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Basically, for every new user we have about 30 different installers that all need to be run manually after an install of windows which is tedious/time consuming.

We can't simply ghost/image the computers as they come because of the wide variety of hardware being used (all laptops). What would you suggest to run through all the installers automatically without requiring me to sit and click 'next'.. 'next'.. 'continue'.. 'no dont install msn toolbar please'?

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Are you running an Active Directory? Are the installers packaged as MSIs? Or are they a mix? –  Mark Henderson Apr 19 '10 at 5:14
    
Thanks for replying, there is no AD, the installers are mostly .exe, there are some .msi and a couple of .zip's that have to be extracted as well –  sorrrydoctorforlove Apr 19 '10 at 5:18

6 Answers 6

There are a number of ways to do this. Sysprep is a common choice for Windows machines. I prefer to use images (Ghost, Drive Image, etc.).

Either way, what you do is set up one machine the way you want, then either image or sysprep it and use that as your source for other machines.

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is there a tutorial somewhere on the correct way to 'sysprep' a machine? I googled it and most of the tutorials seem rather ambiguous as to what a sysprep actually is.. sorry to sound daft, is it similar to creating an image? or an automated install? –  sorrrydoctorforlove Apr 19 '10 at 6:48
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The first hit on Google is support.microsoft.com/kb/302577, which is Microsoft's tutorial. As for what sysprep is, it's a system for turning a preconfigured Windows installation into a version specifically designed to be installed on multiple machines. –  John Gardeniers Apr 19 '10 at 9:12
    
Especially: Sysprep does not UNINSTALL anything except (if you ask it) drivers (so different hardare runs though hardware recognition - drivers can be injected to be found). THis allows you to run a prepped install with all the software still there. That said, you should really look into installing active directory - makes rollout, patching a lot easier, plus System Center Essentials allows a lot of control over the worksations. –  TomTom Apr 19 '10 at 9:14
    
My environment is unsuitable for a domain at the moment sadly, but when we hit over 30 users its probably time for an overhaul. Sysprep looks good I be thanky you :> –  sorrrydoctorforlove Apr 20 '10 at 7:06

I use a program called InstallPad (http://installpad.com/) its realy easy to use and you can add them as silent installs and just start it and the program does the rest.. only requirement is a place where all the programs are located. can be network share usb drive or simular.

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Great free suggestion, and open-source! –  djangofan Jan 9 '12 at 21:06

You need to look at the command line install options for all those programs and write a batch file/script to run them in turn passing the appropriate option flags to each installer to get the results you want.

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If you're interested in publicly available package like Firefox, Chrome, Trucrypt, Notepad++, etc. Look into Ninite. You can select what you want and it will run without any user action required.

They are technically free, with a paid corporate option. I use it for every new machine that we receive.

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nlite to make your master gold install dvd - http://www.nliteos.com/

sysprep that image whenever possible to move it to different hardware.

since you are requesting a sysprep guide, I used this when I first started using sysprep and it worked like a champ - http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-22_11-5838633.html

clonezilla to move your syspreped image to new hardware - http://clonezilla.org/

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You'll be surprised, but the variety of laptops doesn't matter much. This is because most of them, like 85%-90% have all the same INTEL/RTL network card, INTEL/VIA chipset, e.t.c. Extracting the drivers from machines is an easy task, again, variety of tools to extract drivers available on the net:

http://www.google.com/search?q=extract+drivers+from+windows&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1

Some of them freeware. As previously advised, using SYSPREP with NLITE will be your best approach.

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