What programs do you load after a clean Windows install? - Ask DLS

Fresh Vista install
Here at Download Squad HQ, we install and uninstall a lot of applications, tweak a lot of settings, and do a whole bunch of other things that generally makes Windows unhappy with us.

When I brought home my shiny new laptop running Windows Vista Home Premium earlier this year, I didn't know how lucky I was. My new PC shut down when I asked it to, slept when I closed the lid, and didn't cause glitches every time I started playing audio.

After spending some time pulling my hair out trying to get to the bottom of things, I figured the easiest way to solve some of my problems would be just to do a clean install of Windows. While programs like CCleaner are great for dusting the cobwebs of your windows registry, nothing works as well as reformatting the hard drive.

Of course, this was also an excellent opportunity to make sure I have a good backup of all my important data files, and to download and install just the applications that are most important to me in daily life. So after the jump is a list of the applications I started loading on my PC after restoring Windows. We'd love to know what programs you can't live without and what are the first things you load on a new PC?

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