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I just restored the default factory settings of my Dell computer. It has Windows Vista installed and the restored version is quite old (SP1). I'm currently updating with Windows Update. Each time I update and open Windows Update again, it finds more to do. After each update I have to restart and log in again, only to find out that there are still more available updates.

Is there a way to automate all this? Click an update button only once and wait until the system is fully updated?

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migrated from Apr 29 '11 at 17:22

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This is the normal operation if you have reinstalled an old OS. There are updates which require reboots and there are updates which are prerequisites to other updates. The only ways to avoid this would have been to create a slipstreamed installation disc so you started with the latest service pack as a starting point, requiring far fewer updates and reboots.

As an alternative, when you first reinstalled if you had set up the default user with no password and to log in automatically and set the automatic updates on and to reboot when needed without prompting, it would have gone a bit quicker.

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Slipstreaming is the only way to perform an "all-updates-included" Windows installation. @BBlake covers the situation well - there are simply updates that need to happen first and those updates require reboots. That's life under Windows. Slipstreaming however is a nice solution in a few ways. As you prepare the slipstream you can strip out unwanted components and choose default settings. It also sets you up with a more secure installation because the OS is patched from the first moment it connects to the network.

Maximum PC provides a nice how-to article on slipstreaming for XP and Vista. Basically you'll use a program called vLite to merge together the Windows installation with downloaded service packs and hotfixes. Then you can customize components, settings and drivers before burning a burnable installation disc.

And a more generalized installation guide

  • make sure you have your activation keys and serials
  • deactivate programs like iTunes and Adobe CS
  • save and backup documents, saved games, settings
  • download the most recent hardware drivers
  • imaging your fresh system and other setup tasks
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