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Windows 7: Is slipstreaming worth it, really to reinstall Windows 7?

27 Feb 2015   #1
pintree3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64
 
 
Is slipstreaming worth it, really to reinstall Windows 7?

Up to now my one cherished adviser/consultant here has been Gregrocker-whose advice over and over again has been a godsend. And so the last time I updated my Win 7 I used his tutorial.
Having said this, the installation process is overwhelmingly long once you take into account all the updates that must be done later.
And so I thought of slip-streaming from the old days of Windows XP. And in doing research I realized that either I have forgotten what it was like in the XP days or for Win 7 the process seems useless (unless I read the wrong articles).
Some of them only add SP1 to the process (doesn't the downloadable ISO already include SP1?) which to me seems not worth the effort. Others require you to download this software and that software and then do process A then B then C, which got me thinking: Really? Isn't slip-streaming supposed to make the whole thing faster and easier?
My idea of slip-streaming entails most updates since my original CD, including updated drivers (and hell, if I could add the Office Suite [and Adobe suite '] to the process so much the better. Any views on this?
One way or another it is time for me to reinstall W7.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Feb 2015   #2
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Hopefully you already have a previously downloaded ISO because they are now much harder to come by.

This isn't slipstreaming but is helpful by adding all the updates into the ISO,

TEST -Update 7 installation media

I wouldn't worry about the drivers, those are better left separate if you ask me.

If you want to start adding programs then you probably want something like sysprep which we also have experts on.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2015   #3
ComputerGeek

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64
 
 

Check out the WSUS Offline Update freeware tool. It makes the update process after a reinstall MUCH easier, less painful, reduces clock time and the number of user interactions. Note: I find even when done I may still need to run one or two manual updates but IMO overall process is greatly improved
  1. Download and extract the folder
  2. Click to run UpdateGenerator. Check off your version of Windows/platform and and other options. If you use MS Office also notice the Office tab.
  3. Click Start. It can take time (maybe a half hour? i forget) to download all updates. (but it's fully automatic)
  4. When done click to open the Client folder. Run the UpdateInstaller. Be sure to click the box for Automatic Reboot. along with other install options you want
Generator and Installer window snapshots below


Attached Thumbnails
Is slipstreaming worth it, really to reinstall Windows 7?-generator.jpg  
Attached Images
Is slipstreaming worth it, really to reinstall Windows 7?-installer.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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27 Feb 2015   #4
ComputerGeek

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64
 
 

Sorry for the double post but will be easier to read.

Tip #2. To further improve re-install time and process.... After updates, check out ninite.com. Install many of your freeware tools with a single installer! Ninite also automatically avoids all those piggy-back downloads that you have to carefully avoid when you run these freeware installers manually one by one on your own!


Attached Thumbnails
Is slipstreaming worth it, really to reinstall Windows 7?-ninite.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2015   #5
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

You still have to take the time to gather the installers, the updates etc. Then take time to add them to the iso, then the install time just takes longer anyway. I see no point in doing it that way. Windows takes 15 minutes to install, another hour and a half for all the updates ( and that`s being generous ) and another 10/15 minutes to add your programs. Not long at all in my opinion. It`s not something to be rushed anyway.

Compare that to the the time that some of us have been tinkering with our machines, saving the money for and adding new parts, and the customizations etc. etc. etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2015   #6
Midori

Primary OS: Archlinux with Kde-Plasma5 x86-64. Secondary OS: Windows 8.1 x64. UEFI Setup.
 
 

Hello pintree3,

Yes, it is worth it to slipstream updates to your installation image (would cut install+update time by 3 folds).

First if you did not already, you should get yourself a fresh Windows 7 image with SP1 and media refresh update:
microsoft.com/en-us/software-recovery

Do note you can only use purchased Windows 7 product-keys to download (darn you M$), if you do not like this, go blame Micro$oft and anyone who do not allow other reputable downloads .

For maintaining both online and offline Windows images, we use a software called DISM.
technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825236.aspx
For a excellent guide for Windows integration by the awesome user 'murphy78':
forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/47875-Windows-Integration-Guide-murphy78

To get your updates, you can use a software used 'WHDownloader':
forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/44645-WHDownloader-v0-0-1-4

First unpack the ISO to a folder, then delete 'sources\ei.cfg' to allow choosing of all versions.
Then create a folder somewhere ('C:\mount') and mount the index of choice in the image 'sources/install.wim' to it.
Code:
DISM /mount-wim /wimfile:c:\win7\sources\install.wim /index:1 /mountdir:c:\mount
Now you can add the update packages to the image:
Code:
DISM /image:c:\mount /add-package /packagepath:c:\updates\
Now you can save the index back to the image:
Code:
dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:c:\mount /commit
Or if you made a mistake and want to remove the image to start over (never try to delete the image manually):
Code:
dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:c:\mount /discard
After you edited all indexes, you may noticed the image increase in size, so you may want to compress it using imagex:
Code:
imagex /compress maximum /export c:\win7\sources\install.wim * c:\win7\sources\install.wim.new
Don't forget to rename 'install.wim.new' to 'install.wim' .

