

    Sandiebox is something I've also heard about but never used. Is this pretty straight forward? Seems a great idea when installing new software to avoid anything malicious getting installed or infecting your system.

    This is part of the reason I've opted for 32GB RAM. Presumably having all of these VM's on a separate partition or even a separate partition each is recommended? This was one of many reasons I rolled the boat out and purchased such a large SSD drive. My current 256GB (238GB useable) boot drive dropped to 197GB after installing Windows 7. Although I've set the media library for iTunes onto one of my 3TB HDD's, the backups for my iDevices are still stored on the boot drive and recently that dropped all the way to something like 13GB! Amazing how quickly a 256GB boot drive can get filled. I don't currently have a tonne of software installed and certainly nothing huge like Adobe Creative Suite (although I might in future). I guess, what I would like to try and avoid is running out of space on my boot drive or partition in the future as it's happened a few times previously and I was frantically trying to shift stuff around to free up space.

    Didn't realise DDR4 RAM prices had dropped so much since I built this desktop. Kinda makes me wonder whether I should have considered upgrading my motherboard before purchasing another 16GB of DDR3 RAM? Will my Windows 8 Pro licence used to install Windows 10 Pro allow me to upgrade my motherboard and RAM at some point in the future without then needing to purchase a new licence after 29th July 2016?
    Last edited by cheekster; 18-06-2016 at 10:21 PM.

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    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    I had a quick read through - I have a 480GB SSD myself and didn't partition it. It was more useful in the past when you only had one drive in a computer and had to have a data partition. Looking at your last build you probably have enough storage. Windows 10 does detect a reasonable amount of parts out of the box,but I would have a USB stick handy with all the relevant drivers for the motherboard,graphics cards and any cards just in case. I have tried Macrium Reflect for cloning and seems reasonably fine when I upgraded from a 120GB SSD to a 480GB one.

    You could try Avira for AV,MalwareBytes and SuperAntiSpyware are not too bad for spyware. VLC and MPC for video playback.


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    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    Hi,

    I have a 120GB SSD boot drive so if I do a clean install it's nice and separate. All data/vms/steam folder on a separate drive. If you are partitioning for the first time you don't need any fancy tools, you can do it all from windows setup. If your drive has existing partitions you can clean it all up in one swoop using the "clean" command in diskpart. If you boot into windows setup and hit Shift + F10 you can run it from command prompt. Why not start playing with VMs now and practice partitioning there before doing it for real?

    If you purchased a Retail licence of Win 8 Pro then yes it's transferrable to a new box, OEM is tied to the motherboard by the EULA.

    Built in Windows Defender for me all the way, lightweight and does the job, if you're doing something iffy (like running a .EXE that's not signed and trusted you got off the web) then you'll want to be doing that in a VM anyway.

    Virtualisation software - client hyper-v does everything I need it to but if you want to run OSX you'll need Virtualbox, unless you want to shell out for VMWare workstation, but why not start out with what's free and see if you miss something.

    Backup existing stuff - I usually use disk2vhd to make a VHD image of my existing install before I wipe it, just in case I miss anything. You can then mount the VHD in windows to copy files over, or even attach it to a VM and boot it up if you need to access the install proper.

    I try and keep everything as vanilla as possible, but I do end up installing Adobe Reader for viewing PDFs and use VLC for video playback.

    If I missed any Qs sorry, it was a long post

    Paul

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    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    I have two PCs (HTPC and desktop) with w10 regular installed on 64gb ssds and data on other drives. I rarely go into it in as much detail as you apparently do, but I have a couple of small things.

    First, set it so that all your files - programs, data, personal files etc - save to your other drives.

    Go into services.msc and task manager and optimize what's running in the background and what starts up according to your needs.

    I run avira happily. I don't like ninite very much. I use glary utilities for regular maintenance. VLC and winamp for media playback and organisation. Thunderbird for email, openoffice for documents. F.lux for toning down the brightness of your screen automatically according to time of day so that you sleep better.

    Folding@home to donate spare computer time to science (you can join the hexus.net team!). Foxit reader (pdfs), 7zip, copytrans control centre for moving music onto my iphone.

    I can't remember the exact details of how, but make sure you have your SSD set up so that TRIM is in effect. There are a few more hard drive optimization things that can be looked up, don't remember what they are.

    Doubt there's much benefit to partitioning a 64gb drive, unless you want to try dualboot as an alternative to VMware (about which I have no useful knowledge). Wouldn't go smaller than 64gb for a windows OS.

    Don't forget to go into control panel / programs and features / turn windows features on and off to get rid of a bunch of stuff you won't need. I also tend to go through both the control panel and the windows 10 settings tablet-style menu thingy and change all the settings I don't much like.

