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Windows 7 standard image creation

Posted on 2010-09-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi Experts,

We would like to create a custom standard Windows 7 pro image to use on some new desktop computers that we will be ordering soon (around 35 computers).  

Most users will use the same standard set of software (Such as Office 2010, SAP B1, Anti-virus software/ adobe reader etc) but some departments will use software that the other departments do not need installed on there computers. How can we create a custom standard window 7 Image along with other software to put onto all computers? and what software tools do we need or would you recommend to achieve this?

Also do we need to purchase a particular Microsoft Windows 7 license agreement such as a group or cooperate license agreement to do this so that we can use the same windows licenses key on all computers or can we just buy the computers with OEM licenses?  And use one of the license keys to use on all computers?  

Any recommendations would be great.

Thanks
Kevin
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Question by:kevin1983
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acel-martin earned 1000 total points
ID: 33616503
Hi,

With regards to licensing you will need to register with the Microsoft Volume Licensing Program and purchase your licence key through that program. This gives you greater flexibility and management over your licence keys for MS products.

Program Homepage: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/
How to Buy: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/how-to-buy/Default.aspx - You need to select your region.

As for the imaging, do you have a Windows Server you can load Windows Deployment Serviuces onto?

- Mart
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33616526
You have a number of activation methods you can use, either MAK or KMS to name 2, its worth checking this link for a basic overview... then potentially reading more into volume activation and deployment guides


http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd772269.aspx

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Author Comment

by:kevin1983
ID: 33616532
Ok, ill have a look at the Microsoft Volume Licensing Program, in the past we have just purchased desktop computers with windows pre-installed so used a seperate license key for each machine.

We have a SBS 2003, Server 2003 and Server 2008, what server requirements do we need? does it matter which server we install windows deplyment services onto?, are the software tools available for free?

 
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Author Comment

by:kevin1983
ID: 33616550
woolnoir: ok thanks for that link ill have a read, do you have a preference on the MAK or KMS method?
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33616553
You will be using one of two technolagies depending on the version of the OS on your deployment server either http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Deployment_Services or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_Installation_Services (with the former being the 2008 and newer version).

I would go with Windows Deployment Services as its designed to be used to deploy vista and windows 7 and is available as a role on the 2008 severs. There are a lot of tools microsoft makes available and for a small/medium sized company they are free.

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Expert Comment

by:acel-martin
ID: 33616557
Yes the tools should be included on the original install media for the server.  If your deploying Win7 I think it would probably be best to use the Windows 2008 server but essentially any server with a big enough disk area to store the image for each computer group you plan to install.
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by:woolnoir
ID: 33616558
this is a good starting point for windows deployment services http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766320(WS.10).aspx
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33616563
Sorry thats the 2003 version above.
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Expert Comment

by:woolnoir
ID: 33616565
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Author Comment

by:kevin1983
ID: 33625168
When we purchase the desktop computers with Windows 7 pre-installed would we still be able to use volume licensing?, or should we buy computers without Windows 7 pre-installed, buy some volume licesences and install windows 7 ourselves? dont want to pay twice for operating system licesence.
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Assisted Solution

by:woolnoir
woolnoir earned 1000 total points
ID: 33625213
It depends on price, if you can get the machines without windows 7 installed, then its often cheaper to use a volume licensing agreement to sort the legality. Often though - depending on the OEM, there isnt much price difference, and sometimes an increase to have the machines without a OS installation - its all about COST. at any rate, you want to end up with a volume license being applied.
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Expert Comment

by:acel-martin
ID: 33625230
As woolnoir says depending on where you buy the hardware if your going to be purchasing 35 machines then I would imagine your hardware supplier would want to offer you some sort of deal on the licenses maybe? I know I would if I was quoting for 35 systems in work.
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Author Closing Comment

by:kevin1983
ID: 33644650
woolnoir and acel-martin. Thanks a lot for your help
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