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Windows 7 sysprep/generalize and rearm with WDS

Posted on 2010-08-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I am installing windows 7 in a school lab environment with Windows Deployment Services.  I need clarification on how the sysprep rearm flag is used when deploying administrative images.

1.  Does the 3 ream limit apply if the machine is activated when sysprep/generalize is selected?
2.  Does the ream limit follow the clones after they've been deployed or does it get reset on new hardware?  This would only allow us to update and redeploy the image 3 times.
3.  Does the skiprearm setting solve all of my concerns?  I'm worried that this could cause licencing problems and duplicate SIDs.

Windows 7 in our environment is new for this coming school year and would like to start off in the right direction.  I'm looking for a best practices scenario and any surprises I might encounter in regards to cloning with WDS and the Sysprep Rearm limit.

Thanks

BZ
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Question by:tnorman
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 33505967
1. Yes
2. Yes.  You can only rearm an image or a clone of an image 3 times max.  
3. It doesn't, but it won't reset the CMIDs and your KMS counts won't go up.  See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929829
I think that Mark Minasi preaches the use of skiprearm: http://www.minasi.com/newsletters/nws0807.htm
However, I did e-mail him to let me know that he should be careful in recommending to everyone without mentioning the CMID issue.  I can't remember what he responded, but he didn't seem too concerned.
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Leinss
ID: 33506005
*e-mailed him to let HIM know.  
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Author Comment

by:tnorman
ID: 33521481
I know this isn't a place to express opinions but this is incredibly annoying.

Thanks aleinss, please look at my workaround solution and see if you think this will work

1.  Sysprep with -norearm
2.  Image Capture and deploy images
3.  run "cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs –rearm" on the clones or sysprep /generalize

This way I would have an image that I can manipulate forever and deploy as long as I rearm each machine after the clone.

Will this work?
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Adam Leinss earned 500 total points
ID: 33521916
sysprep /generalize on the unrearmed clones would work, I'm not sure about slmgr -rearm.  That might just reset the grace period.  Sysprep will create random SIDs for each one.
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