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We're looking to use an existing (decent) windows 7 box in a small theatre for sound playback and possibly some video (using mainly). I'm a mac and debian guy normally but am happy to dig around in windows.

My main concern with this setup is reliability of the OS and other "background fluff", what can I do to make this box rock solid and reliable?

My plan so far is to do a clean install, then disable any unneeded services/startup items etc.

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closed as not constructive by Karan, Tog, Mokubai, Brad Patton, Renan Apr 21 '13 at 15:13

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Use windows update in control panel to get it fully patched, including optional updates that are for "reliability" and compatibility, avoid driver updates from windows updates if it is an OEM PC. – Moab May 11 '12 at 1:20
Are you using the Media Center edition of Windows 7? Perhaps that has features you could use? – djangofan May 12 '12 at 16:12
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Run as standard user. Nuff said. Spend the rest of your tweaking time on actual productivity.

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It's Windows 7. Unless you log in as the account named "Administrator", everything you do is as a 'normal user' by default. You have to answer a prompt in order to elevate your privileges. – Mark Allen May 11 '12 at 0:21
The point is that attitude, not implementation, will earn you a "reliable" box. UAC prompts will not stop the inadvertent click of "Yes, I want to do this. Yes, I want to do that." Research will surprise you on how often people click Yes/OK without reading the prompt. – surfasb May 11 '12 at 5:18
Yes we'll be doing that anyway as there will be many people using the box who I don't really trust so... – wjdp May 11 '12 at 9:00
@will: Well untrusted users it a TOTALLY different issue! – surfasb May 11 '12 at 22:42
They're not too bad, and the box does spend most of it's time off a network. – wjdp May 12 '12 at 11:59

Get the computer the way you want it, running fine... remove everything unneeded and clone it. Use clonezilla, ping, acronis, ghost whatever. Another way is to use something like SteadyState (group policy), Deep Freeze. Somebody will mess it up sooner or later. And its easier to recover via image than spending hours trying to fix something and then ending up reinstalling anyways.

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