I say the easy way, is there any such thing where computers are concerned? Murphy’s Law generally applies!

However I have found something that does make it easier…

I recently had to wipe and reinstall my wife’s laptop, but this works equally well for a clean install, as you still have to install Windows before you get to this stage!

So, from the ground up:

  • Backup (if doing a reinstall)
    At least the users home directory but you may need more than that depending on what you’ve done with your machine!

  • Install Windows
    Sorry I can’t take that bit away, you still have to do that.

  • Install Windows Updates
    This as well, you’ll still need to install all the relevant updates and service packs (unless you have a slipstreamed copy of Windows)

Now in the past, the next instruction would have been download all the software you use (Skype, OpenOffice, AVG, Google Chrome etc etc etc) then install them sequentially one by one, getting increasingly frustrated because the installer tells you it can’t run because another copy is running (am I right?).

Not any more!

Point your browser over to, select all the software you use and click Get Installer, download the executable and run it – go make lunch!

The installer will download each package and install them one by one, you can even run the installer again at a later date to upgrade all your apps at once.

Now all you have to do is go and signin to things like Skype and configure things just the way you like them, it’s still a laborious task but at least everything is already on the machine.

For network administrators they offer a network version for $20 per month (100 machines) so you can simply put your feet up!