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Help with Sysprep

To all,

I am trying to make a sysprep image for deployment using ghost. My understanding of the processess is as follows:

1) create a master image with all software, configuration, etc
2) run sysprep -mini -reseal
3) create a ghost image of that machine

Theoretically when I deploy that image, the first thing that should happen when I reboot is it starts the mini-welcome screen
The issue I have is that after I run a reseal, it flags the computer to ONLY boot to the mini-setup. I cannot get the machine to PXE boot at that point to create the master ghost image, it will only boot to the OS and run the mini-welcome. This defeats the purpose of ghosting as far as I am concerned. There has to be a smarter way to do this but it eludes me at the moment.

Any thoughts on this? Is my method flawed?


Avatar of Crash2100
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Have you seen these articles on using SysPrep?

How to use Sysprep with Ghost

Introduction to cloning a Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP computer

How to Prepare Images for Disk Duplication with Sysprep

How to Use Sysprep: An Introduction

How to Move a Windows XP Installation to Different Hardware;nl;314070
Avatar of kkattfish

this is the way i do it now and have done it for a long time.  
do exactly as you state in your orig. post, however on step 2 just run sysprep -mini
then you will get a screen that pops up allowing you to click reseal manually and you can check some other options there as well.
now you will want it to shutdown after reseal which you will see that option.  once the computer has shutdown, at that point i use another comptuer to make a ghost boot disk compatible for that nic on the pc we just sysprepped.  now you will insert the disk and boot to that ghost disk.  from here you can either send the image to a ghostcast server, or to an external hd depending on your version and setup that you are doing.   it will do this because right now it is in the mini setup state and it has not been started into windows officially.  after you send the image via ghostcast or to your external hd, you can reboot that computer normally and then it will go into the mini setup for windows.  
now when you send out that image to all the new pc's you are imaging, once they have received the image from ghost and reboot, they too will boot up into the mini setup for windows.

i hope you are also using the answer file for sysprep, makes things so much easier.  let me know if you need more help.
Avatar of mweyant_marlin


Thanks kkattfish, I believe that I tried this method but I have attempted so many fixes that at this point I am not positive. Perhaps it only shuts down via pxe and booting by floppy is still possible. I will give that a try immediately. Oh, and yes I am using an answer file.
Ok, I tried your suggestion kkattfish and here is what I came up with:

After running sysprep, PXE is disabled and returns a PXE-M0F error. I then tried a ghost bootable floppy set for ghostcasting using the UNDI driver. Same error.

I then made a specific disk for ghostcasting using the actual NDIS driver for the NIC. This time I get a "Configuration error in protocol.ini" error, this same disk I have used many times before without an error. I checked the protocol.ini file and everything seems to be in order.

So, figuring that maybe the packet driver is causing an issue, I made another disk using just a drive mapping and the NDIS driver. Same error as the above line.

It would seem to me that somehow sysprep is disabling the onboard NIC after it runs. I have no idea why this would happen or what MS was thinking when they did this, but that is the only conclusion that I can reach at the moment. Any help would be appreciated.
Oh, and Crash, thank you for your answer. I am however intimately familiar with those documents. None of them specifically address the actual switches of sysprep during the creation phase, they simply say "run sysprep and then..." which doesnt give me the answers I need. Thank you anyway!
hmm, never experienced a boot problem after sysprep so i don't think the nic is disabled.  did you download the dos driver for the specific nic?  which nic is on the pc (brand/model)?  i have had to use a -fni switch within ghost when making a boot disk before.  i wonder if you are needign a switch for your nic card.  i can look it up if you give me the info.  also what version of ghost are you using?
Avatar of matrixnz
Hi Mweyant

Rather than use PXE Boot, boot from Floppy Disk, CD or USB Flash Drive and take the image using Ghost Cast, or Ghost Console.  It's always how I've done it.

that's exactly right, i have been trying to say that, but maybe i wasn't clear.  
ive tried that, still no results.

Boot from PXE network = PXE M0F error
Boot from floppy using UNDI driver = PXE M0F error
Boot from floppy using DOS driver specific to the NIC = "Configuration in protocol.ini"

I have used this *identical* floppy image with the DOS driver many times with success. It fails after running sysprep for some unknown reason. I am currently contacting the motherboard manufacturer to see if they have any insight since clearly this behaviour is particular to this hardware config.
what nic is in the laptop/desktop?  configuration in protocol.ini usually means there is a parameter switch needed, or the wrong driver.  let me know and i will check it.  i probably have a machine here in my office with the same nic.  
The nic is integral with the motherboard. EPIA M10000 by Via. The nic itself is a Via Rhine II using the FETND.dos driver. I would agree with your assessment that with that error message it is typically a configuration error, however how do you explain that it works pre-sysprep but not post?
Avatar of CetusMOD
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