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Best ways to make multiple windows7 installations identical

Posted on 2012-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-09-21
Hello Experts -

I need to build a few Windows7 systems, with third party software, that are identical.  I don't have enough volume to justify an OEM license.  Assuming I purchase multiple Win7 Professional install Disks, what is the best approach to accomplishing this?  thanks
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Question by:markdolar
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LVL 17

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by:Brad Bouchard
Brad Bouchard earned 800 total points
ID: 38380184
Install everything you need one on machine and get it all up to date then clone it to your other computer and run sysprep on it.  It will strip it of things like it's SID and some other stuff and then you can just put your other Win7 key in.
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LVL 10

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by:CSI-Windows_com
CSI-Windows_com earned 400 total points
ID: 38380214
You would want to sysprep first, then clone it to other machines - otherwise if you try to boot Windows 7 on a machine that is dramatically different in terms of drivers it may BSOD or have other operational problems.
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by:Michael-Best
Michael-Best earned 200 total points
ID: 38380248
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LVL 93

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by:nobus
nobus earned 600 total points
ID: 38380447
maybe you're better off with a volume licence?  
http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/existing-customers/product-activation.aspx
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Author Comment

by:markdolar
ID: 38380888
Thanks for the comments.  Volume licensing and technet plus are good suggestions, but I don't think they address the basic question - when you already have the windows7 disks.

I will look into sysprep - any tutorial pointers would be appreciated.  Thanks.
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LVL 93

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by:nobus
nobus earned 600 total points
ID: 38380902
then make ONE install complete, without putting in the licence code, and make an image of that, so you can restore the image to all others ( with same hardware)
on start up, you can then put in the licence key
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LVL 17

Accepted Solution

by:
Brad Bouchard earned 800 total points
ID: 38392604
Sysprep - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457073.aspx

Although the more I look at it, Nobus' suggestion (#38380902) is probably better than any others.  I would suggest trying that first.
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Author Closing Comment

by:markdolar
ID: 38422220
lots of very good suggestions here.  I think for cases like mine, sysprep is the way to go.  I spread the points around because the all the suggestions have a degree of viability.

Thanks
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