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  • How to install Windows 7 from scratch

    Posted on November 16th, 2016 at 15:12 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Many of you have asked how to re-install Windows 7 from scratch. You’d think it would be easy, but it isn’t.

    Let’s start with the premise that you have a fresh copy of Windows 7 in your hands. We’re still wrestling out the details of how to get that copy. You also need installation media for any other programs – Office being a likely example.

    Star contributor Canadian Tech has a set method for starting over with Windows 7. He starts with the assumption that you’re going to install a new hard drive while you’re in the process. That’s a very good idea. If you intend to use Win7 for a while, a solid state drive will make Win7 work better than it ever has. Considering that SSD prices are down to the sub-$100 range (the 500 GB Samsung SSD – affiliate link – costs $135 from Amazon, for heaven’s sake, and prices will go lower next Friday) , you should seriously consider feeding an SSD to your Win7 machine.

    Here’s Canadian Tech’s procedure. He anticipates that it’ll take you 12 hours to complete:

    Step 1. Go to your computer’s OEM support site (Dell, HP, Acer, whatever) and find and download the drivers for your computer and store them on a USB stick.

    Step 2. You may be able to take your data off first. Remove the failing hard drive and put it into a USB external drive housing. Connect to a working PC, copy the data off. You may need a friend to do this part for you, but the rest is not really very technical or difficult for most people.

    Step 3. Install the new hard drive. Do not do any formatting or partitioning.

    Step 4a. If you made a set of disks for recovery or an image copy at the time your computer was new. This is the time you need them. Start your computer on the first of the disks as instructed and in an hour or so, your computer will look exactly as it did then. Skip to Step 5.

    Step 4b. If you do not have that set of disks, you will need a legal reusable Microsoft Product Key. You will need a Windows 7 install disk. The Win7 disk must match the edition of your product key, and its bitness (32 or 64). If you do not have the original Windows 7 install disk, borrow one from a friend. Hopefully, the disk you use will be labeled SP1 (Service Pack 1), because that will save you an additional 4 hours or so.

    Step 4c. Place the Windows 7 install disk in the disk reader and start your computer.
    Once the install process is started, choose CUSTOM. Ignore the check box about drivers, unless you can not proceed further. When the installer asks about Windows update, choose Ask me later.

    Step 5. Once Windows 7 SP1 is installed, install the following:

    Step 5a. KB3020369. If you installed the 32-bit version of Win7, download it here.  If you have 64-bit Win7, download it here. Double-click on the downloaded MSU file and let ‘er rip.

    Step 5b. Same story with KB3172605. Download 32-bit here. Download 64-bit here. Run the MSU file.

    Step 6. Open Windows Update, change Windows Update setting to Never check for updates (that is, turn off Automatic Updates). Do not install anything else at this point – NOTHING. Start the update process by clicking on Check for updates. You’re likely to see 200 or more updates. It will take some time.

    Step 7. Once you have a list of updates, you will likely want to prevent certain specific updates from being installed to reduce snooping. Click once on each Update that is NOT labeled SECURITY and check the date of issue on the right. If that date is after January 1, 2015 (date subject to debate depending on your paranoia), right-click on the patch and hide.

    Step 8. Click install updates and wait for it to finish. Restart when asked to do so.
    After re-start is complete and you see a desktop, start Task manager – Right-click on task bar. Look at the % at the bottom. Do NOT attempt to use the computer for any purpose until you see that % fall to and stay at 10% or less. Windows Update is still working and has a lot of work to do.

    Step 9. Keep running Windows Update again and again till it offers no new patches.

    Step 10. Start Internet Explorer, click the gear (upper right) in IE11 and select Compatibility settings and enter Microsoft.com in the list

    Step 11. Start Windows Update again and check the box to include updates for other Microsoft software. Run Windows Update again and again until you are satisfied you have all the updates you want.

    Step 12. After the install is complete, check Device Manager. Type device in the text box above the start globe when you click it and choose Device manager from the list to find out if Win7 was able to supply the drivers you need. You should get drivers only from the maker of your computer or Intel, as mentioned in Step 1. Do NOT use any of those driver download sites. They are all bogus, have bad drivers, and install malware.

    Step 13. Install your Microsoft Office software and then run Windows Update again and again till no more are proposed.

    Step 14. If you have a hard drive (not an SSD), defragment your drive. Type defragment in the text box above the start globe when you click it once. Choose the Defragmentation link. Wait till it completes all passes. (SSDs don’t need defragging.)

    Step 15. Next you need to decide whether you’re going to apply only Win7 security patches, or if you’re comfortable with letting Microsoft install all of its patches. There are strong arguments in favor of both approaches. Start with my patchocalypse article in InfoWorld and if you have any lingering doubts, sift through the debate here on AskWoody. It’s not a simple choice.

    Step 16. Make sure you have Automatic Update set to “Never,” and watch here to see when it’s safe to install patches.

    Many thanks to Canadian Tech for letting me publish these steps.

    May the debate begin…. 🙂

    If that helped, take a second to support AskWoody on Patreon

    Home Forums How to install Windows 7 from scratch

    This topic contains 131 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  skoobzzz 1 year, 1 month ago.

    • Author
    • #22436 Reply

      Da Boss

      Many of you have asked how to re-install Windows 7 from scratch. You’d think it would be easy, but it isn’t. Let’s start with the premise that you hav
      [See the full post at: How to install Windows 7 from scratch]

    • #22437 Reply


      I had one significant difference when I ran Windows Update the first time yesterday. It returned a message that I had to install an update to WU before it could scan, despite already having run KB3020369 manually. Yep, it installed the bad version of the WU agent. Before I started the WU scan, I installed KB3172605 manually, and verified that it had installed a newer version of the WU agent. All my scans after that ran very quickly.

    • #22438 Reply


      This is a great guide!

      Thank you guys for putting it together.

      I am about to prepare a new Win 7 laptop (manufactured in 2016) for use —

      which is something of an ordeal (for me!) because it always takes me a week (working on it as time permits) since I don’t do this sort of thing very often —

      and I have been wondering how to go about getting it current (up to September 2016’s patch Tuesday) with the Windows Updates, because I don’t want the computer blindly to accept all updates that are offered to it (leaving out the major telemetry patches, etc.)

      My question:
      To set up a brand new computer that was manufactured sometime in 2016,
      which comes with Windows 7 Professional pre-installed,
      in order to most efficiently bring it up-to-date (specifically, up to Sept. 30th) with Windows Updates, can I follow this guide above, starting at Step 5a?

    • #22439 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      A PC in good condition with a 5400rpm drive will be ready to use in about 2 minutes from the time you push the start button. As they age that will extend to 3 minutes. If it is much longer, it is because you have a bunch of resource hogs being loaded up in start up and probably some malware.

      SSDs are fantastic for quick startups. The same PC with an SSD will start in about 30 seconds.

      During normal usage, once the computer is running, SSDs will not make much difference because very little of what you do has any perceptible delay anyway.

      If you replace the 5400rpm drive with a 7200 rpm drive, it will make quite a difference too.

      For Desktops that are typically started once per day, SSDs will not make much difference, especially when compared to a 7200rpm drive.

      When a rotating drive begins to fail, you get lots of clues and time to recover your data. When SSDs fail, it is sudden and all is lost with out warning.

      If your computer is a laptop that gets started lots of times per day SSDs are great.

      I do not believe SSDs will last as long as a rotating drive. I expect a 2.5″ rotating drive to last about 5 years. A 3.5 more like 10 years. SSDs will likely hold up about 3 years.

      If you use an SSD AND a rotating drive, you need to manage where things gets stored carefully.

      SSDs physically wear at each write cycle. Writing to the SSD is not something you want to do much of. Consequently, you should put stuff on the SSD that doesn’t change much. For this reason you should never do a defrag on an SSD.

      In my experience, most of the time a replacement with a 7200rpm rotating drive will provide excellent performance, will last longer and cost less.

