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Create Custom Windows Installation Disk

Posted on 2012-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-10-04
Hello,
I want to be able to create a CD for new Window installations with custom settings and programs so that it saves time when installing Windows. I have read a couple of articles in technet that I will post below but they don't seem to be what I am looking for. Is there a simpler method or article? For example, I will want to have a custom Windows CD without all the pre-installed junk programs. I would like to have Office installed. I would like to have the latest Windows Updates. Maybe, if possible, have it connect the user to network shares and printers.

Thank You,
Ezra Shiram

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee523217(v=ws.10).aspx

I tried this but when I tried to boot the reference computer to the flash drive it says it couldnt find an OS on it (missing system). I confirmed that I copied the files on it. I tried this twice - once when the drive was NTFS and the other in FAT32. This is where I got stuck. I also don't see an option to create a bootable installation DVD anywhere in the document.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd349348(v=ws.10).aspx

I do not know the difference between these two (except on includes answer files).
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Question by:eshiram
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Expert Comment

by:tylerpayne
ID: 38372636
Here is a good article if you are using windows 7. First you want to install the OS and do the updates, then uninstall any programs that you do not want on the computer. Then install the programs you do want. Then click the link below and read the article to create your image.

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how-to-create-a-system-image-in-windows-7/
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Author Comment

by:eshiram
ID: 38372652
Hey Tyler,
Thanks for the reply. This seems like I'll need the restore cd AND an image. All I want is one installation CD that installs Windows with my custom settings.
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Author Comment

by:eshiram
ID: 38372691
Tyler,
I don't know if I made it clear that I will want to use this CD for more than one machine at more than one company. So, using the link you provided wouldnt that cause issues if I try to restore to a different machine?

Thank You,
Ezra
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Expert Comment

by:tylerpayne
ID: 38372753
You should be able to boot off the cd you created. You dont have to create a restore cd. Thats why its an image. Exact copy of everything on your machine. You could even put a new hard drive in your machine and boot off this disc and it will have all the required drives for the machine.
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Expert Comment

by:tylerpayne
ID: 38372772
Catch 22. The image you create is only good for that machine model. Lets say you create an image for a dell optiplex 740 and want to use that image on a dell optiplex 760. That will NOT work since those machines are different in drivers and builds. But if you have 30 dell optiplex 740 then you can use that one disk to load all that.
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Expert Comment

by:tylerpayne
ID: 38372851
If your willing to spend some money then you can use a laptop and store images on it with all the different builds and push them to all the computers connected through a hub using a boot disk. Symantec ghost cast server is a great program for this.
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Author Comment

by:eshiram
ID: 38373869
and then after i do this i can just run sysprep to individualize the computer?
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 38375146
one way of doing this is to make a custom winpe image, add imagex and (optionally) gimagex.exe, sysprep the machine, boot from this custom disk, imagex into a wim your drive

copy the wim you made into your iso, burn the disk, and then use imagex to apply this wim
you will need to use
diskpart first to create a volume, assign a drive letter, mark it as active, and format it
apply the wim to the new disk
bcdboot c:\windows
and you should be good to go.


once you have the .vhd you can use this script  (need vhd2wim)
name the .win file as install.wim

preferably use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Windows Automated Installation Kit, this way you can put the drivers into the driver store, and add packages for later installation and otherwise automate your installation.
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Author Comment

by:eshiram
ID: 38392852
Hi,
Thanks for the reply. This is closer to what I want.

Do I end up with an ISO to burn to a disk to use to install Windows?

Can you please explain in dummy detail what to do?

Thanks in Advance,
Ezra
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 38397628
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 38397706
For Windows XP and Vista.

nLite and vLite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NLite_and_vLite

Follow the links in the Wikipedia article to the forum for lots more information.  Note that there are links there to adding apps to install CDs.

DriverPacks http://driverpacks.net/ for adding drivers to your installation CDs.

Ryan Forums http://www.ryanvm.net/forum/ for adding updates to your installation CDs.

Warning!  Much experimentation will be needed to find what works for you.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 38397800
For Windows 7 there is a free tool available you can use for this, rt7lite:

http://www.rt7lite.com/downloads.html

It first allows you to include/remove windows settings and features, how the desktop should be setup etc. It also allows you to include further software like Antivirus utilities, 3rd party web-browsers, tools etc which will then install during the installation process. It allows you to create iso images, DVD's, USB installation sticks etc from the results. The older beta version (build 2.6.0) additionally allows you to slipstream SP1 should your source DVD not include that already.
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Accepted Solution

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yo_bee earned 1500 total points
ID: 38398610
Have you looking into MDT 2012.
It is free and can be used to build a deployment image.
You will need a Windows Server 2008 with Windows Deployment Role installed to accomplish a more slipstream approach.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/pilot-and-deploy-windows-7.aspx

This is a detailed link, but I think you will find multiple ways to address your task at hand.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 38400404
You will need a program like magiciso, ultraiso
1. open the original windows7 disk/iso
2. go to the sources folder
3. delete the install.wim
4. copy your capture.wim to the sources folder
5. rename capture.wim to install.wim
6. save and then burn the iso or copy the contents of the iso to usb drive
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