Building the best version of Windows 8?

Hey Community!

So im going to reinstall Windows 8 Pro as my setup is abit bloated and not as clean as i would like it.

So my questions are these.

What security should i put on? setting up security doesnt scare me, which includes firewall rules and other settings, i enjoy tweaking so any security ideas? i prefer light security, i know the only real alt is linux but due to adobe and gaming i leave my netbook to linux.

Themes? what themes would you guys recommend for Windows 8? although i shall be using the metro interface i will be still in desktop view a lot of the time, i prefer the minimal type, so ideas people?

Maintenance software? CCLeaner and Defraggler are a must for me, but any other software i should be thinking of?

Gallery software for my photos, Windows Photo Viewer just doesnt cut it for me.

Best browser, I know people say chrome, but is it really? does the sandbox security really work? i love firefox but again i love light weight and chrome seems to be abit heavy lately...

Other media software apart from VLC?

Legendary tweaks to Windows that make it faster? Reg hacks etc? any you can suggest?

 

So id like to hear your opinions people! help me build a extreme version of Windows 8 in the hope we can also help different members!

 

Thanks in advance!!

What security should i put on?

Limited user account and browser extensions. Antiviruses are useless and firewall is unnecessary if you have a router

Themes? what themes would you guys recommend for Windows 8?

http://sand-and-mercury.deviantart.com/art/TwentyThirteen-for-Windows-8-1-03-329736394

Best browser, I know people say chrome, but is it really?

I find chrome to be inferior because of quality of addons and their integration into browser. Like, Adblock on Chrome only hides ads and doesn't prevent them fron downloading.

Other media software apart from VLC?

I think that VLC is inferior to MPC-HC. I use it with LAV filters and Haali Media Slitter and plays everything I need.

Legendary tweaks to Windows that make it faster? Reg hacks etc? any you can suggest?

 http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc232765.aspx

I change this value to 0 because it pisses me off when I have to manually launch software as an administrator even though I am the administrator.

Drawbacks: less secure, metro apps won't launch (but who needs them anyway?).

 

Thanks for the quick reply!, so if no security is recommended, what extensions to what browser? firefox? and i have a Netgear DGN2000 Router, WPA2 Mixed and then my PC is personally connected to a ASUS RT-N56U but ive hidden the SSID, as far as i know around my area im the only one who can uncover hidden SSIDs, although there are always people with hidden skills, although im tempted to switch all connections to my ASUS so i have more control over my entire network.

Also i love the theme :) nice find there :)

 

Adblock Plus and element hiding helper are implied.

HTTPS Everywhere

Ghostery

Noscript (makes it more secure but is generally bothersome to use. I don't use it)

Web of Trust (you can set it up the way it only appears when you are to go to a malicious website).

 

Chrome is probably more secure in terms of sandboxing but I think it doesn't really matter because you don't usually visit malicious websites and malware hidden in ad networks just gets blocked along with ads.

For a defragger i highly recommend smart defrag. It has a file system optimizing function that works.

I don't think that defragmentation is necessary. System and software are on SSD which doesn't care about fragmentation and content that is usually stored on HDDs (like music, videos, images and all other non-executables) doesn't benefit from defragmentation to any noticeable degree.

only really good for hdd  systems. yup sorry about that

I use a 160GB HDD and then a 500GB for extra storage, never have the cash for SSDs :( so defragment maybe needed for me

With smart defrag, the defrag may work about as well as any other defrag program. Where smart defrag shines is the file optimization. That alone will improve over all system speed . I consider it a must in hdd systems. Try, it works. Defragging alone is just not good enough.

Best browser? idk but I do know that i'm liking the recompiled version of firefox, Cyberfox. (I also nixed win 8 though because of what I thought to be a driver issue / a crash that kept erasing everything) Also I don't know if you use sticknotes and it's kind of random http://download.cnet.com/Evernote-Sticky-Notes/3000-12565_4-75682825.html (but I like to sync them to my phone / tablet)

Check out this for clean installs:

http://ninite.com/

Choose all the software you want and it installs it all at one time.

thanks for the defrag tool freak and i have herd of evernote i used it on my android :) dont really take notes, maybe i should lol, save me having to research everything, also i may look into cyberfox, i love firefox though:)

Cyberfox is {near} identical to Firefox. You can also look into waterfox and such they are just 64bit versions I went with cyber cause from the bit of research I did it seems to keep upto date a bit better (as in no issue on the slight delay to recompiling firefox). I mean if you try to open it while firefox is open it'll tell you it's already running and all your bookmarks and such will already be there. On the note ordeal it's just like windows sticky note program with a few alterations main point is that it syncs to your android devices and getting older I need to keep my memos with me. BTW +1 on Ninite Simple and awesome installer.

As far as some default programs to start with plenty of topics on this forum I may edit in some links later. Sorry to out-source but when it comes to optimization / reghacks best guide i've found so far http://www.overclock.net/t/1240779/seans-windows-8-install-optimization-guide-for-ssds-hdds I know it incorporates ssd but have a serious look over it sure it'll help with a few things best of luck to you.

Edit: Office/Libre Office, Fraps, Foobar2000, mumble/teamspeak/vent, FreeFileSync, uTorrent, Evernote,Gimp 2, TeamViewer, Steam, Camtasia, Dropbox, XBMC w/ Superrepo & Link shell extension just a few items on my new instal checklist you may want to look into / make sure to grab.

Well with my fresh install im doing this

Productivity - Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects

Security - Avast Free and Comodo for backup, Cyberfox with extensions

Gaming - Steam, Origin, UPlay

Networking - NMap

Music - Foobar 2000

Optimization - Defraggler or Smart Defrag CCleaner

Keeping Metro UI for quick access to apps

Libre Office, uTorrent, Dxtory as extras

May add to this list, if i do ill add here

 

hidden or not, use a white list (MAC Address inclusion) to make hacking harder.

Right on I'm looking into Dxtory now so many different capture software programs. I know you said you're primarily using metro but incase you revert back rainmaker and winstep are there for you :P I just started using winstep / nexus they have some nice things about them but eh gets to be a little headache with customization if you don't have time to sit and work through it all.

Yes, i love ninite. Big time saver

I have a few ideas for Metro yet :) i maybe able to make it work, also i dont really love rainmeter uses RAM abit but i love what you can do with it :) also Dxtory is good due to the resources, i used to use fraps but Dxtory works much better, going to be testing the new Adobe CC suite out also, got lightroom and photoshop installed as trial, just need to download premiere and after effects, i hope the AMD support is good, only have a 6870 here lol

Right on and Dxtory vs Fraps etc comes to personal pref, I've seen a lot of back and forth so eh.