      For clarity, the Jan 1, 2015 date is not arbitrary. It was the end date for all Windows 7 development at Microsoft. My reasoning is that if all development stopped then, and all Microsoft has promised is security updates, then what could those non-security updates possibly be except for changes to your system to make the Win10 upgrade easier and install all kinds of spyware (AKA telemetry). I have done at least 15 re-installs using this method and have never seen a problem.

    • #22440 Reply


      Having done this a few times lately (clean install), let me add a few other notes/thoughts/suggestions (from step 5 onward because I’ll assume that you have a working network card of some sorts out of the box, or have installed the drivers for it to get it working):

      1) During install, when it asks you to set the Update setting, choose “Ask me later” or “Never update”

      2) DL and install the newest/current servicing stack [1st], then the newest/current rollup [2nd] (listed here: http://wu.krelay.de/en/). As of now, that’s September 2016 SS, July 2016 RU. SS is a prerequisite that has to be installed first before you can install the rollup.

      – RU requires a reboot, so reboot –

      3) Now that your WU client is patched, DL and install the convenience update (ie official unofficial SP2) from here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3125574

      – CU requires a reboot, so reboot – (reboot #2)

      4) Install IE11 (optional but recommended) from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/Internet-Explorer-11-for-Windows-7-details.aspx

      – IE11 install (IIRC) requires a reboot, so reboot –

      5) At this point, check your WU client settings again. It has a habit of being wiped out of “Not Updating”.

      5a) Alternatively, use gpedit to set it at the GP level if you have Win7 Pro.
      Computer Configuration > Administrative Settings > Windows Components > Windows Updates > Configure Automatic Updates, Edit the policy setting and choose Disabled. This will disable Automatic Updates, and now the WU client settings screen will say “Some settings are managed by your system administrator. More information.”

      5b) While you’re here in GP, go ahead and disable any OS upgrades. They’re not doing them now, but who knows whether another GWX will appear. Same location (Computer Configuration > Administrative Settings > Windows Components > Windows Updates) > Turn off the ugprade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update, Edit the policy setting and choose Enabled. (This “enables” this being “turned OFF” so if a GWX type app shows up again, it won’t be allowed to upgrade your machine even if you install it, willingly/knowingly.)

      Typically by installing the SS, RU, and CU, your 1st trip through WU land should yield <100 updates (seems to hover around 70-80 for me). As continued, grab them, install, reboot, run WU again.

      You may want to pick and choose your updates, if you want to avoid those updates related to telemetry/CEIP and the Win10 upgrade. If that's the case, do not install:

      (Some of these are for Win8, but that's the list I've had for over a year now and rather than split it up by OS, I just look for all of them regardless.)

      When you're finished with your updates, I strongly suggest fortifying your system. I recommend Bitdefender Free for antivirus/antimalware, Chrome for browsing, and Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Free for browser & PDF reader exploit protection. (More techie folks like myself can use EMET instead and further tweak it.)

      – If you need a PDF reader above the one baked-in with Chrome, then use SumatraPDF which is fast and lean and cannot be pwned like Adobe Reader.
      – Ignore anything by Adobe or Sun (Java) if at all possible. Chrome has Pepper Flash, it's sandboxed, and updated automatically. Don't install Adobe Flash by itself, you don't need it.
      – If you need an office suite, I'd recommend LibreOffice.

    • #22441 Reply


      Well i was going to post on installing GPT/UEFI with USB3 with limited funcionality?options in the BIOS but it would fill a page and i have a feeling theres some long posts coming your way Woody if theres any interest than i will post but it may be a little Heavy on tech and pretty long winded. Win7 users probably will know that Win7 can not install or run with secure boot enabled and if they have a USB3 machine and get install failure seeking a driver then this page may help.


      sorry heavy going i know 🙁

    • #22442 Reply

      Da Boss

      Abbodi – I seek your guidance on the “SP2” patch rollup. Did Microsoft ever get the problems ironed out with it?

    • #22443 Reply

      Da Boss

      I believe you can, but defer to Canadian Tech, who knows much better than I.

    • #22444 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      You may offer that advice zero2dash, but I can tell you with great confidence that none of that is necessary. I have done this a lot and never had a single problem following the procedure outlined.

      It just does not have to be that complicated and it is not.

    • #22445 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Yes you can. The sticky part comes when comes to roll-ups and the like. That’s when you have a difficult A, B, or C question to answer for yourself.

      I have done this as recently as last week.

    • #22446 Reply


      I may have to resort to this method of reviving my WINDOWS 7 SP1 HP 1TB 6GB Ram desktop computer.. THANK YOU – Woody & Canadian Tech for the info.

    • #22447 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      I tried the SP2 patch once. Very much regretted the mess it made. Ended up re-building the PC again without it. As long as you use the KB3172605 patch, Windows update is just not that big of a problem at all.

    • #22448 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      You are absolutely correct, BobbyB. There are situations where re-install gets more complicated. In fact, it can get downright hard to do for normal people. My procedure works most of the time in most instances.

      Another situation that is an exception is a PC that has no DVD reader.

    • #22449 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      There is another procedure I always follow in an install that I have found to be most valuable.

      After Windows 7, system drivers and all updates are installed and any stable applications like Microsoft Office are installed and updated, and before any data or dynamic applications are installed such as antivirus software, create a system image. It will take 3 or 6 DVD +Rs (not -Rs) and about an hour.

      When you are done you will have a very nice bit of insurance. Should you ever again need to re-build a corrupted system or replace a hard drive, you will have a precise duplicate of your system as it was at this point. You can restore that image to a hard drive in about 20 minutes. Creation of System Image is found in your menu under Maintenance, Backup and Restore.

      Another great feature about using the image is that you do not need an install disk or a product key to do the re-install the next time, and you will have saved yourself all the time you put in this time.

      I emphasize the need for PLUS R DVD blanks. Do not use the more common MINUS R DVD blanks.

    • #22450 Reply


      Its like your “psychic” Canadian Tech 🙂 my very situation lol

    • #22451 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      If you have a DVD and an external DVD reader, and kept the disk that came with it, you can use the DVD to install Win7.

      The key is the driver on that external DVD disk. When you get to the point where it asks for a driver, that is the one you need.

      If you do not have an external DVD reader, you can buy one for around $25, but make certain the disk that comes with it has the driver on it, not just an “installation” CD.

      You also can make a USB installer if you have an installation DVD. There is a product named OS2GO available. Works just fine. Then you have to change the boot order to check USB port first.

    • #22452 Reply


      Everybody is talking SSD. I AM What is wrong with HHD?

    • #22453 Reply


      IME, installing the cumulative update eliminates some WU time. I never said it was necessary, only that it was recommended.

      The idea is to offer 2nd ways of doing things or alternates; if you don’t like that, that’s your prerogative. I’m obliging Woody’s request.

      I’ve had 0 issues with systems that I’ve applied the CU to but as with all things, YMMV. No warranties are implied, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

    • #22454 Reply


      Secondly, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that in following Woody’s guide, you’ll end up at the same place my other paths go. “There’s more than 1 way to skin a kitty cat”, as the saying goes.

      You can continue updating with WU and you’ll get all the individual patches in the CU, and you’ll get IE11. Again, I’m mentioning alternate ways, more direct, less WU time. If you want to sit and wait and wait and wait while WU churns, by all means the choice is yours. Even if you install the SS and RU, you’re going to be sitting through a good 3+ update cycles that are faster than they could be, but not faster than they would be if you’d installed the CU first.

      I manage over 200 servers, 250 POS registers, and 150 home office and mobile users on everything from Server 2000 to 10 and much in between. Follow my advice or don’t, doesn’t matter to me. Again, it’s offered as alternate, not the rule.

