I recommend and use:
Microsoft Windows 11 Pro operating system.

Recommended hardware:

  • Intel Core i7 Processor
  • 8 GB RAM or more
  • 1 TB SSD Hard Drive
  • NVIDIA RTX 3070/3080/3090 Graphics Card
  • A large monitor with HDMI and DisplayPort connectors and capable of 1920x1080 resolution.


(Even if it doesn't meet the TPM chip requirements)

You will need to build a bootable USB stick using another Windows PC.

You will also require a Windows 7/8/10 or 11 Pro Product Key - It is a 25-character code that is used to activate Windows.

Download Rufus from https://rufus.ie/downloads/.

Download the Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO) from https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows11.

Plug the USB stick into an existing/working Windows PC and confirm it's drive letter.

Open Rufus and select the USB stick from 'Devices'.

Under 'Boot Selection' select the Windows 11 ISO file.

Under 'Image option' select Extended Windows 11 Installation (no TPM / no Secure Boot).

Change the Partition scheme from GPT to MBR, Target System: 'BIOS (or UEFI-CSM)'.

Under advanced drive properties, tick 'Add fixes for old BIOSes (extra partition, align, etc) and also 'Use Rufus MBR with BIOS ID 0x80 (Default).

You don't need to change anything under Format Options. Leave it as NTFS file system, Cluster size 4096 bytes (Default), Quick Format, Create extended label and icon files.

Whilst most hardware should automatically be setup and installed by Windows 11, you may need to provide some Windows 11 compatible Device Drivers - particularly if you are using less common hardware items in your PC.

Click 'START' and wait for the USB stick to be prepared - This will take a while. Once complete - safely remove the USB stick (From the system tray USB icon).

On the PC that you want to install Windows 11 on, you may need to tweak some settings in the System BIOS. You need to enable boot from USB and set it as the highest priority. You also need to enable 'Legacy Boot'.

Boot up the PC from the USB stick and follow the prompts to complete the installation. You will be prompted for the product key and asked a lot of annoying questions, and the computer might reboot several times and say things like 'Getting things ready' and 'Just a moment'. After a while you should have a working Windows 11 PC.

WORTH NOTING: You can only use a particular product key a certain number of times per year. If you exceed this - Windows will not activate. Also if you radically change the hardware in the PC after installing Windows - it may deactivate itself.


I strongly advise creating 'bitlockered VHDX virtual disks' to store your data.

(This ensures privacy and security.)

Click the Start button and type 'Computer Management'.

Under Storage, click on 'Disk Management'.

From here you can create VHDX files (You can think of them like a passworded zip file that can be mounted as a disk drive).

To create a VHDX file choose Action > Create VHD.

Change the type from VHD to VHDX and set it to be Dynamically expanding.

I generally set the Virtual Hard Disk size to 1 TB, even if you don't need it to be that big.

Choose the location for your VHDX file - I always put them on an external SSD drive - that way you can unplug the drive if you need to in a hurry, or if you need to wipe your PC, you can just remove that disk and not have to worry about losing anything important.

The new Disk will be listed within Disk Management and it will say 'Not Initialised' and 'Unallocated'.

Right-click on it and choose 'Initialize Disk'.

Choose GPT (GUID Partition Table) and press OK.

It will now change from 'Not initialised' to 'Online'.

In the area where it says 'Unallocated' right-click and choose 'New Simple Volume'.

Click Next> accepting the default size (Maximum).

You can assign a drive letter (See below for my standard for drive letters).

Quick format it in NTFS file system, giving it a meaningful label.

The disk will be mounted to the drive letter you chose.

In file explorer, right-click on the mounted disk and select 'Turn bitlocker on' and tick the option to 'Use a password to unlock the drive.

Choose a password that is not easy to guess and one you won't forget.

You will be prompted to back up your recovery key - There is no skipping this stage.

Click Save to a file and save it in your Windows Documents folder.

Click Next and choose 'Encrypt used disk space only' and Next again.

Choose 'New encryption mode'.

Click Next and then 'Start encypting'.

It should encrypt very quickly since there are no files on the disk yet.

Right-click on the drive letter in File Explorer and choose 'Eject'.

Find the vhdx file on your external drive and double-click on it.

You 'should' be prompted to Unlock the drive using the password.

If this prompt vanishes, you have to go to Control Panel and into Bitlocker Drive Encryption.

From there you should get the option to unlock the drive and the prompt for the password will return.

Every time you power off the PC, the VHDX will be unmounted.

This is good, because if someone turns on your PC when you are not around - they cannot access your data even if they get past the login.

Physical Disk Drives:

A = Floppy Drives / Card Readers Etc
B = External USB Backup Drives / Sticks / SSDs / HDDs (Temporarily Connected)
C = Primary Boot Drive / System Disk
D = Secondary Internal Drive (Extra Space for Large Software Installs)
E = DVD RW Drive
F = Primary External Storage Drive - Hosting Bitlocker Encrypted VHDX Disks
G = Third Internal Drive (Temporary Storage Area)

VHDX drives with Bitlocker Encryption:

H = Cloud Folders (Dropbox, OneDrive, etc)
I = Home Movies (Private)
J = Books / Manuals / Magazines (Private)
K = Car Music Playlist (Public)
L = LEGO (Public)
M = Music Library (MP3s & FLAC) (Private)
N = Pictures (Public)
O = Documents, Pictures & LEGO (Private)
P = Photo Album (Public)
Q = Temporarily Used For Building Virtual Disks
R = Software (Private)
S = Software (Public)
T = TV Shows (Private)
U = Archived Documents (Private)
V = Videos / Movies (Private)
W = Podcasts (Public)
X = Videos (Private)
Y = Virtual Machine System Disk (Hyper-V, Oracle Virtual Box or VMWare)
Z = Virtual Machine Data Disk (Hyper-V, Oracle Virtual Box or VMWare)


It is absolutely critical to periodically make backup copies of your files.

