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Windows 7 Thread, Sysprep Windows 7 pro in Technical; Hi, I'm trying to duplicate a new windows 7 Pro Laptop to 17 others to save some time. Here is ...
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    HCC
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    Sysprep Windows 7 pro

    Hi,

    I'm trying to duplicate a new windows 7 Pro Laptop to 17 others to save some time.

    Here is the scenario:

    Have 18 Dell E5500 Laptops with Windows 7 Pro
    Have customised one - went though oobe then installed required software, removed junk etc
    Now i want to duplicate it to the other 17 laptops - I want to use WDS to capture the image, then multicast it, as I have done with XP previously.

    With Xp I was able to copy the c:\sysprep folder from a factory fresh laptop using winpe (before it went through the oobe), then reapply it after I had made the changes to it. Capture - then use on other laptops.

    I tried the same process in W7 but the sysprep folder is no longer in the root of the drive. I've found an unattend.xml file in c:\windows\panther folder, but sysprep says the answer file contains one or more elements which have already been processed. The unattend also doesn't have any key in it unlike the xp version.

    Am I trying to achieve the impossible? Is the only way to install all the software manually 17 times?

    Thanks,

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    teejay's Avatar
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    sysprep doesn't need copying across, it's in c:\windows\system32\sysprep by default on WIndows 7. Just run that, generalize and then use the wds capture image win pe image to capture the modified image.

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    HCC
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    OK, I'll try without the unattend.xml file by just running sysprep from c:\windows\system32\sysprep.
    Does it cause any activation issues? Do I need to generalize if the hardware is the same?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCC View Post
    OK, I'll try without the unattend.xml file by just running sysprep from c:\windows\system32\sysprep.
    Does it cause any activation issues? Do I need to generalize if the hardware is the same?
    I tend to generalise so the image can be used on other hardware, for instance if you got another batch of laptops in. Activation should be done through KMS keys ideally, otherwise put the key in an unattend file and attach it to the image through the wds console.

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    So - based on a quick search..

    I install KMS on a server using slmgr /ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx with a volume key that does servers and clients - The KMS can only have one key.
    Then Windows 7 clients will sort activation out themselves and XP and Server 2003 are unaffected because they don't understand KMS?

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    Yep that's right, the only gotcha is that desktops won't activate until there has been 25 activation attempts. You can check the activation count through slmgr.

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    You do need to generalize especially if using KMS because the generalize process generates new machine IDs which are used by both WSUS and KMS. If the image is not generalized then when they are all started they will only count as one machine on the KMS server and won't get you up to the 25 client threshold. If you already have 25 clients then it will activate them but it is still better to sysprep /generalize.

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    So if I need to generalize can I use an answer file like below to /PersistAllDeviceInstalls and make the oobe phase quicker. - I don't intend to use this image on any other type of computer.

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
    <settings pass="generalize">
    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
    <SkipRearm>1</SkipRearm>
    </component>
    <component name="Microsoft-Windows-PnpSysprep" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
    <PersistAllDeviceInstalls>true</PersistAllDeviceInstalls>
    <DoNotCleanUpNonPresentDevices>true</DoNotCleanUpNonPresentDevices>
    </component>
    </settings>

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    You can, yes.

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    Silly question, but we have prepared an image on a base machine and have tried rolling out to another and it loops on Startup Repair. I presume we need to push a sysprepped image out to the other machines but am somewhat confused as to what options to select as its different from XP.

    We dont want to reset any settings such as local admin password or product key. Just push the same image onto a machine with different hardware.

    Anyone have any ideas if this can be done with the new sysprep and how?

    Also Is there a wizard for the unattended file like in the old one?

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    Yes you need to sysprep as previously said. Windows 7 product keys should be done using a KMS server, not by putting a MAK key in the image as you'll run out of MAK key activations. Local Admin should be set using an unattend file.
    How Windows 7/Vista deploy is different to Windows XP and takes a bit to get your head round it and out of the previous ways of doing things. If you are using WDS for deployment, get hold of WAIK to sort out your unattend scripts, or MDT 2010 which automates some of it, but perosnally I founf it better just using WAIK once you get it figured out.
    The way we work now with Windows 7 is just to have 1 standard image we deploy, with drivers deployed through wds, product key through kms, any customisations in the unattend file or done through group policy and software deployed through group policy. It really does make things easier to maintain in the end and much more flexible.

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    Hi

    Thanks for the reply, the problem we have at the moment when doing that is it seems to lose settings such as applications we have selected to run in XP compatability mode are no longer set to do this when we restore the image on a different machine. Is there a way to retain all these settings?

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by ba9ag View Post
    Hi

    Thanks for the reply, the problem we have at the moment when doing that is it seems to lose settings such as applications we have selected to run in XP compatability mode are no longer set to do this when we restore the image on a different machine. Is there a way to retain all these settings?

    Thanks
    You probably need to put these in the default user profile, do the following:
    Customize a user profile as needed
    Go to Control Panel and create a new dummy admininstrator
    Reboot, log in as the dummy admin
    Browse to C: and go into the Folder settings and Show all hidden/system files
    Browse to C:\Users and CTRL-drag the Default folder to make a second (backup) copy of it
    Browse to C:\Users and CTRL-drag the customized user profile to make a second copy of it
    SHIFT-DEL the original Default folder
    Rename the customized folder copy to Default
    Create a new dummy admin and reboot/log in to test it

  14. Thanks to teejay from:

    ba9ag (5th August 2010)

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    Your right I was working on an old image which didnt have the revised Default profile! All working now when I sent out the correct one.

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