Slipstreaming Windows Updates

I work at a local computer repair shop that does an average of about 50 Windows installations on different machines a month. Like any IT manager (and geek) I wanted to find a way to speed up this process. I thought about what part could be automated or streamlined. What made the most sense to me was finding a way to not have to download the Windows updates 50 times over and over.

After researching I found several possible solutions. I could setup a Pfsense router and have it cache the Windows updates. I could use a utility like WSUS Offline to download the updates once and run it on each computer after installing Windows. Or, I could figure out a way to include those updates into the actual Windows installation.

After trial and error I got the process down pretty solid. I have done this successfully for both Windows 7 and Windows 10. What I find works best is as follows:

  1. Extract the Windows ISO into folder on desktop
  2. Run WSUS Offline to download all available updates to a folder
  3. Use NTLite to slip the updates from WSUS into the extracted Windows ISO folder
  4. Have NTLite create the new Windows ISO that includes the updates
  5. Use Rufus to create a new bootable Windows USB installer

The main benefit here is time saved. I was able to slipstream the Windows updates into the actual installation. Assuming it takes about an hour to download the updates per each computer this equates to 50+ hours saved a month in addition to bandwidth savings.

You can also take this a step further with NTLite and set up the Windows installation for unattended setup.

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About Vince Polston 7 Articles
Hey there. Vince here. I'm an IT manager and all around geek that enjoys teaching tech. In the process of setting up my blog with in depth tech tutorials. The best place to talk with me is on Twitter @vincepolston

5 Comments

  1. why use this when you can simply use http://download.wsusoffline.net/ (WSUSOFFLINE) A microsoft certified software where you basically let it run and it will automatically generate the missing updates and install them on one go. you can leave it running for an 1hr or so depending on your net speed and it will download and install most if not all the updates to any given windows version you select. take a look at it. it is very handy.

  2. Good idea but still time consuming.

    Why don’t you just use Sysprep audit mode to install the updates, generalize, shutdown then take a image using pxe boot?

    We image about 500 systems a month. This is the way we do it. Generalizing removes licensing info and also resets driver installations. Like getting a computer from Dell but more customized. You can set default user settings and system settings doing it this way.

    • Hey Nate! I appreciate the comment. I’ve never used Sysprep and will definitely look into it. I can definitely see the benefit doing it that way. I’ll be sure to report back!

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