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From Win XP Pro to Win 7 Pro

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I can build Windows XP All In One install DVDs in my sleep.  Well, my script builds it.  I have been looking through the forums, online, and the deployment documentation from Microsoft, but I am still confused about how this works.


Here's what I have been able to gather so far:


  1. Instead of an i386 directory, there's a install.wim file that contains the installation image.
  2. Instead of winnt.sif, the unattended answer file is now an xml file.
  3. There is the Windows System Image Manager which shows a bunch of components and packages which I have no clue about.
  4. Windows PE?  In WIn XP, Win PE was made from the Win XP installation files.  How is it done now?
  5. The image that I have is Win 7 Pro SP1 AMD64.  I don't plan to do any upgrading to ultimate or anything.
  6. In Win XP, there are several hooks which can be utilized by custom code to perform various tasks.  Do these hooks exist in Win 7?  How does one use them?
  7. Hotfixes.  Before, you could specify a command line switch for a hotfix and it would integrate itself in the windows install.  Does that method still apply or has the procedure changed?
  8. Related to #6: How does one now install additional software like flash player, acrobat reader, Seamonkey, Firefox, etc...?  Which hook do you use?  Before, I would start a very elaborate installation from cmdlines.txt which would in turn call my WINSETUP.CMD which would then kick off the software installation.

I will probably have more questions beyond this.  But this should get me started.



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4. The WinPE is created using the WAIK for Windows 7 or you can use the ADK for Windows 8.1. For Vista/7 PEs you can refer to this:


However Win8 PE is fairly similar.

6,8. You can run install programs using RunSynchronous or FirstLogonCommands in the XML file.

7. You can integrate Hotfixes, Windows Updates and Drivers (INF based) into you install.wim using DISM.

See this sticky


Also, you might want to look into MDT instead of having to do everything manually. MDT works with either a PXE boot environment, or if you don't have that you can create bootable media with it instead.

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