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Automated Installing after Clean Install of Windows

I looked into Task Scheduler and some apps for recording mouse+keyboard actions and repeating them, but I thought I'd ask for some recommendations to speed up the research process.

 

After yet another clean install of Windows, I need to install 50+ work-specific programs. Not stuff like Chrome, Office, etc., so some of the automated install programs out there won't work here. Each .exe I run has certain settings I need to tweak while going through the installer. Then afterwards, I move some of the files to different folders, and delete files I don't need. So, I'm looking for an automated task program that can:

-Create a folder

-Run .exes and mirror preferred settings

-Copy/paste or cut/paste files

-Delete files

-Open a .txt file that says 'done' when finished, or some other indicator

-Access files from another computer

 

It'd be awesome if the .exes can be run simultaneously, or 5-10 at a time. Is there maybe a way to modify an .exe to have the preferences built in so launching the .exe doesn't require steps after? And then set a task scheduler or other app to run all the single-serving .exes? And then maybe a powershell script after for relocating/deleting files?

 

The entire setup process should be capable of being done within 10 minutes if I can remove manual movements and install everything simultaneously. But it often takes 1-2 hours. Any thoughts?

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Just now, Oshino Shinobu said:

Why not get it all setup, then sysprep the system and use the sysprepped image to install on subsequent computers?

And then run windows updates after?

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2 minutes ago, 1045666 said:

And then run windows updates after?

You can install the updates on the system, then sysprep it. The image will then have the current updates already applied and all of your applications installed. 

 

Keep hold of the image and when the next set of updates come out, you can load it up, install the new updates, then sysprep again, then any new systems have the current updates applied already.

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10 minutes ago, Oshino Shinobu said:

You can install the updates on the system, then sysprep it. The image will then have the current updates already applied and all of your applications installed. 

 

Keep hold of the image and when the next set of updates come out, you can load it up, install the new updates, then sysprep again, then any new systems have the current updates applied already.

 

My only issue with this is if I make a mess of my system and need to do a clean install to reset configurations, those bad configurations would be carried over. And if I get updated .exes, I could replace them on the server so the automated process reads the updated .exe.

 

I can work with your suggestion, though. Can make a sysprep with a clean install + program installations. But I'd like the workflow to be using MediaCreationTool to get the updated W10, format drives and install W10, batch install work software, and then continue working on a like-new system. It's a small difference from what you're suggesting, so if I can't figure out a way to automate the installers, I'll just do sysprep.

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1 minute ago, 1045666 said:

 

My only issue with this is if I make a mess of my system and need to do a clean install to reset configurations, those bad configurations would be carried over. And if I get updated .exes, I could replace them on the server so the automated process reads the updated .exe.

 

I can work with your suggestion, though. Can make a sysprep with a clean install + program installations. But I'd like the workflow to be using MediaCreationTool to get the updated W10, format drives and install W10, batch install work software, and then continue working on a like-new system. It's a small difference from what you're suggesting, so if I can't figure out a way to automate the installers, I'll just do sysprep.

Your best bet would probably be to look towards converting the exes to MSIs that support unattended installs. You can then set things up to install in a variety of ways from there. That said, not all programs can be converted into MSIs and not all programs accept parameters that allow for unattended installs. It's not an easy or simple task to modify exes to allow unattended or scripted installs, though you might be able to hire an expert to do at least some of it. 

 

Sysprep is really designed for what you want to do. I doubt it's particularly likely that a config error on a program then requires a clean install, rather than just wiping that program and re-installing it with a new config, but I don't know which programs you're using so hard to say for sure.

 

You could look at setting up a server running WDS to streamline the process. It can make the capture and deployment of new images much easier.

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