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Setting Up Our Windows 8 PCs

November 19, 2012

As I installed Windows 8 on our PCs or added new Windows 8 PCs to our network, I did not connect them to our SBS domain—except the first one which I used to sync settings to the Microsoft accounts for the users, before removing from the domain.

The process was longer was longer than what I had previously used when connecting to our domain—which made me appreciate the existence of the domain a little more than I had before.

Here were (most of( the steps in the first Windows 8 conversion:

  • Connect to Office 365 rather than local Exchange
  • Transfer all the users documents to SkyDrive (this would replace My Documents redirection to the server)
  • Sync Live Mesh Settings
  • Install Windows 8
  • Associate domain users settings with their Microsoft ID (used by Windows 8 to sync settings)
  • Remove the PC from the domain
  • Create a Home Grioup

The rest of the steps were used on each new Windows 8 PC and each newly converted Windows 8 PC (after disconnecting it from the domain):

  • Add the (now) free Media Center upograde
  • Create users for each member of the family
    • Add child users to Family Safety
    • Set the parameters for their computer use using Family Safety from Control Panel
  • Assign admin privileges to my own user ID
  • Add the PC to Homegroup, selecting not to share anything (only an ID on our server will actually be sharing files)
  • Install Aoos:
    • Office 2010
    • J River Media Center 18
    • Feed Demon
  • Add printers
  • Sign on as each user and:
    • Install Windows Essentials
    • Set the PC as a Trusted PC using Snyc Settings
    • Access Skydrive from the desktiop to start syncing user files
    • Add Skydrive to the user;s documents library
    • Do other library setup for that user
    • Sign in to Outlook
    • Run Media Center 18 and set the default library to that on the server

It almost makes you wish you could do this with a domain. But of course, while some of this might be done using a domaiin, much could not (at least not by me.

So, while this was a tedious process involving 6 PCs and 5 users each, it is one hope not to have to repeat again soon.

I also hope that Windows 8’s sync functionality improves to make this easier as it evolves.

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