Upgrading and setting up the computer for recording

This week I spent two days upgrading the computer with Windows 10 and a new SSD drive.

Step 1 – A new clean install of Windows 7

For a quite some time I’ve been wanting to entirely re-install my computer. It had gotten slow, occasionally not booting and felt unstable. Finally I got the time for some computer housekeeping.

Computer’s mental state

I formatted the new drive and re-installed Windows 7. Upgrading to Windows 10 for free, requires you to possess a Windows 7 or 8 version.

I imagined that re-installing Windows 7 would be a simple and quick thing to do. But I forgot the vast amount of updates it needs to install. (Windows 7 was apparently released 2009). It took pretty much the whole night to download/install patches and service paks. It doesn’t really help that the updating procedure in Windows is painfully slow compared to Linux or OSX.

Step 2 – Upgrading 7 to 10


Upgrading to Windows 10 went fairly quick apart from that my on-board network adapter wasn’t supported, so I needed to find a driver for it.

Windows 10 and privacy settings
Soon after the installation was complete, I had to go through all the privacy options. Windows 10 is really eager monitor your daily activities and your data in order to better suggest ads, tips and other things via Cortana. (Cortana is the “Siri” for Windows users.)
Collecting data about their users is something that Apple and Google already are doing. However it is a bit frightening that Windows 10 soon will be used daily in the public sector and governmental organisations, due to the fact that it monitors who your contacts are, who you are, what you type on your keyboard and what data you access/work with…
Is privacy for the individual officially dead? Did they win?

For privacy concerns and tips on what to disable, check this video out:

I am using the operating system in order to run my programs, code and record music. It would be a dream to have a lightweight Windows edition without all the “crayons”. I’m really not interested in a news, weather or messaging app on my desktop. I value each byte of resource the OS can give me, in order to run the programs I prefer to use. Too bad I have a hard time abandoning Windows since my audio interface at the moment only supports OSX and Windows.

After removing all the “extras”, I feel it’s actually a quite nice Windows edition (except privacy intrusion part). It feels quicker than Windows 7, and I like the new design (if you compare it to Windows 8). Even though it still takes some time to find some settings. Since laptops are more used than desktops today the battery life is important. So Windows will by default conserve power by putting disks, usb hubs on standby mode. When recording music it’s a good idea to turn these “sleeping” functions off.

The good parts of Windows 10:

  • Quick, responsive and stable
  • No metro screen
  • A fairly minimized look and feel (after disabling some elements)

The less good parts of Windows 10:

  • A lot of privacy options to disable
  • Still unknown what of your data is sent to Microsoft and parties.
  • Configuration is hidden
  • Monitors your activities

Step 3 – Installing Reaper and Superior Drummer 2


Windows 10 automatically found my audio interface Roland Quad Capture (UA-55) and installed it. Reaper is always a graceful experience. 10Mb download and install. Done!

I recently got Superior Drummer 2 from Toontrack together with Metal Foundary SXD. It’s a massive library of different drum samples, 10 DVD’s to install. It has all the possibilities to create a great drum sound for what ever music style you want. Although it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. The more options you have, the more complex the product gets to use.


I think the upgrade to Windows 10 and a new SSD drive made a bit of a difference. I believe it’s healthy to once in a while do a complete re-install and try something new.

A lot is new on the surface in Windows 10 (hey the start menu is back).  However, underneath the make-up I believe there aren’t that many improvements from Windows 7. So at the moment there are no real advantages to upgrade your Windows 7 if your happy with it. I also hope that everyone knows that a solid state drive is the cheapest and most effective way to make your computer feel and run faster.

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