What follows is by way of a comment on the TWT tutorial on this subject.
I have been using W7 Professional 64bit for two years, and have now reinstalled it for the second time.
On the first occasion, before SP1, this was done by a Custom install and reformat. This time I did a repair-install, taking about 2 hours rather than almost a day the first time. One other difference is that I now have SP1 installed, but the W7 disk does not.
From my reading, it seems that a repair-install would either require a disk which included SP1, or I would need to uninstall SP1 – and of course in the final update stage, reinstall it as well as all the subsequent updates. This would add quite a bit of time to the procedure. Alternatives might be to try to slipstream SP1 into W7, or to get a W7 disk with SP1 already installed.
When making (unattended install) disks for slipstreamed XP and Vista I had used nLite and vLite. Although apparently vLite is not suitable for W7, there is another program that is – RT Seven Lite. However it seems this is not suitable for this purpose. Here is a quote from a Windows forum: “You cannot use a slipstream Windows 7 installation disc to do a repair install with on a currently installed Windows 7 SP1.”
By chance in another forum I came upon a reference to the availability of free downloads of versions of W7 with SP1 as iso files. Here is the link: http://techdows.com/2011/07/download-windows-7-integrated-with-sp1-iso-official-direct-download-links.html.
Here is a quote from this site: “Downloading these ISO images from Digital River is legal and free of charge. Downloaded ISO images will be of virus and malware free as Digital River is official Download Channel.” (No doubt there are other links to the Digital River sites.)
Some observations on my experience:
• After 10 minutes, at the completion of the stage of checking compatibility, I had to cancel the process, uninstall iTunes and then begin again.
• The times involved in the stages of “Gathering” and later “Transferring” files, settings and programs amounted to about an hour. (The size of the material on the W7 partition was 61GB – all data and Outlook files are on another partition.)
• The time to add all the subsequent updates added another half hour.
Hi Dino, thanks for that post. The Digital River links surprise me, I was set to remove your link on copyright grounds and was sure they would be fake, but I cannot find an information that would support that conclusion. If these links are genuine then this is a very valuable resource indeed. However, don’t forget that most laptops and computers you buy have an OEM version of Windows installed to them. If your PC came with a Windows 7 license key sticker on its case somewhere, then these download versions of Windows 7 will not work, you will require an OEM copy of the OS.
The difficulties you discussed are some of the reasons why we advise against reinstalling Windows. You should not need to reinstall Windows at all. There are exceptions of course, for example if you get infected with some of the more destructive malware that can be found on the internet. I also had to apply a repair reinstallation to one of our machines here after a failed SP1 installation.
You are right about having to uninstall Service Pack 1 normally and this is indeed quite a hassle. I am not sure why the slipstreamed version does not work as an upgrade.
You can speed up the update process by downloading the updates before you begin, use the Offline Update maker here:- http://knol.google.com/k/wsus-offline-update-c-t-projekte-offline-updater-ctupdate#I normally set it going the night before, then save the updates to a USB device.
Hi Matt, thank you for your response. I downloaded and burnt disks for each of my W7 Professional versions, both 32 and 64 bit – neither of them are OEMs.
I note your comment that I should not need to reinstall Windows, with some exceptions. I have not had to do this with 2000, XP or Vista. The reasons for the reinstall were developing problems with W7. I checked these on two Vista Business operating systems which I have on the same hard drive. None of them occurred there. Three of them were
• A developed fault with reading floppy disks – the disks on opening showed that they were empty, even though Properties showed they were not. A new disk to which a file was added, on closing and reopening again resulted in showing as empty. I could work without a floppy facility, but was concerned that this fault had happened.
• I have a dual core CPU, and one of them recently had a warning flag in Device Manager.
• I had downloaded and installed Easeus ToDo backup program (including the required restart). Device Manager showed a warning flag for Easeus Enumerator, apparently part of the ToDo program.
My fairly prolonged attempts to find solutions to these occurrences were not successful, but I was able to continue working without obvious problems. However there had been some hiccups with other things, so I made the decision to reinstall. I had recently run the Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper program, and was in any case fairly confident that I did not have a malware infection. . I considered restoring from a backup, but was unsure of how far back to go.
Thankyou for your reference to the offline update maker.