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I am Ghosting Copying a Windows 7 Hard Drive on a domain. Do I need to do Sysprep? How

Posted on 2011-02-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am ghosting a Windows 7 Hard Drive to another computer, both on the same domain.  Do I need to do Sysprep? How?  I ghosted the HD fine, booted up fine, but the original computer came back with the message "The security database on the server does not h ave a computer account for this workstation trust relationship".  I went through the network wizzard and reattached it to the domain.  Do I need to run sysprep on the new machine with the identical hard drive? Thanks
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Question by:emrichbke
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Expert Comment

by:Iain MacMillan
ID: 34871044
you should run Sysprep before you image the drive, or you will run into this issue everytime, and cause issues with SID's and Active Directory.
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by:emrichbke
ID: 34871126
Thanks. But the drive I'm using to copy is being used by someone. Doesn't sysprep remove it from the domain.
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Iain MacMillan earned 500 total points
ID: 34871270
sysprep removes all the unique settings from the build, and usually applies settings from an answer file that you create during the process - its like making blank template systems.  When you power-on a system, depending on choice you made, you either get the Windows Welcome (OOBE) setup to go through, like a normal new OEM system, or you can have the Audit mode, which you can use an unattended answer file to answer all the options/queries.

you want to be working on and cloning on a system that has not been used - a clean template, other wise you will have profile settings and other registry changes that you do not want.  i wouldn't sysprep a working user system.

How Sysprep works - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744512%28WS.10%29.aspx
A good guide to using Sysprep on Win 7 systems - http://www.ehow.com/how_5392616_sysprep-machine-start-finish-v2.html
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Author Closing Comment

by:emrichbke
ID: 34871300
Great!
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Author Comment

by:emrichbke
ID: 34871303
OK. Thanks, that answers my question.  Unfortunately in my enviroment, I only need to clone this one machine due to many custom software fixes, so that another user can use the software.  I ran sysprep on the new machine and it ran through the OOBE settings, and attached to the domain with no issues. So I guess I'll just see what happens. Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:BtechB
ID: 34871322
Yes you always need to run sysprep on a PC that will be in a domain enviroment and with Win7 you pretty much need to do it if your not in order to not break the activation process. You can always add it back after the image is complete by just giving it the same name. The sysprep strips all the unique information from the system and creates new on each new hardware that the image is placed on. Without sysprep each PC is not unique but a clone and Domains do not like that. There is another big consideraiton your should take into account when using Sysprep for a domain and that is the default profile. Do not run sysprep as a domain user and try to copy that profile you will have all kinds of little annoying headaches down the road. Especailly with MS based products. Here are the steps to follow and do it right.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973289

Sysprep and Windows 7 is a huge topic and I know everyones needs are different. My advice do some reading and a lot of testing. Read this forum as well and be sure to set SKIP REARM or you will create a brick after 3 tests.
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproinstall/thread/f2805904-9a18-405a-ba97-10773bbe5ea5

Good luck.
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Expert Comment

by:hopmedic
ID: 34871582
Having done this before, I agree with everyone else, but I believe my scenario was similar to yours... I believe if you remove the PC from the domain, change the PC name, then add it back to the domain, you should be fine.  I'd try that before I go sysprepping a machine to reimage this one again.
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