Cloning Windows 7 / 8
I know this question has come up numerous times over the years and has always had a mixture of answers. In short, is it possible to simply clone a Windows 7 machine (or Windows 8) using something like Clonezilla and simply restore it on a suite of machines rather then using the WDS setup?
I believe Windows 7 is different in terms of cloning then XP and the Sysprep is different. Do I need to run the Windows 7 version of Sysprep, I heard that you don't need to do this as Windows 7 will automatically regenerate a new SID, I would just need to change the Systems Name.
Can anybody confirm this for me?
technically yes and if you have enterprise you may even be able to activate them but they would all have the same sid which would probably at the very least confuse wsus and is likely to cause you more problems than just firing out a sysprepped image
You can clone them with ghost or any other similar software. You will however have to sysprep them which on the new versions is a bit of a pig to sort out (you can create them using the Windows System Image Manager which is part of the WAIK)
I've always used sysprep for Windows 7 images whether on WDS or capturing a standalone image saved on a external device such as Acronis. You would have to create an answer file using Windows System Image Manager and customise your answer file - use this link to help you create a basic one (Network Management: Deploying Windows 7 to a domain)
And after you've created your answer file run the following command "sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:c:\windows\system32\sysprep\[NAME OF ANSWER FILE].xml
Hope this helps?
Moving to O/S Deployment forum.
I've been using FOG to clone an image and deploy and have not been sysprepping or creating a new SID in any other way that I have had to intervene in. I do get a nasty message telling me I have a pirated copy of Windows - but that goes away once I activate. It has to activate with MS as I'm using MAK as we don't have EES for Win 7, but I've just set up my KMS host and it seems to be recognising the Win 7 licences. From what I've read, my local KMS host working with VAMT should be able to take care of re-activation of MAK licences too as it can register hardware automatically based on info it gathers from the system. It then won't use up activations on my MAK licence when I re-image the same machines.