Install Windows 7 across 20 laptops for a charity

Discussion in 'Windows OS and Software' started by Full-English, Apr 12, 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Full-English

    Full-English Notebook Deity

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hi all,

    It's been a while since I've been here but I am undertaking a task of installing windows 7 pro on around 20 identical laptops for a homeless charity, this is free work and I'm not getting paid, so any help to speed the process would be great.

    Currently the machines have a linux installation but the people who receive the laptops don't know how to use it.

    I've had had a look at the machines and low and behold they all have the licence keys under the battery for W7 Pro. Happy Days :), they are Dell E5430's with core i5-3440M and 4gb ram so more than capable of running W7.

    Now, this is where I need help from you good people.

    I know you can image machines and use that image on other identical machines but I've never done this process before. My plan is to install windows on 1 machine, do all windows updates, all drivers and required software, image it and then deploy on other machines - BUT HOW DO I DO THIS? (software to do it needs to be free if possible)

    Any help and advice or links to guides would be greatly appreciated. I have a couple of test machines to test it all out on.


    Full English
  2. t456

    t456 1977-09-05, 12:56:00 UTC Moderator

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    I'd use Macrium Reflect Free and a SATA-USB adapter:
    1. Install Reflect on the source system (updated, drivers, settings and all).
    2. Hook up destination disk #1 via the adapter.
    3. Use 'Close this disk' and live-image the source system to target disk #1.
    4. Repeat 19 times for the other disks.
    5. Drop disks in the systems, boot and enter the product key for each of them.
    In order to speed up the initial install process of the latest software/apps on the source system you could use Ninite:

  3. StormJumper

    StormJumper Notebook Virtuoso

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    If what t456 says works I myself would use Acronis Home image on CD or USB depending on how the bios can see it.
    1. Create and install and setup on one computer
    2. Use Acronis disc or usb and create a image on ext HDD
    3. Connect the ext HDD to each laptop and boot from Acronis from CD or USB and then install to each computer
    4. Startup and change the Product Key to the laptop key and that should work on second computer to test it works
    5. Continue the rest of the 18 after that.

    Reason I said this is that if you install Acronis on your computer you can build the Disc or USB and then you don't have to install onto those computer. This way you simplify the process starting out and have the media to use later. I found this works best for me when updating my laptops as I only have the single install code for one Acronis but if you create the media there is no problem and you don't have it installed on the other computer. And so far this method has worked well for me one Acronis install to build the media and use the media to backup and restore for the other computer.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
    Installed64 likes this.
  4. Primes

    Primes Notebook Deity

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Another option would be to use clonezilla linux to clone the win7 laptop.

    Get a copy of win7 pro in .iso format. (preferable one that has win7 SP1).
    Install win7 to the laptop using MS win7 usb tool.
    Install win7 updates using latest simplix.
    Tweak win7 / preinstall software you want. (ninite works good and saves time).
    Download clonezilla .iso and install to flash drive using Rufus.
    Boot clonezilla flash drive on your win7 laptop. you will need an external hdd to save the clone image to.
    Clone win7 laptop > saving image to external hdd.
    Boot clonezilla flash drive on a new laptop and write the image to it.
    Repeat for all laptops.
    After they are up and running you can go back into windows and change the win7 pro product code.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page