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O/S Deployment Thread, Creating a Master Image compatible with different laptop hardware using sysprep in Technical; EDIT: Server 2003/XP Hi Everyone, Im using fog to deploy our images and currently its 1 image per laptop vendor ...
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    Lex
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    Creating a Master Image compatible with different laptop hardware using sysprep

    EDIT: Server 2003/XP

    Hi Everyone,

    Im using fog to deploy our images and currently its 1 image per laptop vendor because of compatibility issues.

    I have been told i can create a improved master image where i can use it on 3 different hardware machines without having to reinstall drivers via sysprep configuration/ parameter method?

    true or false? i imagine its something to do with the driver store? Any advice on how to do this?

    i want to be able to use 1 master image to work flawless without having to reinstall drivers etc on 3 different machines, for example Acer, Dell, HP

    Thanks
    Alex
    Last edited by Lex; 27th October 2011 at 03:00 PM. Reason: missing info

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Windows 7 and sysprep, insert the drivers into the image and you're good.

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    Lex
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    sorry i should of mentioned this but, we are server 2003 based and still on windows xp for sysprep so no fancy win7 stuff ;-)

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    right in that case build an image for XP...insert absolutely every possible driver you could need and go from there

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    Lex
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    what's the best method to do that, i know it sounds silly but i want to be accurate on this.

    system32/driver etc?

    theres got to be a better way to do it than just copying lots of driver files into the driver store as some drivers use applications which detect hardware first before install which wont work on different hardware.

    i have tried sysprep load onto new hardware and sysprep again with new drivers and then tested to see if that worked with both machines which does not. so something strange is stopping it from picking up the drivers correctly.

    We have 10+ images and its becoming a bog on our storage node!

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Last edited by SYNACK; 27th October 2011 at 03:43 PM.

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    We use FOG and sysprep for w7 deployment. Had the same issues as you but eventually went down the following route:

    For our master image we simply go through all the blurb then drivers, sysprep then upload to fog. We then deploy the image to a different machine type then install drivers then upload to fog - repeat etc.

    In sysprep we use the option do not keep driver setup, so its a fresh machine according to sysprep and it reinstalls the drivers again.

    This has worked fine for us on 7 different (mainly dell) machines types (laptops and desktops).

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    please remember this is for Windows XP, and not Windows 7

    And yes sticking all drivers needed in system32/driver would be acceptable. When the image is blitzed out, the machines should find the appropriate drivers for the hardware and if not, find the missing drivers and inject them into the image to save time in the future.

    A few small steps now saves lots of big steps later!

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    Duke5A's Avatar
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    Are all the machines you're building this for use Intel processors? Do they all use Intel chip sets? And have you ever modified the mass storage section of a sysprep answer file?

    I built and maintain an XP base image that works with a dozen or so models of machines, both Intel and AMD based. It is possible, and once setup it's easy to maintain.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but drivers aren't necessarily the problem with XP deployment. It's the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer).

    This MS KB article describes the problem.

    Windows 7 gets around this problems and you can have a 'single image fits all' out the box. Windows 7 also has a much larger driver database than XP and installs common hardware such as Realtek HD Audio automatically. This was forever a problem and always will be with XP.

    Just to make you aware, XP will officially be dropped by Microsoft in April 2014. No more security updates after this!

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    HAL is an issue with XP but can be worked around in most cases. Try this tool for adding loads of drivers and look at the sysprep guides as well for good advice on helping you with that "all in one" image.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but drivers aren't necessarily the problem with XP deployment. It's the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer).
    The HAL hasn't really been an issue with Windows XP deployment for a while. The ACPI Uniprocessor and ACPI Multiprocessor HAL types are interchangeable. If you build your reference image using the ACPI Multiprocessor HAL and set the sysprep answer file correctly, Windows XP will flip over to the ACPI Uniprocessor HAL when a single CPU is detected. This will make an image that can accommodate, from a HAL perspective, first generation Pentium 4 based desktops all the way up to the current i7 offerings.

    The only problem I've experienced with this setup is first generation Pentium 4 mobile chipsets require the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC HAl type. Since you can't go from the other HAL types back to this one, your reference image will be incompatible with these types of laptops. We don't use any laptops with early P4 mobile chipsets anymore so it hasn't been an issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke5A View Post
    If you build your reference image using the ACPI Multiprocessor HAL and set the sysprep answer file correctly, Windows XP will flip over to the ACPI Uniprocessor HAL when a single CPU is detected.
    I'm pretty sure that when using sysprep the only supported switch is actually from ACPI uniprocessor to ACPI multiprocessor because I used to keep a uniprocessor machine around to build images on.
    www.vernalex.com has all the information you need and, as suggested earlier, the sysprep driver scanner from the same site is really all you need to make universal images. The most awkward part to get right is the sysprep mass storage section but that doesn't really require as much maintenance in the long term.

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