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Windows 7: Windows Automated Install Kit 7 - create image for different hardware


16 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 
Windows Automated Install Kit 7 - create image for different hardware

Hi,

Hope this is the right forum.

Anyways, I have two computers, a desktop and laptop (Lenovo X60). I want to create an image of a clean Windows 7 installation, after some tweaks, (but without any extraneous applications installed) that is capable of being deployed onto both of these systems, so that instead of doing a custom install of Windows 7 and re-doing those little, time-consuming tweaks, I can just deploy this standard image of Windows 7 onto either of these machines when I want to do a "fresh" install.

My question is, is the correct way to do this to use the WAIK for Windows 7 and follow along the lines of these instructions? And that will be able to create an (standard but tweaked) image of Windows 7 I can use for multiple computers, even ones that have differing hardware?

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Sep 2010   #2

Windows 7 Enterprise
 
 

Yes, that is the recommended way to create Windows 7 Images, using MS tools.

You may want to check out this link for information about the sysprep and WAIK procedures. I found this guide helpful when we started our Windows 7 project here.
However, we've now gone a different route using Novell tools, which is unlikely that you will have access to.

Making images is what I do here, so I'l do my best to help you out as I can.
First off before I can though, does your windows license permit you to make an image for more than the purpose of a backup?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2010   #3

Systems 1 and 2: Windows 7 Enterprise x64, Win 8 Developer
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by xarden View Post
Yes, that is the recommended way to create Windows 7 Images, using MS tools.

You may want to check out this link for information about the sysprep and WAIK procedures. I found this guide helpful when we started our Windows 7 project here.
However, we've now gone a different route using Novell tools, which is unlikely that you will have access to.

Making images is what I do here, so I'l do my best to help you out as I can.
First off before I can though, does your windows license permit you to make an image for more than the purpose of a backup?
Novell tools? For Linux or NOS? I used Netware for the longest time and it was a shock seeing it in print.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


16 Sep 2010   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Acronis can adapt an image to reimage to any hardware.

Even Windows 7 backup image will start up on new hardware better than half of the time. You can test it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2010   #5

Windows 7 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lemur View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by xarden View Post
Yes, that is the recommended way to create Windows 7 Images, using MS tools.

You may want to check out this link for information about the sysprep and WAIK procedures. I found this guide helpful when we started our Windows 7 project here.
However, we've now gone a different route using Novell tools, which is unlikely that you will have access to.

Making images is what I do here, so I'l do my best to help you out as I can.
First off before I can though, does your windows license permit you to make an image for more than the purpose of a backup?
Novell tools? For Linux or NOS? I used Netware for the longest time and it was a shock seeing it in print.
ZenWorks. I understand it is based on Linux.
Our Novell Guru looks after this part. He's written all the scripts to make the sysprep phase zero-touch.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2010   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Cool, thanks for the info.

Yeah, I thought about the native Windows backup image, but the more I read the more I got the impression it wasn't always a 100% thing. Better to be safe than sorry.

Also, yeah I have licenses for Windows for both my machines, the main reason is that I didn't want to go through the time-consuming process of tweaking Windows every time I had/wanted to do a clean install.

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2010   #7

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

For just a couple of computers, WAIK seems to be overkill. What I would do for each computer is to install Windows 7, drivers and apps, update everything including windows updates, tweak to my heart's content, then image to a suitable external media such as an external hard drive, using a free/ paid program like Macrium Reflect. Thats it.

Everytime I was fed up with the installed system, I would just restore from the image.

You can explore other imaging programs like Acronis Trueimage also which let you create secure zones (like separate partitions) on the computer hdd itself.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2010   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bill2 View Post
For just a couple of computers, WAIK seems to be overkill. What I would do for each computer is to install Windows 7, drivers and apps, update everything including windows updates, tweak to my heart's content, then image to a suitable external media such as an external hard drive, using a free/ paid program like Macrium Reflect. Thats it.

Everytime I was fed up with the installed system, I would just restore from the image.

You can explore other imaging programs like Acronis Trueimage also which let you create secure zones (like separate partitions) on the computer hdd itself.
Will something like Macrium Reflect allow me to deploy the images onto computers with different hardware, or will I have to do 2 sets of images for each system?

Also, I suppose WAIK/sysprep isn't a bad thing to learn how to use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2010   #9

64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro
 
 

The main problem with using a single image for different computers will of course be the different drivers and possibly some registry entries... As gregrocker has pointed out, Acronis solves this common issue with Acronis® Backup & Recovery™ 10 Universal Restore, a fully integrated module that restores servers or workstations to different hardware or to a virtual machine.

Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 is used to create a transportable image that disassociates the data from the old machine’s underlying hardware. Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Universal Restore loads in the new hardware’s own drivers so that the image from the previous hardware platform will allow the machine to be flawlessly restored to a different hardware platform, complete with operating system, applications, data and all previous settings. Recovery can be implemented to an existing system, to a new system with different hardware, or to a virtual server, in minutes..

Acronis® Backup & Recovery
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2010   #10
Microsoft MVP

 

Works good, too. Didn't have to repair XP as per usual on new hardware and Windows 7 started up with all drivers.

If you don't wanna spring for Acronis, I'd choose the best performance point right after 7 setup on both machines, then save a Windows 7 backup image to use in place of reinstall for life.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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