    One thing not many people know about is in power options / choose what the power buttons do / change settings that are currently available / turn off fast startup which actually slows your computer down a little for the sake of it feeling like it's faster (i.e. it boots into your desktop quicker, but your desktop is slower and unavailable for longer).

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    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    Thanks for the replies guys, lots of suggestions for software etc that I've not heard much about so will do some reading up...

    Only after purchasing a Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD, did I wonder if perhaps instead I should have opted for two smaller SSD's, say a 256GB or 512GB as a boot drive with OS and possibly program files installed and then a separate 512GB SSD for VM's and data files that I'm working on. Think the benchmarks for Samsung 850 Pro 512GB are also slightly faster than the 1TB? Price would have been more for two smaller drives and the 1TB was expensive enough as it was!

    Still it's not too late, I could still purchase a 120GB or 256GB SSD SSD purely for use as a boot drive. Would my current motherboard (Gigabyte Z77X-D3H support the NVMe standard used by the latest M.2 SSD's such as Samsung 850 EVO, Samsung 950 PRO and Intel 750 Series? Would either be overkill on such an old motherboard?

    Anyone heard of or used a piece of software called Laplink Software PCmover Professional? Does it do as it says on the tin, i.e. it will back up any data and files with installed programs onto a separate drive from which they can be transferred onto your new program file drive without having to re-install each program one by one and losing any data from the previous installation? If so, could save a fair amount of time and work.

    Any more suggestions before I start writing up a checklist to work through? I feel this might be a whole weekend project, lol!
    Last edited by cheekster; 27-06-2016 at 05:44 PM.

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    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    You can just partition the larger drive, no need for physically separate smaller drives (in this instance).

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    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    You can just partition the larger drive, no need for physically separate smaller drives (in this instance).
    If I did as you suggest, presumably when I create a backup of Windows OS, it will be just that and not a backup of the entire contents of my 1TB SSD?

    Over the years, I've been fortunate enough to have only had a very few (read: one or two in the last 20 years or so!) instances of malware/spyware or viruses end up on one of my Windows desktop PC's. Nowadays, there's obviously more and more infections out there and I've read enough horror stories whereby other computer users have had to totally wipe their boot drive and re-install a Windows OS. Bearing in mind I haven't installed any OS since Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit back in November 2012, I was trying to plan for the future this time around and take more precautions than I have in the past so in the unlikely event something went horribly wrong, I could be up and running again with the minimum of fuss. Hence the reason for considering having the OS kept separate plus creating regular backups.

    Does installing program files on a separate partition or drive to where the Windows OS is installed, cause any issues? I've never done this but have read others mention doing so, presumably so should they wish to wipe the boot drive and re-install the OS, they can without needing to re-install all of the program files?

    At the moment I'm leaning towards purchasing either a Samsung 850 EVO 250GB (~ £75) or a Samsung 850 PRO 256GB (~ £100) for use as my boot drive containing both Windows 10 Pro plus program files.
    Last edited by cheekster; 27-06-2016 at 07:53 PM.

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    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    When you partition a hard drive, it behaves as two drives for all purposes other than physical. The partitions carry through over multiple operating systems and everything (though different OSes encode partitioning differently and to have them read each others' partitions requires a bit more fine-tuning, I had it set up briefly when I tried dual-boot but didn't find it easy).

    Keep Avira on or realistically any freeware AV software, and the only stuff it won't pick up is the stuff you'd have to pay enterprise-level security software specialists to pick up, or in other words, match your level of security to the value of the data you have on your system. As always with security, your first line of defence is always you, so don't do anything stupid like give a random person who phones your landline remote access or open e-mail attachments from strangers. You can very happily get away with defender under the above rules. I've literally never had a virus show up on my scanners, other than when my AV is too keen and it highlights one of my poker clients as malware.

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    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    Generally not a good idea to buy software to do stuff like that, there's a lot of freeware that's just as good if not better for purposes like backup etc, unless you're doing a lot of things in that particular area (like HDD recovery) and/or professionally.

    If you're worried about losing data, you can get like 50gb of online backup free between the big names. iCloud, OneDrive, googledrive, dropbox etc. I only ever use windows backup, but I don't have any particularly valuable data offline that I'm worried about losing, and I've reinstalled OSes so many times that it's no particular hassle for me. Whichever backup you use you'll be able to choose whether to back up the entire system, or personal folders, or whatever.

    If you have the money, get yourself a 64gb to have as your boot drive. I don't think your MB supports M.2, only mSATA, so get a regular ssd rather than an M.2. Doubt it's worth paying a premium for the sm951, samsung 850 is pretty popular and pretty good, think that's what I'm using in my HTPC (albeit M.2).

