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Old 05-26-2012, 05:01 PM
Tepin Tepin is offline
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From ninite.com

K-Lite Codecs
All runtimes (Java, Flash etc)
Foxit Reader (I'll gladly remove a toolbar for any viable alternative to Adobe products)
LibreOffice if they want a free office suite
Glary Utilities
Auslogics disk defrag
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:15 PM
BDNTech BDNTech is offline
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AV software - MS office
Thats it.
We only install additional apps as requested and charge per app.
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:16 PM
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FoolishTech FoolishTech is offline
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I find that the vanilla Windows OS includes pretty much everything an average computer user already needs, with the exception of some web technologies that will automatically install when needed anyway and maybe a codec or two.

I pretty much install Adobe Reader and that's about it non-Microsoft ... I of course do all Windows updates and all .NET frameworks.

Here's the break down with my reasoning.

Java - used to, but not anymore. I find that if someone needs it, an app or web popup will do the trick and likely with a later version that I might have installed at the time.

Shockwave - so few uses anymore I don't bother. Like Java, if they were ever to need it I want them to have the latest version with the latest security patches - likely if I installed it for them and it was a year before they ever had need to use it, they would have an old insecure version by that time.

Flash - Needed everywhere, sometimes I do sometimes I don't. So FREQUENTLY updated, it has a new security update every day it seems that sometimes I feel like it's better for the client to get the latest version when they need it, (usually install is painless and automatically triggered by a web page) because they NEVER update flash on their own and I would rather them get the latest version with the latest security updates when they do. Home users I do install it more often than not as I know they are hitting Youtube as soon as they get home anyway. But again I go back and forth on this issue.

Silverlight - same with flash. Maybe not so frequently updated, but the latest version installs on the fly when you need it from most sources.

Adobe Reader - Always. Granted sometimes it seems they have the same update schedule as Flash (just being so damned often) but they almost ALWAYS have need to view a PDF as soon as they get the PC back it seems. Further, installation isn't automatically prompted as it would be with Flash, they have to KNOW "oh, I have a PDF so I need Reader from adobe.com"

FoxIt and the like - I used to prefer them but they bundle with such garbage these days - and the reality is that Adobe Reader really has cleaned up it's act with later versions and maybe I'm mistaken because PCs are faster, but I think it really isn't nearly as bloated as it was in previous versions and seems pretty speedy comparatively.

7zip - Never. while I use it myself, most everything in in standard ZIP format these days and Windows built-in support should suffice most users in most situations, so I never install it. Plus I feel that 7zip can be a little intimidating to most users vs. the fact that they can just click to open up a ZIP in Windows Explorer. I feel like 7zip would need to come with a tutorial.

I have NEVER in all my years installed WinRAR on someone's machine. I can't believe the number of people who have WinRAR installed only to work with ZIP files. Come on, that necessity went out with Win9x!!

Chrome - I install it when I feel there is a specific need for the client. These being: Extremely slow PC already so IE is a bear, and also for those who just had a malware removal for example and I am teaching them better web surfing habits and arming them with a more secure browser. Otherwise I don't try to change a person's browser of choice (or rather, habit).

If they had Chrome or FF before and used it, I'll install it, otherwise if they just used IE (and don't fall into the slow PC and/or malware situations outlined above) I'll just leave it with IE.

I never install extensions/add-ons to any browser. I feel that is up to them and I also don't want an add-on or update to that add-on causing confusion to the customer or worse, causing a security hole, slowing down, causing compatibility issues with some sites, or even breaking browser functionality.

Quicktime/Real Player - never. I have quicktime and real player.

On XP, I will often install K-Lite codec packs and include the Real Player and Quicktime Alternatives - because I hate RP and QT bloatware - but I rarely install K-Lite on other OSes unless I recognize they have the specific need (e.g. MKV files in their documents/videos) etc.

I don't bother with Quicktime Alternative even if I don't see the need for a whole codec pack because so many idiots out there use iTunes due to their iPods instead of Amazon, and QT proper will get installed and take over the Alternative associations anyway.

