How do I sysprep a machine regardless of the cloning solution I am going to use

Posted on 2011-02-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I asked a similar question to this one a few weeks ago , but now I know what I need to ask. I need to be able to sysprep a brand new machine that I am putting Windows 7 on. I havent done this is a long time. I hear the process is much easier in Windows 7. I am going to list the steps that I think I need and then you guys can tell me if I am doing it correctly.


Install a new copy of windows 7 on a reference machine


Install all the windows updates


Install all necessary applications


Download WAIK  ( Do I really need WAIK????)


Now I run sysprep from the reference machine

This is where I get stuck. Presumably , once sysprep is complete, I can clone the reference machine to an external disk drive or usb and use either one to install on mutiple computers without worrying about sid duplication. Please tell me if I am on the right track , or if there is a better way to do this. By the way, the cloning solution I am using is open source clonezilla.

Question by:BLACK THANOS

Author Comment

ID: 34914240
I am going to bed now, but when I wake up I will respond promptly to possible solutions

Accepted Solution

Kayg_Hunter earned 2000 total points
ID: 34914666
(Sorry to regishyde for jumping the gun.)

Using a command prompt type the following and hit enter

x:\windows\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown (where x = %system%)

This prepares the machine for image capturing by cleaning up various user-specific and computer-specific settings, as well as log files.

You boot to your CloneZilla program whatever way you normally do and capture your image.

You do NOT need WAIK as such... WAIK comes in really hand when you are preparing Automated Installations of Win7 and such for Enterprise environments, but tbh if you are prepared to work manually on multiple systems then just creating a reference machine and imaging using CloneZilla will do just fine.

You can prepare an answer file for sysprep to take things a step further. This will let you specify drivers etc for any machine you putting the image onto. Do you want any information on the unattend answer file for sysprep? Wll be glad to help out whatever way I can.

Author Comment

ID: 34919248
Kayg Hunter, any help you can give me on setting up an unattended answer file for sysprep would be helplful
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Expert Comment

ID: 34923121
your purpose is only clone all OS + Software from old to new machine ?
do we use other tool if so i can suggest for you. Please let me know.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:Lionel MM
ID: 34925221
This may be too much detail if all you want to do is have a "backup" for one PC but if you want to do do multiple PCs then all this detail may be helpful, otherwise I think Kayg_Hunter instructions are good.

Expert Comment

ID: 34925992
If you buy Windows with the OEM pre-installation kit, it comes with some short documentation.

I was able to use that to clone windows on 500+ Computers in a school with Active Directory without SID duplication issues.

On First bootup the computers asked for username, computer name, and key code.

This is acceptable in our case as we didn't know beforehand where each computer was going to go.

You've got the exact right idea in your outline. After you run sysprep, shut the computer down and begin cloning. Sysprep has an option to reset the key, that option should be set.

I use Virtualbox with snapshots to test it out and make sure the SID is reset. Virtual Box is free, and a sysprep'ers wet dream.

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