The latest Windows 7 SP1 ISO from MSDN contains almost every update for Windows up through that point, but does not include some optional packages. Specifically, it does not include the latest version of Internet Explorer. When setting up new computers, I like to have everything as up-to-date as possible. Is there any way to slipstream Internet Explorer 9 into a Windows 7 SP1 install disk?
Because some organizations cannot upgrade to IE9 due to requirements of old web apps which do not support all modern standards, it's typical for IE upgrades beyond the version included with the original release of the OS not to be included on a Windows disk.
It is possible however to integrate the latest version of IE into your Windows 7 source disk.
There is a very detailed article on TechNet about "Internet Explorer 9 Preinstallation Techniques" which outlines how to do this. I tried following the steps exactly, but ran into errors during the process and found it all rather tedious, so here is a more simple, summarized version.
Things you will need in preparation:
The process of extracting and manipulating windows installation disk files is very slow and time consuming. It takes a significant amount of processor power and a lot of disk activity to do all of these steps. There are a few things you can do if you have advanced hardware which will speed this up considerably:
If you have an SSD, do all of the "working folder" stuff on the SSD. You will benefit greatly from the faster access times.
If you have enough RAM to forfeit 5-10GB of it (so if you have about 8GB or more of RAM), I would strongly encourage you to consider putting some of the working files in a RAMdisk. If you don't, skip this paragraph as it doesn't apply to you. See What's the best ramdisk for Windows? for details on how to make a RAMdisk. I used imDisk to make a 16GB RAM disk and it worked very well, and sped up the operations by at least an order of magnitude. You can't say "no" to 1Gbps read/write times! If you can only make a small RAMdisk, I would make a virtual drive large enough for the WIM + about 500 MB for the stuff you're adding. If you have enough room (about 2.5x the size of the WIM) to put both the image and working directory in the RAMdisk, that would be best. Of course, you don't need to do this to follow the procedure.
I also found that having Microsoft Security Essential's real-time protection enabled significantly slowed down the speed of the operations, because it was scanning each file as it was extracted and integrated. I highly recommend that you temporarily disable real-time scanning on your antivirus software while doing these operations.
Note that this procedure involves a lot of typing out commands and trying to keep everything straight. Messing up is frustrating because it takes so long for a lot of the file manipulation steps to run. Through trial and error I created a batch file which almost entirely automates the process below. I will post this batch file on my website soon (just didn't quite have time now). If you like getting your hands messy, go for it and follow the steps below. If you would rather make things a bit easier, you can use my batch file to expedite parts of the process and reduce the chances of messing up.
This general process can be used to integrate any Microsoft Updates into your install disk. I chose to write about integrating IE9 because that's what I was trying to do. It can also be done to integrate drivers.
This will all be part of a much more detailed SU blog post on creating an integrated installer disk, but I wanted to get each of the components out there in an easily understandable form. After spending hours hunting tediously through forums and MSDN/TechNet documentation pages, I figured it was time to have some readable, comprehensive, and clear guides out there!
The following sites were instrumental in figuring out this process: