How to easily install essential applications on a new Windows 7 computer

It doesn’t matter if you’ve upgraded from Vista or XP, or if you’ve bought a new Windows 7 based computer, you’re going to need to install some basic and essential applications on your new baby.

And this awesome website makes it so, SO easy. 4 easy steps:

  • Visit the site
  • Select which applications you want
  • Press the button to start a download
  • Run the downloaded application

Visit the site
Ninite.com is a very cool web app with a single function: to make a custom downloader and installer that will save you time and mouseclicks to install commonly used open-source and free applications.

The page looks like this, a long list of applications and utilities, divided into sections by application type.

Ninite includes everything from office suite applications (Open Office, MS Office trial), image and  audio editors, to system maintenance utilities, virus scanners, and media burning tools.

Get your applications
This couldn’t be simpler. Click on the apps or utilities you want. Unfortunately there’s no link to a product overview so if you’re not familiar with the application you will need to Google it.

Press the button
This initiates a bit of back-end magic at the site. A custom download/installer application is built and sent to your computer. It contains all the information necessary to, when run, download and install (in background) the applications you selected in the previous step.

Make it so
When  you run the installer, a window opens showing you the progress of the process. If you’re curious, you can ‘show the details’ and each phase of the install can be viewed.

Why?
The big benefit for me is the time saving and the click saving. What would normally take over an hour for a new install, basically takes 2-5 minutes of my time, the rest happens in background while I do something else. To quote from the developers:

Ninite runs on Windows XP/Vista/7 and works
in the background 100% hands-free.

We install apps with default settings and
say “no” to browser toolbars and other junk.

All we do is install the latest versions of the apps
you choose. Not even Ninite is installed.

How can that not be cool?

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2 Replies to “How to easily install essential applications on a new Windows 7 computer”

  1. I want to but a new dell w/windows 7 but I dont want to have to purchase Illustrator and Photoshop and office and all the assortive applications I have again. I am not a good saver and lost most of the install CD’s. How to I transfer these to my new system and will they run. Currently running XP.

    Can I save any of this to memory stick or run a usb cable?

    Thanks

  2. Hi Steve, thanks for stopping by.

    Short answer, not likely, you’ll need your install discs.

    The problem is that when you install software, small files that help the operating system and application run properly are stored everywhere, not all in the same place.

    Also, settings are made in Windows Registry that could be specific to your computer hardware and operating system. Different settings would be needed on the new system.

    There are ‘data/application transfer’ applications out there, but I’ve not used them and have heard that they don’t always work as expected. Your best bet is to dig out the installation CDs, or better yet, upgrade to the newer version of software that’s designed for Windows 7 — after all, XP is 2 generations old.

    Good luck!

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