    • #22455 Reply


      Fyi, u can also use Macrium Reflect or Acronis True Image free program to create a System Image of Win 7 on a 16GB or 32GB USB-stick. These programs can also compress yr System files on Drive:/C at different levels, eg from high to medium compression.
      In comparison, Win 7’s native imaging program does not compress the system files when creating the System Image n does not allow the use of a USB-stick to store the image, ie can only use DVDs or an external HDD.

    • #22456 Reply

      Da Boss

      Nothing wrong with it at all. But the price of SSD has come down so far, and the quality is generally good. Hard for rotating platters to compete.

    • #22457 Reply


      Funny that nobody mentions “WSUS Offline Update”. Install Windows 7 SP1 from DVD, install all drivers to give device manager a clean look, then install your Office, then use WOU to patch the machine. Then customize according to group A B or C or whatever.

      There are things which Windows 7 does not cope well with lately though, e.g. Skylake’s deep sleep C-states which will cause warnings in event log.

      All in all, nicely working Windows 7 can still be had on latest hardware.

    • #22458 Reply


      The danger with using Step 4a, especially from certain vendors, is that you’ll end up with all the pre-installed bloatware again that you may not want in the first instance.

    • #22459 Reply

      Da Boss

      I’ve been seeing a lot of positive comment about WSUS Offline Update. I should probably take a look… Any suggestions? In particular, how hard is it to select “Security only after January 1, 2015” patches – Canadian Tech’s criteria.

    • #22460 Reply

      John W

      I just finished installing a Win7 x64 system.

      A few thoughts …

      Use the Win7 SP-1 ISO DVD. Install… then:

      Download and install the IE-11 installer and run that. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/Internet-Explorer-11-for-Windows-7-details.aspx

      Download and run the Windows servicing stack update https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3020369

      Download and install the Convenience rollup update for Windows 7 SP1 http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB3125574

      Check for updates … install … reboot … check for updates again … rinse and repeat until no more updates are found … 🙂

    • #22461 Reply

      John W

      Forgot to mention KB3172605. The magic patch 🙂

      Don’t forget to run this following the other installers, before checking for updates. This will speed up the process 🙂

    • #22462 Reply


      2009 = launch of Win 7. Win 7 has optional Windows Update settings, individual updates can be hidden, opt-in for Telemetry Data collection, no ad display, no walled-garden, etc. Similarly for Win XP/ Vista/8/8.1.
      2011 = release of Win 7 SP1.
      29 July 2015 = launch of Win 10 …
      n the offer by M$ to Win 7/8.1 users of a free upgrade to Win 10 for 1 year by introducing GWX KB3035583.
      …….Win 7/8.1 dummy users with Windows Update set to Automatic were auto-upgraded to Win 10 by M$.
      ……. Win 10 has Telemetry Data collection, forced auto-update, compulsory cumulative updates, ad display, M$’s apps(Cortana, Bing, Edge, Defender, etc), walled-garden, etc baked in.
      At around Sept 2015, M$ introduced Telemetry KB updates to Win 7/8.1, ie the same ones found in Win 10.
      By Feb 2016, only about 30% of Win 7 users n 60% of Win 8.1 users had upgraded to Win 10 = quite disappointing of M$.
      In March 2016, M$ aggressively pushed Win 10 onto tech-savvy Win 7/8.1 users by sneaking GWX KB3035583 into KB3139929, the security update for IE11, n quietly changing the UI in the GWX nagware pop-up window for the clicking of the red “X” from cancelling to approving/ignoring the scheduled upgrade to Win 10. Many tech-savvy Win 7/8.1 users were caught unawares n auto-upgraded to Win 10 by M$.
      ……. One US business lady successfully sued M$ for this in Small Claims Court n got US$10,000 in compensation. The Windows EULA forbids Class-action lawsuits.
      In April 2016, Windows Update of Win 7/8.1 became broken for those who had hidden M$’s Telemetry updates, GWX KB3035583 n who did a clean reinstall. So, affected Win 7/8.1 users had to manually install the monthly Patch Tuesday security updates ONE-BY-ONE via M$ Download Center or Update Catalog.
      ……. Coincidentally, this was the same time that M$ introduced optional monthly Convenience Update Rollups(CUR) n their associated Servicing Stack updates. The 1st CUR in May 2016 for Win 7 32bit, KB3125574, is 316MB in size n is considered as Win 7 SP2, ie KB3125574 contains all the “important” updates from Win 7 SP1(2011) to May 2016. Thereafter, the monthly CUR became cumulative, just like the Cumulative Updates of Win 10, eg the July 2016 CUR KB3172605 contains important updates for the month of May, June n July 2016.
      In June 2016, M$ removed all the KB updates from Download Center = could only manually install security updates via M$ Update Catalog, which could only be accessed with M$’s IE browser.
      In Oct 2016, M$ changed the CUR to non-optional monthly Patch Rollups = Win 7/8.1 users could no longer pick-n-choose individual updates for installation, eg to hide M$’s Telemetry updates or a buggy update.
      ……. At the same time, M$ reinstated all the KB updates at Download Center n even allowed non-IE browsers to access Update Catalog = but what is the use.
      B4 March 2016, Win 7 could be considered as the best Windows OS.
      …….Seems, M$ hv been degrading Win 7/8.1, in order to push their users onto Win 10, esp business users.
      …….Also, as per M$ policy, Win 7/8.1 is not supported for the latest Intel Kabylake n AMD Zen chips.

    • #22463 Reply

      James Bond 007

      I have done my own share of reinstallations, in new machines and virtual machines, with Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. In anticipation of these needs I have gotten the ISO files quite a while ago. The ISO files include Enterprise, Pro VL and retail copies of several languages, including English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong). I also have ISO copies of Microsoft Office 2003-2016 for use when necessary (though I almost never use Microsoft Office now).

      I discovered the need for Step 10 some time ago when I attempted to install a copy of Microsoft Office 2010 in a virtual machine for testing. Without it Microsoft Update cannot be activated in Windows Update and so Microsoft Office cannot obtain updates.

      For new machine installations I don’t need or use Microsoft Office or other Microsoft software (except may be Visual C++ redistributables) so I will skip any steps that requires Microsoft Update. I do almost all work in virtual machines nowadays so not a lot of software is needed for new installations.

      An image backup of the system after completion of installation is convenient and in my opinion essential. The image backup can be used to restore the system to working order and as a means to move the system to a new hard disk or SSD. Personally I use Acronis True Image to do the image backup. I have heard that Macrium Reflect Free is also good at this.

      But I don’t use DVDs to save the image backup. I would save the image backup on a separate hard disk. (In every computer I own I have more than one disk installed.) The reason being that it will be quicker to save and retrieve the image if necessary, and since I create new image backups every 2 or 3 months, I have no desire to waste a lot of DVD blanks even though they may be cheap.

    • #22464 Reply


      Thank you both.

      I will update the new computer with the patches that were released before November 1, and then just leave it be —
      equivalent to temporarily being on Path C —

      until I make the decision about whether I want to do Path B or C
      (I am taking a month or two to see how Path B goes for other people).

      I would probably not do Path A, unless forced.

    • #22465 Reply

      James Bond 007

      I would use the Simplix update pack instead of the “SP2”.

      I have downloaded the August 2016 and September 2016 update packs (just before Microsoft initiates its “new cumulative” update policy) for possible use in the future. I tried the August 2016 pack on a new installation and it seemed to work fine. It needed several reboots to complete the installation.

      The pack does not include KB3172605 so you will need to install it yourself.

      Unfortunately the current version of the Simplix pack includes the complete rollup and not the security-only rollup of the month, so if you are not in “Group A” then you can’t use it (or at least the current version). Apparently the September 2016 update pack can still be downloaded at :

      But I have no idea how long it will still be available from the site. The August 2016 update pack has apparently be pulled and I cannot download it from the site now.

    • #22466 Reply


      In Step 4a, Canadian Tech was imagining a system image that, ideally, you had made after you’d already taken the bloatware off and had made other basic preparations.

