Mac user with first time PC laptop. Need advice w/crapware & airport

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Wie Gehts, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. Wie Gehts macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007
    I know a lot of people here use both platforms, either computer-wise or dula boot. I've always used mac and for the first time I'm awaiting ther arrival of a pc laptop. Its gonna have W7 home premium (or something like that)
    I have some questions right off the bat. PC's come with a lot of crap/bloatware that I need to get rid of, right? So how do I get pointed in the right ways of deleting them without screwing the system up?

    Also, apparently like many pc's sold, it doesn't come with system discs and I understand you're supposed to be prompted to make you're own system discs.
    This makes me wonder...before I attempt to clean out the garbage, I should make backups...when you make this backup...will it wind up having all the crap that comes with the computer? Or will it just make a backup of the windows system? ( I guess its called a restore disc or something)

    I use an airport express with my mac. Can I also use it with the pc? I'm pretty sure airport has windows software. Will having the airport ex already configured for my mac system still allow it to work with the pc?

    Or do I need to setup some kind of network thingy ( I have no clue) for both machines?
    And speaking of networking, what about file sharing between my mac and pc?

    Thanks for any advice
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    I don't use Windows a whole lot, but I can answer some of your questions. Personally, I'd erase Windows and install Ubuntu instead. :D

    I'd erase the hard drive right away and do a fresh install with only the stuff that I need. I do the same when I get a new Mac. I don't know how that'll work if the computer doesn't come with any disks, though.

    AirPort is just Apple's overpriced implementation of 802.11. It wouldn't require any additional drivers. If you install iTunes on your PC, it will be able to stream music to the AirPort Express too.
  3. Maserati7200 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 17, 2009
    11230, Midwood, Brooklyn, NY, USA, North America
    To delete the bloatware, go to Control Panel and click add or remove programs, and select which ones you want removed.
  4. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007

    Ubuntu?? Good lord...I've been using macs since '96 and I still have no idea what 95% of the things the mac OS does ;)

    So windows had some uninstaller, huh. I hope it works. hehehe

    Oh yeah, then there is this registry thing that I hear bogs the computer down after a while. Is there some kind of software that straightens it out?
    I tell you, anytime I go over a friends house and we go online and its crawling slow I wind up asking, "are you on dial-up?"
    and they don't know why their pc's don't want to work anymore...they ain't geeks. I mean, neither am I about OS's, but I'm somewhat aware of these things and know they need attention

    I just bought this thing cause it was cheap on sale and had HDMI so I'm basically gonna use it as a glorified media and dvd player, plus some light application usage. I baby my stays inside and has all my costly audio recording apps on it.

    I wanted the pc as something I don't really care if its gets knocked around and dirty
  5. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    It generally works, but that largely depends on how well the developers of the particular app wrote the uninstaller. Some are horrific and leaves many bits and pieces all over your HD. That's why I'd second the above recommendation to wipe your HD and install a fresh copy of Windows without the crapware.

    There's CCleaner, which will clean up your registry. It doesn't do a perfect job though, so the registry bogging your machine down is an eventuality, the only thing you can do is delay the inevitable :)

    But if you wipe the HD and install a fresh copy of Windows, and basically only install what you need, and basically never uninstall anything (in other words, if it only acts as a media center, there's not many software you'd need, and you'll rarely need to uninstall anything) Windows can run pretty well for a long time. Just use a different internet browser (Chrome, Safari or Firefox) and use some common sense and you'll be fine for a good while. Windows 7 (it came with Windows 7, right?) is a pretty good OS all things considered.
  6. Sipheren macrumors regular


    May 28, 2006
    Aus/Gold Coast
    You wont have any registry problems with Vista/7.

    You remove programs you don't want by going to Control panel and clicking on Programs and Features", you then select what you want to remove and click un-install.

    Make sure you install anti-virus software also.
  7. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007
    thanks guys

    because pc's don't seem to come with discs anymore, someone told me I should call the company and keep at them to sent me them because its like pulling teeth. maybe I should tell them that I destroyed the OS while I was trashing all the bloat cuz I'm a mac user and didn't know any better :D
    They'd have to send me discs then I suppose

    about the other stuff, this is what i don't get....that windows OS simply degenerates over time till you're left with a doorstop. or is this just a macusers urban myth? i mean, the whole world uses windows, people and companies accomplish their projects on windows...everyones computers can't be grinding to a halt after a year or so, yeah? it can't be all THAT bad
  8. Sipheren macrumors regular


    May 28, 2006
    Aus/Gold Coast
    older versions of Windows always got slower with time due to a lot of different things. I have been using Vista/7 and I no longer need to defrag my drive or format every few months. Microsoft has come a long way in addressing those things.

