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Setting up my new PC

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Setting up my new PC

Postby The Elf » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:57 am

I'm waiting for my new studio PC to arrive in a couple of hours.

Each time I set up a new PC I do a few things differently, based on what I've learned in the past. This time around I'm not partitioning the hard drives, for instance.

Any tips for what I should do differently based on what *you* have learned?
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby franciskimberley » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:08 pm

Dunno what you do normally to give you anything different!

When asked to "audio-fy" a regular PC (and nearly always a laptop) I:

1) swap the default Aero theme for Windows Basic or Windows Classic

2) disable system sounds and screensaver

3) set 'Processor Scheduling' to 'Background Services'

4) set power settings to 'High Performance'


In addition, and while not directly related to audio, these:

5) remove or disable any bloatware, WMC and Windows Live Essentials rubbish, then install lightweight essentials (VLC, MSE, 7Zip, etc...)

6) convince the owner to install Chrome as the default browser (and then bore them rigid with a 30min sermon at the altar of Google... I'm a fanboy)


Admittedly 5 + 6 only happen if I think it's in the interest of the owner, but it usually is! Maybe this is the difference you're looking for???

Anything you do that I don't?
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby The Elf » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:33 pm

Well, I don't know what I don't know!

That looks a sensible starting list, and I appreciate the reminders - thanks!

I hadn't thought about uninstalling those items, but I will now. VLC, MSE, 7Zip,etc - spot on and taken as read.

In the past I've partitioned my drives into System/Samples, Documents/Audio Data. I don't believe that's such a good idea now, as at least one of those partitions always ends up badly sized. I'm just going to have the System and Documents folder on the first drive and the Samples and Audio data foldered on the second drive. What does anyone else feel about this?

I don't touch Google at all. I refuse to even use Google's search, unless it's front ended with startpage.com - I prefer a search facility that doesn't spy on me! I can't bring myself to use Chrome, I'm afraid.

I like ninite for getting all of the basic software installed - fire and forget.

And many check-points with image backups!! :D
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Scramble » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:44 pm

I think minimal partitions as well, as you say you often end up with them being the wrong size (but I still use some because having a few is convenient).

I don't bother with dual boot these days, but I still have other OS's on other drives which I can fire up by switching drive order in the BIOS -- you need this in case of system drive failure or virus infection.

Are you using an SSD for a system drive?

Windows 7?

Good luck with it. Let us know the details of it, and how it goes.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby The Elf » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:20 pm

Win 7 yes, but no SSD - just twin HDs: 512GB System & Docs, 1TB Samples & Audio.

Just got Cubase installed and all the basic utility software - now taking an image copy!
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby johnny h » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:27 pm

The Elf wrote:Well, I don't know what I don't know!

That looks a sensible starting list, and I appreciate the reminders - thanks!

I hadn't thought about uninstalling those items, but I will now. VLC, MSE, 7Zip,etc - spot on and taken as read.

In the past I've partitioned my drives into System/Samples, Documents/Audio Data. I don't believe that's such a good idea now, as at least one of those partitions always ends up badly sized. I'm just going to have the System and Documents folder on the first drive and the Samples and Audio data foldered on the second drive. What does anyone else feel about this?

I don't touch Google at all. I refuse to even use Google's search, unless it's front ended with startpage.com - I prefer a search facility that doesn't spy on me! I can't bring myself to use Chrome, I'm afraid.

I like ninite for getting all of the basic software installed - fire and forget.

And many check-points with image backups!! :D

I think Opera is the best browser but I'm definitely in the minority on that one. There are a few sites where it doesn't work so well so I keep Chrome as a backup, I hate Google with a passion too.

Make sure the operating system and programs are on a ssd drive. If you are using streaming samples I would advise you to stick your most commonly used collections on the ssd drive too as it makes it much quicker to load and gives you greater polyphony. Audio and general samples don't benefit from the extra speed particularly so you can put them on the secondary drive along with general storage. Partitions aren't necessary these days.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:59 pm

The Elf wrote:
I don't touch Google at all. I refuse to even use Google's search, unless it's front ended with startpage.com - I prefer a search facility that doesn't spy on me! I can't bring myself to use Chrome, I'm afraid.

Firefox and DuckDuckGo.

