The ul­ti­mate re­in­stall disc

Windows 7 Help & Advice - - WINDOWS 10 -

If you want full con­trol, then it’s pos­si­ble to cre­ate the ul­ti­mate cus­tomised in­stall me­dia. But be warned: It’s for tech­ni­cally-pro­fi­cient PC users only.

Down­load and in­stall the free ver­sion of NTLite from www.ntlite.com. Once set up, launch the app. The sim­plest way to use it is in con­junc­tion with a pre­vi­ously cre­ated in­stal­la­tion USB flash drive – with that plugged in, click Add to select the drive con­tain­ing your Win­dows in­stall files. The OS should ap­pear in the list – click it to mount it.

Once the source has been added, sev­eral op­tions ap­pear down the left-hand side of the NTLite win­dow. Start with Com­po­nents – read the warn­ing – it’s a good idea to test your cus­tomised Win­dows in­stall in a vir­tual en­vi­ron­ment, such as Vir­tu­alBox, as ad­vised – and click OK. From here, you can re­move var­i­ous com­po­nents – in­clud­ing driv­ers, se­lected apps, and lo­cal­iza­tion files – to slim down the size of your in­stall me­dia and sub­se­quent Win­dows in­stall. You’ll see some op­tions are marked in blue and greyed out – you need to pay for a full li­cense (from £42.90) to ac­cess these.

The Con­fig­ure sec­tion en­ables you to choose which el­e­ments are pre-in­stalled, and which ones need to be man­u­ally en­abled after in­stal­la­tion – you can dis­able In­ter­net Ex­plorer 11 and Win­dows Me­dia Player, and en­able Hy­per-V sup­port out of the box, for ex­am­ple. Go to In­te­grate to slip­stream Win­dows Up­dates and Driv­ers into the me­dia – these will be au­to­mat­i­cally in­stalled after Win­dows, so while length­en­ing the over­all in­stall time, it saves you the has­sle of do­ing so man­u­ally. Fi­nally, the Au­to­mate sec­tion en­ables you to skip some of the setup ques­tions. Once done, ap­ply your changes, then – if nec­es­sary – gen­er­ate a new ISO file, which you can burn to disc or copy to a USB flash drive us­ing a tool such as Ru­fus (https://ru­fus.akeo.ie).

If you switch to por­ta­ble apps, you save time con­fig­ur­ing them.

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