The coming of the Borg
Took delivery of a new laptop yesterday. Booted it up and the Win10 install promptly upgraded itself to Win11. OK - let's try that.
Start with - create admin user that isn't a microsoft account. Hmm - nope. Lots of web searches and trials. Still nope - all the helpful suggestions are no longer valid. OK - create a fake new account, complete the login process. Create local user, reboot and log in with that.
Install Brave browser, set DDG as search engine, set Brave as default browser (which, in itself, took 20 minutes and a lot of reading). Click on a link - get Edge. Reboot. Try again. Same thing.
Check pi-hole and see a *huge* amount of traffic going to microsoft sub domains that I've not seen before. Blacklist domains. Random stuff stops working - e.g. volume control. WTF?? And I thought Android was bad.
Put Mint 20.2 on flash drive, boot from that, install with complete wipe of disk. Fully working laptop with no stupidity 20 minutes later.