It's like a flaming farm round ere!
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Mock Element » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:13 pm

I use Waterfox. Tried DuckDuckGo but hmm..might give it another shot.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Magic Matt » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:37 pm

The Elf wrote:
I don't touch Google at all. I refuse to even use Google's search, unless it's front ended with startpage.com - I prefer a search facility that doesn't spy on me! I can't bring myself to use Chrome, I'm afraid.

I'm curious... what makes you so interesting that a huge global company like Google would be interested in singling out your personal search patterns?
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby johnny h » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:50 pm

Magic Matt wrote:
The Elf wrote:
I don't touch Google at all. I refuse to even use Google's search, unless it's front ended with startpage.com - I prefer a search facility that doesn't spy on me! I can't bring myself to use Chrome, I'm afraid.

I'm curious... what makes you so interesting that a huge global company like Google would be interested in singling out your personal search patterns?

They do it do everyone and use the information to make incredible amounts of money out of advertising.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Magic Matt » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:00 pm

johnny h wrote:
Magic Matt wrote:
The Elf wrote:
I don't touch Google at all. I refuse to even use Google's search, unless it's front ended with startpage.com - I prefer a search facility that doesn't spy on me! I can't bring myself to use Chrome, I'm afraid.


I'm curious... what makes you so interesting that a huge global company like Google would be interested in singling out your personal search patterns?


They do it do everyone and use the information to make incredible amounts of money out of advertising.


I think you misunderstood the question slightly. They're a massive company that have a fantastic product which for the majority of people on the web is the best quality search system around. It delivers the right results all the time, and you don't have to pay for it. They have to collect data and utilise it to be a successful business.

My point is, why would anyone think that they as an individual would be singled out? They're not interested in your data at all, they are interested in collective data. They don't want to know that Joe Bloggs of 12 Long Street looked for Emu Drivers, they want collective data such as "people in London have started searching for Computer Technician" so that it can drive the cost of their adwords product for example.

So I ask again, what would make you think they are in any way interested in your individual data?
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby BJG145 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:05 pm

Here's a neat website that lets you install all those bits and bobs like Acrobat, Chrome, Flash etc in one go...

http://ninite.com
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby The Elf » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:06 pm

Thanks for that!

Yes, I am already a ninite devotee - it's surprising how few people are even aware of it!
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby johnny h » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:14 pm

Magic Matt wrote:
I think you misunderstood the question slightly. They're a massive company that have a fantastic product which for the majority of people on the web is the best quality search system around. It delivers the right results all the time, and you don't have to pay for it. They have to collect data and utilise it to be a successful business.

My point is, why would anyone think that they as an individual would be singled out? They're not interested in your data at all, they are interested in collective data. They don't want to know that Joe Bloggs of 12 Long Street looked for Emu Drivers, they want collective data such as "people in London have started searching for Computer Technician" so that it can drive the cost of their adwords product for example.

So I ask again, what would make you think they are in any way interested in your individual data?

They want it to add to their collective data. Some people actually don't want incredibly powerful companies like Google to own their private information. What aspect of that viewpoint do you fail to understand?
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Magic Matt » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:42 am

The part where you think it's your private data.

Sure, Facebook is a bit different, you put your personal information on it.

Google provide a service, and in exchange for using that service you allow them to keep a note on what is searched for. It's not like it's a new concept, after all, your phone company know exactly which numbers you called, when, and for how long, and they have far more information because they actually have your name, address and bank details attached to that information. Google by comparison is pretty inert.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby CaptainChoptastic » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:10 am

Interesting thread - up to a point, at least...

I'd never heard of Ninite, DuckDuckGo or WaterFox, and I thought I was pretty IT savvy (at least, that's what I tell my employer!).

In a slight "me too" style hijack, I'm also expecting my new DAW system to arrive in a few days and have been thinking about how I set up my drives/partitions.

I've gone for a 240GB SSD System drive, and a pair of 1TB HDD for samples and audio. My current (now definitely dead) DAW has/had the expected OS and apps on the 500GB system drive, audio had a 1TB drive to itself, and samples and VSTs had their own folders on a 500GB HDD.

Is this a sensible way to do things? I think I read another thread here recently that stated that VST(i)s are generally pretty small (in terms of storage) and they could easily sit on a system drive and therefore benefit from the SSD speed boost when loading. Sample data for said VSTs would go on the sample drive, obviously.

Or is there a better way to use the drives on my new system?

