Most PCs that ship with pre-installed versions of Windows 7 come with extra software installed. Many tech savvy users call those additional programs bloatware, as they often consist of trial versions and other software that is usually not needed or desired by the user.
Some users remove those programs manually from the operating system, others use specialized software like PC Decrapifier which uninstall the most common programs automatically.
Winstallinator offers a third option. The new program is currently available as a beta and works the following way. The application creates a backup of OEM specific files (OEM Key and Certificate Files) on another storage device, with the option to restore those settings at a later stage. The program will furthermore copy itself to the same location, so that it can be opened from there to start the restoration process.
The user then needs to install Windows 7. The installation can be done from a Recovery disc, OEM disc, Windows 7 disc or downloaded trial version of Windows 7. Download links to trial versions of Windows 7 editions are linked in the application. It should be obvious that the same edition needs to be installed, so that it can be activated after installation.
The operating system needs to be installed without product key. All it takes after the installation is to restore the OEM information to activate the system. The result is a clean installed version of Windows 7 on the computer, without all the programs and trial versions that the manufacturer has added to the original version.
-Backup and Restore of OEM Activations (certificate files and the OEM key), removing the need to call microsoft when activating a clean install with the key on the underside of notebooks/back of desktops (functional, tested)
-Creation of List of Installed Applications (does NOT backup the apps themselves)
-Links for Legal Windows 7 Downloads
Driver Links/Search (Button currently exists, but does not do anything)
Firefox Profile Backup/Restore (Button currently exists, but does not do anything)
The developer plans to integrated additional features to the program, including an option to backup drivers as well. This could be a very interesting feature, as it may mean that users do not have to find drivers on the Internet for some of their devices.
Winstallinator is available for 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the Windows 7 operating system. The program requires no installation, but needs to be executed with elevated privileges.
The application in its current stage offers a time consuming, but very thorough way, of turning an OEM installation into a clean system. Many users will probably still opt to uninstall the OEM programs and features manually, as it is a less time consuming process.
Update: Winstallinator is no longer available. We have uploaded the latest working version of the program to our own server. You can download it with a click on the following link: Winstallinator.zip
Please note that we do not support the program in any way.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.