      This is his description of when he likes to make a system image: https://www.askwoody.com/2016/how-to-install-windows-7-from-scratch/comment-page-1/#comment-107504

    • #22467 Reply


      “SSDs will likely hold up about 3 years.”

      This is starting to no longer be the case due to newer TRIM command technology to optimise write cycles and improving component quality. Soma manufacturers even have 5-10 year warranties on their SSDs now.

    • #22468 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      Is there an issue with installing June Roll-up patch (AKA SP2) for windows 7? If so, why?
      One would have thought that this would save installing all the patches post SP1..

      | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x64 O/L | XP Pro O/L
        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
    • #22469 Reply

      AskWoody MVP


      Some issues ironed out, but not all.

      I think the Convenience Rollup is not ready yet for the regular user, although it will likely become the core rollup for Microsoft’s intentions to unify all updates in as few updates as possible.
      The signal that the Convenience Rollup is ready will be when it will be pushed through Windows Update for everyone’s use.

    • #22470 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      You can uninstall, no need to rebuild PCs.

    • #22471 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      ‘Step 14. Defragment your drive. Type defragment in the text box above the start globe when you click it once. Choose the Defragmentation link. Wait till it completes all passes..’

      Even if you have installed Windows 7 on an SSD?
      I personally would skip this step as SSD’s use the trim function in Windows 7. I would edit this to reflect that.

      | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x64 O/L | XP Pro O/L
        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
    • #22472 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      “You can continue updating with WU and you’ll get all the individual patches in the CU”

      This is not true, the CU contains hotfixes never released on WU (LDR branch), which is a good thing. However I am not sure if this impacts most home users in any way though.
      The main problem with the CU is that it is not very friendly and more suitable for those who know exactly what they are doing.

    • #22473 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      My laptop came with Windows 7 HP COEM(pre-SP1) according to this link I can install the same version using an SP1 Version of Windows 7 HP COEM
      Is this still the case? Or do I need to use the pre-SP1 version to install Windows 7?

      | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x64 O/L | XP Pro O/L
        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
    • #22474 Reply


      “I do not believe SSDs will last as long as a rotating drive. I expect a 2.5″ rotating drive to last about 5 years. A 3.5 more like 10 years. SSDs will likely hold up about 3 years.” This is your opinion. When choosing SSD don’t go the cheap route, my Intel 520 has been chugging along nicely for almost 5 years now. Samsung PRO 840 comes with a 10 year warranty. The claim that a 3.5″ HDD lasts 10 years and a 2.5″ five made me chuckle, where do you get all this false info from?? If you pop a SSD in an old computer your opinion that a 7200rpm drive is just as good as a SSD is somewhat correct, due to speed limits in aging hardware, still: accidentally bump your knee on a laptop with a spinning drive and it’s easily dead. So a good quality SSD beats a spinning drive any day of the week. Also, SSD takes a datawrite-beating for MANY MANY MANY years, I have no idea why you spread all this misinformation. Your opinions seem like the typical comments one could read all over the place 8-10 years ago, the SSD world has changed a lot since then.

    • #22475 Reply

      Da Boss

      You can use the SP1 version on any system that originally came with pre-SP1 Win7.

    • #22476 Reply

      Da Boss

      The main benefit of the CU is that it saves time, yes?

      With the new speed-up approach, the amount of time saved – which used to be measured in days – is now down to minutes, hours at the most.

    • #22477 Reply

      Da Boss

      Good point. Edit made.

    • #22478 Reply

      Da Boss

      Thanks! That’s the link I needed.

      Abbodi and I originally “met” over this issue. Some very good sleuthing work done by all concerned.

    • #22479 Reply

      Da Boss

      See http://windows-update-checker.com/FAQ/ConvenienceRollupKB3125574-Issues.htm

      … and other new posts. I don’t think “SP2” is worth the effort, unless you’re re-imaging a dozen machines.

    • #22480 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      Not really. It was proven before that without KB3172605 or without at least KB3138612 or one of the other WU agents released in that series of improved agents, the WU scan speed would still be unbearable, even with the CU installed.
      I think the CU is handy when it comes to the total number of updates. The other less understood difference is that the CU contains a lot of unpublished hotfixes which were never intended to be on WU, maybe except for a potential Service Pack release.
      My current point of view is that the CU should not be installed, unless under very controlled circumstances. This would change only if the CU gets promoted and published on WU, which I think it is very likely to happen, but in a revised version.

    • #22481 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      In the situation when the PC does not have a DVD/CD reader, I think Rufus can come to rescue.
      There is an equivalent Microsoft tool which is limited to Microsoft ISOs and in general seems to be not as user friendly as is Rufus.

    • #22482 Reply

      Da Boss

      Thanks for the link, but I’m very wary of a Russian company that I don’t know distributing Windows patches!

    • #22483 Reply

      Da Boss

      That’s accurate, at least on first reading.

    • #22484 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      Thanks for the confirmation Woody 🙂
      You’re a star!
      I’m going to attempt this in the near future.
      As sfc /scannow is throwing up issues that can’t be repaired 🙁

      | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x64 O/L | XP Pro O/L
        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
    • #22485 Reply

      Da Boss

      I use Rufus regularly.

    • #22486 Reply


      @woody – 2cents questions feel free to reject post 🙂

      Hmmm…. now I m curious…. with all the useful knowledge of new install, backup and source for W7 key…

      for all of you who are in the industry and field….

      what do you think is the future of Windows? really?
      whats the feel on the streets?

      given its track records, legal and ethical positions, profitability and management, markets and uasage demand, share amrket and international law etc…

      lets do a psy-visualisation…

      fast forward 2 years… you will be using ???
      Windows? or non-windows?

      if windows, what will it be different from what you are using today?

      Would there still be a newer windows product?

      Hard questions:
      If there be open-ended random cyber world war, would the windows based computer be the easiest to suffer? Hence group W now is better protection?

      If the general population who will be in a deflation – hyperinflation or some financial crisis or war of some sort, and people are strip of cash/income, will/may it kill windows forvever? the gaming industry will be gone… business will trim or shut down…. so the honey pot right? and we the common regular user will instantly turn into “seiours liability” and dealt with accordingly and faster than light speed? and that billy legacy?

      Just asking curious questions 🙂

      Maybe best to keep the peace of mind….
      what will be – let it be just that – will be.
      Im in the “There is no freewill” quantum physic camp (as my previous 2cents rant)

      TIA for any who would rant another 2cents…
      and have/want to prepared accordingly…
      just wondering whats the feel on the streets in the west these days….

      maybe woody can do the future outlook poll for ms?! 🙂
      or make >user opinion-poll / question for the month< a regular feature on the side bar to increase participation and activity on your site 🙂


    • #22487 Reply


      @ Rob ……. Seems from Aug 2016 onward, for a clean reinstall of Win 7 SP1, u need to manually install KB3020369 and KB3172605 first b4 Windows Update would work. Thereafter, WUS will show u the 200+ missing important updates since SP1 in 2011. Once selected, WUS will automatically install the 200+ updates for u.
      ……. KB3125574, the May 2016 Convenience Update Rollup or Win 7 SP2 was only needed as above, b4 Aug 2016. After Aug 2016, KB3125574 was replaced by KB3172605 as a prerequisite for Windows Update.
      Personally, I suspect KB3172605, the July 2016 Convenience Update Rollup,or KB3020369, the April 2016 Servicing Stack update, contains hidden Telemetry updates.
      Of course, Win 7 SP1 users who do a clean reinstall can still manually install the 200+ important updates ONE-BY-ONE via M$ Download Center or Update Catalog, in order to be sure of the absence of M$’s hidden Telemetry updates, which may take a few days.
      ……. But the new Security Updates Guide that will be made compulsory by M$ on Jan 2017 to replace Security Bulletins will likely even put paid to this, ie the ability to manually install the 200+ updates or any pre-Oct 2016 security updates.

