Computers & Electronics

Keep Dell software installed on new PC? Windows Home vs Pro?

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Deal Addict
Dec 24, 2008
3925 posts
1379 upvotes
Belle River

Keep Dell software installed on new PC? Windows Home vs Pro?

I have very little experience with pre-built computers, this is the first in a long time, is there any reason to keep the Dell software installed? Driver updates or something?

My instinct is to completely wipe and just install a fresh vanilla Windows of my own, but again I am way out of date on pre-built best practices, maybe people just remove what they don't like? Something I can say already, within the first like 30 minutes of playing with it post Windows setup, I've seen a McAfee ad popup at least twice, seems like it could get pretty annoying especially when it's huge and it happens right over a video.

I also have no experience with Windows Home edition, only Pro, any important differences? I searched of course but often people can point out things you don't always discover when researching.

If I install the same edition of Windows, Home, would the new one just auto activate since the hardware hasn't changed?

EDIT: Forgot to mention, Windows forced me to create an online account to complete installation, and it wouldn't even let me use my usual dummy domain, it refused saying I need to use a personal email not work or school, can't believe how picky it was. I read there's workarounds like no internet or fake phone number, but the reason I bring it up is because my Pro installations, even very recently, have always had that offline account option. Is this a Home vs Pro thing or is it some kinda Dell modification?
5 replies
Member
Feb 9, 2008
407 posts
329 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
For the pre-installed software, I'd just manually uninstall them.
I'd remove most of the Dell software, including the software update tools, help and support, product registration, support assist, etc.
Windows Update does a decent job with driver updates. You can manually download other updates from their support page.
Dell's software update tool had security issues earlier this year.

McAfee should be removed. Make sure Windows Defender is enabled in settings afterwards.

There's some differences between home and pro, mostly affecting additional configuration settings and business-related features.
For simple home use, it wouldn't really affect most people.
https://www.pcgamer.com/whats-the-difference-between-windows-10-home-and-pro/
You can upgrade from within windows, but I think the cost was a bit over $100 CAD.
If you're planning to do a fresh install anyways and have an old Windows 7 pro computer lying around, you could try to use the key, but it's a legal gray area.

Installing the same version of Windows should auto-activate.

The account requirement came with one of Window's major updates and home/pro doesn't matter.
The only way around it is to disconnect the computer from the internet, before starting the setup process.
https://www.howtogeek.com/442609/confirmed-windows-10-setup-now-prevents-local-account-creation/
Deal Addict
Jul 16, 2005
1382 posts
513 upvotes
If you created a Windows account, just reinstall Win 10 from Microsoft itself. No need to start with Win 7. Search for "Windows Media Creation Tool". There should be a create USB or DVD installation media with it. The "Upgrade" option will preserve all the old Dell crap so choose the other option that does a fresh install.

Anyway, like zerod did, I also just uninstalled the Dell and other crap -- that was the easiest method. I did this only a couple months ago with the Dell Ryzen laptop frequently posted in the Deals section.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 1, 2003
6734 posts
410 upvotes
shopper_of_things wrote: If you created a Windows account, just reinstall Win 10 from Microsoft itself.
You don't need a windows account for that. You can just download the install media from MS and type in your activation key for win 7 and it will work fine. If you unplug your network cable when you first set up the PC you don't need an MS account and can create local accounts which many people prefer.
Deal Fanatic
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Jun 16, 2009
6269 posts
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GTA
I'd like to know what Dell software it is specifically. Chances are it is removable, but I wouldn't want to assume because they could pop the word Dell in front of something that is actually needed (example: "Dell Wi-Fi driver").
I myself keep the Dell software update tool - I forget what it's called. I keep it because for the next few years, it's an easier method of identifying BIOS updates and critical updates such as drivers than going to the Dell web page for your specific product. I probably check biweekly, and in any case with a new PC, keeping the one program installed isn't going to affect your performance. In a couple years down the road once the updates slow to a trickle, you could remove it and just check the web page once in a while.
c'mon get happy!
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
29039 posts
14586 upvotes
hystavito wrote:
EDIT: Forgot to mention, Windows forced me to create an online account to complete installation, and it wouldn't even let me use my usual dummy domain, it refused saying I need to use a personal email not work or school, can't believe how picky it was. I read there's workarounds like no internet or fake phone number, but the reason I bring it up is because my Pro installations, even very recently, have always had that offline account option. Is this a Home vs Pro thing or is it some kinda Dell modification?
That's usually Windows being dumb. If you have Home, you can't skip making an account which is an argument for Pro. Even for Pro it's buried somewhere that's not noticeable.
This is also why you should never hook up wifi or plug in ethernet before you get into Windows.

I'd wipe it. With the amount of garbage on a prebuilt computer it's just easier starting from scratch. Plus it's the only way for me to get LTSC on a machine.
Once you're done wiping and reinstalling, take an image and back that up.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.

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