Solved

How to revert an XP/Vista computer to pre-setup state

Posted on 2008-10-29
3
336 Views
Last Modified: 2008-11-04
You know when you get a new, pre-loaded computer, and Windows Setup starts automatically?  I'd like this to occur on a computer that had been set up previously.

I occasionally re-sell computers, and would like to test the machine and update XP/Vista before delivery.  Normally, I would create a User account in order to do this.  Once I'm finished, I'd like to be able to "revert" the machine to the point where Windows Setup runs on power-up.

My first thought is to logon to the Administrator account, then delete the User account and its files.  Would you know if this might do it?

Thanks!
Dan.
0
Comment
Question by:danhutch
  • 2
3 Comments
 
LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Joseph Daly
Joseph Daly earned 250 total points
ID: 22830589
I believe this is done using sysprep.
0
 

Author Comment

by:danhutch
ID: 22830749
Hi:
Sysprep sounds interesting.  Microsoft has an article describing Sysprep's four modes of operation (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/282190/en-us).  After reading that, I might try:  "sysprep -reseal -msoobe" and see what happens.  I should be able to test that in the next couple of days, and I'll post back.
Thank you for that,
Dan.
0
 

Accepted Solution

by:
danhutch earned 0 total points
ID: 22847602
Hello, xxdcmast:
Your solution worked fine.  I did my testing, and installed XP SP3.  Following Microsoft Knowledge Base instructions to extract and copy two files from the Service Pack 3 CD, it ran fine and Windows Setup started as expected after power-on.  At that point, I simply powered-off.  I re-started again fine, and went through Setup to check the system status, also fine.
I discovered three things when doing this:
  1. I don't know how to complete Windows Setup without creating a User Account.  The problem is that "Sysprep -reseal" does not remove user-created accounts. I had to logon as Administrator, delete the account in Computer Management, and then delete the account's document folders ... something I don't like to do in that way.  (Control Panel's User Accounts would not permit removal of a sole-remaining administrative user account.)
  2. The Windows updates remained installed following Sysprep.
  3. Re-starting after I ran Sysprep, Windows Setup asked for the XP License Key this time, and required online activation.  Not a big deal, but annoying.
I ran Sysprep a final time, and allowed it to shutdown automatically.  It's now ready for its new owner; whether it will require Activation again, who knows?  Expert Sysprep users may know of ways to get around the little problems, but it essentially did what I needed it for.
Thanks again,
Dan.
0

Featured Post

Secure Your Active Directory - April 20, 2017

Active Directory plays a critical role in your company’s IT infrastructure and keeping it secure in today’s hacker-infested world is a must.
Microsoft published 300+ pages of guidance, but who has the time, money, and resources to implement? Register now to find an easier way.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Can you find a fax from a vendor you saved a decade ago in seconds? Have you ever cursed your PC under your breath during an audit because you couldn’t find the requested statement or driver history?  If you answered no to the first question or yes …
If your system is showing symptoms of browser hijacks or 'google search redirects' check out my other article (http://rdsrc.us/u3GP7A) first and run the tool TDSSKiller (http://rdsrc.us/GDBBs4) to get rid of the infection. Once done, and if the …
The Task Scheduler is a powerful tool that is built into Windows. It allows you to schedule tasks (actions) on a recurring basis, such as hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, at log on, at startup, on idle, etc. This video Micro Tutorial is a brief intro…
Two types of users will appreciate AOMEI Backupper Pro: 1 - Those with PCIe drives (and haven't found cloning software that works on them). 2 - Those who want a fast clone of their boot drive (no re-boots needed) and it can clone your drive wh…

749 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question