Afterwards use the 'oscdimg' to create a ISO that is bootable on UEFI and/or BIOS.
Code:
For 32 bit
oscdimg.exe -h -m -o -u2 -bx:\win7\boot\etfsboot.com -lWindows7install c:\win7 c:\Windows7.iso
For 64 bit:
oscdimg.exe -h -m -o -u2 -udfver102 -bootdata:2#p0,e,bC:\win7\boot\etfsboot.com#pEF,e,bc:\win7\efi\microsoft\boot\efisys.bin -lWindows7install c:\win7 c:\Windows7.iso


If the above is to hard, you can download a updatepack called 'Simplix Pack' which can also integrate update into the Windows 7 image:
forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/45005-Simplix-Pack-to-update-Live-Win7-System-Integrate-hotfixes-into-Win7-distribution

First unpack your ISO to a folder, then delete 'sources\ei.cfg' to allow choosing of all versions.
Then open a CMD prompt and use the following command
Code:
UpdatePack7R2.exe /ie11 /WimFile=C:\install.wim /Index=*
Replace 'C:\install.wim' with the location of install.wim.

Then you can use a program called Wintoolkit to mount image indexes and create a ISO for you:
wincert.net/forum/files/file/5-win-toolkit/

Good luck ^^.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #7
ComputerGeek

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64
 
 

@Midori

Great info. And thanks for tips on some new tools. I use DISM as well. I thought i might help clarify how to determine "index of choice" when you say
Quote:
Then create a folder somewhere ('C:\mount') and mount the index of choice in the image 'sources/install.wim' to it.
The "index of choice" corresponds to the index for the version of Windows in the .wim file one wants to update.

To see the versions stored in a .wim file and each version's corresponding index number, use the command syntax below. As an example, I display the results of my Windows 7 install disk.
Code:
Dism   /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:c:\win7\sources\install.wim
results below showing index # for each windows version in the .wim
Code:
Details for image : C:\win7\sources\install.wim

Index : 1
Name : Windows 7 HOMEBASIC
Description : Windows 7 HOMEBASIC
Size : 11,710,161,360 bytes

Index : 2
Name : Windows 7 HOMEPREMIUM
Description : Windows 7 HOMEPREMIUM
Size : 12,222,587,449 bytes

Index : 3
Name : Windows 7 PROFESSIONAL
Description : Windows 7 PROFESSIONAL
Size : 12,122,886,417 bytes

Index : 4
Name : Windows 7 ULTIMATE
Description : Windows 7 ULTIMATE
Size : 12,285,492,779 bytes

The operation completed successfully.
p.s. Personally, I keep forgetting DISM syntax. Also check out DISM GUI for a UI interface alternative to remembering DISM command prompt syntax. DISM GUI must be run as admin to work. For this example,
  • Use Mount Control tab to mount/unmount the .wim file. When Unmounting, the GUI will ask if you want to commit the changes
  • Use Package Management tab to add all the updates to the mounted wim


Attached Thumbnails
Is slipstreaming worth it, really to reinstall Windows 7?-gui.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #8
Midori

Primary OS: Archlinux with Kde-Plasma5 x86-64. Secondary OS: Windows 8.1 x64. UEFI Setup.
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ComputerGeek View Post
Great info. And thanks for tips on some new tools. I use DISM as well. I thought i might help clarify how to determine "index of choice" when you say
Good point, though i did not post that because of the link to the guide of 'Microsoft' and 'Murphy78', i am to lazy to explain .

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ComputerGeek View Post
p.s. Personally, I keep forgetting DISM syntax. Also check out DISM GUI for a UI interface alternative to remembering DISM command prompt syntax. DISM GUI must be run as admin to work. For this example,
  • Use Mount Control tab to mount/unmount the .wim file. When Unmounting, the GUI will ask if you want to commit the changes
  • Use Package Management tab to add all the updates to the mounted wim
Nice, but in GUI vs GUI it pails in compare of features to Wintoolkit:
wincert.net/forum/files/file/5-win-toolkit/
It uses Dism and Imagex for all image operations and allows for many nice presets, a All-In-One Integrator, Wim splitter and combiner, Iso and Usb preperator, Registry editor, etc...

Have a good day ^^.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #9
ComputerGeek

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Midori View Post
Nice, but in GUI vs GUI it pails in compare of features to Wintoolkit:
wincert.net/forum/files/file/5-win-toolkit/
It uses Dism and Imagex for all image operations and allows for many nice presets, a All-In-One Integrator, Wim splitter and combiner, Iso and Usb preperator, Registry editor, etc...
Fair enough. Wintoolkit is one of the new tools you mentioned I haven't yet used. But will definitely now check out!

Thanks again for all the new info and references. Also all the new tools tips I learned and I'll have to try
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2015   #10
sdowney717

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I have 4 win7 pc's

One of them I keep a backup install on a 60gb hard drive, which is a full install.
Couple times to that PC, I have had to restore windows.
So I use clonezilla to copy the backup install to the new hard drive.
It only takes a few minutes to do the hard drive copy using clonezilla.
The i remove the 60 gb source drive and boot up the new hard drive.
Then I can expand the new hard drive's 60gb partition to fill the new drive.

So basically take 2 drives, install to one drive to be kept as backup.
Then clonezilla the backup drive to the drive you plan to run.
Of course that only works for a single PC, but it saves me lots of time.

I have had unusual issues with that PC, including me doing unusual things to it, so I decided to keep a working backup to quickly restore it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Is slipstreaming worth it, really to reinstall Windows 7?




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