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Clone Windows Install

Last response: in Windows 7
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September 9, 2011 2:12:10 PM

Whenever someone I know needs to have their HD reformatted, I'm the one they call. I always end up installing the same software over and over again.

I can't seem to find any information on what I want to do, so it might not be possible.

I want to install Windows on a HD with all the software that is needed WITHOUT installing any drivers. This way all I have to do is copy this HD to any other HD and have it work no matter what hardware is being used. This seems like the easiest way to do this (if possible), but I could be wrong.

Any ideas on how to pull this off?

More about : clone windows install

September 9, 2011 2:20:36 PM

If it were possible, it would be a violation of the license agreement, so I doubt you would get any help here.
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September 9, 2011 2:33:37 PM

People actually read those things?! LOL, just kidding. That is strange and sucks.

Is there another way I should be going about this, that would accomplish the same thing without being in violation?
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a b $ Windows 7
September 9, 2011 2:38:48 PM

MundoDragon said:
If it were possible, it would be a violation of the license agreement, so I doubt you would get any help here.


what you are talking about is complete and utter rubbish


MICROSOFT HAVE A GUIDE TO DO THIS ON THERE OWN SITE OF COURSE IT IS LEGAL!!!
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September 9, 2011 3:02:49 PM

shanky887614 said:
what you are talking about is complete and utter rubbish


MICROSOFT HAVE A GUIDE TO DO THIS ON THERE OWN SITE OF COURSE IT IS LEGAL!!!



First of all, keep your tone down. There is no need to fake shout. Second of all, what he is trying to do IS illegal unless the person he is doing it for has a license (read 'authenticity key') for the version of Windows that he is installing. The fact that he would have to use his authenticity key to do this, would more than likely put his (assumingly legal) copy of Windows at risk due to multiple install with same single license key. Unless he has a license pack for his version, it is a violation of the agreement. More than likely the information you dug up is for preinstalling it for PC distributors and such, or businesses that DO have a multi-pack license agreement and wish to use one disk to install on multiple machines, which, of course, is perfectly legal. Have a good day.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 9, 2011 3:05:59 PM

MundoDragon said:
First of all, keep your tone down. There is no need to fake shout. Second of all, what he is trying to do IS illegal unless the person he is doing it for has a license (read 'authenticity key') for the version of Windows that he is installing. The fact that he would have to use his authenticity key to do this, would more than likely put his (assumingly legal) copy of Windows at risk due to multiple install with same single license key. Unless he has a license pack for his version, it is a violation of the agreement. More than likely the information you dug up is for preinstalling it for PC distributors and such, or businesses that DO have a multi-pack license agreement and wish to use one disk to install on multiple machines, which, of course, is perfectly legal. Have a good day.


actually, it wouldnt, this is the same thing they do when deploying multiple versions, this will take away all hardware dependensies out of it, and he dosnt have to use his windows key in it at all,

he could do it without using a key then the person he does it for has 30 days to activate it

then the person he installs it for uses there own key


please read into things before you bother posting
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September 9, 2011 3:11:00 PM

well, yes, of course that would be legal, as I stated above about the PC distributors, but that was never brought up until now, or maybe it was buried under that huge, bold type and I just didn't see it. All's well, though. Hopefully it helps him with his problem.

EDIT: Besides, there is too many flags being raised by his question for me to simply help him without finding out his true intent. You may have just helped a pirate by freely giving advice and not asking a few questions first. My response was intended to try and find out what his true intentions were.
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September 9, 2011 3:19:37 PM

either way, legal or not, what i would do if i were in this perdicament, is:

get a HDD that is spare and unneeded with enough space to keep different installations. (roughly 22gb per) and create several partitions. after each install you do, to include activation and updates, create the clone to a partition as an image. (full to include boot) and save it. each time to need to reformat a specific persons hdd, just copy the image you made for them. as long as you use each one for this sole pupose, i think youll be ok.

also note: i am in to way, shape or form advocating piracey or ANY illegal intentions. i am firmly against it and actually laugh then DRM goes through the roof, and court fines for those that get caught ( makes me appriciate the godless, yet semi morale code i hold myself to). have a nice day.
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September 9, 2011 3:22:45 PM

Sounds like the way to go, guava, good advice +1
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a b $ Windows 7
September 9, 2011 3:39:45 PM

guavasauce said:
either way, legal or not, what i would do if i were in this perdicament, is:

get a HDD that is spare and unneeded with enough space to keep different installations. (roughly 22gb per) and create several partitions. after each install you do, to include activation and updates, create the clone to a partition as an image. (full to include boot) and save it. each time to need to reformat a specific persons hdd, just copy the image you made for them. as long as you use each one for this sole pupose, i think youll be ok.

