After my relatively recent format and re-install of Windows 7 i found, as others know through their own experience, that it isn't as straight forward as inserting the Windows 7 disc and hitting Setup any more, for a start Windows Update no longer works 'out the box' and to get it working takes hours!... and then there's the further multitude of updates that are required when Windows Update is eventually in a working state.
With that in mind I've been thinking that there MUST be a way to make re-installing Windows 7 faster and easier.
Ideally Microsoft would have long ago released a Service Pack 2 for Windows 7 for download that after the initial installation would help things, but they haven't.
That said, they have made available a "Convenience Rollup" that should help speed things up as far as updates are concerned because it includes all updates up to April 2016, but sadly it still doesn't fix the problem of Windows Update not working after a fresh install of Windows 7.
Anyway, i decided the only way to make this process easier and faster would be to slipstream the Convenience Rollup and any other updates that i think are necessary onto a Win7 SP1 disc...
Problem 1: There are huge numbers of returns when searching how to slipstream a Win7 disc and prudence dictates not to trust any of them.
Problem 2: There is nothing by way of a definitive answer that i could find about how to make a Win7 disc that will work "out of the box", heck, even Paul Thurrott experienced and tested this last year but sadly afaict he didn't find an answer either...perhaps that was his point? <rhetorical>https://www.thurrott.com/windows/67305/ ... ill-broken
So last night i set about following the instructions on the following page (when in doubt i prefer to follow instructions that supply lines of code, i may not understand a lot of it but I'll hopefully recognise something that shouldn't be there) rather than risk 3rd party software that I'd likely have no idea where or what it's doing:http://pureinfotech.com/convenience-rol ... lipstream/
This went well with every step being confirmed at the command prompt... that is, when i finally realised that the spelling of professional that i copy & pasted in step 3 was wrong!! [I'm so glad my wife couldn't hear the language that was happening in my mind at that point!! LOL]
Renaming the source path at every stage was also a bit of a pain but it did remind me a lot of the old days of DOS and actually became fun when i was getting it right
... F3, where would i be without you
In addition to the above i also slipstreamed KB3172605 which is the last of the KB articles I've found are needed to install after a fresh install of Win7 to get Windows Update working, the other two KB's, 3020369 & 3125574 were slipstreamed as part of the process above already.
I had hoped to pull all my drives from my motherboard today and test my new "slipstreamed DVD" on an old HDD that I've got lying around but i didn't get the chance and it's too late in the day now to try so i'll get back to you on that... that said, i can't help wondering if there's a simpler way to slipstream a Win7 disc than the method i used, it was certainly if memory serves me right a lot faster and easier when i slipstreamed XP but that was a long time ago.Fwiw, KB3125574 that takes hours to install on a Windows 7 system also took hours to slipstream into the Windows image i was creating and that surprised me.