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Windows 7: Proper order for clean install of Windows 7 x64 up to SP1 and beyond?

14 Nov 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Proper order for clean install of Windows 7 x64 up to SP1 and beyond?

Hi all...

I've done tons of clean installs of Windows 7 x64, and finally am upgrading my (oldish) Thinkpad T400 (from XP Pro).

I did a clean install of Windows 7 x64 from Microsoft installation media (this is pre-SP1). Worked fine.

Then installed all the Thinkpad drivers and software, which also went well.

When it came time to install all the Microsoft updates, I let the update process pick all the updates to be applied (some were not checked, as I've noticed happens lately), and let it do its thing. I started Microsoft Update over and over during this process to get the latest updates, as one would hope.

The thing that was weird about it this time is, Microsoft Update failed on several occasions (about 3 or 4 update cycles) on a total of about 10 or 12 updates. Some of these look like the updates being applied by Microsoft Update in the wrong order (eg. SP1-dependent updates being applied before SP1 was installed, Internet Explorer 8 updates being applied after Internet Explorer 9 had already been installed, etc.).

Eventually it seemed to settle down, and stopped suggesting any more updates.

My question is : Should I trust that all the updates went as they should? Since the update process failed several times, I don't quite trust that Microsoft Update always does things the right way. Some folks have said I should install SP1 before any other update. Others have said SP1 might depend on some previous updates. Others say it might CONFLICT with some previous updates. Ideally, I'd have a DVD with SP1 already applied, but I don't want to purchase another copy of Windows 7 Pro just for that.

I know I can download SP1 separately, but that leaves the questions above still unanswered.

Has anyone found a "perfect" order for applying updates so that none of them fail in this way?

And would you trust that everything was just hunky-dory after seeing these failures, as long as Windows didn't suggest any more updates? My main concern is that, somewhere in there, an update may have been applied that is out of order or incorrect given other updates, and something will break down the line, and soon.

- Tim

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


I would have installed using the latest official installer ISO with SP1, available in Step 1 of Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7. This saves hours of updating and confusion.

I'd also follow the Best Practices in the tutorial since you apparently installed a bunch of drivers before doing your Windows Updates which is how Win7 provides the latest drivers it wants being the first driver-complete OS.

As to the Updates shuffling, it can happen and normally sorts itself out. But you save hours of updating and have a much smoother course if you use the latest installer with SP1.

You can trust all Updates, set to Automatic, since failures resulting in serious problems are better than one in a million.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Nov 2012   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Don`t use IE9 yet, just stick with IE8 for awhile longer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Nov 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thanks for the advice! Seems to be working so far with the problems I had, but I'll download that ISO in case I need it in the future!

- Tim
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Proper order for clean install of Windows 7 x64 up to SP1 and beyond?

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