New PC. No preloaded software.
March 12, 2010 9:31 AM   Subscribe

I want to buy a new PC. Do you recommend any manufacturers that: 1. Do not preload ANY software except the OS (except maybe MSOFFICE). 2. Allow you to add second and third drives in the machine itself. I've bought a lot of machines from mom and pop shops in the past - but want something with a guarantee now.

I've bought Dells and HPs before for family members and could not believe how much crapwear was installed on the machine.

posted by mildred-pitt to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Buy a Dell Vostro (they're in the small biz section). They're explicitly advertised as shipping free of preloads. Their default configs include AV software, but you can cross that off before ordering.
posted by ConstantineXVI at 9:47 AM on March 12, 2010

Pricey and might be overkill for your needs, but Alienware makes great machines.
posted by bluejayway at 9:51 AM on March 12, 2010

+1 on the Alienware stuff, plus you get customer service, which sometimes is lacking in other companies
posted by zombieApoc at 9:54 AM on March 12, 2010

Seconding the Dell Vostro line. Dell Small Business may as well be an entirely different company, they will treat you much better and provide far, far better service. If you already have a copy of Windows with a valid license that you're interested in transferring and not using on the old machine, you could get a Dell with Linux installed and just put your copy of Windows on yourself, although that would take a few hours to get it installed and completely set up.
posted by Saydur at 10:05 AM on March 12, 2010

Thirding Dell Vostro.

Note that you don't need them to put drives into your machine. It's pretty easy to do it yourself, and their standard cases tend to have a fair bit of capacity.
posted by chengjih at 10:09 AM on March 12, 2010

At the time I bought my custom configured SYSTEMAX PC, it came with Windows XP only. Not sure where you are, but the unit was also assembled on the USA and is domestically tech-supported, which was a feel-good factor for me.
posted by Oireachtac at 10:11 AM on March 12, 2010

Alienware is dell now. Alienware is a great way to get a great machine by paying only slight more than 2x what the components would cost on their own. Alienware is not what it used to be.

The Falcon's are where it's at now for pricey, high performance machiens, but yes, get a vostro.

Really, anything plus the pc decrapifier.
Vostros are a good mix of power and price. The default is to ship with 32bit win7, make sure you check the box for 64bit win7, there is no price difference.
posted by TomMelee at 10:14 AM on March 12, 2010

TomMelee's suggestion of PC Decrapifier is a good one, I vouch for it ridding the unwashed masses of computers of crapware.
posted by deezil at 10:17 AM on March 12, 2010

Nthing Decrapifier. No matter what you buy, it's a good way to get that nice, clean "stock Windows" smell quickly.

Also, if you've got any old hardware or software laying around, you may not want 64-bit. Hardware that's too old may not have 64-bit drivers, and any 16-bit (Windows 3.1 era) software won't run natively in 64-bit Windows at all. If you're starting from a clean slate however, I'd strongly encourage 64-bit.
posted by ConstantineXVI at 10:20 AM on March 12, 2010

Forgot to mention: if you get a Dell Vostro, take a look at bargain/coupon sites like and Dell frequently has some sort of deal going on.
posted by chengjih at 10:36 AM on March 12, 2010

A lot of local places actually come with a pretty decent warranty. I was looking at a shop with a one year warranty included in the price, and two years available for a little extra.

Course, you can always build the thing yourself...
posted by valkyryn at 11:12 AM on March 12, 2010

If you get the Vostro you can use MS's free AV: Security Essentials. Its not bloaty and it will never expire.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:30 AM on March 12, 2010

Or just buy any machine, and immediatley format and re-install. May need a Windows 7 disc other than what comes with it, but could be worth it. Find one of the machines that has an ubuntu option so you're not eating the cost twice?
posted by CharlesV42 at 12:36 PM on March 12, 2010

Last two Dells I bought (2004 and 2008) were devoid of any crapware. But they were Latitudes and NOT purchased at Best Buy.
posted by gjc at 5:07 PM on March 12, 2010

You will pay a premium in price for the lack of crapware - the reason they put that on there is because they got kickbacks.

I say get the machine you want and do a reinstall windows yourself.
posted by Sonic_Molson at 9:35 PM on March 12, 2010

The secret here is to shop at the Small Business websites of HP/Dell instead of the Home website.
Manufacturers are more likely to put "value added content" on PCs bound for home use.
posted by ijoyner at 10:15 AM on March 13, 2010

just confirming that pc decrapifier - and it used to be called "Dell De-Crapifier" but i think they got a cease and desist letter from Dell lol -- anyway it is an awesome program

also, confirming that dell small business and dell home are basically 2 diff companies under the dell "roof" -- and if anyone that has a dell home computer ever has to do ANY kind of tech support, im here to suggest that one use their chat function. short wait times (never had to wait longer than 5ish min) and you can actually get help/they are willing to help you...

the "best" way to do this is going to be to just reinstall the OS of choice on the new PC

i got a *ton* of bloatware on my lenovo ideapad y550p if you were even considering going that direction...granted i got a great deal on it from newegg but thats not the point!
posted by knockoutking at 10:17 AM on March 13, 2010

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