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Windows 7: Making a windows disc complete with updates

13 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home 64-Bit
 
 

Hi, I made this topic in the drivers section, but realised this maybe a more appropriate place to put it!

Hi guys, I am going to try and explain this the very best I can.
For work I am going to be reformatting all the laptops before resale. Now downloading all the updates is very frustrating, but I have been advised to use a piece of software called Macrium Reflect, which basically copies the complete hard drive, so you have a perfect back up.

So my plan is to make a fresh install of windows, update Windows fully, and them make an exact image of that hard drive. What I then plan to do, is install this copy onto all the laptops (Using the unique windows key), which basically saves me wasting hours per laptop updating.

My problem is, when you format a laptop, some drivers are already installed, where others are not. I do not know exactly what determines why some drivers are already installed and some are not, but anyway, if I took the complete image of the hard drive, of lets say a Toshiba laptop, then put all that data on to an Acer laptop for example, would I get conflict between already installed drivers?

By this, I would not install any manually downloaded drivers onto the Toshiba until after the image is taken, meaning the only drivers moved between laptops are the pre-installed ones

I hope I have explained this as well as I possibly could
Thank you in advance for any help you can give

Or, if there is a better / easy way to do this, that would also be very helpful


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Oct 2012   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

Harlem, What your trying to do is probably feasable but the main problem is that when you install Windows and then do the updates, it automatically installs the drivers for the devices on that particular machine that are included in the windows install disk.

Different makes of computers require different drivers as you know re the toshiba and Acer. but windows picks the most logical drivers for the make of laptop your installing it on.

You could probably get away with doing this on machines from the same manufacturer but your asking for aggrivation if you try to install on other manufacturers machines.

I have friends who download all the windows updates and put them on a dvd so that all they have to do is to install windows and then select and install the windows updates.

Rich
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Oct 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home 64-Bit
 
 

Hi Rich, thank you for the response.

I was afraid it was not really a possible answer which is a shame. I don't mind doing the updates one by one, it is just very time consuming. So when doing a 5 laptops, and you have to spend a good 4-5 hours updating because you cannot do them all at once, it makes a simple job, a long job.

I just wish you could somehow install every one at once

But anyway, thank you for your answer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Oct 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

You can do what you want but as a last step before capturing the image you should SysPrep to move HD to another computer so it generalizes it for all hardware and new users.

You can also slipstream the Updates into the Windows 7 installer w/SP1 ISO. But you still have to install to each PC separately. Better to use your original idea for imaging (the modern method) but generalize first.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home 64-Bit
 
 

Hi, So this morning I went ahead to transfer to my first laptop.

Got to the point to hit restore and it comes up with an error 'The Target disk is too small'

Now, I know there is definitely enough room to transfer the file, as the whole thing was 28GB, and the hard drive has over 250GB of free space, so that definitely is not an issue.

All I can think of, is that the system I used to make the Image had a 500gb Hard drive, so I am wondering if this is conflicting some how, even though the image is on really 28GB.

If so, is there a way for me to get that 500GB hard drive, make it appear lets say, a 30GB hard drive, make the image, then turn it back into a 500GB hard drive again.

Then I guess the same on the new PC, would the hard drive once restored look like a 30GB, and then could I convert that back to a 250GB hard drive?

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Any decent imaging app will allow you to adjust the image size to fit the target partition, if it doesn't do that itself. Sometimes it wants a partition and other times it wants Unallocated space. It should tell you that as well.

Macrium - Image your system

I use Acronis True Image with Universal Restore which also would solve your other question. There is a free Acronis imaging/cloning app which comes with any Seagate or WD HD in the mix.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home 64-Bit
 
 

Hi, Sorry if I am not understanding you correctly here.

The Image Size is just over 22GB, so it should fit onto any hard drive without a problem. When I go to install the partition I get the error 'The Target disk is too small'.

Now, All I can think of is, the image I took was off a 500gb hard drive, so I was thinking, maybe because the new hard drive is only 250gb, that is where the error comes from. The image is only about 22gb, and when unpacked, is about 27gb, so should fit easily.

Again, I may have not understood what you wrote fully, so sorry if that is the case
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Do you have the target HD formatted? Delete the formatting using the Windows 7 installer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home 64-Bit
 
 

Yes, I did try that unfortunately I had no joy first time round, so thought formatting would do the trick, but didn't
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Oct 2012   #10

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Harlem View Post
Yes, I did try that unfortunately I had no joy first time round, so thought formatting would do the trick, but didn't
The built in windows image program won't install the image on a hard disk that is smaller than the original.
The work around is to shrink your C drive where the image will be take from to a smaller size than the one you wish to place the image on. ie.. if your os only takes up 27gig, then I would shrink your C drie to something like 80gigs. Then take the image. When you then try to restore the image to almost any other size hard disk that is larger than 80gig, it should restore without problems.

I have done this a couple of times and it works.

Rich
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Making a windows disc complete with updates




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