With recent versions of VLC player, however, I am leaning towards using that instead of codec packs.

SECURITY / ANTI-WHATEVER SOFTWARE - generally I only put on what they had before, if it was paid and has an active subscription. That's it.

If they have absolutely nothing, I'll pop on MSSE but I NEVER recommend it over another A/V. In fact, I never recommend any specific A/V. This causes trust issues when they get infected. I explain the way the world works to them instead, and give them the choice: MSSE free or buy something of your own choosing.

Security Suites including firewall, etc. Only if they had it before and have an active subscription!!! I also explain that firewall software is as pointless as the already built-in Windows firewall making it unnecessary in any case. I prefer to use A/V only where possible.

Anti-whatever apps - I used to install Ad-Aware and Spybot back in the day - long ago when they were relevant apps. I haven't in recent years bothered with anything more modern like MalwareBytes or HMP. I feel that they provide a false sense of security. I don't want them getting re-infected and blame me because I recommended a product that should have stopped it. Also I don't like having them run in real-time on top of A/V software. I also know that a customer will NEVER take your advise and do the manual scans. I will, however, install these apps and try to spend the time training them for usage for people with consistently poor habits and re-occuring malware issues, but that is rare.

Also back in the day I installed SpywareBlaster and other immunization type apps, applied Spybot's immunization, etc.. I also put on my own custom HOSTS file for blocking ads and known malware as well. Haven't done that in years as well. Too many people calling wanting to know why they are seeing 404's on certain webpages, parts of webpages, or even completely blocking them to get to where they are going because the site redirects through an ad server.

Here's one I haven't seen yet in this thread. OpenDNS or similar (e.g. Symantec's DNS, etc..) Getting back to the repeat offender infected types, I will apply static OpenDNS servers. In some cases when they want more protection and need basic content filtering, I will set it up at the router level where possible, or worst case scenario install the updater app on the PC.

I will do OpenOffice if they have office docs and no legit copy of MS Office. Sometimes I will just do the MS Office Viewers depends on if they actually WORK with the docs or just need to view them. Otherwise if they want to compose a document I point out WORDPAD.

I don't bother with photo viewer/editing software as I figure they always put in those crappy software disks that come with their cameras anyway. As much as I would like to teach everyone to simple copy the pictures off their camera manually in Windows Explorer and manually organize it, use Picasa mostly for the free online backup, and Paint.NET for simple picture editing, but alas I simply don't have the time or motivation.

I'm not an instructor, just a tech, I don't want the added support calls when people expect help in using software that *I* installed for them, so I generally prefer to let people make their own software choices.

Author of d7 & d7II, and TONS of other FREE PC technician's tools. www.FoolishIT.com

Author of CryptoPrevent - Crypto/Malware prevention for any OS.

Latest free tool: dBug - Neutralize malware preventing you from running removal tools.

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Old 05-26-2012, 06:15 PM
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NYJimbo NYJimbo is offline
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The most important thing is Java. Uninstall any that they have and install the very latest one. Do not just install the latest.

I can't believe how many times I do full disk scans and find tons of java junk in their system that shows virus payloads of some kind. So many machines get infected because they had java from years ago and have never been updated. MANY laptop makers preload java from the factory or on recovery disks and they are all exploitable. Customer goes to a java website and BANG they get infected or download some payload.

Also if they have firefox or Adobe reader or flash it must be updated to the latest one.

I am hardcore about service packs, if they dont have the latest one I install it and make sure all their .NET junk is up to date.

Few other things but most are covered already.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:22 PM
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Larry Sabo Larry Sabo is online now
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned WOT. I install it on every machine that doesn't have it, if I remember to do so. I also like to install Qualys BrowserCheck addon and encourage them how to run it periodically. These two help keep them out of trouble.
Sabo Computer Repairs & Data Recovery
Ottawa, Canada
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:43 AM
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16k_zx81 16k_zx81 is offline
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Originally Posted by Larry Sabo View Post
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned WOT.
Originally Posted by 16k_zx81 View Post
[*]CHROME with adblock, fastestchrome, and WOT.
.................................................. .......
"Do something you love, and you'll never work a day in your life"
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:31 AM
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Larry Sabo Larry Sabo is online now
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Oops! Thanks for the correction. I looked, but missed that.
Sabo Computer Repairs & Data Recovery
Ottawa, Canada
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:20 PM
Choppie Choppie is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Boca Raton, FL USA
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Hello every one;

NOTE: this is my SOP with regards to a home client, and has never failed me.

