Your default install application listing for a windos Computer
June 21, 2011 5:23 AM   Subscribe

What are your default installs on a windows computer?

I build or rebuild a lot of computers for friends and family. I'm looking to create a list of default applications for the installation process. On a new Windows box, what are your default installs right after the OS?

So far I have (not in any order):

- Java
- Adobe Reader
- Adobe Flash Player
- Adobe Shockwave
- Silverlight
- All the windows updates
- Micrsoft Security Essentials
- Open Office

I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of stuff that could be useful. I know there will be some differences based on computer usage (example skype for video conferencing, utorrent for downloads). If you install another browser, and various add-ons throw it on your list.

If you install it, I want to know about it.

posted by bleucube to Computers & Internet (20 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
posted by radioamy at 5:33 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

Firefox with AdBlockPlus
posted by radioamy at 5:34 AM on June 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

Ninite may be of service to you!
posted by Grither at 5:37 AM on June 21, 2011 [10 favorites]

SysInternals Process Explorer.
posted by Rat Spatula at 5:37 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Foxit Reader
Quicktime Alternative
Real Alternative
VLC media player
Revo Uninstaller
SyncBack SE
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 5:37 AM on June 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

I think this is what you're looking for.
posted by robtoo at 5:38 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Another vote for ninite. You don't need codec packs or alternatives if you're planning to use only VLC. In addition you don't need 7-zip if you're only ever going to come across zip files.

Don't forget CDBurnXP for burning CDs and DVDs.
posted by mr_silver at 6:01 AM on June 21, 2011

Grither - Ninite provides an excellant list!
Robtoo - Nice resource
posted by bleucube at 6:01 AM on June 21, 2011

You can check my profile for anti-malware, security, and update management tips. One program I've been considering recently for relatives that aren't too computer saavy is Soluto, which seems to do a decent job of profiling common PC issues. I haven't gotten too far into testing it yet, but it looks promising.
posted by samsara at 6:03 AM on June 21, 2011

(oh, and if I had to pick a favorite that I install would be Web of Trust)
posted by samsara at 6:08 AM on June 21, 2011

LibreOffice - Nice alternative to MS Office and a fork of OpenOffice.
CutePDF Writer - Allows you to "print" any document to a PDF file via the Windows print dialog.
FileHippo Update Checker - Scans your PC to see which software is out-of-date and provides direct links to newer versions. Super handy.
posted by mrbob14 at 6:20 AM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you help a lot of family with PC troubleshooting/installs remotely, TeamViewer Personal edition is free and awesome! The only downside is you need them to tell you the ID and password that it displays - you enter it on your TeamViewer Client and lo, you are connected.

I also do similar stuff and my personal list is:

- Remove Crap-ware installed by manufacturers on a new PC
- Firefox with DownloadThemAll, Ad-Block and Speed Dial plugins
- LastPass
- CCleaner
- Microsoft Security Essentials
- Open Office (or a fork)
- ThunderBird (if your family uses GMail, then this gives them a nice Desktop app without logging them into GMail)
- TeamViewer
- MediaPlayer Classic (for a lightweight audio and video player)
- VLC (For the heavy stuff)
- DropBox (optional)
- Skype (its got a screen sharing option which is great if you don't want to start TeamViewer, but need to see what is happening)
- CutePDF
- Cobian/Carbonite/Mozy (or any other backup software. Sometimes, I go with Windows backup)
- 7-Zip

I use Ninite and portable apps where possible, but many of them are one-time updates. I also rename desktop shortcuts as "tasks" instead of program names. Skype becomes "Chat and Video" and Firefox as "Internet".
posted by theobserver at 7:22 AM on June 21, 2011

Google Earth
Amazon Kindle
Google Talk with video/voice plugin
Malware Bytes
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:48 AM on June 21, 2011

-Autoruns - A great util for finding out what's set up to run automatically - helps you *shut down* any nasty buggers that may try to hijack your system. Won't prevent an infection, but is a SUPREME lifesaver after you get hit. Boot into safemode and run it and hunt down the little bugger and make sure it doesn't autorun.

