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theKramer

Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Empty Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep)

on Tue 26 Nov 2013 - 4:53
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Hi All.
So, a little while ago I wrote a step by step Sysprep tutorial on how to customize your installation of Windows and use that as a base for slimming with Winreducer.

I showed you how to use Sysprep and all the steps you would need to do to perform this successfully...

Following a little discussion with inallsorts I decided to find out if it was possible to skip the Sysprep process entirely. And the answer seems to be, YES!! cheers 

There are some points to note though:
1. I have not installed this on a physical machine yet (but dont foreesee any issues)
2. If you are deploying to a number of different PC's, then you MUST use Sysprep method

So, if you are like me, and just want to customise Windows for personal use, then this is the guide for you Smile


The purpose of this is that you can reuse the same image over and over again, with all the latest windows updates and your own specific apps installed.
Note: I am not sure yet if the same issues with an anti-virus programs and Adobe software arise with this method as they do with Sysprep, so I/you will need to test that further. 

I have no issues with preinstalling Anti-virus if I do not use Sysprep. So its just a conflict with Sysprep Smile 

Software you need to download (in order of usage):
1. Virtualisation software such as VirtualBox or VMWare
2. WinReducer for Windows 8/8.1

Here are the main steps that we will perform:
1. Install Windows on Virtual Machine
2. Attach VHD to windows 
    2.1 VirtualBox
    2.2 VmWare
3. Capture image with DISM
4. Reduce with WinReducer 

Install/test on VM, and if ok, install on main machine



1. Install Windows on Virtual Machine
Install VirtualBox/VMWare and create a new virtual hard drive (for VBox, it must be of type .VHD, as that is the Microsoft standard. See section 2.2 for VMWare).
Install Windows 7/8/8.1 to your new virtual hard drive, with your user profile, and install all the apps you use (except AV software and Adobe products) and install all the latest Windows updates.

We will be configuring a customized user profile, i.e. the same profile we use for our main machine.

Once you are done customizing, shutdown the VM.

Note: WinReducer can integrate drivers, however, some drivers cant be integrated (like my audio card drivers, so in that case you need to capture your installation drive and not a VM... In that case, you must install on your physical machine and take a snapshot from there to install.wim (I will write another tutorial for that). 


2. Attach VHD to windows
2.1 VirtualBox

We need to fire up the Disk Management tool in Windows 8. Type diskmgmt.msc in the run box (Windows key + R).

 Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Diskmg11

Browse to the .vhd file you created earlier that you installed Windows 8 to. Windows will now attach the vhd file as a new hard drive to Windows Explorer.

2.2 VmWare
VmWare virtual disks cannot be directly mounted in Windows. Instead we need to use other software to mount the virtual disk.
Passmark OSFMount is free software that will allow you to do that.
See more info in this post here.


3. Capture reference image with DISM
Open the command prompt as an Administrator (Windows key + X).
Enter the following command:
Code:
dism /Capture-Image /Compress:max /ImageFile:X:\Reference.Image\install.wim /CaptureDir:Y:\ /Name:"Windows 8 Pro"
In the above command:
X:\Reference.Image is the directory path to where the generated install.wim will be saved
Y:\ is the source drive. We want to capture the entire drive that we added with disk management. This is the bigger of the two drives added. You can ignore the smaller 100MB drive.

We now have an install.wim we can rreduce with.

I then copy the captured install.wim into the folder of my Windows 8 DVD and replace the original install.wim.


4. Reduce with WinReducer
Next fire up WinReducer and do your thing.

Done!!! cheers


Last edited by theKramer on Fri 7 Feb 2014 - 5:01; edited 5 times in total
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theKramer

Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Empty Re: Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep)

on Fri 10 Jan 2014 - 12:55
Updated info for those using VmWare
zesh_ii
zesh_ii

Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Empty Re: Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep)

on Fri 7 Mar 2014 - 15:59
i use ur steps but i got error in cmd i run cmd as adim n then copy n past this n change x with C: and y with K when i attach the vhd i gives me two partition the biggest partition drive letter is K:
dism /Capture-Image /Compress:max /ImageFile:C:\Reference.Image\install.wim /CaptureDir:K:\ /Name:"Windows 8 Pro" 
error 3
the system cannot find the path specified.
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theKramer

Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Empty Re: Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep)

on Wed 19 Mar 2014 - 6:07
zesh_ii wrote:i use ur steps but i got error in cmd i run cmd as adim n then copy n past this n change x with C: and y with K when i attach the vhd i gives me two partition the biggest partition drive letter is K:
dism /Capture-Image /Compress:max /ImageFile:C:\Reference.Image\install.wim /CaptureDir:K:\ /Name:"Windows 8 Pro" 
error 3
the system cannot find the path specified.
Hi zesh_ii.
Sorry for the late reply.

Have you already created the folder on the hard drive?
You would need to have the folder Reference.Image in your C:\
DISM wont create the folder automatically for you.
zesh_ii
zesh_ii

Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Empty Re: Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep)

on Thu 20 Mar 2014 - 18:58
thnks alot nw m using winreducer
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broda30

Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Empty Re: Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep)

on Sat 18 Oct 2014 - 17:21
NO IMAGE AFTER REPLACE  the original install.wimEasier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) BiEzlxWg2bdYWa91TrKtTpvn1FKZz332858BEB1oQQ+a0IU29KERnWjCBAQAOw==
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operahouse23

Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Empty Re: Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep)

on Sun 4 Jan 2015 - 9:13
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
@broda30
In the end, after step 3. you need to fill "description" in WIM file. You can do that with this command, this is example for EmbeddedIndustry:

imagex /flags "EmbeddedIndustry" /info X:\Reference.Image\install.wim 1 "EmbeddedIndustry" "EmbeddedIndustry"

Replace EmbeddedIndustry with your version.
Now replace the original instal.wim.

Cheers !
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theKramer

Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Empty Re: Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep)

on Tue 13 Jan 2015 - 5:56
Also, I find selected "Delete Unneeded Editions" in the Optimizations section of the REMOVER tab can cause problems sometimes, so I never select that one.
winterstorm2050
winterstorm2050
Admin
https://www.winreducer.net/

Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Empty Re: Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep)

on Tue 13 Jan 2015 - 6:44
Hey theKramer,

Have you disabled "Delete Unneeded Editions" for "boot.wim" or for "install.wim" or for both ?
astrogirl
astrogirl

Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Empty Re: Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep)

on Sun 18 Jan 2015 - 21:34
What about using winreducer wimconvertor tool?  I have successfully converted wim to esd and back again but not yet tested boot or install in a VM but should this work too for a single install to new hardware?
takitezsdc
takitezsdc

Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Empty Re: Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep)

on Thu 29 Sep 2016 - 7:14
Guys..this is a great thing.........BUT I just spent the last 3-4 days setting up my system on my M2/SSD and i dont really want to have to set up everything on my VM and wait for all the win7 updates  and load all my softwre and set all the settings to my liking.....There MUST be a way to turn the system image or a clone into  ISO that will load onto a USB to restore a system back ?

  That way anytime I have an issue I just backup my updated user files and wipe the drive then put in my USB and it installs my entire system back onto my drive / clean. Kinda like system restore?  IS there no way to do this? ? IF Not......lets figure a way to do that and become millionaires...... Very Happy
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Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep) Empty Re: Easier method to reduce your personalised Windows 7/8/8.1 installation (without Sysprep)

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