also note: i am in to way, shape or form advocating piracey or ANY illegal intentions. i am firmly against it and actually laugh then DRM goes through the roof, and court fines for those that get caught ( makes me appriciate the godless, yet semi morale code i hold myself to). have a nice day.



thats the way to do it,

(my mistake read his question wrong,)

install windows in a virtual machine first, then use sysprep, to remove your activation key, then image it and restore image on friends computers (image it using a program like clonezilla)

burn the clonezilla image to a dvd then use it to boot on friends computer then restore the windows image you copied to external after you created it to there computer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sysprep
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September 9, 2011 3:44:04 PM

I would simply teach them how to do it themselves so they would quit bugging me. It's not really that hard, hell, you barely have to do anything other than put a disk in the drive. :p 
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a b $ Windows 7
September 9, 2011 4:41:50 PM

same, mundo, built my first computer when i was 11, its not that hard

you open the drive, put the disk in, press power butten, keep pressing esc key

select dvd drive

then go through installation

if there not capable of doing this or someone in there house (there carer)

then i sugest they use books becasue they shouldnt have a computer
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September 9, 2011 4:49:47 PM

cant pass this one up!!!!!!!!!! sorry man, spelling police time!!!!

"if they're not capable of doing this or someone in their house (their career)"
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a b $ Windows 7
September 9, 2011 5:02:46 PM

guavasauce said:
cant pass this one up!!!!!!!!!! sorry man, spelling police time!!!!

"if they're not capable of doing this or someone in their house (their career)"


i cant spell :lol: 
so why try, plus i find it amusing to anoy the spelling nazi's :kaola: 
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September 9, 2011 5:07:46 PM

lol love it!!!!!!!!!!!

you, SIR, are the bane of my existance!!!!!
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September 9, 2011 8:12:51 PM

guavasauce said:
either way, legal or not, what i would do if i were in this perdicament, is:

get a HDD that is spare and unneeded with enough space to keep different installations. (roughly 22gb per) and create several partitions. after each install you do, to include activation and updates, create the clone to a partition as an image. (full to include boot) and save it. each time to need to reformat a specific persons hdd, just copy the image you made for them. as long as you use each one for this sole pupose, i think youll be ok.

also note: i am in to way, shape or form advocating piracey or ANY illegal intentions. i am firmly against it and actually laugh then DRM goes through the roof, and court fines for those that get caught ( makes me appriciate the godless, yet semi morale code i hold myself to). have a nice day.

You da man and/or woman (lulz)! I was just planning on having a seperate HD for each version of Windows that I might need to reformat too depending on the persons product key. Using one HD and multiple partitions completely slipped my mind.

As for teaching people how to do it themselves, well, some people just don't want to or have the capacity to learn. I sure don't have the patients either, haha. Hence why I'm looking for a shortcut. Plus, if I ever decide to start charging people for me to reformat their PC (I really should, haha) I want things to go as easy as possible. This will save me countless hours of repetitive work.

Thanks a bunch. If I have any questions I'll be back. Might be a bit with trying it out with school and work taking up much of my time at the moment. If I can just get done with my generals and move onto the computer classes, I might not have needed to ask this :D 
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September 9, 2011 8:49:52 PM

Glad you got it sorted out. Use the information wisely, my friend. And a word of advice.... start charging. Time is money in this fast-paced world and as long as you are giving yours for free, there will be no shortage of people to claim it.
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September 9, 2011 9:10:19 PM

I was just thinking. It is looking like I will need do this with about 8 different versions to cover mostly everything. Vista/Win7 Home Basic and Home Premium in both the 32bit and 64bit versions.

Is there a way around this? Or do I just have to deal? Guessing there is nothing to be done, but its worth a shot to ask.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 9, 2011 9:24:54 PM

yeah, make the custom install disk, if you remove the ci. cfg file you can install any versin from one disk

(still need two disks one for x86 and x64)
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September 9, 2011 9:34:47 PM

I thought that removing the ei.cfg only helps make a universal DVD to install with. I won't be installing really, more like just coping an already installed OS onto a blank drive. At least thats how I understand the process, haven't dove to indepth into it yet, still at school.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 9, 2011 9:45:29 PM

have a look into making silent installers if you cant find them for the programs you need


you can then use something like rt7lite to auto install them after windows install with all the tweaks applied


personally i would just buy a 1tb external hdd there really cheap now and use that



a 1tb hdd will only set you bac £50 (start charging people for it, shops charge £10 an hour)
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September 10, 2011 4:58:59 AM

Now, if only there was an automated way to get the required drivers easily. I'm just trying my best to be lazy *cough* I mean efficient!
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