How are some of you sealing your "master" image before the sysprep process? (So that you can restore that image and then sysprep again with needed changes further down the road?)
Usually I image with clonezilla before sysprepping and then restore that image some days later if I need to make any changes.
Any disadvantages to this?
Virtual environment, I use Hyper-V which keeps dodgy drivers out and I take a copy of the VHD before sysprep. I then sysprep it, mount the VHD via 2k8 r2 disk manager and then manually imagex it, quicker via a directly mapped drive on a beefy server.
Any suggestions for a non-hyper-v environment? Do you know off hand if when you image a non sysprepped image, when you restore it 200 days later if it still the "same" in regards to licensing? I am using volume media and not entering a product key because I use KMS in the district.
I am using WDS in the end.
Yeap, should be fine. Any virtual environment will do as long as it does not require embedded drivers. Some like Intel will literally poison an image (their driver dev teams should be punished).
You may need to register the image on occasion to get it all running while updating the image, you get several rearms (slmgr.vbs) which I tend to use to keep it all running before the sysprep - I think its 5 or so but you need to keep one free for the eventual image rearm. We end up doing images from scratch anyway just for cleanliness when there are major releases like SP1 for W7 and Office 2010SP1. This takes a little longer but you end up with a smaller cleaner image as a result.
We do universal images so keeping the drivers out of it till the last possible minute makes it workable over around 50 different device types.
By registering the image do you mean letting is activate with KMS? I just figure it would be ok to sysprep after making the changes (even if the image is 200 days old - ha!). I usually complete a sysprep generalize and handle the unattend with WDS.
But yes, I agree that just rebuilding the image is good too.
Sometimes I let it activate via KMS but usually just rearm it, as long as you have enough reactivations left your good. I just find some stuff binds up if it is outside the activation window like windows updates.