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  1. #1
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    Default New Computer Setup

    Hi.

    I've orderred a new laptop which will arrive in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile I want to get ready for a smooth transition from old to new. I was wondering if somebody could answer me the following questions:

    a) Are there pros and/or cons for setting up through a local account or a Microsoft account?
    b) Is it worthwile to partition a SSD, i.e. on one partition apps etc. and on the other private files?
    c) Is it worthwile to reset Windows (remove everything) and load a fresh copy from the cloud?
    d) Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of?

    Many thanks for your help and have a great day.

  2. #2
    Enterprise IT Consultant chiefnz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Computer Setup

    Apologies for the long post - but the answers to your queries are not straight forward...

    a) Are there pros and/or cons for setting up through a local account or a Microsoft account?

    MS Account
    PROS;
    1) OneDrive storage can be used for your files (docs/pics etc.) - not enabled by default but easily configured and setup using a MS account login.
    2) Access to documents in the cloud across all devices where you use your MS account as a result of 1) above.
    3) Allows for better integration of the default apps Windows comes installed with--->mail/calendar/Xbox etc.
    4) Setup once and forget it... this is applicable only if you have multiple Windows OS based devices or MS specific platforms such as Xbox. The idea being, you set things up/customize on a single device and these will be automatically reflected on your other Windows devices as long as you use the same MS account and the applications are available on that Windows platform. So if there is a setting for an application you change on one device, that setting will be reflected in all the devices you use your MS account on as long as that application is also available on that Windows OS device platform.
    5) You Windows OS licensing/activation will be tied to your MS account so as long as you sign into Windows with that account there will be no need to enter a license key or manually activate Windows.

    CONS;
    1) You basically "invite" MS and it's partners into your life - whilst a lot can be done to "disable" MS telemetry/targeted content etc. you will also find that some things will only work (or work better) if you "allow all access" via your MS account within Windows and thus anything that is linked to your MS account.
    2) This one is dependent on your own "view" but because of the integration and "reliance" on Internet connectivity for applications and services, you can "sometimes" find that your computer will not play nice if you lose Internet connectivity... to be fair this isn't a major issue nowadays as Internet connections are largely stable and with 3/4/5G options it's not difficult to maintain a connection.
    3) Again, this is another personal preference/subjective item - Some people think it's "less secure/private" using a MS account - generally based on the premise that you are giving MS access to your data/cookies, browsing habits etc. Of course if you don't mind having content served to you which has been personalized based on every little thing you do on your computer then this will not matter.... and when I say "every little thing you do on your computer".... that's exactly what I mean.
    4) In some cases, using a 3rd party application (i.e. not the MS/Windows default) alongside a MS account can be a pain. This is mainly linked to credential parsing within browsers etc.... by default, Windows will ALWAYS parse the currently logged user's credentials if you're using a MS account, this can sometimes wreak havoc with certain platforms---->particularly ones not "owned" by MS.

    As for the Local account pro's and con's - for the most part the Pro's above are the Con's for the local account and the Con's are the Pro's.... mostly.

    b) Is it worthwile to partition a SSD, i.e. on one partition apps etc. and on the other private files?
    There is no real benefit in this except if you specifically want your private files stored on a different drive letter.... this would not change the fact that it's on the same SSD and to be fair "no-one really uses multiple partitions on a single disk like that any more due to the low cost of internal/external storage these days.

    c) Is it worthwile to reset Windows (remove everything) and load a fresh copy from the cloud?
    Not sure I follow you on the "fresh copy from the cloud" bit? What do you mean?

    In general it's always "better" to install a fresh copy of Windows because it gets rid of any latent pieces of rubbish your computer has been exposed to over its period of use such as old driver's, leftover files from uninstalled software etc.

    d) Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of?
    I wouldn't say there are any "pitfalls" really, but make sure you back up all your personal data to an external drive etc. Personally what I do is backup the whole computer (OS and all) and then also a specific backup of my personal data. That way if something goes wrong, I have a copy of both data sets to restore from.

    Whether to go local or MS account is a matter of personal preference and also connected to the number of windows devices you have;

    If you have a single device and you don't want to be bogged down with multiple disk drives and want to be able to access your data anywhere then a MS account may be appealing, the same would also go if you had multiple devices you used frequently then the benefits of MS integration (particularly the OneDrive cloud storage) could be helpful/useful.... keeping in mind that you can also use other cloud storage platforms - the "appeal" of MS is that it comes with cloud storage and thus a "Single Sign-on" experience.

    Some people just like local accounts - personally I prefer a local account, it is less "hack-able" than a MS account which is tied to a MS email address so compromise one you compromise all - where as with a local account nothing connects the user name on my computer to the email account or accounts I use which means I can secure them more easily and it is unlikely that a hacked email account will lead to a compromised local computer account - though to be fair it is quite plausible but requires a level of naivety that would blow the mind i.e. you would have to be the most gullible and security ignorant person on the planet to be victim to something like this....

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  3. #3
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Computer Setup

    Adding to Chiefs well written answers,

    d) Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of?

    YES there's a real good one that has been coming out lately, Not all manufactures are using this, but you need to check what version of Windows it is.

    Lately some have been putting out Windows 10 Home S

    If you have the S mode version installed you need to change it over to a std install (requires a MS account to do it) other wise Any apps that are not currently available in the Windows Store will not be able to be installed or run. This means anything thing like Chrome, and ANY other third party program that uses a .exe file to install wont be allowed.

    Its a one way change, once you change the OS over to Std you can do anything as per normal, you cant go back to the S version once its changed.

  4. #4
    Enterprise IT Consultant chiefnz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Computer Setup

    Quote Originally Posted by wainuitech View Post
    Adding to Chiefs well written answers,

    d) Are there any pitfalls I should be aware of?

    YES there's a real good one that has been coming out lately, Not all manufactures are using this, but you need to check what version of Windows it is.

    Lately some have been putting out Windows 10 Home S

    If you have the S mode version installed you need to change it over to a std install (requires a MS account to do it) other wise Any apps that are not currently available in the Windows Store will not be able to be installed or run. This means anything thing like Chrome, and ANY other third party program that uses a .exe file to install wont be allowed.

    Its a one way change, once you change the OS over to Std you can do anything as per normal, you cant go back to the S version once its changed.
    Thanks for that one Wainui... I didn't know that about Windows 10 S - seen as almost never buy OEM computers.

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: New Computer Setup

    @chiefnz @wainuitech
    Thanks for your answers.


    @chiefnz
    Not sure I follow you on the "fresh copy from the cloud" bit? What do you mean?
    To reset a computer with a clean copy of Windows 10, see https://www.windowscentral.com/how-s...ows+Central%29 and go to the title "Start fresh with a clean copy of Windows 10 (recommended)".

  6. #6
    Enterprise IT Consultant chiefnz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Computer Setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberhuskey View Post
    @chiefnz @wainuitech
    Thanks for your answers.


    @chiefnz

    To reset a computer with a clean copy of Windows 10, see https://www.windowscentral.com/how-s...ows+Central%29 and go to the title "Start fresh with a clean copy of Windows 10 (recommended)".
    Ah ok, yeah that is a "reset to factory default" for an OEM computer.

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  7. #7

    Default Re: New Computer Setup

    Nice, this is somewhat complete and precise. Good info to share!

  8. #8
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: New Computer Setup

    If you want a 'local' win10 user a/c , on your new machine

    On 1st run of new PC/laptop : DO NOT CONNECT TO WIFI/network.
    MS will try & coerce you into a 'live' a/c , you need to click out of that several times. When win is up & running with local a/c, then connect to wifi/network

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