These tips will help you keep the OS simple and clean.
The reasons for this is to keep the Os as clean as possible. It helps make programs run faster and a general increase in operation of the system.
1. Before formatting a system, you have to make sure you have the latest drivers for your system. This is because, installing drivers from say driverpacks and the likes may not necessarily provide you with the latest. And also such packs leave their own softwares on the system (which we don't want). Latest drivers also come with extra security and performance boost.
The only exception to this is if you use a modded driver like I do for your vga.
2. Get a windows iso with the most recent updates, since we would like to avoid having to install too many updates.
In our case, one which is pre-activated would be preferred.
3. Backup all important files on an external to be on the safe side.
4. A full harddisk format is preferred but not necessary. During Installation, create an extra partition for your data. Keep the installation partition at around 50GB to be safe and dedicate the rest to your data partition.
1. After windows installation, install your drivers.
2. Disable autorun and autoplay on system to improve security against usb viruses. Autorun batch file available here and also in Hiren's Boot iso. You can disable autoplay by cliking Start> Default Programs> Change autoplay settings and unticking "use autoplay for all media and devices".
3. Install a good antivirus software. For most users, microsoft security essentials is okay.
4. Softwares: Try to use softwares which require less ram.
CCleaner - for cleaning registry and temporary files. Also use it to disable unwanted startup programs to speed up booting.
Defragler - for defragmenting disk. You can set it to do this periodically.
Vlc or MPC - media players. Or you can install k-lite media codec pack so you can use the windows media player.
SumatraPDF - PDF viewer. Also support epub and mobi formats. (Adobe reader is too demanding)
MS Office or OpenOffice (LibreOffice) - Document editor.
HandBrake - Video Converter.
Picasa - Image viewer and editor.
WinRAR or 7zip - Archiver
DaemonTools or PowerIso - for mounting disc images.
Firefox or Chrome - internet browser.
IDM - Internet download manager.
Try to keep your software installation to a minimum. If you don't know what a software does or don't need it, don't install.
Adobe flash player
DotNet framework 4 (If required)
Java Runtime (If required)
Direct X (If you are a gamer)
4. you can also use free software alternatives. Eg. GIMP for Photoshop, Blender for Autodesk, etc...
There are many good free software alternatives which perform almost all or more than the fuctions of commercial software. But be sure of what you are downloading.
5. Browser Addons: These are just some addon I use to make my browsing easy.
Adblock Plus - with element hiding helper, pop-up for adblock.
Grease Monkey - with scripts like adsfight and anti-adblock killer.
These smooth-up my surfing and reduce likelihood of virus download through ads.
6. Save your data in your data partition to avoid clogging drive C:. This boost the system since it has more room to operate. It also makes defragmenting easy.
You can make your music, documents, videos, etc.. on your data partition reflect in the library.
Eg. Goto libraries and right-click music then properties, include a folder. Browse to where your music is saved in data partition and select that folder. Click apply. Now all your music will be shown in the music library and will also be available in windows media player.
The General idea is to keep install to minimum and even without antivirus and with a keen mind, you can keep your system clean, safe and fast for sometime.