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O/S Deployment Thread, Sysprep in Technical; Keep running into problems with sysprep, I have tried now 3 or 4 times to get a capture image from ...
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    neilmc's Avatar
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    Sysprep

    Keep running into problems with sysprep, I have tried now 3 or 4 times to get a capture image from a laptop, and im very much getting sick of sysprep IT DOESN'T WORK always gives me an error message when windows is doing its first start up and bassically I have to rebuild the machine and try again, well to be honest im kinda getting sick of spending a morning rebuilding this laptop with the same software over and over again, to be faced with sysprep failing on me again and again and again.

    Is there any alternative to sysprep? is there something I am doing wrong? is sysprep supposed to just 'work'?

    Any guidance much appreciated.

    Thanks

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    What are you using to image the PCs, and what error message are you getting?

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    EvLPhenom's Avatar
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    Sounds like the problem where it just keeps going through a cycle and will not work after until you rebuild.

    As a course of action i would rebuild your image until you have it the way you want and then take an image of that without the sysprep so that if it fails you dont have to rebuild it again.

    As for the error what OS are you building for as it may help with solving the problem.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    If you want to capture and deploy a Windows image then yes you need to use Sysprep.
    A good idea is to build the machine and take an image *before* you sysprep, that way if the sysprep fails then you can restore the pre-sysprep image and avoid rebuilding the image.

    Post the error for us to have a look at.
    Last edited by sparkeh; 23rd June 2011 at 04:11 PM.

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    ^^^ What sparkeh said - I've been prepping my image today, and I always take a snapshot before I actually sysprep. Also, with VLK you don't have to rearm the activation so you can sysprep the machine as many times as you want (as opposed to 3 times on OEM machines).

    As for problems with sysprep, it's always just worked for me, but post the error and we might be able to help.

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    DrCheese's Avatar
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    To save yourself having to rebuild every time, install a Virtualisation package like ESXI on a spare machine. That way you can build your image on that and snapshot it before you sysprep it. If it fails, you just revert the snapshot.

    My master Windows 7 image is done like this, whenever I want to update it I revert to pre sysprep, make my changes, snapshot it again and sysprep. It's so, so much Win

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    neilmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    If you want to capture and deploy a Windows image then yes you need to use Sysprep.
    A good idea is to build the machine and take an image *before* you sysprep, that way if the sysprep fails then you can restore the pre-sysprep image and avoid rebuilding the image.

    Post the error for us to have a look at.
    Yes I am using WDS to capture and deploy. How would I go about taking an image before syspreping if I need to sysprep to use WDS?

    I didn't get chance to take a picture of the error before the machine restarted but if it appears again I will take a screen shot.

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    I do it with an external hard drive and Acronis, but there are a number of ways to achieve it - easiest is the VM/snapshot method above though!

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    might be worth posting your sysprep file incase anyone can see any obvious errors

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilmc View Post
    Yes I am using WDS to capture and deploy. How would I go about taking an image before syspreping if I need to sysprep to use WDS?
    Well the point of using sysprep is to enable you to apply that image to another machine (I guess it kinda unties that installation from that machine and when you apply it to another machine, mini setup ties it on to that machine (or at least that's how I think about it)). You don't need to have run sysprep to take an image and there is no problem with taking an image of a machine that hasn't had sysprep applied, then re-applying that image to the same machine.

    So that way you can take an image of an unsysprepped machine and keep applying that image back to the original machine and take sysrepped images to apply to other machines.

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    eddyc's Avatar
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    If your trying to capture an image of a Windows 7 pc, I found that you must use a domain administrator account to run sysprep - if you log in locally, we get stuck into this endless loop, like the one that you talk about.

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    Hi

    We had loads of problems getting sysprep to work.

    What we found was that the machine had to be fully patched and that it had not to have a restore partition.

    What we had to do was wipe the machine completely including all partitions and then reinstall from dvd with all programs and it worked ok.

    Richard

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    I spent about two weeks working out my sysprep and unattend xml files. Just so were on the same page.

    When you are deploying W7 you are using an unattend xml yes (sysprep.inf is for XP deployment)? If you like, i can post up an example for you to see. 'Il highlight the changes to be made for you'. Its a very basic xml but lets me select the image i want and walk away. Come back 25 minutes later its sat at the logon screen.

    I use an ext HDD and CD ghostboot to capture my master image before sysprepping! (Just my 2p)

    Let me know if you want it and il post up. Dont give up on, when its working its great!

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    themightymrp's Avatar
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    We found that we have to dis-join the machine from the domain (i.e. stick it on a workgroup) before we take the sysprep image. Otherwise we get failures during the generalize phase and it screws everything up! Doing this has cured a lot of problems. You can use the unattend.xml file to rejoin the machines to the domain after imaging

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by themightymrp View Post
    We found that we have to dis-join the machine from the domain (i.e. stick it on a workgroup) before we take the sysprep image.
    You should always use a workgroup machine to use sysprep, never a domain machine, this is standard practice.

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