    That being said, its still Windows and I just dislike using it still :)
  9. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007
    yeah..whenever I'd try and use a friends pc...I seems all arcane and unintuitive....too many obscure control panels and whatnot...;)

    the machine was 549 on sale for 429 and seemed to have some bang for the buck and many satisfied users so i couldn't resist. unfortunately theres a lot of midi synth and other device editors for equipment I have that ain't available on mac which is what i'll use it for too.
  10. coops macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    Almost certainly your new PC will NOT come with any Windows disk at all. Instead, your hard drive (which you've paid for) will be partitioned, and part of it will be taken away from your use and kept for the install 'disks' and WILL ALWAYS include the crapware/bloatware - in other words, even if you wipe the main OS partition and reinstall, it'll simply re-install ALL the crapware along with Windows 7, whether you like it or not.

    First thing to do would be remove all that crapware - particularly any 'trial' anti-virus crap. Keep going, and going, and going and re-booting and so on ad infinitum..... get AVG or Zonelalarm or a decent anti-virus installed, use CCleaner ("crap cleaner") to give a more thorough cleansing, install your Office programs whether M/soft or OPenOffice etc... basically get it all set up how you want (best to keep a weekend free for this) then install Acronis Diskimage or equivalent and make an image of your primary partition and keep it safe on an external drive.

    Now, at least, you can always go back to this image to have a 'clean' install and save the reinstall of crapware etc if doing it from the install 'disks'... and being Windows, you can count on needing to do this (re-install, preferably from a clean image) every so often.

  11. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007

    oh I'm starting to freak :eek:

    sounds like buying a pc is like being forced to use a website thats nothing but popups and banner ads.

    all I know form reading user reviews is that you're instructed to burn dvd's of whatever so you now have disc backups....what i don't know is whether the crap gets copied along with it.
    Thats not good and i don't want to be throwing more money by buying a copy of W7 of what should be mine in the first place. i'll have to wait and see what the instructions say to do.

    I have all the iWorks stuff already (and never use, but its there) so i sure as s#$t ain't gonna use word or office. Software I'm going to use the machine for ain't on there anyway so, sure, if I can, wiping the hd and installing just W7 from scratch should be fine.
    As long as there still are some kind of maybe, wizard that'll make an internet connection for me, that should be fine.

    in anticipation i did get a couple W7 books on tweakin', configurin', optimizin', and suicide prevention hehehehe
  12. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007
    laptop came today and I got a pleasant surprise. when
    i started it up it did a little setup routine and found my airport network and all I had to do was type in my password and voila', it connected to the internet :)

    I was expecting some sort of iffy configuration nightmare. lol

    now I'm wondering that since both my mac and the pc are connected to the airport, I suppose theres a way to network both machines to each other and fileshare
  13. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    Yes. And not to be rude, but that subject is discussed many, many times here. There are some quite good Apple support articles on the subject too.
  14. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007
    yeah, i was just thinking out loud. i did check out those two links you gave me and saved them, thanks. plus i have some os books...i'll get it sorted. my eyes just tend to glaze over when reading instructions about things like networking ;)
  15. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    Oh, duh. I remembered posting those links recently, but forgot that it was in this thread. I was posting from my iPod, so I'm not quite so liberal with my links as I am normally.
  16. Patrick J macrumors 65816

    Patrick J

    Mar 12, 2009
    Oporto, Portugal
    Some PCs come so full of crapware that the best to do is to format the whole thing and do a fresh install. Download the drivers and install and your off to go.
  17. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007
    I may do that eventually. I'm not going to do anything hardcore on this machine..thats what the mac is for :D

    I did look up some specs for a firewall and anti-virus software and found two that are rated excellent..... I'm using Comodo for the firewall and Avira Premium for the anti-virus, but it was also recommended to download a bunch of smaller mal/spy/trojan/etc apps as extra protection.

    I won't be doing any online transactions on the pc...I'm too paranoid considering the constant attack onslaught pc's get from simply being connected to the internet apparently. ;)
  18. jman240 macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    Windows 7 is kind of a new beast when it comes to windows operating systems and a lot of the functionality is very similar to the mac os. Ill try to relate what I say to the Mac for clarity.

    This is easily done with "Programs and Features" section of the control panel (which is like the mac settings app). Tip: Everything in Win7 is searchable so if you go to Start (orb in the bottom left corner) and then click on Control Panel, you'll notice that in the control panel window, like all windows, in the top right there is a search box, type "Prog" in there and it should filter the whole thing down to just "Programs and Features".