-MSE (as mentioned above)
-FF w/adblock plus/flashblock/quickdrag/locationbar2/linkification/greasemonkey addons. (and the mefiquote script :P)
-OpenOffice or LibreOffice
-MBAM (Malware Bytes)

The linked addons (the blockers are obvious) do:

-quickdrag - can drag/throw a selected block of text to do a search (you can set your search engine, and I think there are multiple options so that you can do a drag upper left and do say... wiki, and upper right to google, etc... all customizable)... There's also a "drag to download" option, so if you see an image, instead of right-clicking and choosing "save" you can just drag/throw (release the mouse button after dragging it, basically) and it will save it for you. I don't use this cuz it's too easy to accidentally drag an image.

-locationbar2 - turns the URL bar segments into clickable links so you can easily navigate to the root page by clicking on instead of having to backarrow it and such. very handy

-linkification - turns all plaintext URLs into clickable links. so if I type it will automatically turn it into a link, even if it's not an HTML link in the page's source.

-greasemonkey - lets you do cool things w/pages you visit. Honestly I only use it for the mefiquote (mefiquoteplus?) script... Very handy to have a "quote" link at the end of a comment that I can hit and it copies the text into the reply box :D

I think autoruns is the only thing I have here that others haven't already said.
posted by symbioid at 8:16 AM on June 21, 2011

I start with
  • Firefox (Tab mix plus, ad block plus, leet key, download staus bar, flashblock, greasemonkey, noscript, tineye extension)
  • XnView
  • Picasa
  • Rename Master
  • 7-zip
  • Thunderbird
  • WinSCP
  • Chrome
  • Textpad (not free)
  • PDF Creator
  • Truecrypt
  • Avast! antivirus
  • Convert
  • Open Office
  • Media Player Classic (for most stuff)
  • VLC (forthe occasional thing MPC won't play)
  • Acrobat Reader
I usually eventually install
  • Sequoia View
  • CDex
  • Daemon Tools
  • Teamspeak
  • WinHTTrack
  • Silverlight (damn it)
mr_silver writes "In addition you don't need 7-zip if you're only ever going to come across zip files."

7zip enables much more functionality than the built in windows zip handler. If all you ever do is unzip single archives than yes 7z is over powered but if you do anything else then an actual zip program is handy.
posted by Mitheral at 9:19 AM on June 21, 2011

Notepad++ is now on my must have list. It's like a more awesome version of Notepad in every way, and it's open source.
posted by smoke at 5:07 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

the only one I can think of that hasn't been mentioned is Irfanview.
posted by lemniskate at 4:37 AM on June 22, 2011

Seconding Ninite. You should also know that the Ninite installer will also update already installed files, so keep that little installer around.
posted by Harry at 6:51 AM on June 22, 2011

Mitheral: 7zip enables much more functionality than the built in windows zip handler. If all you ever do is unzip single archives than yes 7z is over powered but if you do anything else then an actual zip program is handy.

You're right of course and actually I do use 7-zip myself. However I've recently found myself promoting the idea of reducing complexity and duplication of programs for the majority of people who really don't need it.

Some examples:

- If you're going to use Picasa then unless you have to look at some very odd image formats there is no need to stray from the bundled Picasa image viewer.

- A codec pack is reasonably pointless if VLC will play every format that you come across. For 95% of people it will.

- Installing something like Quicktime Alternative is pointless if you use iTunes because you have to have Quicktime installed for it to work.

- If you use iTunes then you probably don't need foobar2000 or WinAmp.

- Unless you can specifically find something unique in Media Player Classic (I can't) then you don't need to install it and VLC. Just stick with one.

Of course, if you're a power user and/or you have very specific needs then these rules won't work - but for a large number of people they make sense.
posted by mr_silver at 4:55 AM on June 23, 2011

mr_silver writes "Unless you can specifically find something unique in Media Player Classic (I can't) then you don't need to install it and VLC. Just stick with one."

I would just stick with MPC as VLC's user interface blows IMO. However there are a few files MPC has trouble playing the VLC manages so I install both.
posted by Mitheral at 7:01 AM on June 23, 2011

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