    • #22488 Reply

      Da Boss

      I haven’t heard a breath of a rumor about the new security lists replacing the old updates. Security Bulletins go away, but the old patches are still there – as is the documentation, in the form of the old Security Bulletins.

    • #22489 Reply

      Da Boss

      I think that in three years (possibly two) the landscape will be so completely different from how it is now that it’s impossible to say. Windows usage will continue to decline. Mobile OSs, including ChromeOS, will skyrocket. Windows hardware sales will continue to decline, mostly propped up by companies with so much legacy code hanging around that they’re willing to put up with the hassle.

    • #22490 Reply


      @ woody ……. If I’m not mistaken, on Jan 2017, M$ will likely remove all the pre-Oct 2016 security updates for Win 7/8.1 from Update Catalog n Download Center, n will only allow them to be automatically installed thru Windows Update, ie will not be able to be manually installed via M$ Download Center or Update Catalog.
      If u go to the new Security Updates Guide page, u will see that only the Security-only Updates for Sept, Oct n Nov 2016 are available. These hv to be manually installed via M$ Download Center or Update Catalog. The Security-only Updates are not cumulative.
      …….The respective Patch Rollups which hv to be automatically installed thru Windows Update are not available on that page. The monthly Patch Rollups are cumulative.
      IOW, it’s likely that all updates that can be automatically installed thru Windows Update will not be allowed by M$ to be manually installed via Download Center or Update Catalog.
      Come Jan 2017, we will see.

    • #22491 Reply


      Yeah use Rufus here too when i make an install USB drive. I heavily modify the .ISO before use (too drawn out to mention) then create the flash drive using UEFI/fat32 GPT settings but i find with my BIOS having limited functionality that i have to install in “Legacy” mode secure boot off, of course install to Partition or clean disk in that mode. If clean install must check the win7 amd64 on “select install mode” creates 2 parts. as well as the C: part. otherwise youll have try again to get it to install with UEFI functionality. You can safely ignore any win7 protestations so long as the final button isnt greyed out. Then add drivers as req. to finally get the install to work UEFI after install (obviously remain in Legacy mode until done). If you are just installing win7X64 to another part. You can apply the image (modified) using IMAGEX or DISM in which case you can safely skip all the above forgoing and quicker too. It really all depends on the flexability you have in your BIOS, mine not too much alas 🙁

    • #22492 Reply

      John W

      And as others have said, definitely take an image after you get Windows freshly installed and updated.

      A clean Windows 7 install is still a many hours long process with many boots involved, even with the SP1 ISO and the MS roll-up patches.

      If you don’t have an imaging app, you can just go to Control Panel > Backup and Restore > Create a system image.

      Put the image file on a secondary internal drive, or external USB drive for safekeeping.

      Then burn a Windows repair disk (you will probably get prompted for this). You can use this CD to boot Windows and restore the image you just made, in case you ever need to re-install Windows 7.

      This restore should only take about 30 mins, depending on your computer’s speed, vs hours or days to re-install from scratch.

    • #22493 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      You guys need to realize that this re-install process that I use is not for the type of user many of you represent. It is far from ideal. It is however quite practical for the average Joe.

      You are right about the bloatware. However, please realize that in many cases, the person who is needing to do the re-install has no other alternative other than a complete re-install. Given that choice, the factory recovery is the best choice. Of course, following that will require paring and cleaning up again.

      In many cases, the owner of the system does not even have a product key to do the re-install. In that case, the factory re-install bypasses that step.

    • #22494 Reply

      John W

      I have found that you can use the pre-SP1 Windows 7 product key with Windows 7 SP-1, and with either 32-bit or 64-bit versions. Not sure if the SP-1 key works backwards though, with the original pre-SP1 Windows 7 release. Did not try that.

      The only thing Microsoft seems to care about is that your key is locked to the specific edition of Windows 7, i.e. Home, Professional, Ultimate, etc. I believe that also means sticking to OEM or Retail as well …

    • #22495 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Bobo, please understand that my conclusions are based on a lot of hands-on work on computers and a lot of work with clients. I am not quoting from any industry studies, just my conclusions based on what I have experienced first-hand.

      Very few people will take a brand-new PC and replace its spinning drive with an SSD. The PC is likely 5 years old when the drive will need to be replaced. AND, at that point they are not willing to put a lot of money into a PC of that age. For them, the re-build plus the 7200rpm drive results in a dramatic improvement at a cost of maybe as much as $70, and their 160G drive was replaced with a 500G.

    • #22496 Reply

      Da Boss

      Yep, and the larger picture is that Win7 users have an enormous array of choices right now.

      The choices will narrow down in a year, maybe less.

    • #22497 Reply

      Da Boss

      I believe you are mistaken. I haven’t seen any indication that older KBs will be removed. If you have any sources to the contrary, I’d really like to hear about them!

      Yes, Sept, Oct, Nov updates are all bunched. That’s what happened with the patchocalypse. Microsoft warned us it was coming, and it hit pretty much as we expected.


      Items in Windows Update can be installed by downloading from the Catalog. It’s just much easier to let Windows Update do the dirty work.

    • #22498 Reply


      Just looked up HHD’s and they are going for about the same price as SSDs. All very reasonable.

    • #22499 Reply

      George A. Chapman

      IIRC, TRIM is optional.
      Run the Windows System Assessment Tool (WinSAT)?

      Solid State Drive Deployment

      This reduces the number of write operations that Windows makes to the SSD, and makes other optimizations.

    • #22500 Reply


      I have had three computers in my lifetime. Windows 95,Vista,Win 7. Averaged about 8.5 years on each. All three desktops were of the HP variety. .

    • #22502 Reply


      See http://forums.wsusoffline.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5108#p16628 second to last answer, quote: “WSUSOU does, apart from a few static things, cover only security-critical updates. Updates bringing new features and optional ones simply aren’t included in MS’s catalog.”

      Aside from this, there is a blacklist functionality (compare http://forums.wsusoffline.net/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5119#p16537) where you could do even more. Those funny Germans eh… first the world said “you paranoid” and then Microsoft rolled out KB2952664 to prove us right. 😉

      In addition I recommend:

      – Disable some scheduled tasks like those in MicrosoftWindowsApplication Experience or MicrosoftWindowsCustomer Experience Improvement Program or MicrosoftWindowsWindows Error ReportingQueueReporting (there are more which upload data to Microsoft)

      – If it exists, stop and disable the DiagTrack service that may have come through a Rollup.

      – Disable MRT phone home (reg add “HKLMSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftMRT” /v DontReportInfectionInformation /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f”)

      – Disable GWX upgrade nagware, not sure if that is now necessary (reg add “HKLMSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindowsUpdate” /v DisableOSUpgrade /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f -and- reg add “HKLMSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindowsGwx” /v DisableGwx /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f)

      – Disable Teredo and the NCSI pinger
      netsh interface ipv6 set teredo disable
      reg add “HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesNlaSvcParametersInternet” /v EnableActiveProbing /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
      reg add “HKLMSOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsNetwork Connections” /v NC_DoNotShowLocalOnlyIcon /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

      – I disabled WU now completely and install monthly security rollups from Update Catalog manually whenever I feel like it, see http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=security%20monthly%20quality%20rollup%20for%20windows%207 Done with Microsoft in this life.

      If your machine boots up and does anything else than broadcast to local network regarding a browse master or queries the time via NTP, then you missed something or perhaps a trojan has found a new home.

    • #22506 Reply


      I won’t install MS’s cumulative updates. But, Can I download security updates from the MS website? How do I know if they are safe?

    • #22509 Reply


      I’d like to add that fairly early after Windows installs, I personally like to stop letting Windows manage the pagefile, but instead set it to 1.5x – 2x of the amount of physical RAM in the box.

      This should be done after a defrag so as to allow pagefile.sys to be as close to one contiguous blockas possible.