I do this at the start of every season (New Year, Spring, Summer & Autumn). First unmount/eject all your VHDX disks:

Copy each of them onto spare USB hard drives. Make sure these drives are reliable and not too old!

Once you have copied all the VHDX files, you can safely remove the external USB drive and re-mount your VHDX's.

As with your primary copy - the backups will be bitlocker password protected, so you don't have to worry about your backups getting into the wrong hands. You do have to worry about forgetting the password!


VLC Media Player

After installing Windows 11 Pro, the very first app I always install is VideoLAN VLC Media Player. It is primarily a video and music player that is compatible with most formats.

You can open image files/pictures and save a playlist as a .xspf file in order to create a slideshow. In Tools > Preferences choose Show settings > All, then scroll down to Video and untick the 'Show media title on video' otherwise this will be annoying for a slideshow. In the Demuxers > Image settings change the Duration in seconds as desired.

When playing music chose Audio > Visualizations > 3D spectrum to get a nice visual effect to go with the music.

You can create subtitle files to go with videos using notepad. Name the file the same as the video filename with .SRT as the file extension. The format for the subtitle file is as the example here:

Official Download Page

Wiki Documentation

Google Chrome Web Browser

Although Microsoft Edge is now based on the Google Chrome Web Browser, I still prefer to use Google's version. I recommend opening a gmail account and turning on the chrome sync feature so that your favorites can be imported into whichever PC you are working from.

Once you have a gmail account, you will also have access to Google Docs (In particular Google Sheets is a good alternative for Microsoft Excel).

Official Download Page


Qbittorrent is a peer-to-peer file sharing app. After installing the app, you can use bitlordsearch.com to find magnet downloads for Applications, Games, Movies and Video, TV Shows, Music, Books and more. Use at your own risk and of course avoid infringing copyright laws!

Qbittorrent Official Download Page

Bricklink Studio

Bricklink Studio is free software that allows you to design and render 3D LEGO models on your computer. I highly recommend installing it. The software is fairly easy to use, however there are plenty of YouTube tutorials available if you get stuck.

Official Download Page

Microsoft Office Picture Manager

Microsoft Office Picture Manager is a rather old and simple image editing program. It is very useful for cropping and resizing pictures, as well as tweaking the brightness, contrast and colour balance.

The installer (Which you can access from lower down on this page) is called 'SharePointDesigner' but this has the Picture Manager bundled with it.

Use the 'Customize' install option. Choose 'Not Available' for everything and then look in the Office Tools and change the Microsoft Office Picture Manager to 'Run from my computer'.

After running - Untick the option to install updates.


Audacity is an audio file editor. It is useful for splitting, clipping and merging music or sound recordings. You can add effects like reverb and adjust the volume. It works with MP3 and WAV formats.

Official Download Page

OBS Studio

OBS Studio is an app for capturing video clips of your computer screen. You can use it to make tutorials or to record gaming. There are features for adding audio commentary.

Official Download Page

ProTracker 2 Clone

If you are old enough to remember the late 80's / early 90's, you may have used ProTracker or something similar on an Atari ST or Commodore Amiga. It allows you to create music by sequencing sound samples on 4 audio channels. I have included a version of this software that runs on a modern PC. I have also bundled in some nice WAV samples that can be imported as well as a large collection of .mod files - Music that others have created using this software. Even if you are not creative or musically talented - It is fun to have a listen to some of the mod files.

Epic Games

It is worth signing up for an account with Epic Games. You can purchase games and download free ones using the Epic Games Launcher. I got Grand Theft Auto V for only £9. I don't spend much time gaming, but if you have a gaming PC, it's well worth checking out Epic Games.

Epic Games Store Webpage

Microsoft Photos Legacy

Microsoft Photos Legacy can be download from Microsoft App Store. The reason for needing this is that the newer Photos App that comes with Windows 11 does not include a slideshow feature.

Internet Information Services (IIS) with PHP and Mysql

NOTE: This section is not suitable for those who are not very techy! But if you want to host a website from your home PC like I do - why not give it a try?

I purchased the JASEMAN.COM and JASEMAN.CO.UK domain names through IONOS (Formally known as 1&1). This website is hosted on my home PC. I installed the 'Internet Information Services' feature of Windows 11 Pro (You can find it in Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off) and then I integrated PHP and Mysql into it to add some additional features (Installing PHP and Mysql into IIS is quite complicated - I've added some notes in the install folders below for anyone who is interested). I also use jquery.js and jssor.slider-28.0.0.min.js javascripts to add some enhancement to my HTML pages. I only have a basic knowledge of writing HTML code and I just use notepad to edit my webpages.

In order to host a website from your house - you first need to find out your public IP address. You will also need to know the private IP address of your computer that has IIS installed on it, and know how to access the webpage for your home internet router/modem - it will be the IP address of your 'default gateway' which you can get from the command prompt by typing IPCONFIG.

Once you have IIS setup and have made a website, you will need to go into the advanced settings of your router/modem and add port forwarding for port 80 - pointing it to the private IP address of the PC where IIS is installed.

I login to the IONOS website and set the forwarding destination for my domains to my public IP address. As I don't have a static IP address with my BT Infinity broadband package, my public IP address changes now and then. Every time this happens, I have to log into IONOS and update the destination IP. It's a minor annoyance but static IP's are expensive, and it's not super-critical if my website goes off for a few hours now and then.

Here is some software that I used to set up my home computers. Note that some of it may now be out of date. Everything here is available to download for free elsewhere: