Windows 7 Deployment Help

Mawaya
Mawaya used Ask the Experts™
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Background

Let me start off by saying I'm old school. We've been with Windows XP and Ghost for some time. Didn't take to Vista since it sucked. We're deploying about 100+ Lenovos to various departments. I have little experience with WAIK and MDT. Aside from ShellShocking the community with the jump to Windows 7 and Office 2010 (from Office 2003), things are really interesting.

Where I'm at
Due to time constraints, we are going to attempt to image on a closed network and then deploy the PCs to the employees. In other words, we have a PC hosting sharing a folder with the WIM file. We are going to boot the PCs off of WinPE Discs and pull from the share to image the computers. We have 3 flavors of computers right now. A Laptop (Lenovo T410), Desktop (Lenovo M90z), and a Tablet (Lenovo X41t). We have 3 images made. I believe the term is "Thick image". Each image has the software already loaded up.

The Problem
Sysprep and the great answer file-
No longer seems like an easy thing for us. Much more configurations than just editing a text file like before. I'm not getting it right. Each of the computers are setup in a similar fashion where there is an Admin account (Local) and a technicians account (Domain). I notice when I sysprep and image a computer, when starting it up, it forces me to create a user account along with a computer name. I just want a prompt to name the dang computer. To top that off, the admin account is disabled. The Product Key isn't the one I entered and Office 2010 needs to be activated again.

Imaging to the right partition-
So the Lenovo computers come with 3 partitions. The Windows partition, a System partition and a Recovery Partition. When I image the computer, I do the following:
-Boot off of the Windows PE disc
-Run DiskPart
-Select Volume 2
-format quick fs=ntfs label “Win 7”
-Exit Diskpart
-imagex /apply g:\[imagename.wim] 1 d:\”
D was originally the Windows 7 Partition. C was they System partition I believe. E was the recovery partition.
After it's done imaging, I reboot the computer and it has the error "bootmgr not found".

To fix this I usually boot off of Windows PE and run the command:
bcdboot c:\windows

Then the computer starts up.

What am I  doing wrong and how can I streamline this? Can I make a batch file? If so how?

Help!

And thanks in advance. I really need Win 7 Deployment for Dummies.


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in your situation i would erase the existing partitions altogether, and just use a single partition for the entire drive, and install the image there.

the system recovery partition will be of no use to you if you're using your own imaging - it is after all, just another image of the system as it left the factory. as you have your own image, the lenovo factory image is just complicating things and occupying space.

Author

Commented:
The reasoning for the system partition there is that Lenovo has an OS you can still boot to when recovering files if the main OS crashes. We don't really use the rescue and recovery feature.
how are you creating the image?
is it being captured from an identically configured system?

it sounds to me like there is a conflct between the partition layout and BCD configuration on the destination systems, and the layout/configuration in the image. the bcdboot command is fixing this conflict.


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Author

Commented:
I created the image on the same config system.

I'm using imagex to capture the image. I believe that when I'm formatting one partition and not the other, this is causing the possible problem. I'm not familiar with Vista and Win7 system files, but I do know that when you install Win7 on a completely blank drive, it creates 2 partitions or Volumes.
ummm - no, it definitely doesn't do that. i'm posting this from a 3 day old windows 7 install, and i can definitely confirm there's only one volume on one drive.
i found some information on google

firstly, you can only use imagex to restore images in this way which have been "generalized", that is, when the sysprep tool has been used to remove all system-specific information from the original installation before the image is captured. if the image is not generalized, then this problem occurs.

if you're unable/unwilling to go down that route, then there is a fix to enable a non-generalized image to work and boot properly :

after applying the image, but before exiting PE, run these commands
bcdedit /set {default} device partition=c:
bcdedit /set {default} osdevice partition=c:
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device partition=c:

you could indeed make a batch file, simply open notepad and type all the commands you need into a .TXT file, save it then rename it and change the extension to .BAT

running that .BAT file will then open a command prompt and execute the commands in turn
i would imagine you probably want to put all the commands you use, not just these bcdedit commands, into the batch file.


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