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O/S Deployment Thread, Machine Specific Windows 7 Image Cloning in Technical; Hi, I need to clone a Windows 7 computer to other same model\hardware computers. With XP computers we can set ...
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    HCC
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    Machine Specific Windows 7 Image Cloning

    Hi,

    I need to clone a Windows 7 computer to other same model\hardware computers.

    With XP computers we can set up an image, clone with imagex to a wim file. Then deploy to other computers and use newsid to rename, then join the domain. = Simple and quick.

    I have yet to succeed in finding a similar quick method for Windows7. All the documentation I can find is for creating an image that will work on any hardware. - I know it's strange, but I don't want this, all our images are hardware\model specific because we buy machines in batches for specific departments. So each one has different department specific software and drivers installed.
    I know sysprep is the answer, but I can't seem to find the right combination of options that does what I want.

    Can anyone help me save some time with a sysprep script file that keeps the drivers and shuts-down so I can clone it to a wim? I then don't want it to take ages optimising settings and rebuilding the driver database, create a new user etc on first image boot. At most I want it to ask me what name it should have, maybe domain join and nothing more. Is this possible?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCC View Post
    At most I want it to ask me what name it should have, maybe domain join and nothing more.
    We use FOG to clone disk images - the FOG client assigns the machine name and joins to the domain automatically, we can now start a machine imaging and have it automatically join the domain, install any software and turn itself off when it's done. I can't give you an example of our unattended.xml file as I can't remember which parts are our own install codes, but I only copy-and-pasted that from a site I found via Google anyway. We run sysprep by doing:

    Code:
    cd C:\Windows\System32\sysprep
    copy \\server\share\unattended.xml .
    sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:unattended.xml

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    Same as above, using FOG, Windows 7, unattend.xml. I currently add them to the domain manually, but I can automate that too. I also make machine specific images, but tend to roll out the same software overall (Office 2010, CS5.5, etc).

    Build your unattend.xml file using the WSIM program from the WAIK .iso (Download: Windows® AIK for Windows® 7 - Microsoft Download Center - Download Details). I had to make a few manual tweaks to the xml file afterwards, such as for getting the administrator account active, but now I sysprep, upload with FOG, roll out the image - it just asks for a PC name and that's it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCC View Post
    I have yet to succeed in finding a similar quick method for Windows7. All the documentation I can find is for creating an image that will work on any hardware. - I know it's strange, but I don't want this, all our images are hardware\model specific because we buy machines in batches for specific departments. So each one has different department specific software and drivers installed.
    I know sysprep is the answer, but I can't seem to find the right combination of options that does what I want.
    Unfortunately that's just the way Windows 7 works. In practice I support many sites using different types of hardware and Windows 7 allows me to cut this down to fewer images (depending on requirements).

    You should be able to name images, so it's clear what department(s) the image is for. There probably will come a time in future when a machine breaks, it's beyond repair and it's replaced. You can replace it with a similar make/model or a completely different make/model.

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    Wds will do machine specific images just need to edit your sysprep file to not remove the drivers and give the files sensible names

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    HCC
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    OK, another related question. I have some new Dell Laptops here to set up for staff. I have learnt about 'audit mode' and how I might be able to use it.
    Would this work?:
    Turn on Dell Laptop,
    Press Shift, Ctrl, F3 at OOBE setup screen
    Add office software etc and remove dell crap.
    Re-activate sysprep using Dell's unattend.xml - not sure how to do this though 'sysprep /oobe'??? does it use the panther unattend.xml file?
    Clone to other laptops

    Then all laptops will load, I can name, make local account etc and all our software will be there, after it finishes.
    Last edited by HCC; 27th March 2012 at 02:57 PM.

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    Moving to OS Deployment forum.

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