    Here you will select the unwanted software and click uninstall to remove it. This is a fairly clean way and safe way to do this. You can potentially remove everything here except for things labeled as updates (which I think you can hide with a check box) and things followed with the name 'Driver'.

    I would suggest completely removing any of the trial antivirus software that comes with it ie Norton or McAfee and instead install the free one provided by microsoft from here:
    They do not install this by default because they don't want to get sued, yet again, for anti trust things. Its a great, small, and not very resource intensive application. Other free alternatives include AVG and Avast, however, from my experiences, the Security Essentials is the best and most lightweight one of them all.

    Secondly, you can install common windows applications using a really nice online tool called Ninite from
    What this does is let you select software you want to install, downloads it for you from all the various websites, and installs it for you without the toolbars that some include or other crapware that can sneak in if you do the installs yourself. I personally recommend you pick a browser other than IE such as Safari, Chrome, or Firefox, and at least get GOM player or VLC for media playback as well as maybe open office since windows doesnt come with office unless you paid extra for it, and 7zip.

    Last but not least, you can get windows specific programs like a calendar, mail app, and photo viewer from here:
    These match Mail, Ical, and to some extent Preview in functionality though you may find them to be lacking in the features department.

    These will restore the computer to exactly how it came out of the box. Any changes you make once you turn it on are not usually saved in these backup discs. Basically there are files somewhere on the machine, sometimes in an isolated section of the hard drive. It may be anywhere from 1 to 3 dvds it asks you to burn. These are bootable, and should restore the machine to exactly how it was when you bought it, crapware included.

    Should work fine. You will need to share folders on the mac or on the pc (right click and go to share on the pc, add user everyone, tell it to read only as permissions) and on the mac its in the settings app to enable file sharing. To see the mac you look at network in the settings app and it should tell you somewhere what the local name of the mac is on the network which you can type into the search bar on the Win7 machine and connect that way. To see the win7 machine on the mac - open finder, click Go on the menu, click Connect to Server i think, type smb:\\name_of_win7_computer and hit connect. That should mount it, may want to google that since I'm at work and can't test it.
  19. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007

    yup, I've sorted out the firewall/anti virus thing as I've stated previously.

    (comodo & avira respectively)

    and yeah, the machine detected my airport on setup and connected right away, no problem

    I have gone ahead and uninstalled some stuff that was obvious...however theres a lot of stuff that I'm not sure about...acer assist, acer backup manager, acer epower management, updater, etc etc..
    then there a bunch of stuff that I can't tell whether its needed or not, like 'synaptics pointing device driver"
    I mean, I believe its the driver for the touchpad, but I'm not certain....even still, aren't there other touchpad drivers that can be used.....kinda like mac has third party mouse drivers for example

    I got rid of stuff like microsoft works, the macafee firewall/virus, a whole bunch of game trials, and a handful of others. Really not alot outside of the stuff I'm not sure about..

    Anyways...are you guys telling me that, even though you trash the garbage, that its all still there on some unaccessable part of the harddrive???!! If so, thats intolerable (at least to me it is)
    maybe I'm reading what you guys said wrong here

    Lets see....theres some other things that seems to be a third party media player and a backup system...from New Tech Infosystems "NTI"

    Thanks...I'll use this to guide me. So I don't have to assign ip addresses or anything complicated?
  20. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Yes and no; as far as your Windows install itself goes, they are indeed gone (apart from little flakes left over that the uninstaller might have missed). However, assuming your machine came with a restore file/partition on the hard drive rather than physical discs, then that restore data of course matches the "new" state of the computer exactly, and thus contains all the same crapware. It's probably compressed, since it's an installer, but it's there in one form.

    Like jman240 recommended, I would definitely burn myself a set of restore discs immediately using whatever tool it supplies to do that. That way if something goes horribly wrong at least you've got a Windows installer handy. This is particularly good in the event your hard drive dies and needs replacing--beats having to wait for the manufacturer to ship discs to you (or buying a copy of Windows if it's been long enough they won't).

    Also like jman240 and others recommended, if you want to get rid of the restore image stuff on the drive, you'll probably have to delete the partition reserved for that (or repartition and reformat the entire drive from scratch). Sometimes there is an included uninstaller to free up the space--poke around a little and/or ask tech support and see if there's an automated way to do it. Occasionally the reinstallation tool also includes an option to do a more "clean" Windows install, although I can only remember seeing such an option once, and it wasn't recently.

