Consolidating the Windows 8.1 install guide here from another thread.22 step Windows 8.1 install guide with settings and services changed
1) Install Windows 8.1 iso. In the setup menu, I delete all partitions then manually create a new one instead of installing into unpartitioned space.
2) Hit the Windows key + Q, type "user account control", turn off user account control (UAC) then reboot.
3) Click the mouse section in the control panel and turn off acceleration.
4) Run Windows update and reboot. I don't install any updates for Internet explorer or Flash for IE since IE is going to be uninstalled.
5) Open the power icon in the control panel and change it to "high performance" and reboot.
6) Install Intel Chipset driver but don't install Rapid Storage or Intel Management Engine Interface. Reboot after.
7) Install graphics card driver and reboot. Do not install any options except for the driver itself, uncheck everything else. After rebooting from Nvidia drivers, go into the Nvidia scaling tab and change it to "Display - No Scaling" and reboot again. If you change anything in the scaling tab, mouse movement will feel off until you reboot, so you can't toggle back and forth to test between modes to see how each feels.
8) Let the system idle for a few minutes for every service to load, then open a command prompt and type "winsat formal". This is similar to the Windows 7 experience index. It will configure your SSD and graphics properly, etc. Reboot after finished.
9) Open the action center, under the maintenance section where it says, "Check for solutions to problem reports", click settings, then "change report settings for all users", and turn it off to get rid of Windows error reporting.
10) Right click the task bar at the bottom of the screen, go into properties, the only two boxes checked on first page should be "lock the task bar" and "use small taskbar buttons" (optional). On the next tab, "Navigation", the only box checked should be "when I sign in, go straight to the desktop instead of start". On the next page, "Jump lists", both boxes should be unchecked.
11) Hit windows key + C to bring up the charms menu, click settings, then "change pc settings" on the bottom of next page. Go in there and disable pretty much everything like removing all the metro apps, disable app switching, etc. Just about any slider that can be set to "On/Off" is better off in these menus.
12) Hit Windows key + Q to bring up the search box. Type "defrag" in the search box and click "Defrag and optimize your drives". Turn off scheduled defrag.
13) Type Windows Defender in the search box and on the last tab uncheck the "use this application box" to turn windows defender off
14) Open the control panel, click "date and time", click the "internet time" tab, change settings, uncheck the box "Synchronize with an internet time server" and click ok.
15) Open regedit and go to the following key:
Hkey_Local_Machine > System > Current Control Set > Control > Session Manager > Memory Management > Prefetch Parameters
Change the following two settings to "0" instead of "3":
- EnablePrefetcher - unneeded for SSD
- EnableSuperfetch - unneeded for SSD (Winsat should have already removed this key if it detected an SSD as boot driver)
16) Change Nvidia control panel settings to look like the following:
17) Open the control panel, click the system icon, click advanced system settings. On the system protection tab, click the configure button to turn off system restore for all drives. You can't leave it on or you'll have services like volume shadow copy running that will bog down your system. Check it a few days later and make sure it hasn't turned back on. Click the "remote" tab to the right of system protection and turn off the box that says "allow remote assistance connections to this computer" also.
18) Open the services section (control panel > administrative tools) and disable the following services:
- Print Spooler
- Windows Search
- Human Interface Device Access
- Make sure Windows update service is set to manual and is not running. If Windows update service is running even when set to manual and you haven't opened it, you will need to disable it.
19) Change Background Intelligent Transfer service from automatic to manual in services. It shouldn't start unless you run Windows update.
20) Open Internet Explorer 11 and in the options menu, disable "smooth scrolling" because IE settings affect desktop movement in Win8. Also open the "about" menu and uncheck the automatically install new versions box.
21) Open regedit (right click the windows button and click run and type "regedit"), and go to the following key:
Change the key from 3 to 4 to disable the time broker service. It's for metro apps in Windows 8 and has a related exe that usually runs all the time.
22) Go into the control panel > programs and features > "Turn Windows Features On/Off" and uninstall the following until the menu looks like this:
- Internet Exploder 11 - first turn off smooth scrolling in the options menu of IE, then turn off automatic updating under the "about" section of IE.
- Print and document services
- SMB 1.0/CIFS file sharing support
- Windows Location Provider
- Windows Powershell 2.0
- Work folders client
- XPS services
- XPS viewer
23) At this point, these are your last settings to fine tune. I currently use audio out from my Nvidia card for sound (with the default Microsoft driver), so I do not have multiple sound devices in my system.
If you have an additional sound device besides the Nvidia audio out, disabling the Nvidia sound may help. Open the device manager, right click on nvidia virtual audio and disable it (have to do it every time you reinstall Nvidia drivers). You can also disable the Nvidia HDMI audio out under sound section in device manager too. It will be listed as "high definition audio device" and will have the same device instance path as your GPU.