Lean, Mean W7 machine!
May 31, 2011 9:17 AM   Subscribe

I plan on buying a new HP PC from Best Buy with Windows 7. Of course, it comes loaded with every junk program imaginable. Plus I want to "optimize" it for best performance.

Best Buy says they can do both of these for me (for about $100), but I bet I can do it myself! Does anybody have any suggestions? I'd particularly like to get rid of the Norton bloatware, but in general, I'd like to make it a lean, mean machine because I like to keep a lot of programs running (Evernote, Dropbox, Carbonite, Copernic, and Xmarks, to name a few).
posted by Rad_Boy to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Try The Decrapifier.
posted by Marky at 9:21 AM on May 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


Marky is right, decrapify. Do not pay those uncertified Best Buy schmucks a dime to "optimize."
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:23 AM on May 31, 2011


It isn't actually all that hard to remove most of those things manually.

Some of them don't have entries in the "remove software" list, though. For them, you need this tool.

Be a bit careful when using it, though; you can royally louse up your computer.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:24 AM on May 31, 2011


Thirding Decrapifier. Also, are you a college student? Do you know one? If so: Free Xbox!
posted by The Bellman at 9:27 AM on May 31, 2011


I have no idea what Best Buy does for $100. But what I would do is Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features and uninstall everything that I can identify that I decide I don't want. With that goes a bunch of HP software, help manuals, product assistants, registration tools, free trials, etc. I would also remove the Norton and run something free instead.

Then I'd install all my favorites using Ninite.com, then I'd open CCleaner, run it's registry scanner thingy and it's file system cleaner. If it was a mechanical hard drive I might defrag it once manually just for good measure, but otherwise Windows 7 will handle that automatically.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:28 AM on May 31, 2011


If you want to go even more slim and you're OK with more mucking around, you can try wiping the HD and re-installing with RT Se7en Lite. I haven't used it, but it's like nLite and vLite for Win2k/XP and Vista. here's a guide with screenshots, to get an idea of what you would be getting into.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:30 AM on May 31, 2011


Also, any reason you're going with Best Buy? You can often get discounts through sites like Fat Wallet or Got Apex.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:33 AM on May 31, 2011


Thank you for the great advise. I feel well armed now. BTW, I'm buying at BB because the PC I want is on sale now.
posted by Rad_Boy at 10:00 AM on May 31, 2011


Couldn't you just reformat it the second you get it? I haven't bought a PC in a long time (and the last few times I was running Linux) but don't they come with Windows install CDs/DVDs so you can start clean in 20 minutes?
posted by Brian Puccio at 10:08 AM on May 31, 2011


Brian Puccio: "I haven't bought a PC in a long time (and the last few times I was running Linux) but don't they come with Windows install CDs/DVDs so you can start clean in 20 minutes?"

They don't just come with install disks any more, they come with system restore disks that install all the crap with the OS. Nthing Decrapifier and uninstalling anything else you don't want.
posted by charred husk at 10:33 AM on May 31, 2011


If you want to be thorough, you could buy your own full copy of W7 that will be crapless (well, mostly crapless) and will allow you to rebuild in the future without restoring all the crap. If the machine has more than 3GB RAM and only comes with 32-bit OS, you'll probably end up doing that anyway (look a couple of questions below yours).
posted by Lyn Never at 10:49 AM on May 31, 2011


The Decrapifier doesn't actually remove a large number of programs. Look at using that, Add/Remove Programs and Autoruns, as others have said.

Your best bet is a Windows 7 install CD, but that's going to cost you another $100. Then again, that's exactly what you would pay Best Buy.

The other thing you might consider is buying a refurb business desktop PC. You can get these from HP and Dell (and probably Lenovo) as well. Business PCs have minimal or no crapware and can often be purchased with a warranty.
HP: http://h71016.www7.hp.com/html/hpremarketing/daily.asp?jumpid=re_R295_store/buspurchase-refurbished/computing/price-list

Dell Outlet - http://www.dellauction.com/
DFS Direct - http://www.dfsdirectsales.com/
Dell Auction - http://www.dellauction.com/
posted by cnc at 11:13 AM on May 31, 2011


CCleaner is better for removing unwanted programs than anything else I've used.
posted by coolguymichael at 11:51 AM on May 31, 2011


Your first mistake is buying from Best Buy. I just got a Lenovo Thinkpad with an IPS display (like the iPad's) and an i& processor for under $1000 online, and it's a dream machine. And there's very little bloat. While MS Office is pre-installed, Norton is not. Norton's installers are installed, but you have to actually install Norton, which I declined to do. The only other bloat are the ThinkVantage tools, which are actually useful.

Wait for Lenovo's next sale.
posted by orthogonality at 12:32 PM on May 31, 2011


Best option: Reformat and reinstall windows 7..clean copy.


Tedious option: Get Glary Utilties and decrapify using this guide

Why not use add/remove .. because Glary utilties does batch uninstall

posted by radsqd at 2:06 PM on May 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


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