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The Secret to Headache-Free Windows 7 Setup

So you just upgraded or installed Windows 7, unbloated that nasty Windows.old file, and now you need to upload some pictures to Picasa, but you don’t know when you’ll have time to download it, since you’ve spent all afternoon downloading and installing Firefox, iTunes, Digsby, and FileZilla. It’s time to go to the bathroom. Oh, and maybe the kitties need to be fed and dinner needs to be made for your starving husband… Well, pull out that Rachel Ray 30-minute meals cookbook and let your computer do the installing for you.

Lifehacker just ran a little post called “Top 10 Windows 7 Booster Apps” and waaay down at the bottom of the post hides the most useful app on the list. I knew I would love it from the minute I read the description. It’s called Ninite Easy PC Setup, and it’s brill.

Here’s what you do.

  1. Point your browser to Ninite.com
  2. Select the programs you want and need on your computer. Choose from almost 60 programs, including some of my favorites, Digsby, FileZilla, and Notepad++.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click “Get Installer.”
  4. Run the installer.

Make dinner, take a bath, go for a run, or call your mom. When you come back to your computer later, all your apps will be installed. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I’m planning on installing Chrome OS on my laptop when it comes out, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Ninite works in Chrome. Has anyone tried it in other OSes?

Remember that my brother, Daniel Hargett, is available online via CrossLoop to answer any of your Windows 7 questions or help you with any problems you might encounter. He is also my resident iPod Touch/iPhone expert, and he knows Motorola phones like the back of his hand.

The Secret to Optimizing Windows 7 After an Upgrade [Guest Post]

This guest post is from my little brother, Daniel, who recently saved my laptop from almost certain bricking. Check out his other guest posts here.

So you took the dive and upgraded to Windows 7, eh? Congratulations! Now what? Let me tell you a dirty little secret about upgrading to Windows 7.

If you poke around on your hard drive, you’ll probably notice that there’s a folder in the root of your C:\ drive called “Windows.old” and it is huge. The Win 7 installer saves all of your old files from your previous Windows install for you. Now you have 2 copies of everything! Yay!

This detailed, step-by-step guide with pictures will help you clear out all those old files and free up lots of valuable hard drive space. You’re probably thinking that you can just right-click it and select delete, right? NOPE! You’d have to go through some complicated permissions steps to go that route. Let me show you the easy way! (Click the link in each step to see a helpful image.)

  1. First, click your start button.
  2. Then click on Control Panel.
  3. Then click on System and Security.
  4. Then click on Administrative Tools > Free up Disk Space.
  5. Then it will ask you which drive you want to clean up, Make sure (C:) is selected then click the Ok button.
  6. Then you will see this box while it scans for files to be deleted.
  7. The next screen shows a list of files that can be deleted to free up space. We’ll ignore that for now and click the Clean up System Files button.
  8. It will again ask you which drive you want. Again, make sure (C:) is selected and click Ok. Then you will see the scan dialog again. It may take a much longer time to scan this time, just be patient.
  9. Once it’s done, you will see the Disk Cleanup window again with some new items, and missing a button at the bottom. Scroll down that list and select the “Previous Windows Installation” and “Windows Upgrade logs,” then click the Ok button at the bottom of the window.
  10. It will ask you if you’re sure you want to delete those files. Click the Delete Files button. Then a progress bar window will pop up while it deletes. Be patient, this could take an hour or two, depending on how many files have to be deleted and how fast your computer is. It will disappear once it’s done, and you’ll have a bunch of space freed up!
  11. Don’t forget to defragment after this to really optimize hard drive speed. (To defrag, click Start > Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Administrative Tools > Defragment your hard drive.)

Get help from Daniel Hargett!
Want to learn how to do other cool stuff with your computer? Need some software or a peripheral installed? Have a problem with your computer that you need help fixing? Want to make the most of your iPhone? Allow me to do it for you over the internet! I can help you remotely over the internet. Just check out my profile and contact me at http://www.crossloop.com/DanielHargett