    Admittedly, the last new PCs I've bought got immediately wiped and installed with an Enterprise copy of Windows, once I'd made reinstall DVDs, but this was at work where it doesn't cost us anything additional to do so.

    That may be the DVD player software. I can't remember if Win7 finally includes a DVD player of its own or not.

    The Synaptics driver is definitely for your touchpad, though. The good news is if you accidentally uninstall the driver for something, Windows should, in theory, re-detect the hardware upon reboot and with any luck find and download a driver for you. If you're unlucky, you'll have to go find a download from the manufacturer's website manually.
  21. Wie Gehts thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 22, 2007

    I'm going to save these postings so i can refer back :)

    yes, the very first thing I did was burn the restore discs.

    I just downloaded iTunes and it wouldn't connect to airport and i thought maybe I should've downloaded the 32 bit version instead of 64 (the OS is W7 Home Premium 64 bit) so I uninstalled it. But just then I realized I might've had to go into the firewall and allow iTunes to pass.
    So, I reinstalled the 64bit iTunes again and went into the firewall, but saw that iTunes was already loaded and checked off anyway. So I opened iTunes and it connected to the airport. Go figure! ;)

    Windows seems to have a lot of things in it..if that means anything...
    I dunno, when I got my first mac back in '96, I didn't need any manual really to figure out where things are and how it works...but this here windows just seems like one of those russian egg dolls, all nested within each other.... huge hierarchies of all sorts of arcane stuff ad infinitum :D
  22. nick1516 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2008
    Maybe it's different with windows 7, but every pc my families ever bought always came with a copy of windows that was tied to the machine for reinstalls or if anything happened.
  23. jman240 macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    Yup, they no longer do that. What you get is a recovery partition that contains disk images (proprietary format usually) like .DMG files that get burned to cds or in most cases dvds. They are a complete copy of the computer as it came from the manufacturer.

    Luckily for the OP, once you burn them, you can remove the recovery partition safely using disk management.
    1. Click the start orb
    2. Right click 'Computer', and select 'Manage'.
    3. This opens the computer management console (the part you want is on the right hand side labeled Disk Management) and its a bit like Disk Utility on mac, though more dangerous in some ways for a novice.
    4. Disk Management will show you every drive on your machine and also the partitions of your hard drive. You probably have one drive (laptop) and its cut into pieces, a main part and a smaller secondary part thats maybe labeled restore. If you right click the part labeled restore, you can remove / delete the partition.
    5. Now you have empty space, yay, its not usable yet (stupid windows). What you want to do now is incorporate that empty space into your main drive partition. To do this, right click the main partition and choose resize. Then just make it the max size possible. This requires a reboot i think. After this, when you launch 'Computer' from the start menu it will only show you with one drive and the drive will be as big as its supposed to ie, if you have a 250gb drive it will show up as 250 gbs not 210 and then a recovery partition thats like 40 or something stupid.

    Acer assist can be axed
    Acer backup manager is the thing that probably helped you make those backup dvds, if thats the case it probably gave you a message about only being able to make one set, this app can now be uninstalled (aka axed).
    acer epower management can be axed (really anything acer can) since its just some stupid utility to mess with the battery or something like that.
    Updater can definitely go.
    You want to KEEP the synaptics touch pad driver, that is what your mouse pad thingy on the laptop itself uses to communicate with the OS. If you happen to plug in a mouse or use a magic / mac centric mouse then there are additional drivers you can find, but you shouldn't remove anything that says Driver from Programs.

    If you need more assistance you can try downloading an app called Crossloop (google it). Its a way for other people such as myself to remote in to your computer, take control with your permission, and help you do things while you watch. Kind of like Remote Desktop or Back to My Mac or The remote control thing in iChat. Anyway, PM me if you need more assists.
  24. jman240 macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
  25. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    most laptops today offer a hidden partition about 2G in size that contain the recovery image of the system, users just need to press a key in booting process to restore the system to original status.

    I have no idea why anybody would want to kill this convenient stuff, you merely sacrifice 2G disk space, and you dont need to bring a DVD here and there.

    Users can remove any software they dislike when they got the machine. I would remove norton first as I wouldn't pay it anyway. Other than that, I will have to see your software list to give any suggestions.

    Many laptops need extra drivers from manufacturers to fully work properly, there is no reason to format the hdd and do fresh installation yourself. It might be a problem on Mac because macs has so many big apps preinstalled that it took extra 10-15G space. I think of no reason at the age of windows 7 to suggest users to go through a difficult process for probably little to no benefit.

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