Originally Posted by PwnFx
...The most lengthy and time consuming process is downloading and installing layer upon layer of windows updates. Updates, updates, SP1
, more updates, more updates, wait a few days, and oh, what's this? More updates!
So here's a question, is it possible to load all of the general updates (meaning ones that are applied to every single computer, not the ones specific to certain computers) onto a USB drive or have them baked into a rebuilt ISO on a disk?
Originally Posted by PwnFx
In my experience, the average user doesn't even keep up to date with their updates, even if directed to do so.
I like to be very thorough and complete, having left them nothing to do but enjoy their fresh, new clean of windows.
Is that absurd of me? Lol.
No, it is not absurd to do this for your users. I'm frequently surprised how many computers I come across that Automatic Updates are enabled, but when I manually check for updates, there are a pile of months old "Important" updates that haven't yet been downloaded or installed. In your first post, I see you mention "updating, updating, updating to SP1, updating some more." What you need is a Windows 7 disc that already has Service Pack 1 integrated into it. You can legally download an ISO to make yourself such a disc from here
—assuming that you already have valid license keys for each Windows (re)installation you're doing. Most likely, you'll be interested in X17-59465.iso
, which is the Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64 English installation disc. For some reason, I've had trouble with X17-59463.iso
(the x86 version)—for me it takes almost a whole day to install, with the DVD drive running continuously. After downloading the ISO, you'll want to run the ei.cfg removal utility
before burning it to a DVD, so that your "Ultimate" disc will become a universal disc that will ask which edition of Windows to install.
While I strongly recommend going the above route for performance reasons, if you're not going (or aren't able for some reason) to upgrade to a newer installation disc, you should at least download the portable/offline Service Pack 1 update from Microsoft. After installing Windows 7 on a machine, you would run that SP1 updater, which would take care of most (or all) of those "pre-SP1" updates offline—in one swoop—without using any Internet bandwidth. Afterwards, you would run Windows Update for the first time. This will greatly reduce the amount of updates that need to be downloaded for each computer. To get this download, go to Microsoft's Service Pack center
. Click the link on the second "bullet" entry, "Get SP1 (advanced)." Click the [Download] button. It will ask you what kind of update you want to download. Scroll down to the end of the list and select "windows6.1-KB976932-X64.exe
" or "windows6.1-KB976932-X86.exe
" and click [Next], and the download should start.
I don't know if you have noticed this, but installing updates of any kind (be it Windows updates, or software updates) usually causes the computer to get more sluggish. I was always wondering why, and recently, I found out. When the Windows installer installs Windows, it starts writing the important system files right away. Thus, all those files are written one after the other at the beginning of the HDD. This is good for three reasons: HDDs read data about 2x faster from the beginning of the HDD than at the end, the important OS files are all close together which reduces the maximum necessary seek distance, and each of the OS's file's entries in the MFT (Master File Table) are close together. When you update a file, the updater deletes the file and writes a new, updated one. This causes the file to lose it's prominent place both on the HDD, and in the MFT. While a good defragmenter like MyDefrag
(unlike most other defragmenters) can restore order to the HDD file layout, I've not found any programs that can re-sort the MFT. This means many more reads (and seeks) to the MFT because important OS files are "scattered" throughout the index. This is why I recommend getting an updated installation disc with SP1 integrated, so that fewer files have to be updated after the Windows installation is done.
I hope you find this helpful!