    • #22511 Reply

      Da Boss

      Anton, the abusive language isn’t appreciated or tolerated in these parts.

      Short answer: Yes. You’re in Group B. Wait for the go-ahead (MS-DEFCON 3) and I’ll have full instructions.

    • #22512 Reply

      Da Boss

      Good point – and well locked down!

    • #22513 Reply


      I’m a unjustly displaced Chicago public teacher and a contaminated former Marine. I’m physically and professionally compromised anyway,so I don’t care if you or anyone else is offended.

      I speak the truth based on facts about murderers, liars. and thieves, and bullies. All you saw was profanity, not the message. With capitalism, everything is a scam. MS, this government, and all who pledge 100% allegiance to these entities all can go to Hades, If it exists.

    • #22514 Reply

      Da Boss

      That’s all well and good – but we’re here to struggle with Windows (and occasionally Microsoft). Neither the profanity nor the allegations contribute to that end.

    • #22515 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Woody, I am surprised that you did not refuse to allow Anton’s rant on this forum. It really does not belong here. It is not constructive or helpful in any way.

    • #22516 Reply

      Da Boss

      You’re right. I was hoping he’d get to the point, but it doesn’t look like he has one.

    • #22517 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      Set it to 512 MB to be safe, but even 256 MB is enough in most instances with Windows 7 and higher.
      If you ever need a page file larger than 512 MB, then you don’t have enough physical memory.
      It is as simple as that.
      Note: You would also have to change the “Write debugging information” to “Small memory dump (256 kb)” or “(none)”.

    • #22518 Reply


      @woody 2cents post feel free to reject

      do you think one of these days we might get…

      “this is your last bone… off you go (dont come back)’

      and we are left wondering in the empty space of “self-determine self-interpret self-define open-range future”?

      and not to mention all the emotions adjective that will sure to surface and ….
      well for some who are ‘trusting/blinding type’… rightly exploded as if they have a just cause… ? ? ?

      as the assumed reliant operator goes offline…. to a dead tone?

      puppets without strings crumble into a mess…. as we are in a gravitational field (the natural law)…

      still… every choice is a valid choice…
      so they said
      and each can choose to believe or not to believe….
      go here or dont go there
      feel this or not feel that
      that makes the show goes on and on and on…

      I wonder what in 2 years will look like? 🙂
      (assuming “I” this entity will still be around in ths meat-body identity-loaded casing)
      war-preperation is quietly humming in the east…. been decades… still here not gone yet 🙂

      surely all these is one of those shake•spear•e•an play?
      enjoy the show coming soon… 2 year hey?!
      maybe we are digital & data after all…
      talk about fresh install (reincarnation)
      and backup (memory-saved-today for tomorrow’s life/idenity recovery)

      have a good wkend ahead ppl 😀
      out fishing for better dreams 😀


    • #22519 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      Ok folks, just followed this list and I’m now up-to-date 🙂
      Took around 5 hours on a 16meg ADSL line.
      Ran sfc /scannow after patch installations and NO ERRORS! yupee!
      OEM Drivers installed after patches and all is working well!
      THANKS for the walkthrough, it helped immensely.
      Can also confirm that Pre-SP1 product key works with SP1 version (Make sure you have the correct version for your system)
      No telemetry patches 😉

      | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | W7 Pro x64 O/L | XP Pro O/L
        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
    • #22520 Reply

      Da Boss


    • #22521 Reply


      I don’t think Convenience Rollup will reach Windows Update 🙂
      instead, we would get the Monthly Rollup once it reach cumulative level

      as for Convenience Rollup issues, the biggest two issues are sorted out

    • #22522 Reply

      Da Boss

      Have you seen this?


      Interesting! Slightly different focus from your goal, but very similar in many ways.

    • #22523 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      That is interesting. Although I have never gone to through those specific updates. I just install the two main ones and start up WU. IE comes with that package of some 200 updates. Never had a problem. So, I do not know what installing those specific patches saves you or its reasons.

    • #22524 Reply

      Da Boss

      I don’t know, either. Wonder if there’s a good reason to get in touch with him and compare approaches?

    • #22525 Reply


      That is an excellent article, will do a clean install of Windows 7 this weekend. It got somehow to cluttered and slow lately.
      I made a previous install with Convenience Rollup slipstreamed to W7 SP1 installation USB. It seems that was a mistake.
      Thanks Woody for all the work and I do hope you keep it up until 2020!

    • #22526 Reply


      @ Radek ……. Maybe, u should try this … a Win 7 “SP2” x64 iso updated till June 2016 ….

      [UPDATED and with great apologies by Woody – I’ve decided to pull the link that was posted. While the source seems quite reliable, I have no way of guaranteeing that the software on offer is free of malware. I should’ve caught this originally, and feel suitably humbled that it took a while for me to come to that conclusion.]

    • #22527 Reply

      Da Boss

      Looks like a legit source – you have to provide your own key.

    • #22528 Reply


      Nah, I’m on Polish version :).

    • #22529 Reply


      Hope you don’t mind if I compile this and that, translate it to Polish and put on a Polish forum? You’ll be credited on the top of the post (with links), of course :).

    • #22530 Reply


      Legally speaking, redistributing modified Windows 7 ISO is not legitimate 🙂

      but it’s a fine project indeed, wish it was English only

    • #22531 Reply

      Da Boss

      No problem at all translating and publishing anything on AskWoody.com, with links.

      InfoWorld and “Windows All-In-One For Dummies” are another story altogether, of course.

    • #22532 Reply


      Now i see that each language has its own iso, nice

    • #22533 Reply


      Perfect! I’m on triple boot (7 HP, 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation & Win 10 Home) currently and I think I will stick to W7 for now. W10 is not THAT bad but seems not to like my X-Fi sound card too much. Well, I just wish they addeded flat theme for W7 and right-click menu to Start button and that would make W7 almost perfect…

    • #22534 Reply


      That is actually January 13th :). I will check tomorrow (I guess), when doing clean install, if there are any nopn-security updates dating from Jan 1st to Jan 13th, 2015.

    • #22535 Reply

      Da Boss

      Oy. I should probably pull the post.

      I’m not afraid of Microsoft, but I firmly believe that people should pay for the software they use. ISOs are a real gray area, IMHO.

      [UPDATED by Woody – I did pull the link. I should’ve considered the possibility that the ISOs on offer could have embedded malware. Mea culpa. I never should’ve posted it originally.]

    • #22536 Reply


      Well, not really… The key is bound to one language, so if you wanted to install, let’s say Italian W7, you’d have to buy another license :(.

    • #22537 Reply


      OK, had some fun yesterday :). Was able to download W7 (although I can swear that around March 2016 the webpage said my key is not valid) and installed from ground zero.
      My question is – do you REALLY REALLY need those optional updates?
      Citing guidelines above “You’re likely to see 200 or more updates.” – I did. 145 important & 70 optional. I followed the guide to the letter, but then looked through release notes and >90% of those updates are “usesless”:
      a/ referring to IE8 or IE10 that I do not use (I have IE11 installed)
      b/ Remote Desktop related (don’t use)
      c/ regarding scenarios of usage I have no idea of
      About the only useful one is the Disk Cleanup Wizard update, I’d say.

      Secondly, there is a bit of a problem with hiding updates – you hide one, next pops up. With cumulative rollups you hide December, November shows up, you hide November, October shows up and so on… While this route is quite short, the one with timezones can go for ages.
      I’m quite tempted to reinstall today and just skip on most of the optional updates. And I WILL install the lates time zones update :).

      And one more thing – there is one update that is called “Improvements for the System Update Readiness Tool” (KB2966583) that is listed here and there (this site as well) as Win10 installation related and “evil update”, but was released in Aug 2014 (first Win10 preview build came out in Oct 2014, so rather unlikely MS thought about W10 update back then). Installing this triggers A LOT new updates (>10 for sure), so shall I install it or not?

