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I build custom PCs and would like to use the Windows 7 Preinstallation Kit to make installation go a little quicker and customize the Windows image. However, since each PC is built to a particular customer's specifications, the hardware will rarely be the same. So, I would like to have a single answer file that will work for everything. I'm not sure if that's possible, however.

What I mostly want to do for now is add my support information as well as pre-set anything that I would normally change after each installation completes. I have a Windows 7 Professional Upgrade DVD set (both 32-bit and 64-bit), but no OEM disks. I copied the Install.wim file to my local drive and opened it in the Windows System Image Manager, but it asks me to choose a catalog file specifically for each edition of Windows 7. Will this limit the answer file to whichever edition I choose? I would think choosing Starter would give me the most basic settings, which would apply to all other editions, but I'm not entirely sure of this.

I don't intend to install any extra applications or drivers. I merely want to insert an OEM disk, my OPK USB drive, and have it work for whatever edition of Windows 7 I'm installing. If a large number of similarly-configured PCs need to be built, I'll go ahead and create a custom answer file in that case, but for a single machine order, that seems like overkill.

In addition, do I need a separate answer file for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7? Or will it work for both, even though I copied the Install.wim file from the 32-bit disk?

Thanks!

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Im not very good with various MS tools so i used 3rd party tool to create an answer file. But since i have a fair bit of knowledge with Vista/Win7 installations then i can answer a few of your questions:

...asks me to choose a catalog file specifically for each edition of Windows 7. Will this limit the answer file to whichever edition I choose?

No i dont think so.Answer file should be edition independent.I have sucessfully installed Starter,Home Premium and Ultimate with the same answer file

do I need a separate answer file for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7?

Yes i think so.As far as i know there is only the difference of:

processorArchitecture="amd64"

vs

processorArchitecture="x86"

In answer file.All else is same.

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