Cheers,
Si
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Moroccomoose » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:02 am

The way I work is:

Firstly I ask myself if I change OS or got a new computer, does it need installed, or can it just be saved where you want it.

All programs that need installed just go in C: along with the OS
VSTs, samples, midi loops etc are all on my storage drive, an internal 1TB drive. (Not partition, a separate hard drive from the OS and programs drive.)

I also change my default download folder and My Documents onto my storage hard drive. additionally, I sync the various folders in My Documents to various clouds which serves as my backup. eg photos to Box, office docs etc to Skydrive, work to Google drive. I only use the free allocation of space, but by having specific cloud servers for different specific things, I don't forget where stuff is and I have enough space to avoid paying for online storage!

That way, when I buy a new computer, I can simply swap my storage drive over, install my new OS if it isn't already, install any programs and away I go. Which is exactly what I did when I upgraded to Win 8. (No complaints here BTW, but I was going from XP to Win 8 on the cheap deal. So I got 64 bit capability from my pc which hugely improved performance.
A start button installed and metro hidden away, done!

My 'only' exposure is that my DAW audio is not properly backed up (My cloud would over flow!) but then again not being a professional and wouldn't lose anything too important. If I have project I think might have some legs then I back it up to a CD/DVD periodically. I also save the occasional OS image to my storage drive too, just in case!

Stu.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby The Elf » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:26 pm

CaptainChoptastic wrote:I'd never heard of Ninite, DuckDuckGo or WaterFox, and I thought I was pretty IT savvy (at least, that's what I tell my employer!).
All very useful sites (and I hadn't heard of DuckDuckGo either!).
If you're interested:

For a proper 'non-spying' search engine, try IXQuick .

If you really *must* use Google, then Startpage provides an interface to Google, produces the same results, but stops Google harvesting data.

It may be no big deal, but I trust Google about as far as I could comfortably spit them out.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Magic Matt » Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:53 pm

If Google didn't collect the data, the service wouldn't work so well. That's a simple fact, because analysing the data is at the core of how they improve the search engine.

A few hundred people stopping the data being collected would do nothing... if everyone did that, then it would be interesting to see the effect, and frustrating to get the right results.

A little healthy distrust of large companies is no bad thing, but I think it's also sensible to keep it in perspective, and to understand why they operate the way they do, because then you're making a decision that is at least based on facts rather than the fiction of many conspiracy theories that do the rounds.


As for setting up the music PC, I use an SSD for my main data - it makes sample based synths that much smoother to run. I have recently started slicing drives into many partitions, and keep each project on its own partition. I start a new project with a quick format of that partition - it's just much faster than defrag etc. and finished projects get archived into a folder on a large backup drive.

Working that way has enabled me to do far more with an old WinXP machine than I ever achieved on the same machine before. I can physically use far more tracks, more complex arrangements in The Grand and EastWest Symphonic Gold... it all just runs smoother than it did, so I'd like to think I've got it right.

As drives have improved performance and processors become far quicker, I think the gains to be had from particular arrangements of system data and recording data are much more marginal on modern systems. Just put an SSD in there for data and watch it go like a rocket - it puts all the other system wrangling to eek another few percent performance into perspective.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby The Elf » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:17 pm

Magic Matt wrote:you're making a decision that is at least based on facts rather than the fiction of many conspiracy theories that do the rounds.
I'm making my decision based on personal experience! This is something I know a few things about...
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Magic Matt » Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:29 pm

The Elf wrote:
Magic Matt wrote:you're making a decision that is at least based on facts rather than the fiction of many conspiracy theories that do the rounds.
I'm making my decision based on personal experience! This is something I know a few things about...

If you're saying you've had direct experience of Google abusing your personal data, and suffered consequences because of that, then I'd very much like the opportunity to see what happened (off the public forum obviously). So far every person I've challenged to back up their claims has fallen flat of being able to do so, and on inspection of the details, the fault has in every case I've seen, been found to be putting information on a web site other than Google, which has simply been indexed.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:05 pm

The Elf wrote:
CaptainChoptastic wrote:I'd never heard of Ninite, DuckDuckGo or WaterFox, and I thought I was pretty IT savvy (at least, that's what I tell my employer!).
All very useful sites (and I hadn't heard of DuckDuckGo either!).
If you're interested:

For a proper 'non-spying' search engine, try IXQuick .

If you really *must* use Google, then Startpage provides an interface to Google, produces the same results, but stops Google harvesting data.

