I just installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 on to a new hard drive from a USB key. I want to copy the installation files from the USB key somewhere on the HD, so that when Windows asks for the Windows 7 disk, it will automatically use that directory.

What do I need to do to accomplish this?


There shouldn't be a need for this. Vista and 7 copy all of their files to the HD during setup, including those for components which aren't active.

The files for all optional features are installed to the WinSxS directory, and hard-links to the correct locations are made and removed when features are activated and deactivated.

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  • echobeach2, some information on it for you: blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2008/11/19/disk-space.aspx – Stephen Veiss Jan 7 '10 at 14:29
  • Yes since Vista / 2008 there's no need to manually copy the source files to the drive, that's managed transparently these days and Windows will not normally ask for any media when adding features later on - ain't progress wonderful? ^^ – Oskar Duveborn Jan 7 '10 at 14:32

You need to change the value of the key in regedit at:


I know this works in 98 through XP but don't have 7 in front of me to test at the moment.

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  • This isn't needed with Vista, 7, or 2008. As others have mentioned, these OS's cache the installer files locally by default. – joeqwerty Jan 7 '10 at 14:35
  • Ah, thanks, haven't needed the feature since XP. Guess this tells me why. – Joshua Nurczyk Jan 7 '10 at 14:41

As far as I know, Windows 7 does not ask for the installation DVD to install any features. All of the features are installed by default, they just have to be "turned on or off".

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