I never ever never EVER really trust a box after it has been compromised, so obviously its a reload using a DELL OEM DVD for the appropriate COA sticker on the box. I then get the correct branding logo and update the system32 folder to show its a DELL or HP or whatever. Then change the product key and reactivate.

As soon as the NIC drivers are up and running, the second I plug in the Cat5e, I'm on the ninite.com web site checking off the following programs to create a onetime installer;

Flash (for both browsers)

I get the downloader, and hit RUN---and I walk away from the computer to do other things. Every program will be downloaded/installed and (spyware check boxes will be unchecked automatically. (ASK toolbar, and you know the rest)

I return to the box (at the very most) 30 min later, drag my mouse across all the icons on the desktop and drag them into the trash bin--and begin doing EVERY windows update/patch. Then update spybot/malwarbytes and immunize the box with spybot by updating the hosts file.

I set the DNS settings to the following servers;

I then install PC Angel Lite and create a system OEM recovery on a hidden partition that is accessible using the F10 key on boot-up for a full factory(me) reset.

This may be over-KILL, but for the home computer for email/web browsing, it seems to be something that keeps them going for years--OR--until the grand kid comes by and sits at the keyboard, then 2 weeks after that---i get the phone call. Funny how things work.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:17 PM
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phaZed phaZed is offline
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I am somewhat surprised by the amount of apps being installed on a new OS by some guys here, let alone the time to install.

I install my OS's from updated WDS images. Then install any remaining Windows Updates, first thing. Usually 5-50 updates and 1-10 minutes.

I used to have Avast!, Libre Office, Java, and Chrome pre-installed in the images, but have since decided that was not a good idea after I ended up uninstalling Java because it was now vulnerable (as they all seem to become in a short period of time), Updating Chrome, Updating Libre Office.. etc etc. - Got tired of sysprepping new images all of the time for stupid application updates!

So, now I have an AutoIT script that installs from my server:

Avast! Free
Libre Office

...and the server runs Ketarin every day to keep the install packages up to date.

Aaron Heidlebaugh
Computer Technician / Owner
804-307-4465 (Call or Text)
Laptop LCD repair | DC Power Jack Repair | Virus Removal
Desktop Repair | Hardware | Software | Troubleshooting
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:59 PM
Xander Xander is offline
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Location: Niagara region, Ontario
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I'll echo Nick's views on WinRAR and so many of these other apps (ImgBurner, etc). I can count on my fingers how many customers have ever needed programs like that.

On a clean install: Flash, Reader, Java, Shockwave, MBAM (Pro is an easy upsell), .Net 2 for XP, and Chrome (every PC needs a second browser). LibreOffice if they didn't have Office (set to always Save As Doc).
If it was on the old system: iTunes, 7-zip (in lieu of Winzip/rar)
I don't install codecs or players or burners as most customers never need them. If someone asks me about something, I'll shoot them a link for VNC.
For AV, I try to upsell GFI's MAV and, with that, my Constant Care plan for remote monitoring.

My personal $0.02 is that charging for every program installed is gouging (and I tell my customers so when I tell them there's no extra charge) With the availability of Ketarin or Ninite*, you can auto-install a dozen programs in minutes; to charge for those few clicks is just not right. If they've got a custom piece of software to install and setup, okay fine.

* If you're paying for Ninite Pro, that should be worked into your regular rates.

Originally Posted by Choppie View Post
I then install PC Angel Lite and create a system OEM recovery on a hidden partition that is accessible using the F10 key on boot-up for a full factory(me) reset.
I can't find anything about this program online. Do you have a link for it? I'd like to take a look at it.

Last edited by Xander; 03-13-2013 at 04:43 PM.
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