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Windows 7 Sysprep and domain questions

Posted on 2011-03-03
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello all, I need some advice on my practice domain setup. I'm just trying to learn more about Win 2k8.

I've gotten fairly complete with my sysprep unattend script to automate everything I want. The only thing I'd like is to name the computer properly. I would like it to be like Computer1,2,3 ect ect in order. It'd be really nice if it could read Active Directory, or a database or something, and see which name was free for use by the image. Then I'd like it to actually join the domain.

Secondly I'd like it to use roaming profiles with storage given to Active Directory usage, but I've never done anything like that. So I'd appreciate the help in understanding how to do that in Windows 7 and Windows 2008.

Thanks for the help!
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Question by:Casey Weaver
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lloydclinton earned 2000 total points
ID: 35032961
Roaming profiles are pretty simple.  You need to setup a shared folder on your server.  I always make it a hidden share.  Then if your user is John Smith, under your shared profiles folder create a jsmith folder.  On the permissions I always give Domain Admins and the User account for the user full control of the folder.  In Active Directory users and computers go to the profile tab.  In the profile field point it to:

\\yourserver\profiles$\jsmith

Log into the workstation as jsmith.
Log off and now the roaming profile should be created on the server.

If you are also using offline (cached files) make sure they are on a different volume that your roaming profiles.  
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by:Adam Brown
ID: 35037327
If you have Windows 2008, you can leverage Windows Deployment Services (WDS)  to deploy your workstation images. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772106(WS.10).aspx has a lot of information on it. WDS has the ability to name computers according to a set scheme and automatically join them to the domain without needing an Answer file (Though you can still use an answer file with it). It will allow you to set a computer name scheme of Computer# and the # will increment for each system added. So if Computer1 exists when you deploy an image, it will name the computer Computer2.
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by:Casey Weaver
ID: 35040443
lloydclinton, thanks for the info on for the roaming profile, that's much easier to understand now.

acbrown2010, the use of WDS has been attempted before, the problem however is its requirement to be pushed via PXE to each system and go through a complete install. The point of sysprep in this case is to template the setup. This machine is making VM's that are recycled every week or so for new experiments. There's way too much time wasted and disk thrashing to install a new system every single time it's needed.
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Expert Comment

by:Ivano Viola
ID: 35052732
I actually use mysysprep instead of the installed sysprep.exe for my images.  Here is an article which explains the process:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/A_3095-Windows-7-Sysprep.html

The reason I bring this up is because mysysprep allows for the following requested customizations:
# Auto computer name from a text file in a non-system drive.
# Auto computer name looked up from a mapping table
I use it more for the computer name prompting during sysprep. I also customized mysysprep with my organization's logo.

I've been using mysysprep for a couple of years without problems. I know some people don't like third party tools but this works great and sounds like something that may work for you.
http://www.tsaysoft.com/mysysprep2/

Worth looking at.

IV

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by:Casey Weaver
Casey Weaver earned 0 total points
ID: 35227045
I ended up getting a database to work easy enough through powershell and mysql on Windows Server 2008. Thanks for the help everyone.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Casey Weaver
ID: 35292484
Thank you very much for the response on Roaming Profiles.
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