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Image deployment from a Network Share

This method of deployment is ideal for SMBs since its implementation is very straight forward and inexpensive as the main requirement is some storage space. This involves an installation of a reference computer (user/department configuration), creating a bootable client (Windows PE) and capturing the image onto a network share. Whenever, you need to install a new or reformatted computer system, you just need to push the image from the network share to that machine 🙂

Windows PE environment

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Creating an answer file

An answer file gives you the control to perform an unattended installation, that is, the installation process is provided with the answers in a script file instead of having someone attending to it! You can for example, configure passwords, set default Internet Explorer settings, accepting a EULA, etc… The answer file should contain all the settings (answers) required during an installation.

To create an answer file, you use the Windows SIM utility found in Windows AIK by following these steps: Continue reading

Windows 7 Basic Installation

This procedure is dedicated to a clean installation of Windows 7 when purchasing new hardware or replacing a faulty hard drive. The installation source device is assumed to be a DVD-ROM, however, other sources exist such as, a USB drive. It is important to remember that whatever source you are using, you need to set your computer BIOS to boot from that particular device first.

  1. Insert the Windows 7 Installation media into the computer’s DVD-ROM drive and turn on the computer
  2. Select the language to install, time and currency format, and the keyboard layout of your computerLanguage, Time, Currency and Keyboard settings
  3. Click Next and then Click Install Now Continue reading

Windows XP Mode

This application from Microsoft allows you to run older XP compatible applications that do not natively work in Windows 7! Windows XP Mode needs Windows Virtual PC installed in order to function. Furthermore, with Windows Virtual PC, you can work with multiple operating systems at the same time 🙂

  1. Download both utilities from http://www.microsoft.com
  2. It is recommended to download and install a tool that checks your hardware compatibility with Windows XP mode – Hardware-assisted virtualization (HAV)
  3. Start by clicking Windows XP Mode first, then Windows Virtual PC
  4. Double click the downloaded Windows XP mode executable file to start the first part of the installation
  5. Use the default settings to install both applications
  6. The second installation is in the form of a windows update – use default settings as well Continue reading

Hardware & Software compatibility

Before you venture into the Windows 7 arena you need to make sure that your present hardware works well with this operating system. Microsoft has released a wonderful utility called Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor that scans your computer for potential issues and recommends what to do before the upgrade. But first steps first! – make sure that all devices (including peripheral devices) are connected and powered-on.
Then follow these steps:  Continue reading