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polack

Capturing/Deploying Standard Windows 7 Image or Why Microsoft is Yet A

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EDIT(Title):

Capturing/Deploying Standard Windows 7 Image or Why Microsoft is Yet Again Driving Me to Drink

 

I'm almost two years into my one man IT shop gig.  My experience trying to use features of Windows to automate things and save time follows this pattern:  1) Come in naive and wide-eyed believing the built-in functionality will do what it says.  2) Clumsily fart around with it until I think I have it working.  3) Realize later, in horror, that it never had the functionality to do what I thought it did and what most IT operations would need.  4)  Now jaded with my new knowledge, seek out open-source/third party tools that real people actually use.  

 

I have kept the pattern alive trying to capture a standard image of Windows 7 to be used on all machines.  I started with this guide:  http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee523217(v=ws.10).aspx

 

We are a small shop, <15 PCs, running single user licenses from the OEM of Windows 7 Pro.  I was able to capture my image using the above guide on a UFD, so I have an Install.wim.  However all I have for installation media are OEM recovery disks.  

 

How can I get this install.wim captured from a single user license into a version of Windows 7 Pro that I can use?

 

I'll use official MS stuff or 3rd party tools.  Activation stuff doesn't bother me, for instance if I have to call or do some other software voodoo to use the license from the current machine instead of the reference machine.  I've started down the thread of downloading the Windows 7 Pro iso and messing with rt7lite but I don't know if that will do what I want yet.  I'm worried I wasted quite a bit of time to get an OS image that I can't even use without volume licensing (which I'm not sure is cost effective for us yet).  

Edited by polack

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Recovery DVDs are locked to a manufacturer or in some cases a specific model. Are you asking how to say (for example) take a Dell Recovery DVD and make an OS you can use on any make and model computer?

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Recovery DVDs are locked to a manufacturer or in some cases a specific model. Are you asking how to say (for example) take a Dell Recovery DVD and make an OS you can use on any make and model computer?

 

More along the lines of if I can still create a standard image of windows 7 when I don't have volume license media.  The guide specifies volume license media combined with the image captured by imagex to create new media that will install the standard image you've captured.  

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I am not getting it.

 

Why don't you get the DigitalRiver appropriate .iso (s)?

 

http://www.heidoc.net/joomla/technology-science/microsoft/14-windows-7-direct-download-links

 

jaclaz

 

Ok this worked for me in this instance.  I downloaded the vanilla win7pro x64 iso, burned it to DVD and then followed the guide where I left off.  This worked, I made a bootable UFD and have installed windows and tested my applications, all good.  The only caveat is that windows and office were activated on the reference machine which also happens to be the same machine I just installed my custom image on.  The real test will be the next machine with a different license for this software.  I'm hoping it's only going to prompt me for a valid activation key which I'll have from the manufacturer and be able to punch in or that the activation isn't captured like I think.  Will that be the case or am I in for more headaches?

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Uhhh... Agreed, but....

 

If each target PC is a different brand from each other, then the Recovery DVD's will be individualized per "group" (whatever)/ They "should (per "group") preactivate the OS because of the Internal Key (still applies, just like XP) and the associated (per "group") "XRM-MS" file(s). You could use a common Image (unactivated) but the key and XRM-MS would have to apply to each "group". Once the FirstLogon (however you do it) is done, the File and Key would need "plugged in" with a "group" Script. Your roll-out would have to detect what the PC -really- is (make, model, etc) and act accordingly (per the Recovery DVD stuff per "group").

 

The above is based upon the assumption that you have (e.g.) a mix of Dell (diff models), HP (diff models), etc. Is this true?

 

As far as the Office is concerned, I know not, unless those, too, are "locked" per "group". (OEM Office pre-installed/activated?)

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He doesn't mention which Office it is. Even OEM Office 2010 and higher activate per user and go out to the internet for that. So having activated Office in the master image (if 2010 or 2013) would be a bad idea because it would probably get blacklisted pretty quick after being on multiple PCs.

Regarding Windows from recovery DVDs, no fancy activation needs to be done. If you install the correct DVD onto the correct hardware, it should just activate on its own.

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