    • #22538 Reply


      Errrrm… One more question – what is the difference between “normal” Optional updates and those in italics? There are various opinions on internet but no official MS statement…

    • #22539 Reply


      Italic = Recommended Optional
      others = Optional Optional 😀

    • #22540 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      Woody’s guide has always been “Don’t check ANYTHING that’s not already checked.” That includes everything under the “optional” category and those updates under “important” that are not checked by default.

      I believe updates in the “optional” list that are in italics are “recommended,” but if they are unchecked by default you should NOT check and install them.

    • #22541 Reply

      Da Boss

      That’s correct.

    • #22542 Reply


      That’s a bit different opposed to the guide above – I believe “You’re likely to see 200 or more updates.” refers to both important and optional.
      If so, my humble suggestion is to include this information in the guide above.
      Nevertheless, I will reinstall today, have a look and what is not check and revert with questions and maybe even some answers.

    • #22543 Reply


      Thanks a lot for clarification! This is a very nice website and even nicer community behind it!
      One of a few sites I have whitelisted in AdBlock and I definitely need to consider a donation :).

    • #22544 Reply


      @ woody ……. Fyi, the link to the Win 7 “SP2” x64 iso which u pulled was originally posted by a commentator, SuperCocoLoco, in this article at zdnetdotcom…
      Also, some cptr users feel that M$-Win 10 is malware. Maybe, Win 10 iso should also be pulled.

      To each his/her own.

    • #22545 Reply

      Da Boss

      Yep. In this case, I feel justified in pulling the link – and I should’ve known better when I first approved it. There’s just no way to know what’s included in the ISO.

    • #22546 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Right you are, Woody. I took a look at it and would not touch it with a 9 yard barge pole for that very reason.

      I am interested in a Win7 SP2 that is void of any of the Win10 and telemetry garbage. In other words, a WIN7 sp2 for real, not a mixed bag.

    • #22547 Reply

      Da Boss

      Only way you’ll ever get that is to build it yourself. And even then, there’s a huge diversity of opinion on what should go in an SP2.

    • #22548 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      I switched manually between language versions before and it did not look like asking for different license key.
      you basically install let’s say Spanish Language Pack, change few keys in the registry to make Windows appears that the original version was Spanish and not English and after that this will allow removing the English Language Pack. You end with a version in a different language with the same license keys.
      If I remember well, the relevant registry keys are under
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlNlsLocale values (Default) and (Default) – there are 2 of them
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlNlsLanguage values Default and InstallLaguage

    • #22549 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      I think an SP2 version would have everything released to date and maybe some extras equivalent to hotfixes not on Windows Update (the LDR branch) while the base would be reset to not be able to uninstall individual components contained in the SP2.

    • #22550 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      There is an old KB article difficult to find describing the various types of updates.

    • #22551 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      It is correct depending on the user setting.
      Which one is default out of the box, include Recommended or not?
      Fact is if you avoid Recommended, you will create problems for yourself and there are at least 3 Optional related to RDP 8/8.1 (out of 6 Optional in total I think) which should be installed by everyone with Pro or higher.

    • #22552 Reply


      OK, so I am reinstalling again and MICROSOFT HAS FIXED WINDOWS UPDATE. I installed plain W7 SP1 image, decided to give it a try and ran Windows Update. It very quickly installed something small and restarted itself again, then started looking for updates (CPU usage ~25%, RAM usage on an idle system with 8GB was ~3.8GB). After 5 minutes (yes, FIVE MINUTES) it came back showing 150 important and 67 optional updates.

    • #22553 Reply

      Da Boss
    • #22573 Reply

      Da Boss

      I believe a fresh Win7 install did NOT have the box checked.

      I’m not sure about a fresh SP1 install.

    • #22574 Reply


      For that you’d need the Ultimate version, right? I’m on Home Premium.
      Besides, it looks clever, but I am not sure if is 100% legal.

    • #22575 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      I was just testing and playing trying to learn a bit more Spanish in the process. Yes, I did it on Ultimate on an OEM Dell Edition, so that may explain why it does not ask for a different license.
      Now I reached the conclusion that for best compatibility with about everything, the US English is the version to be used as base, while various Language and Regionla settings can be configured in the user context with minimal consequence, as this can be easily reverted if needed. The system is the one which should stay on US English or any of the other related flavours, UK, Australian, Canadian.
      With the UK version there are keyboard issues though since Windows 8 and higher. I am avoiding that one for system installation and strongly recommend against it if used outside of UK.

    • #22576 Reply

      AskWoody MVP

      Interesting. This was at least 6 years ago though for SP1 and a bit longer for the RTM.
      It is well-known now that the current recommendation is to install everything released which I don’t know if this include Optional updates, likely not, with exceptions.

      The notable exceptions are:

      KB2670838 – Platform Update, Optional, but not so much so as it is required for IE11 which is now Important and mandatory

      I think the last few three updates for Remote Desktop apply only to Pro and higher, not to Home Edition.

    • #22577 Reply


      OK, So I am after all the patching and have installed all the important ones apart from:
      a/ KB971033 – this one is not ticked and I don’t feel I need it (am I right?)
      b/ KB3212646 – January security and quality rollup
      Now looking at W7 update history if we go down the route it includes KB3192403 (so – telemetry!) meaning we don’t want to install this one. So, from this point onwards, we want only October, November, December and January Security-Only updates (as I understood these are not cumulative). But what about earlier ones?

      September has “Improved support for the Disk Cleanup tool to free up space by removing older Windows Updates after they are superseded by newer updates.” And “Improved compatibility of certain software applications.” – which don’t sound bad.
      August has “Improved performance on specific networks that have a high-bandwidth and low latency.” – which *might* be useful.
      July – not really interesting, but it includes famous WU fix.
      So – what do we do about July – September (as these are not cumulative, I guess) – do we install or not?

      There were also a few non security updates marked as important but quite old ones (2014 and earlier) no no real hassle, the only newer I installed was KB3138612, but this one seems to be OK, right?

      Optional updates post will follow shortly – it will be a much longer one…

    • #22578 Reply


      @woody & CT ……. If this Win 7 “SP2” x64 iso is legit, it would be helpful to many Win 7 cptr users, eg those who wanna upgrade to SSD or new cptrs.

      I do not think it is illegal to slipstream stuffs, eg latest security updates, onto a legal Win 7 SP1 iso n make it a free shareware.
      Personally, as a home-user, if I had a need for this SP2 iso, I will download it, unzip it n use my Antivirus software to scan it for virus/malware b4 burning it onto a DVD+R or USB-stick to do the actual install.
      ……. After the install, if there r any actual problems, like “FUD” about malware or Telemetry updates, I can always wipe it off n do a clean install of Win 7 SP1.

    • #22579 Reply


      @ Radek ……. In May 2016, M$ introduced optional monthly Convenience Update Rollups/CUR for Win 7/8.1 – hv to be manually installed via M$ Update Catalog. This was additive to the usual monthly Patch Tuesday of individual security n non-security updates – automatically installed via Windows Update.

      The first CUR in May 2016, KB3125574, was … (excerpt from technet) ….
      “We’re happy to announce today that we’re making available a new convenience rollup for Windows 7 SP1 that will help. This convenience rollup package, available to download from http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=3125574, contains all the security and non-security fixes released since the release of Windows 7 SP1 that are suitable for general distribution, up through April 2016. Install this one update, and then you only need new updates released after April 2016.”
      So, after a clean install of Win 7 SP1, users hv the option to manually install the May 2016 Convenience Update Rollup, KB3125574(= about 300MB in size for x86/32bit), or let Windows Update automatically install about 200 important updates individually.
      ……. Similarly, the June to Sept 2016 CUR were additive to the usual monthly Patch Tuesday of individual updates. IOW, users do not need to manually install CUR if they hv already installed the respective monthly Patch Tuesday of individual updates via Windows Update.
      So, u do not hv to manually install any of the CUR since u hv already installed about 200 important individual updates after the clean install of Win 7 SP1.
      In Oct 2016, M$ turned things upside-down by changing optional monthly CUR into mandatory monthly Patch Rollups(= security n non-security updates) n removing the usual Patch Tuesday of individual updates.
      ……. Manual install of individual updates via M$ Update Catalog was replaced by manual install of monthly Security-Only Rollups.

