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SYSPREP mess

Experts,

I am new to Sysprep and need some lamen guidance.

Multiple PC's to roll out with single platform (xp sp2) same hardware and different applications on each.
I assume multiple images are the best?

I have loaded all applications under the default administrator account, registered the applcations and joined to the domain. I created a directory "Sysprep" in the root of C:\ and copied all the files in the deploy cab to this c:\sysprep directory.

I created a sysprep.inf file and placed in the C:\Sysprep directory and ran sysprep util and chose "RESEAL">Shutdown then rebooted the machine with GHOST disk to create image file.

Here comes the problems?
When I reload the image file back to the machine it started the asking questions such as time zone and password questions?
Was that Mini Setup? If so, why after creating the sysprep.inf with the util? That file was placed in the sysprep dir.
 What is the difference between answer file and Unattended.txt?
Why was the machine not associated with the DOMAIN, but still in a workgroup?
Why did I have to re assign admin password?

Thanks!

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link334
Asked:
link334
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1 Solution
 
star_trekCommented:
When I reload the image file back to the machine it started the asking questions such as time zone and password questions? Was that Mini Setup? If so, why after creating the sysprep.inf with the util? That file was placed in the sysprep dir.

Yes that is for minisetup.  THere are ways to automate minisetup. Here is the link:
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/deploy/minisetup.mspx


 What is the difference between answer file and Unattended.txt?
Answer file is unattened.txt

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mbritojrCommented:
Yes that is the mini setup that will run everytime after SysPrep. Edit the answer file to reflect the answers you would like to make in the setup.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;302577&sd=tech#ENACAAA
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link334Author Commented:
I thought I configured the an answer file when I used the "Setupmgr.exe" then renamed it Sysprep.inf and placed it in the C:\Sysprep directory which would prevent me from having to answer each of those questions during MINI Setup?
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link334Author Commented:
Unattend.txt is this the same as the "inf"file created by the "Setupmgr.exe"? If so, why does one use TXT and the other INF? I was thinking there may be a different purpose/application?
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star_trekCommented:
Sysprep.inf
Sysprep.inf is an optional answer file that can be used to automate the
Mini-Setup wizard. Normally, when the Mini-Setup wizard runs, it prompts the
user for a few standard pieces of information used to configure the
computer. However, if Sysprep.inf is present, Mini-Setup uses information in
Sysprep.inf instead of prompting the user. By using Sysprep.inf, you can
have Mini-Setup prompt for certain information, or create a completely
automated installation that does not prompt the user for information at all.

Sysprep.inf is similar to the unattended Setup answer file, Unattend.txt.
Sysprep.inf supports a subset of the parameters supported by Unattend.txt
plus a few Sysprep-specific parameters. You can use Setup Manager to help
create the Sysprep.inf file.

Note    To ensure that the options you specify in Sysprep.inf take effect,
Sysprep.inf must reside in the Sysprep folder on the system hard disk where
the Sysprep.exe and Setupcl.exe files are located or on a floppy disk.

And to add... If you use an unattend.txt as the basis for your sysprep.inf
, it ignores the extra stuff it does not understand.  You just need to
make sure your Sysprep info is correct.
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star_trekCommented:
ALso they both are used for different purposes

The unattend.txt file is the answer file needed by Setup to
perform an unattended installation.  

The sysprep.inf serves the same purpose as the unattend.txt, however it is used
in conjunction with the Sysprep process which is basically the MS way to clone a
machine.  YOu would use Sysprep if you wanted to roll out the same configuration
to hundreds or more number of machines.
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link334Author Commented:
star_trek,
So the Unattend.txt has more functionality than the Sysprep.inf? Also,"I created a sysprep.inf file and placed in the C:\Sysprep directory and ran sysprep util and chose "RESEAL">Shutdown "
Why did this not complete my MiniSetup since it was in the correct directory?
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link334Author Commented:
star_trek,
Sorry for that, I did not refresh the question?
"YOu would use Sysprep if you wanted to roll out the same configuration
to hundreds or more number of machines. " 

This is me, total 400 machine. I wanted a inf file to prevent MUNDANE work. :)
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star_trekCommented:
-mini switch shld be used to automate the minisetup when using sysprep
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link334Author Commented:
star_trek,
sorry to be STEEEEWWWWWpid, but place a check mark in the "Mini Setup" box in the Setupmanger to avoid or use the mini setup?
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star_trekCommented:
check mark for minisetup is to use minisetup
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link334Author Commented:
Star_trek,

Cool-
So when I ceated the sysprep with RESEAL and did not clicl mini setup this forced an minisetup "without" my inf file I created?
"I created a sysprep.inf file and placed in the C:\Sysprep directory and ran sysprep util and chose "RESEAL">Shutdown then rebooted the machine with GHOST disk to create image file."
I say this because of my original concern of having to go through and click time zone and admin password after reloading the image.
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star_trekCommented:
if you do not check minisetup then it will run windows install but would not set the guiunattend part which has

AdminPassword
Autologon
AutoLogonCount
OEMDuplicatorString
OEMSkipRegional
OEMSkipWelcome
TimeZone

Therefore you had to go through them after imaging.

In the link above mbritojr gave look for -reseal handle. It says "Clears the Event Viewer logs and prepares the computer for delivery to the customer. Windows Welcome or Mini-Setup is set to start the next time that the computer restarts."
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link334Author Commented:
Thanks!
That is the "lamen" explanation I was looking for. I had read that article previously, but could not make it out as clearly as you have described.

I appreciate the help.
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