Setting Up Many Windows Computers Quickly

How to set up a bunch of new computers for deployment to your staff. This page is under construction.

Using a USB key, build up the Offline Update boot disk.
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I didn't make the USB key self-starting. Instead, I put the updater into a folder. Once the key is working, burn it to CDs - one CD per computer.

Take the computers and start them up. Then, insert the CD into each computer, and run the updater.

Once done, run Windows Update to install any updates that the offline updater didn't install. This will take a while - but less time than if you didn't run the offline updater.

If you really wish to reduce the time spent downloading, you should put the additional updates into the offline updater disc.

In Vista, the updates are installed from .msu files. This site: has information about msu files, and how to extract them into cab files and xml files.

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An alternative method is to use disk imaging. The most popular product is Norton Ghost. What you do is set up one computer, then build an image of the disk. This image is copied to all the other computers.