    • #22580 Reply

      Da Boss

      ch100 sent me an email on this very topic. I’ll try to get it posted in the morning.

    • #22581 Reply

      Da Boss

      “Illegal” is a very open question.

      I’m just taking a practical view. You can’t know what is or isn’t included in the final product. Thus, it isn’t a good choice.

    • #22582 Reply

      Canadian Tech

      Just today, I had a client bring me his son’s Windows 10 computer. He has had it with Win10 interrupting his work to do installs and leaving him no choice. He is just fed up with Win10. So, he asked me to install Win7. I just completed that task.

      I was very pleased that Acer offered all driver updates for Win7, 8.1, and 10.

      Starting from a Win7 SP1 disk, after an install, installation of KB3020369 & KB3172605, I began the WinUp process. 6 minutes delivered a package of 200 or so updates. After 1Hr. 45 min they were installed. There were several iterations before WU was complete.

      The process time saved by an SP2 would be about 2+ hours.

      I would however like to have an SP2 that included only Security updates and recommended updates issued prior to 1-1-2015. I would like to have that as insurance against MS destroying the current WU process that now exists.

      I fully understand that the only way I can get this particular “SP2” would be if I created it.

      In this case I made a Sys Image on 4 DVD+Rs. So, no matter what happens, he can always get back to the loaded complete Win7 system.

    • #22583 Reply


      @ CT ……. Excerpts from the link to the Win 7 “SP2” x64 iso …

      “ISO Media Install for Windows 7 SP1 x64 English and Spanish on DVD or USB with NVMe, RAID, USB 3.0, USB 3.1, Thunderbolt support and all windows updates until June 2016.

      This is not a pirated version. It has been created from an original copy of Windows that can be downloaded from the Microsoft website itself and does not include any activation key or any system activation. You must enter your activation key or only work for 30 days on trial version.

      Windows 7 is installed with all updates available to June 2016, including Internet Explorer 11 and except those that Microsoft uses to collect information from our use of Windows and those to try to download and upgrade to Windows 10 or show the Update Notification to Windows 10 constantly.”

    • #22584 Reply

      James Bond 007

      Once the Windows 7 / 8.1 “cumulative update change” come to light, I immediately set myself on patching all my Windows 7 / 8.1 systems to the September 2016 level (without those “rubbish” updates like KB2952664), and then creating an image for each of them.

      That way I will be able to, like you said, “have that as insurance against MS destroying the current WU process that now exists”.

    • #22585 Reply


      There is no such thing as SP2 for Windows 7.

      Some in the tech press were erroneously referring to the Windows 7 SP1 Convenience Rollup as “SP2”.

      The Convenience Rollup bring Windows 7 versions current to April 2016.


    • #22586 Reply

      Da Boss
    • #22587 Reply


      Update on optional updates – I went through all of them and I would consider installing these:

      1/ KB2685811 & KB2685813 – related to Driver Framework version 1.11 update; what does it do exactly?

      2/ KB2852386 – Disk Cleanup Wizard (https://www.askwoody.com/2013/windows-7-feature-kb-2852386-reclaims-wasted-space-drive/), seems like a nice thing

      3/ KB2966583 – System Update Readiness Tool update, has been mentioned here (https://www.askwoody.com/2016/bad-patch-lists/) as “Win10 nagware” but it comes from July 2014, so I guess shouldn’t be related; as I mentioned earlier, installing this makes >10 new updates show up

      4/ KB3078667 – dwm.exe memory leak fix; not a bad thing to install

      5/ KB2901983 – .NET Framework 4.5.2

      6/ KB3102433 – .NET Framework 4.6.1

      Anybody? 🙂

    • #99367 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Hi, my googling around wanting to install a telemetry free version of windows 7 pro 64-bit kept bringing me to articles by Woody and useful tips by Canadian Tech. Thanks to both you guys – its clear you are helping a lot of people.

      I recently bought a HP Probook 470 G3 (an okay but not high end laptop) specifically because it was still an option to get it with Windows 7 pro as opposed to Windows 10 pro. It came installed with Windows 7 pro but HP must have used an OEM:SLP (system locked pre-activation – a term I wasn’t aware of before) key (no COA (certificate of authenticity) sticker on the laptop chassis, no DVD for installing Windows 7 pro included, and Produkey (a product I’d heard Woody mention) pulled out the Product Key for me which I now know to be the standard HP OEM:SLP key).

      I found, frustratingly, that if I do a fresh installation of an older (telemetry free) Service Pack 1 iso, (I grabbed a version 676939 from Technet and checked the hash values against Microsoft’s) that putting in the Product Key extracted from my newly purchased HP installed copy, will not activate it – I get an invalid key even before connecting to the internet and talking to Microsoft phone activation just got me the repeated response the key is invalid go talk to HP.  It’s HP’s practice (and probably the practice of all major vendors like Dell etc) of saving itself some time (not individually activating each product key) that’s making telemetry free older versions harder for it’s customers to get.

      As it happens from years ago I also had another OEM copy (purchased probably from Amazon) which can activate an iso. I’d wanted to keep that key (stuck on the DVD box) for a new desktop build. Now I may have to buy another for the desktop build despite having essentially paid for a useless to me copy of Windows 7 pro in the HP ProBook purchase.

      Thought I’d mention the above because others reading might be interested to know that systems bought with Windows 7 pro 64-bit pre-installed (so you’d have drivers and could see that part working on opening the laptop) aren’t necessarily going to give you a product key that can be useful for activating another telemetry free earlier build of Windows 7 pro of the type Canadian Tech describes.

      One of the things I looked for and didn’t see in Canadian Tech’s series of steps re-described here by Woody – is exactly when product activation should occur. Perhaps it doesn’t matter.

      Apologies for the longish post.


      Edited to remove HTML content by PKCano.

      @bfp789 Please convert the Word(?) document to text before copy/paste. Otherwise it carries a bunch of HTML code. Thanks

      • #99373 Reply

        AskWoody MVP

        Most computers from OEM’s have a built in recovery partition and local backup software that allows you to make Recovery Disks. These are essentially ISOs of the original install. Check with HP if you can’t find what I’m talking about. The Recovery Disks automatically activate if the original OS was valid.

    • #99405 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger


      Absolutely, mine did. But the original install (because it was such a new build – february 2017) contained KB’s (KB3075249, kb3068708, kb3080149) that I knew included telemetry. And my concern was it might also contain others I didn’t know about. So I didn’t want to use the newly purchased original installation version at all ever as I wanted a telemetry free installation.

      I did a clean install using an older (telemetry free version of Windows 7 pro sp1 (dated from may 2011 so before telemetry came in around 2015 as I understand) iso – hoping to use the original (new) HP product activation key obtained (via Produkey) with the older iso to activate it. But I couldn’t. The HP product activation key wouldn’t activate my older telemetry free version. That’s my point.

      Another OEM key (legitimately purchased by me years ago and never used) would.

    • #100439 Reply


      Here is a different guide that seems to be comprehensive: “Clean Reinstall Windows 7” – https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/wiki/windows_7-windows_install/clean-reinstall-windows-7/0ae269fd-167e-423b-94ef-26133f89e10c.

    • #130640 Reply

      AskWoody Lounger

      Great read and sorry to bump…

      But can I suggest squeezing in between steps 4c & 5…the Win7 create/move user & program data to another disk or partition clean install sysprep procedure…for owners who have the SSD boot & separate HDD storage drives setup.


      That’s how i just did mine…and thanks again for the article and all the hard work!!!

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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