Subscriber Robert Herzog wrote to ask me about how to merge the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 into Windows 7. Why would you want to do that? Read on…
I purchased a computer with Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed with an OEM installation CD. I recently installed SP1 and now when I want to use the System File Checker windows requests a CD with service pack one which I don’t have.
I thought I would slipstream SP1 but a friend tells me that only full retail copies can be used to slipstream. Could
you please tell me if this is true, and if there is a way around it otherwise I would never be able to use SFC again which is a very useful tool.
I wrote back to Robert to tell him that I couldn’t answer his question.
It’s a great question, but I haven’t tried slip-streaming SP1 yet. If that was a problem, I wouldn’t have the issue anyway, as my computers are home-built with retail copies of Windows 7.
I’d be surprised, though, if retail copies could be slip-streamed but system builder or or original equipment manufacturer (OEM) copy couldn’t be slip-streamed.
There really should not be much difference between the retail copy and a system builder copy. A retail copy obviously is meant to be installed on any kind of PC (but only one PC per license).
A system builder copy is a similar concept, but is designed for relatively small computer system builders, whether they’re shops or individuals, who build computers for resale. The system builder Windows 7 license specifically says that it applies only to computers that are built for resale.
An OEM Windows 7 DVD, on the other hand, has probably been modified by the manufacturer to limit it to work only on that manufacturer’s computers. It may be coded to look for manufacturer-specific motherboard features. It likely would have coding for CPU’s and chipsets removed for those that the manufacturer didn’t use. Whether those could be slip-streamed or not is almost a moot question – most large OEM’s no longer provide OEM Windows Operating System DVD’s.
Most large OEM manufacturers provide Restore DVD’s and not Windows 7 Operating System DVD’s. Some don’t even do that, but instead provide a recovery partition or make you run a program to make your own Recovery DVD’s on your own blank DVD disks.
You can not slipstream the service pack into recovery DVD’s, so you lose the capability to do System File Checker as soon as you add a Window service pack to your computer.
Since I had not installed Windows 7 Service Pack 1, and hadn’t previously checked into slip-streaming it into the Win7 DVD’s that I have, I did a brief Google search for
slipstream Windows 7 Service Pack 1
and found multiple online articles.
In the ones I read, I didn’t find any mention of a limitation like Robert had mentioned. Perhaps he had heard a comment regarding the PC’s that came with restore DVD’s, instead of a comment about OEM Win7 DVD’s.
However, I did see a comment from a Microsoft person on http://social.technet.microsoft.com that MS didn’t support slip-streaming on Vista or later. Period.
Robert wrote back to tell me how to slipstream:
Thank you for your quick reply to slipstream SP1 on windows seven you will need a utility called RT seven light which is freeware I will enclose a link for you to have a look, you just need to look for the 32 or 64 bit download as you scroll down. http://www.rt7lite.com/downloads.html. I will check with the local manufacturer and let you know what I find out.
I’ve downloaded RT Se7en Lite, which seems to be a pretty neat program. I haven’t tried to make my slip-streamed Windows 7 DVD’s yet. I have computers with Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 7 Professional with retail Windows 7 packages. I also have a notebook with Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed with a restore DVD – so I know I can’t make a slip-streamed OS DVD for it, since I don’t have an OS DVD.
Those who remember my Dell story last year will recall that Dell’s decision to stop providing Operating System DVD’s caused me to cancel the order I had just placed for a $3400 notebook to replace the Dell notebook that I used as my main computer, to be followed by a new small Alienware (a Dell subsidiary) notebook a couple months later for real "portable" use.
The result was that I built a desktop to be my main computer and bought a $700 Acer Core i3 ultralight notebook for portable use. If I couldn’t get the OS DVD’s, I had interest in paying the premium prices for a Dell computer. I saved a huge bundle with my home-brew computer and my notebook.
Read more in my articles Replacing My Notebook With a Desktop Computer and my Fast, Small, Light and Powerful — and It’s a Notebook!.