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:
- Extract the Windows ISO into folder on desktop
- Run WSUS Offline to download all available updates to a folder
- Use NTLite to slip the updates from WSUS into the extracted Windows ISO folder
- Have NTLite create the new Windows ISO that includes the updates
- 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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