Sysprep help needed on an imaged drive Windows 7 Professional on Server 2011 Standard

Posted on 2011-10-25
Last Modified: 2013-12-02
I am still new to the server installation world.   I'm learning bits and pieces as I have the opportunity.  That's just to let you all know I'm quite green to the server field.

Speaking with another technician I was helping do a server install (I was in NC, he was in NH), I asked why he didn't just have me clone each drive with Norton Ghost and install the drives in each of the 15 machines he was working on.  He mentioned a potential issue in a domain environment with (I think it is called) a security descriptor.  He said each system was setup with sysprep so you had to go and make your selections with username, time zone and all when the system started.  However, all programs needed for that store were installed on the system.

Simple question (to me anyway).  How do I do that so that when I install the drive and turn on the system, it begins a process just like a Dell would when you first pull it out of the box?

Thanks for your expertise.

Question by:rexxnet
    LVL 11

    Accepted Solution

    Sysprep program is located in C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep folder. If you run this command:
    sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown

    Open in new window

    You will get almost same start like with new preloaded machine. Try this on spare computer or on some VM.
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    If you wanna more focus into this kidn of deployment please follow the article that I wrote previously. You even can customize default user profiles. Otherwise X layer already gave you the answer.

    1-Downloaded WAIK (Windows Automated Installation Kit) and installed (Free) On different computer, preferably your tech computer.
    2-Install  your laptop/desktop and  first, activate Administrator account (as default its disabled-Right click on Computer icon and manage, local users and groups) and remove the initial admin account the one that you have essentially created at the end of the setup! Now you logged in Administrator account, and install other softwares that you need. Customize desktop, gadgets and other softwares (Office especially-at first run it asking update settings whihc user will need administrator creditentials, its better to do it know so no user will be asked this question)
    3-Now go back to other computer and create a folder under C: and name it (say WAIK) and copy the Install.vim and Install_Windows 7.clg files which located under sources to the WAIK folder you just created and run the WAIK. You do not need rest of CD components!!!
    4-After finish preparation you will create an answer file (please watch the tutorial how to do this Please use your answer file name as myunattend as I prepared the last command according to that. Most important part here is Copy Profile command which is under Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup (right click and Specialize) and Copy profile must be TRUE.
    5-copy that answer file under the Windows\System32\Sysprep\
    6-Now you look your desktop and make sure everything customized as you wish and type the following command via cmd!! (Not via GUI)
    C:\>Windows\System32\Sysprep  (Enter) then
    sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /unattend:myunattend.xml  (Enter)

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