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    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    I just make sure to do a "ATA Secure Erase" before using the drive again. Basically that sets all the NAND to zero in the drive ala factory fresh.

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    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    Currently use 360 Total Security as anti-virus protection (free). That plus Avira, mentioned above, both receive 9/10 in the free AV group test:

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/best-f...virus_round-up

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    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    The countdown has begun towards 29th July 2016, the last day by which to obtain a free upgrade to Windows 10.

    I shall be scribbling down notes from the replies above and bits and pieces I've read elsewhere just in case I forget anything during and after installing Windows 10 Pro 64-bit.

    Just to double-check, this is where I am downloading an .iso image of Windows 10 from using the media creation tool: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/soft...load/windows10

    I selected the option 'create installation media for another PC' as my current desktop is only running Windows 7 Home 64-bit but as I shall be using a Windows 8 Pro retail licence, I want Windows 10 Pro 64-bit. The drop down menu consisted of only three option: Windows 10, Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 N. I chose the first one (Windows 10) and both 32-bit and 64-bit. Is that the correct one for Pro?

    Do people tend to install Windows followed by your anti-virus of choice, connect to the internet and check for any OS and driver updates then create a backup? Then possibly another backup once all your programs are installed and working?

    Any more/other suggestions are welcome.
    Last edited by cheekster; 21-07-2016 at 07:22 PM.

    Dell Studio 15: Windows Vista Premium/4GB RAM/320GB HDD/Blu-Ray
    Samsung UE46F8000 & Dell 2407FPW

  18. #14
    Senior Member
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    • wazzickle's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus Z170i Pro Gaming
      • CPU:
      • i5 7600
      • Memory:
      • 16Gb DDR4 HyperX Fury
      • Storage:
      • Samsung 850 Evo M.2 256GB (OS); 2 x Seagate 5+4 TB 2.5" HDD
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Intel Onboard HD 630
      • PSU:
      • Pico PSU 160W
      • Case:
      • Streacom FC8 Alpha OD
      • Operating System:
      • W10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Samsung UE50JU6800 4k TV
      • Internet:
      • Plusnet 80/20

    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    I don't bother, but I'm sure best practice is to follow a particular set routine, probably starting with antivirus.

  19. #15
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    • cheekster's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H
      • CPU:
      • Intel Xeon E3 1230 v2 Quad Core 3.3GHz
      • Memory:
      • 32GB Corsair Vengeance PC3-12800
      • Storage:
      • 256GB Samsung 830 (Boot), 3TB Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 x 2 + 3TB WD Cavier Green x2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 1GB ScanFX radeon HD7750 GDDR5 800MHz
      • PSU:
      • BeQuiet Dark Power Pro Modular 650w
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define R4
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 64-Bit Home Premium
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2407FPW
      • Internet:
      • BT Infinity

    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    Okay, have tried doing a clean installation of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a brand new Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD and during setup got this error message:

    We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one. For more information, see the Setup log files.

    Although, I saw nowhere that said Setup log files.

    This was with my other HDD's still connected up.

    I then shut down the PC, disconnected power from all drives except the new Samsung 850 Pro SSD which is connected to port 0 on my Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H (version 1.1) motherboard and this time got a different error message:

    Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks.

    I know it's late but can anyone help please?

    Thanks.

    Dell Studio 15: Windows Vista Premium/4GB RAM/320GB HDD/Blu-Ray
    Samsung UE46F8000 & Dell 2407FPW

  20. #16
    Member
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    • cheekster's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H
      • CPU:
      • Intel Xeon E3 1230 v2 Quad Core 3.3GHz
      • Memory:
      • 32GB Corsair Vengeance PC3-12800
      • Storage:
      • 256GB Samsung 830 (Boot), 3TB Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 x 2 + 3TB WD Cavier Green x2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 1GB ScanFX radeon HD7750 GDDR5 800MHz
      • PSU:
      • BeQuiet Dark Power Pro Modular 650w
      • Case:
      • Fractal Design Define R4
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 7 64-Bit Home Premium
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 2407FPW
      • Internet:
      • BT Infinity

    Re: Best practices for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit on a 1TB SSD?

    Update: Currently installing Windows 10 onto the only unused/blank HDD (Samsung 500GB Spinpoint!) that I had to hand. Desperate times call for desperate measures and all that! Will have to clone the OS across to a compatible new SSD later on. Could wipe my existing Samsung 830 but it's getting on a bit now having been in use, coming upto four years in November plus it's too small for my needs.

    This is what happens when one leaves it until the penultimate day before installing Windows 10 for free!

    Dell Studio 15: Windows Vista Premium/4GB RAM/320GB HDD/Blu-Ray
    Samsung UE46F8000 & Dell 2407FPW

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