Best practice for finilizing a new system setup?

I'm obsessed with having a clean and 'fresh' system as much as possible. For the past few years, I've had a ritual of installing Windows, making the most basic adjustments (turning off system restore, etc), and creating a ghost image. Then proceeded with everything else (driver and program installs, set-up, etc.), and create a final ghost image. I revert back to the back-up image any time after I decide to 'uninstall' games. It works for me, and it's effective.

Now, here's my question: is it 100% fine to leave the video card, sound card and printer driver instillation to the very end of a system setup? Used to be that drivers had to be present for programs to install correctly. Is this still how it is. For instance, installing Foobar2000 and setting everything up for my HTPC experience, is anything being affected by the fact that the video card and sound card drivers have not yet been installed? Thanks.
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  1. Well, if the drivers are not present, then the software counting on the driver will not function correctly.

    so for example: if you want to play songs and the sound card driver is not installed, then you won't hear any music.

    If you want, you could install an old version of the driver first that you have, and when you're done everything, you could install the new versions of the drivers.

    Hope that helped.
  2. Hey mark1995n, thanks - but let me clarify my thought process. The reason I want to leave those drivers out of the equation is because I want to setup everything - make an image, and after that's completed, proceed with the driver installs. This way, when the drivers get updated later on, I simply revert back to the image without the drivers, install the new ones, and then make a new image. I know this seems a bit extreme, but honestly it's not a big deal to pull off - I just want to know if modern programs still depend on the drivers to install correctly. Of course I won't use those programs until the drivers are present.
  3. I like your thought process. Some installs require net framework, or .net to install/function. You might consider adding the security updates before you make your clean image -less to download/install later, but then you'd need to install your LAN/NIC driver.
  4. thanks for clarifying, and like treefrog7 said, some apps depend on .net framework, but that usually comes with windows.

    Also you need to install the security updates, before making the image, because you're going to have to do it anyway. Plus if you were going to revert back some time, you would already have the security updates there, so you wouldn't need to install them again.
  5. Best answer
    For me it is always :
    1. Windows
    2. WLAN or LAN driver so that I can connect to internet.
    3. Antivirus and Cleaning tools
    4. Windows updates : all that necessary
    5. Other needed drivers
    6. Sofwares : Office, multimedia, Firefox, etc.
    7. Optimization
    8. Image creation and store it somewhere save.
  6. not what you are looking for, but an SSD boot drive will be fast enough that it would feel much like your clean image no matter how bogged down the registry became.
  7. Best answer selected by omnimodis78.
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