It may be no big deal, but I trust Google about as far as I could comfortably spit them out.

How do DuckDuckGo finance their "free" service?

The point with Google, and with most privacy issues is not to put yourself in a position where you HAVE to "trust" them. If you ask for directions, the person you ask will remember where you were going. A good shop assistant remembers your preferences. If that information has commercial value, good luck to them!
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:14 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:The point with Google, and with most privacy issues is not to put yourself in a position where you HAVE to "trust" them. If you ask for directions, the person you ask will remember where you were going. A good shop assistant remembers your preferences. If that information has commercial value, good luck to them!
I agree. Good luck to them. It won't be *my* information though.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:26 pm

Magic Matt wrote:If you're saying you've had direct experience of Google abusing your personal data, and suffered consequences because of that, then I'd very much like the opportunity to see what happened
Sorry - it's not my job to convince anyone one way or the other. I have my reasons and I'm happy to leave Google well alone.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:33 pm

The Elf wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:The point with Google, and with most privacy issues is not to put yourself in a position where you HAVE to "trust" them. If you ask for directions, the person you ask will remember where you were going. A good shop assistant remembers your preferences. If that information has commercial value, good luck to them!
I agree. Good luck to them. It won't be *my* information though.

Maybe a pity! If all YOUR search patterns are unavailable, only those of less knowledgable people will be taken into account.

There's an argument to see it as much as "contributing" as "being spied on". Taken to the extreme, consider medical records. My doctor tells me that statistical analysis has proved a BIG life-saver in recent years, but is constantly thwarted by misguided "privacy" concerns. (And, in this country at any rate, the inability of our government to make any large-scale computer project work.)
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:03 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:
The Elf wrote:
Exalted Wombat wrote:The point with Google, and with most privacy issues is not to put yourself in a position where you HAVE to "trust" them. If you ask for directions, the person you ask will remember where you were going. A good shop assistant remembers your preferences. If that information has commercial value, good luck to them!
I agree. Good luck to them. It won't be *my* information though.

Maybe a pity! If all YOUR search patterns are unavailable, only those of less knowledgable people will be taken into account.
Anyone using IXQuick will doubtless be benefitting from my usage patterns, and I'm sure the same is true for my use of Google via startpage.com. :D

I prefer IXQuick for more than just privacy reasons. As the BBC reported a couple of years ago - searching the net is so important, it's incredible that so many people are happy to stick to just one search engine.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby johnny h » Sat Feb 09, 2013 5:21 pm

The Elf wrote:
Magic Matt wrote:If you're saying you've had direct experience of Google abusing your personal data, and suffered consequences because of that, then I'd very much like the opportunity to see what happened
Sorry - it's not my job to convince anyone one way or the other. I have my reasons and I'm happy to leave Google well alone.

And quite right too. Google are absolutely not a benign force in the world and you should always try your best to minimise what they can take from you.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Magic Matt » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:10 pm

johnny h wrote:And quite right too. Google are absolutely not a benign force in the world and you should always try your best to minimise what they can take from you.

You don't get something for nothing. What is true of Google is just as true of other companies. If you don't want a company to have your information, don't give the information out. Google are not unique, so you stand as much chance of that information being used by somebody else if you use their produce instead.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby Magic Matt » Sat Feb 09, 2013 7:11 pm

The Elf wrote:
Magic Matt wrote:If you're saying you've had direct experience of Google abusing your personal data, and suffered consequences because of that, then I'd very much like the opportunity to see what happened
Sorry - it's not my job to convince anyone one way or the other. I have my reasons and I'm happy to leave Google well alone.

Fair enough, but I'm sure you can appreciate why you may come across a high degree of scepticism when you make claims about a company then don't want to back it up with any actual facts.
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Re: Setting up my new PC

Postby The Elf » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:12 pm

Magic Matt wrote:
The Elf wrote:
Magic Matt wrote:If you're saying you've had direct experience of Google abusing your personal data, and suffered consequences because of that, then I'd very much like the opportunity to see what happened

Sorry - it's not my job to convince anyone one way or the other. I have my reasons and I'm happy to leave Google well alone.

Fair enough, but I'm sure you can appreciate why you may come across a high degree of scepticism when you make claims about a company then don't want to back it up with any actual facts.

You can be as sceptical as you like. I'm not trying to convince you (or anyone else of) anything. I'm not going to be drawn on this.
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