What do you do after a fresh OS install?

After my recent experience of having to get a new hard drive and opting not to just clone the old drive. I have the first clean install in 12 years. Not sure how long a hard drive should last but that seems okay.

So what do you do with a fresh install, I sure most of you have done this before? What do you keep on your SSD, what do you move off, what do you install straight away?

Also man o man there are so many settings I didn’t realise I had changed over the years. Who knew the default was to set the PC to sleep after 30mins?

I’m guessing those with Linux would go and change the font size for the CLI? :stuck_out_tongue:

At the moment I went with stuff I needed for this week. Stuff like:
MS Office
Autodesk Inventor
Acrobat reader
Chrome + Iris extension

Now I’m thinking I’ll maybe just install stuff as needed.

Anyway, whats your process and programs?


I haven’t done a fresh install in years, but it would probably be (excluding drivers):

all the game launchers(steam etc.)

then most other things like direct x and .net framework etc. will get installed when you install games.
Following that I will just install stuff as I go along


AV, office suite, steam, firefox, chrome, contacam…then i start doing the less important work install/sign in stuff like skype, teamviewer, vnc, reconfiguring saved settings for stuff like putty, winscp, ultravnc.

I not too long ago did a clean install when I upgraded to nvme about a month ago. thats pretty much the process i went through


Yoh, I get the creeps when thinning about a Windows install 12 years old! I re-install Windows AT LEAST once a year, but more like every 6 months. Its something I like doing and with uncapped fast internet it is even easier still.

I have an old spinny hdd with a folder structure numbered in order of important items. It starts with drivers (GPU, GoXLR, etc), critical apps (7-zip, VLC, Discord), browsers (Brave, Firefox or whatever the flavour of the month is), launchers (Steam, Epic, GOG etc) and then carries on to other apps like video editing and office.

If you are looking for a way to do that for you, have a look at the following 2 script gen apps. Both do essentially the same thing where you pick your apps from a list and it will install the latest versions for you:



Nmap, wireshark, v4l2loopback, tighten up SSH config if enabling, steam, discord, signal desktop, rawtherapee…


Ah, a man of culture!

I’m also going through this right now - had to reinstall Windows with an upgrade in July, and just this week I decided to test run Garuda Linux in dual boot. So far it’s really good, and I do like the feel of the modern Linux desktop, but this weekend’s Battlefield beta will be a true test of its abilities.

In WIndows I also install as I require. I used to keep a folder of installer like @Oltman, but one uncapped fibre internet later, and I’ve shed that habit. I now grab latest installers.

What I definitely do every time, in order:

  1. Chrome
  2. eset AV
  3. Steam, battle net, xbox live, drivers, discord
  4. putty, chrome remote desktop
  5. Remember that my computer’s name is desktop-something, go change that
  6. three month later, when I remember I need to write a thing, all my LaTeX packages

https://ninite.com, which @oltman mentioned is good for the essentials. Grab the installer for your usual packages. It’ll always grab the latest.

It’s got the major browsers, libreoffice, thunderbird, notepad++, gimp, etc etc

Really handy when installing a bunch of systems over time.

I see they do i3wm. Nice.


I’ve often used ninite before, and I recommend it to others, but my list is simple enough that I don’t really benefit too much from it. My needs change every time as well, and by far the item that takes longest is updating my eset definitions, and I refuse to download any other installer until that’s in place.


I think this is the longest I’ve gone without a fresh OS install. Think my last refresh was when I upgraded in December 2018.

My installation pretty much goes like this:

  • Windows
  • Chrome &/ Brave
  • WinRAR + 7-zip
  • Drivers
  • VIPRE security suite
  • MS SQL Server
  • Visual Studio + 3rd party dev components
  • Office 365
  • VMWare, Telegram, Whatsapp, Notepad++, Paint.NET, KeePass, TeamViewer
  • Investment, Crypto & Mining apps

Games are on a separate OS, but that setup is easy:
Pretty much Windows → Chrome → WinRAR → Drivers → Games.

1 Like

Yeah setting your power preferences are a must :smiley:

I use firefox and chrome both being synced to cloud to get my layouts and bookmarks back.

The one item I don’t see for anyone is a password manager??? I use Bitwarden since I use it for my 2FA keys, makes life super easy to get back into everything.


Bitwarden is a Brave plugin for me, and it loads in automatically :wink: but that is actually a great reminder anyway!

1 Like

git, fish, pass, firejail, apparmor, restore password manager, gnupg files, nebula, restore duplicity backups, wireguard, sdkman, htop, nload, inxi, nmap, screen, vim, docker, virt manager, build brave, ungoogled chromium, telegram, signal, setup profiles in every browser, droidcam, slack, intellij, google chrome, sublime text, vlc, flatpak, snapd, retext

apps i install on first need: handbrake, obs, kdenlive, speedtest, youtube-dl, zeal, discord, gimp, steam, lutris


What do you use putty for these days? Since WSL I just use ssh (often with tunnel) and scp, which is the only reason I needed putty for.

It’s smaller, and you don’t need to log into store.

I have a single headless server on my desk next to my gaming machine, it’s 100% for admin on that thing. Just starting/stopping docker containers and the occasional update and reboot. Spending even 3 minutes on learning how to use and set up WSL would be more effort than I’ll ever gain out of it!

1 Like

If you really only need ssh or scp, it’s been part of Windows 10 since 2018. Try opening a command prompt and typing “ssh” or “scp”.

1 Like

One of the first things I’ll do is install Mobo and GPU Drivers. Productivity stuff like Office. Then Steam and allow it to locate the game files.

Funny thing is that it has been a long while since I’ve actually done a fresh install. Windows 10 is really adaptable and on my desktop PC I’ve changed the CPU and Mobo more than once without reinstalling. At most I’ve done a repair install. It’s so much easier not having to reinstall stuff.

I’ve also taken a hard drive out of one pc and shoved it into another (from laptop to a desktop) without reinstalling Windows and it worked. It’s wonderful. Gone are the days of backing up every document and save file etc. in order to wipe the drive clean.

1 Like

I would suggest grabbing the new Windows Terminal, you can load SSH / SCP directly on there so a lot easier :slight_smile:

I have SSH for switches, management is always fun :smiley:

1 Like

But you can access it via any command prompt or Powershell terminal? The new Windows Terminal is just a tabbed interface for a bunch of CLI shells… And yes, I use it exclusively on Windows.


Yeah the tabbed function is awesome since powershell / cmd / ssh is all in one window, so less stuff to find :smiley: