Deployment Server Limitations to resolve

1) When a computer is deployed and the 2nd section of sysprep is run, it forces user to input a new user. question: Is there a way to just take the administrator account on its own without having to add new accounts?

2) When having modified the 'default profile' to use a limited profile with system setting changes, sysprep resets it back to using the administrator account, therefore removing all my changes. question: Is there a way to stop this?

3) I use 2 partitions on my company's laptops. the first for 'operating system' and 2nd one for 'data', I have created an unattend.xml script and tried to allocate it to the *.wim file in order to create a D: partition automatically on deployment but an error that "I cannot use this script with this type of image" appears,
Question: how can I either capture both partitions into one image? or IF not possible how can I get a script to create the 2nd partition for me when using Windows XP NOT Vista.
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PberConnect With a Mentor Solutions ArchitectCommented:
To create a second partition with data, WDS won't do it.  You'll need to put that data on the C partition and copy/move it over.  You can use DISKPART to partition the disks.  
Create a DISKPART answer file (paste the following into a text file and name it whatever you like):
rem Configure disk 0
select disk 0
create partition extended
create partition logical
assign letter=D

Just call DISKPART from an post setup script and point DISKPART to the answer file:
DISKPART.EXE /s youranswerfile.txt
echo y|format d: /fs:ntfs /v:DATA
Your disk arrangement may be different and you might have to adjust the disk number but this works for me every time.  You can also manually issue each command in the answer file into a diskpart session to debug and test.
Then just call an copy, xcopy or move command after the format to move your data from the C partition to the D partition.
1) could you specify what parameters you use when running SYSPREP.exe? Plus, it might be helpfull if you post your sysprep.inf (don't forget to remove any password / Windows product key). Normally, there is no prompt to create any new account.

2) This is behavior by design, when you run sysprep it copies Administrator profile over the "Default User". As a workaround use AD (or create a special local) account having administrative access. BEFORE running sysprep login as this user, delete Administrator profile and then run sysprep.
CSLSKYAuthor Commented:
I do not use a script for sysprep, just some standard paramaters when running it through the command line,
c:\sysprep\sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /reboot /reseal
would you suggest that I use the minisetup instead?

I always remove the computers from the domain before I sysprep the machine and add it manually later after the process, I use the local administrator account to add the computer to the domain at a later stage however I want any NEW user accounts to pick up the limited "users" default profile. Also adding the 2nd question about the admin account during oobe wizard, If i have deleted the admin account will it recreate it and then not ask to to create a new account myself?
and what process would i go about deleting the administrator profile? lusrmgr.msc and right click and delete administrator? If I am in that account how will I be allowed to delete it as it will be in use

Thank you for your fast response

Creating Active Directory Users from a Text File

If your organization has a need to mass-create AD user accounts, watch this video to see how its done without the need for scripting or other unnecessary complexities.

1) I personally using this command "SYSPREP -RESEAL -MINI -QUIET" - no any issue on XP or W2K3 server.

2) It is not critical to dis-join the domain before running sysprep. In fact, I never doing that. The newly imaged computer joins domain during Windows mini-setup (I have relevant lines in sysprep.inf).

No, you DO NOT need to delete user "Administrator" (I never tried but pretty sure it will cause a problem after reimaging) but remove Administrator's PROFILE right before launching sysprep: you could either use Delprof.exe (from Windows 2003 Resource Kit or right click My Computer | Properties | Advanced | User Profiles | Settings | select Administrator and click on Delete button.

I have seen that sometimes you cannot delete the profiles. As a workaround you might install User Profile Hive Cleanup Service ( - it will also might help to speed-up a user logoff / system shutdown.
CSLSKYAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your reply, I will try everything you mentioned

Any idea how to resolve question 3? capturing both C: and D: drive using WDS
igor-1965Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I have never worked with Windows Deployment Server (we use a different deployment technology in the firm) so I can't give you any "hands-on experience" advice.

But looking into this document: I believe you have to specify both partitions to be captured by Image Capture Wizard (VolumeToCapture option must include both c:\ and d:\ drives).
CSLSKYAuthor Commented:
The process of capturing an image from a reference computer involves running sysprep on the computer and then restarting, before the computer restarts back into windows however, you need to boot from the LAN and start the capture process, you then go through the wizard screens giving the capture a name and description, and if you have given the correct sysprep parameters the drop down menu shows the drives that you are ABLE to capture

also in the website that you listed above,
 Specifies the volume that is holding the Windows installation to be captured. This setting must be in the following format: drive letter, colon, back slash. For example: c:\"

There is not an option to specify 2 drives in this script, it only gives the space to specify either C:\ OR D:\
igor-1965Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Perhaps you are right and it is not possible to capture the whole hard drive but only partition. You probably could resolve it by creating two partitions BEFORE deploying the image. Here is the reference for using Diskpart utility for this aim:

igor-1965Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Considering you are booting up the target computer with WinPE you could use Diskpart: and then deliver the image to the first partition.

CSLSKYAuthor Commented:

Thank you for your reply. I have looked into the above solution but I still face the problem that the 2nd partition is created however the small amount of data that is stored on it will not be captured and deployed.

Is there any way that I can enable the deployment server to deal with the data in whatever method, including an XCOPY command if it comes to that (data is only around 100mb)


igor-1965Connect With a Mentor Commented:
As I mentioned I have no hand-on experience with WDS and cannot give you the tested scripts to achieve your goal but the general ideas are the same across all the deployment solutions:

- prepare the "master" PC with OS and applications installed and configured
- run sysprep (with the sysprep.inf customized per your needs like joining the domain, assign the name / password for administrator account etc.
- take image of the "master" PC to a network share
- on the target computer create the desired partitions (the general practice on user PC is to have a single partition) with the tools relevant to your deployment solution (Symantec Gdisk, Diskpart etc.)
- copy image to the target partition, and run Windows mini-setup (depending on the needs at that point you might also launch additional configuration scripts / tasks including copying the desired files from network shares etc.).

A bit more WinPE specific scenarios described here:

With respect to the Diskpart usage this seems to be a quite detailed description:

I can't find the step-by-step guides for using WinPE 2.0 for Windows XP deployment but some helpful advices are given here: (it also includes the example of Diskpart usage), and here:

I hope it will help.
It is so nice to get an "Assisted Solution" after I have chew up everything for you!
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