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Windows Thread, Sysprep help needed in Technical; I would appreciate some help from any sysprep experts out there! Answers in Newbie basic please! We are running a ...
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    Andie's Avatar
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    Sysprep help needed

    I would appreciate some help from any sysprep experts out there! Answers in Newbie basic please!

    We are running a mixed workstation setup, with Win2000 and WinXP clients all running from a Win2k3 server with Learning Network Manager installed. Currently, with the XP machines, software installs are done in bulk to one machine, then I sysprep that machine before booting from LAN (pressing F12 key) and taking an image. The sysprep.inf file was set up for me by the ICT provider for these machines and runs the Windows setup unattended except for prompting for the Computer Name.

    I need to take an image from our Win2000 machines, but am not at all confident about the sysprep.inf that I should use. Viglen created the sysprep.inf file that relates to these when we had the Classlink 2000 network. I have printed off both the new (WinXP) and the old (Win2000) sysprep.inf files to compare. I can see some obvious changes that need to be made to the old one, such as admin passwords, but am not sure about others. In particular:

    a)Does the line beginning ProductID contain the product key for the workstation operating system?
    b)Do I still need the following section beginning:

    ;The following key is only supported by Sysprep v1.1.
    ;This section allows a SYSPREP image to install on a machine
    ;with any of the drive controller types matching the
    ;plug and play IDs of the lines below.
    ;
    ;Format of this section is:
    ; <PlugAndPlayID> = <location of supporting *.INF file>
    ;
    ;Any lines ending in MSHDC.INF are for IDE drive support.
    ;Any lines ending in SCSI.INF are for SCSI drive support.

    Also, am I right in thinking that I would still need to run the older version of the actual sysprep utility on the Win2k machines?

    I don’t have any test machine to practice with.

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    Jon
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    Re: Sysprep help needed

    you would probably find it quicker and easier it to run "setupmgr" (found in the sysprep directory extracted from the win2k3 CD) This will create a brand new .inf file for you...with all of the settings as you want them.

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    Re: Sysprep help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Andie
    a)Does the line beginning ProductID contain the product key for the workstation operating system?
    Yes
    Quote Originally Posted by Andie
    b)Do I still need the following section beginning:
    Probably not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andie
    Also, am I right in thinking that I would still need to run the older version of the actual sysprep utility on the Win2k machines?
    I'm pretty sure that the versions of sysprep are different so it's probably best to use that one that's in the deploy folder on your 2000 CD.

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    Re: Sysprep help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by Big-Jon
    you would probably find it quicker and easier it to run "setupmgr" (found in the sysprep directory extracted from the win2k3 CD) This will create a brand new .inf file for you...with all of the settings as you want them.
    Will this work with Win2k machines? Which version of the actual Sysprep utility would I need to then run on the win2k machines? Is there any further help available on setupmgr? I really am new to this!

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    Jon
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    Re: Sysprep help needed

    As far as I am aware the version of sysprep found on the win2k3 cd (sysprep ver2) will work with both xp and win 2k.

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    Re: Sysprep help needed

    Ok, further query. What would be the impact on the machine/network if I make a mess of taking this one image from a Win2k machine? Previously, if my memory serves me right, when I have sysprepped these under the Viglen Win2k server setup, the workstation that I sysprep and take the image from then has to have the image restored to it before it will work. So am I potentially going to break a machine? or worse???

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    Jon
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    Re: Sysprep help needed

    You should not have to reimage the source machine.

    a:- Get it exactly as you want it to be.

    b:- Run sysprep on it.

    c:- Shut it down.

    d:- Take your image from it.

    e:- Restart it and it will run the minisetup wizard ( if this is the option you selected) and all should be good to go.

    This should have no impact on your network

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    Re: Sysprep help needed

    Incidentally before running sysprep ensure you have CDROM booting selected or some way of ensuring it doesn't boot up to HDD by mistake after running sysprep and shutting down.

    I had the annoying problem of missing the BIOS prompt after syspreping last year and before I knew it the damn thing was halfway into loading XP. I ended up setting it up again then running sysprep a second time. Pure annoyance but something I'm overly careful about now!

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    Re: Sysprep help needed

    just one more tip - make sure you do all your settings etc logged on
    as a local admin, which does become default profile after sysprep

    another thing - I always make first image before sysprep, then sysprep and create image after sysprep. It does save you some time if you have to modify your image just a bit and make another one.

    It is always good idea to defrag your HDD before creating the image.

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    Re: Sysprep help needed

    If you use ImageX rather than Ghost to make the image then you don't really need to worry about defragging - instead of making an image of the used clusters it makes a file based image; this means that when it's restored, each file gets put back in order with no fragmentation.

    I like ImageX :-)

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    Re: Sysprep help needed

    Ok, thanks to all those who have reponded so far. Perhaps I should have said that I have sysprepped machines a lot already using inf files created by the ICT providers, first under the Viglen 2000 setup and then dealing with the XP machines on the Win2k3 vanilla setup. My problem is how to deal with the Win2k machines on the Win2k3 server. And no longer having an ICT provider to sort this out for me...

    Quote Originally Posted by Big-Jon
    you would probably find it quicker and easier it to run "setupmgr" (found in the sysprep directory extracted from the win2k3 CD) This will create a brand new .inf file for you...with all of the settings as you want them.
    And...

    Quote Originally Posted by Big-Jon
    As far as I am aware the version of sysprep found on the win2k3 cd (sysprep ver2) will work with both xp and win 2k.
    I have been digging around a bit, using this information as a starter. I managed to locate setupmgr in the SYSPREP folder on a share on the server. (This is the folder I have to copy across to the root of the client before running SYSPREP). From the Microsoft website, I established that there is more info on the Sysprep/Setupmgr process in a file called deploy.chm which would normally be on the Server 2003 CD, but has been helpfully installed into the SYSPREP folder on the share. To run deploy.chm, I have to copy it to my client and then double click it. And, lo and behold, under "Using Sysprep" it states:

    "You can use this version of Sysprep only on Windows XP installations. You cannot use this version of Sysprep on a Windows 2000 installation."

    So I think I am probably going ahead with advice from altecsole (thanks!) and using the old Syprep version that came with Windows 2000. And I will have another look at editing the Sysprep.inf file myself, using Notepad. It is mainly the issue of the section beginning:

    ;The following key is only supported by Sysprep v1.1.
    ;This section allows a SYSPREP image to install on a machine
    ;with any of the drive controller types matching the
    ;plug and play IDs of the lines below.
    ;
    ;Format of this section is:
    ; <PlugAndPlayID> = <location of supporting *.INF file>
    ;
    ;Any lines ending in MSHDC.INF are for IDE drive support.
    ;Any lines ending in SCSI.INF are for SCSI drive support.

    that is still bothering me. I don't want to uninstall drivers by mistake.

    Thanks again for your help. Further comments very welcome.

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