This is a companion piece to my Setting Up a New Mac, My Way entry. Thankfully, I haven't had to use Windows much in the past couple of years, but when I do have to set up a Windows machine for some task that requires it, I want to have a list of things to do to minimize the pain.
(This is a work in progress. It will evolve every time I go through the setup process, and every time I have to work around some annoying Windows limitation.)
- Install/reinstall Windows. (The remaining steps assume the version is Windows 8.1 Pro x64, and it is running in VMWare on a Mac.)
- In the Windows 8 start screen, remove everything except Desktop.
- In Desktop, right-click the taskbar, choose Properties, select the Navigation tab, and check the When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start box and the Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start button.
- In Settings (or Control Panel or wherever Microsoft puts these things this year) make these changes:
- Ensure the Location is United States and English (United States) is the preferred language.
- Enable automatic Windows updates.
- Change the desktop background to a solid color.
- Enable these desktop icons:
- Recycle Bin
- Disable the screen saver and Turn off the display power option
- Uncheck Hide extensions for known file types
- Turn these Windows features on:
- Internet Information Services (leave IIS 6 Management Compatibility off)
- Telnet Client
- Install these applications:
- Google Chrome
- On first run, choose the Relaunch Chrome on the desktop menu item to get it as a window on the desktop
- Sublime Text 3
- Beyond Compare
- Python 2.x and NumPy
- Note: Unless you have a good reason, get the 32-bit version, not the 64-bit version. (It can be difficult to get 64-bit versions of third-party modules.)
- Start Powershell
- Pin Powershell to the taskbar
- Type this command to create the profile directory and file:
new-item -path $profile -type file -force
- Type this command to copy my profile to this computer:
cp ~/Dropbox/windows/powershell_profile.ps1 $profile
- Run Powershell as Administrator and run this command:
set-executionpolicy -executionpolicy remotesigned
- Restart Powershell (with the new profile)
- ... (to be continued) ...