Installing Windows 7 by combining its install.wim with Windows 10

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by catsmoke, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. catsmoke

    catsmoke MDL Novice

    Feb 9, 2018
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    From what I've read in several places on this forum, the installation of Windows 7 can be improved, or at least be made easier, by combining the Windows 7 install.wim file with the other files that come with a Windows 10 .iso file.

    From what I understand, this is due to the Windows 10 files having USB drivers among them—necessary drivers that the standard Windows 7 installation .iso lacks—and because the Windows 10 .iso includes more-recent versions of various Windows files, making these files better to have, even in a Windows 7 installation.

    So, in order to do this, I would extract the files from a Windows 7 .iso file, and I would also extract the files from a Windows 10 .iso file. Then I would take the Windows 7 install.wim file, go to where I have the Windows 10 files that I had extracted from its install .iso, and paste the Windows 7 install.wim over the Windows 10 version of the same file? And then recombine this collection of what had been, principally, Windows 10 files, into an .iso file which would now be a Windows 7 installation .iso?

    If my idea of how to combine the Windows 7 install.wim with Windows 10 files is incorrect, please explain how it is to be done.

    (If this is, overall, a foolish and ignorant proposition, I apologize. I comprehend little, regarding these matters.)
     
  2. malakoulis

    malakoulis MDL Novice

    Feb 3, 2012
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    This is the whole idea, not foolish at all. I have done that too because I wanted to use install.esd which is not supported by a windows 7 media. I used windows 8 media as source because the language preferences during setup are more similar to windows 7's. I also followed a guide written from a member here of how to make the installation environment of windows 8 look like the one from windows 7. The only thing I couldn't change was the initial moving graphics.
     
  3. shhnedo

    shhnedo MDL Senior Member

    Mar 20, 2011
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    There's not much point in using this method if your install.wim doesn't have the correct usb3/nvme/sata drivers integrated(simply put).
     
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  4. catsmoke

    catsmoke MDL Novice

    Feb 9, 2018
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    #4 catsmoke, Oct 23, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
    (OP)
    My impression was that the files from the Windows 10 .iso would include the USB3 drivers which the Windows 7 install .iso lacks.

    But when you say "integrated" into the install.wim, this makes me think that the installation process started by the Windows 7 install.wim file will not use the USB3 drivers that are in the .iso (those files having come from the Windows 10 .iso).

    Will my Windows 7 .iso, which consists of a Windows 10 .iso with its install.wim replaced by that from a Windows 7 .iso, not use the USB3 drivers in its "new home?"

    Please pardon my ignorance. How does the installation process work? What is the role of the install.wim file? And how do the other files from the installation .iso contribute to the installation process?
     
  5. shhnedo

    shhnedo MDL Senior Member

    Mar 20, 2011
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    You misunderstand. A windows iso contains a boot.wim(the installation PE(environment)) and an install.wim(the windows os which you want to install). The boot.wim's job is to simply prepare the hdd/ssd and copy whatever is in the install.wim to the hdd/ssd. The idea of using windows 10's iso means you're using windows 10's boot.wim, because it has native support for things windows 7 doesn't. You're still installing your windows 7 from your install.wim/install.esd. After the first reboot, you're no longer using the boot.wim, you're finishing the installation of whatever was copied to the hdd/ssd.So, if you initially DID NOT integrate the needed usb or w/e drivers into your install.wim, you could end up with non-working mouse/keyboard and be stuck after the first reboot.
    This is why you need to integrate the needed drivers into your install.wim anyway.
     
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  6. Atari800XL

    Atari800XL MDL Addicted

    Apr 3, 2011
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    Well said, shhnedo.
    Of course, another option is to separate boot.wim and install.wim altogether, which means booting your boot.wim (PE) first, create your own shell/ prompt/ gui, do the apply of install.wim yourself (or have several install.wim files on your usb), and have all the extra power and control of adding any drivers necessary (manually or scripted) , along with registry tweaks/ kms emulators, etc. etc.
    Then do the final reset to start to actual setup.
     
  7. catsmoke

    catsmoke MDL Novice

    Feb 9, 2018
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    Thanks very much.

    I did not have a good grasp on how it works.

    I appreciate your guidance.