Once your Outlook is setup, you might want to take some time to restore your browser bookmarks (if you backed them up). In Firefox, go to Bookmarks → Organize Bookmarks, then select Import and Backup → Restore → Choose File… and find your bookmark backup file (ends in .json). All the favicons will be missing, but they’ll show back up whenever you navigate to each page.
In addition to Outlook and Firefox, I take some time to setup Picasa for my photo management and MediaMonkey for my music management. I’ll leave that to you to figure out how you want to organize your media.
Change Theme, User Picture, and Login Background
Now it’s time to make Windows look a little better. Changing the theme is easy. Just go to Control Panel → Appearance and Personalization → Change the theme and pick the theme you like. If you want to download a new theme, that’s easy too. Just go to Microsoft Windows – Windows 7 themes, find a theme you like and open it with themefile (default). It will automatically install and load.
Changing the user picture is easy too. Just go to Control Panel → User Accounts and Family Safety → User Accounts → Change your account picture. If you have your own picture to use, click on Browse for more pictures… and navigate to your picture. Otherwise, pick one from the list.
Changing the login background is not quite as easy, but it’s still not too bad. I’ve already written a tutorial for this – Change Windows 7 Login Background Without Installing Any Extra Software.
Choose a Backup Option
Now that you’ve gone to all this trouble to customize your Windows installation, it’s time to backup. There are many options, but I just use the built-in Windows Backup. Not only does it allow you to backup individual folders and files, it also creates an entire disk image you can use to restore from if all hell breaks loose. Get there from Control Panel → System and Security → Backup and Restore. Keep in mind that this process will take several hours, so just start the backup before you go to bed.
Well, that’s all I can think of for now. Good luck!