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Master Image Construction for Multiple PC's Hardware Platforms (All Intel) for XP Professional w/ Volume License

vibesmaster asked
I am trying to build a Master Image for Multiple PC's about 11 different models / All Intel.
This is for Windows XP Professional  SP2 with a Volume License.
I will build the image / upload it to the server / and Symantec Ghost Case will bring it back to the PC's.
I need to automate this so it will auto detect everything on it's first boot.
Setup Manager does not appear to have an option for this.

Please provide and SOP and Microsoft references for you answers.

Best Regards
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When I want to make a generic image that will apply to all sorts of target hardware I do the following:

1 - Install the OS.
2 - install all my drivers.
3 - If I know what my targets will be I install their drivers too.  Otherwise I'll have to do drivers by hand post image.
4 - Patch up and configure my standard software.
5 - Reseal the OS.
6 - Image.

What is resealing?  Resealing is a process that tells the OS to act like it is booting up for the very first time next time you boot.  You know all the screens you go through when you install XP the first time?  Part of resealing is using "unattended" mode where you generate a script that will provide the answers to all those questions.  Then you reboot ... or in the case of imaging you shut down.  Your computer is now primed to start up "for the first time" ... only it has all sorts of software, patches, etc that it didn't have the first time and some extra driver options to consider when it tries to identify its hardware.

Image it in this state, and your image will be what you want.

The tool I use to reseal the OS is Sysprep and Microsoft documentation for it is here:



Hey Doc,
You point number 3, installing the drivers by hand.  This was what my questions was.  Automation.
I appreciate the info in image construction, I have sysprep also and use it, which is why I made reference to it.

I'm not sure how doable this is...your post is basically...making an image.

The issues would be
An image is build to auto detect everything...well...what about the chipset
So what if chipset is detected first...then what about the reboot and everything else.

This is what I'm looking for.
I build all images seperatly as we have 3000+ pc's and they have to be ready to plug in, join, and go.

Best Regards,
Well ... I did it by making a folder on C called drivers with a folder for each of my machine configs and haveing a script install them..  But the guy at this link has a better method:


-------------------- Quote ------------------
First, download the driver package from the hardware vendor and expand it. There should be a collection of .inf files in the top-level directory; that is the directory you need to copy to the OS distribution point.

To where should you copy it, exactly? That is a long story...

Under the i386 folder on the distribution point, create a folder named $oem$. Under that folder, create a folder named $1. Yes, really. Windows Setup will copy everything below the $1 folder to the %SystemDrive% (normally C:) during installation. See Microsoft's description of the distribution share for the gory details.

You may put your driver folder anywhere you like under the $1 folder, and you may add as many driver folders as you like. The install.pl script will automatically scan for all driver folders and offer to add them to the OemPnPDriversPath setting in the unattend.txt file for you.

Note: The total absolute length of any file name, including the leading \os\...\$oem$ portion, must not exceed 64 characters or winnt.exe will get an error when it tries to copy the file.


Hey Doc,
This looks good.
I'll give it a try and let you know the results.



How do configure the default exchange server for all users when they login.

I've copied user and admin profiles that were configured to connect and connecting properly to the exchange server.  I also copied these by just copying all the files and folders of the working profile into the Default User Profile as well as copying it through the users profile button under the advanced tab of System Properties.

None of this has worked.

There was a way I did it before with changing the registry key for it, though now, on this image, anywhere I see the exchange server I also see the users cn name 2 or 3 keys above it.

Does anyone know the right way to set this up and/or remember which key is the right one to change?

Best Regards,

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