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Windows 7 Image

Posted on 2012-09-06
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Hi,

Is there a way to create a Windows 7 image with all the updates & software I need that can be installed on any laptop/pc no matter what hardware or make or size of hard drive?

We have various different makes of PC & laptops with different sized hdd that we need to recondition every now & then for new users & we are having to install win7 from scratch, then run win updates & install the specific software our organisation needs.

Is there a way to image this so we can speed things up?
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Question by:craigaddison
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by:Vaulden
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ID: 38374455
This is the guide I used when creating mine: http://theitbros.com/sysprep-a-windows-7-machine-%E2%80%93-start-to-finish

For drivers I use the packs at http://driverpacks.net
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by:Stelian Stan
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ID: 38374467
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by:Vaulden
Vaulden earned 756 total points
ID: 38374475
You may need to slipstream drivers into the image. A good article on that is here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744355%28v=ws.10%29.aspx
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by:joinaunion
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by:joinaunion
ID: 38374482
Sorry Vaulden I guess we were typing at the same time. I'm not sure how to remove my comment.
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 248 total points
ID: 38374504
You do realize that the Windows 7 DVD is an IMAGE that is installed on your computer and that image is not customized for any particular hardware.  

Basically, use a volume license to build your image, exclude any driver specific utilities (like the nvidia control panel, NIC utilities, wireless utilities, etc) and you can later inject drivers offline or through WDS.

Basically, you need 1-4 images - pick:
Win7 Pro x86
Win7 Pro x64
Win7 Enterprise x86
Win7 Enterprise x64

HARDWARE (beyond bit level) shouldn't matter as far as the basic image.
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by:goelh70
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ID: 38374835
Use Acronis True Image Workstation edition. It supports bare metal restore as an option.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38375064
Acronis is an unnecessary expense.  You don't need it.  I'll repeat - Windows 7 is already a multiplatform image.  Just deploy it.
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by:nobus
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>>>  Is there a way to create a Windows 7 image with all the updates & software I need that can be installed on any laptop/pc no matter what hardware or make or size of hard drive?   <<<<   yes and NO.
what can be done is make an image of a complete install, and restore it to different hardware, and disk sizes, with Paragon's adaptive image software -  and click during restore "adjust to different partition size"

however, on the fact that this image can be used for other laptops, the answer is no for OEM installs; if you have a retail install, you can use it on ONE, since you have only one key, unless you have a volume licence, as discussed above

http://www.paragon-software.com/business/adaptiverestore/
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Vaulden earned 756 total points
ID: 38376647
Actually you can enter the MS provided generic key in the XML. Doing this will cause Windows to be installed unactivated. When it first boots up it will ask you to renter the key so it can activate. That is how we do it here. All of our PCs use OEM keys, but I use a single install image without any difficulty (we have 3 different desktop hardware setups and about 7 different notebooks).

You can also run a script to install the key and activate it after the first boot. So if you store the keys somewhere and have some sort of tie to the hardware (I cross reference the MAC address) you can have the script install the proper key for the proper computer as well as perform the activation.
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by:craigaddison
ID: 38397231
Thank you all for your great input
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