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Understanding Windows SIM and sysprep

Posted on 2010-08-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I'm currently studying Windows 7.
I have used sysprep and Ghost in the past to image and deploy Windows XP machines.
From what I remember, I was able to use sysprep to create my answer file for my installations.
It seems Windows SIM also does this and then some.
After some study, it seems like I would use Windows SIM to create my answer file and only use sysprep to generalize the image for deployment.

I guess what I'm trying to ask is, when do you use Windows SIM and when do you use sysprep? Or do they need to be used together?

A second question I have is about Windows SIM only. It read that it can be used to add security patches/software updates/applications to a WIM image.
Does that mean it actually integrates these into the image, or you simply set up the answer file to install these applications during Windows installation?
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Question by:corphealth
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marsilies earned 500 total points
ID: 33560144
You can use Windows SIM to create the answer file to use with sysprep. You don't need to use WSIM at all to create the answer file, but if you need/want a guided GUI for creating the file, you can use it.

You definitely need to use sysprep though, and it functions in much the same manner as in Windows XP.

Here's a guide for sysprepping Windows 7, from start to finish:
http://blog.brianleejackson.com/sysprep-a-windows-7-machine-%E2%80%93-start-to-finish-v2

Here's technical info on WSIM and sysprep:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc722301%28WS.10%29.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766049%28WS.10%29.aspx
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by:marsilies
ID: 33560178
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Author Closing Comment

by:corphealth
ID: 33560391
You're first link helped a bit. I have loads of technical material but I was looking for something dumbed down for me. The example was pretty much as I had said. WSIM to create the image and sysprep just to generalize the image.
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Author Comment

by:corphealth
ID: 33560430
"Your" not "you're". I'm not an idiot I swear. lol
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by:marsilies
ID: 33560440
Just to clarify, WSIM only creates the answer file, not a disc image. You'll still need to run Ghost or some other disc imaging tool after the PC is sysprepped, to create and restore a disc image.
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Author Comment

by:corphealth
ID: 33560458
Right. ImageX is included in the Windows AIK that you must download in order to get Windows SIM.
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