Windows 7 sysprep blues

bhgewilson used Ask the Experts™
I must be the village idiot because I am down right confused on Windows 7 and deployment.  We have been custom making images for XP and saving them on our server.  Pick a a hardware platform like a Dell 755 and I got it ready to image in a heartbeat.  Boot from network pull image and twenty minutes later we are done.

Introduce Windows 7.  I have downloaded WAIK.  I have tried the Windows system image manager.  I am just lost.  All I want the image file to do is to create a random computer name with a workgroup of changeme.  I want it to enter the key and then keep on trucking.  I don't need anything fancy.  I am getting lost with all of the add to pass and that junk.  Can anyone provide a little insight or just a .xml file that will do this.  Thanks,

Brad Wilson
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Sure thing, I acutally just tackled a windows 7 sysprep about 2 weeks ago. I thought the same exact things you did. The old setupmgr.exe was so easy to get everything the way you wanted why did they have to change it. I DL the WAIK and was like what is going on here. I was lost. Believe it or not the help actually has a great walkthrough on setting up the options needed for a complete unattended install.

I basically followed the steps posted in the document below. It tells you what settings you need to make it completely automated and under which of the 7 categories to put them.

Another helpful thing is if you right click a property in the right hand portion of the screen and select help it brings up all about it. After about 20 minutes I was able to get a working xml file going.

BTW if you want a random computer name then in the module for computername just enter *

I dont have access to my Windows Image Maker right now cause im at home but if you want screenshots of my stuff or anythign just ask.
Probably should have attached the document huh. This can be found directly in the help file by digging around but this is easier than digging.
(just a comment) WAIK is quite intimidating, no question about that, but I found it to be worth the effort needed to get it all running for our W7 deployment.
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I am going to try the comments this week and let you know. Thanks so much


Is this post by Senad the same thing.  It is wanting to use something else.  I just want to really run syprep and the capture an image to a wDS server.  

Quick question.  After I get my unattend file can I remote WAIK before I capture the image.


xxd it would be great if you had some screenshots.
If your planning on using WDS I would use the WAIK method as it is the one approved by MS. I have attached some screenshot of the working XML file that I created. This will do the automated installation with no user intervention. These settings were basically taken directly from the document I posted above.

1. Overall shot showing where each settings are placed.
2. Setting computer name time zone etc
3. Setting Language settings
4. Setting owner and company
5. Settings for unattended installation
6. Set Administrator pwd (encrypted once entered)
7. Set local user account (Since admin account is disabled by default you can enable admin and delete this after)
8. Set local user password (encrypted once entered)



Did you automate your cd-key with these so I don't have to put that in at startup.
I did not automate the cd key because we have a functioning kms server onsite. I left the cd key part blank. Basically what happens is when the computer is imaged it comes up on the network and queries the service record for the licensing server. From there it is pretty much automatic.


OK I have my xml file thanks so much for the help.  

Typically at this point I run sysprep and then upon reboot grab the image with my WDS server.  I assume this is drastically different right?

I dont think so. I have never used WDS to do my imaging we typically use ghost. But this worked pretty much the same as XP with sysprep. Basically if I remember I ran sysprep with the following switches

sysprep.exe /oobe  /generalize /shutdown /unattend:answerfile

What these commands will do is start the sysprep and then shut down the computer once done. Once the computer shuts down that was when I took the image with my ghost boot disk.

If you allow the computer to start normally it will begin its setup with the answers you provided in the xml. The idea is to catch it with ghost/WDS before it goes through those steps.


This was the best.  Thanks so much.

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