? steps I need to make an image to use to clone multiple machines in Windows 7?

I'm needing some fundamental help.

The goal is to be able to make a portable image that I can APPLY/RESTORE to a hard drive and have Windows 7 up and running quickly.

I have copy of Windows P.E. that I can boot and create images with GimageX.

I tried to APPLY one of the images,
the resultant hard drive was not bootable.

More background -
We have a domain and an enterprise agreement,
I thought I could simply:
1) take a running W7 machine
2) make sure windows and office and all other apps were up-to-date.
2a) , remove it from the domain and rename it.
3) boot winPE and CAPTURE an image with GimageX to a partition.
4) copy the image to a USB drive.
5) boot winPE on a new machine.
6) restore the image.
7) boot locally to the new machine as admin and rename the machine.
8) join the domain with the new name.
9) repeat steps 5 - 8 on the next 50 machines.

what am I missing - be nice;-)

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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
assuming only one disk drive (empty drive)
from a command prompt

select disk 0
create partition primary
list volume
select volume x
format fs=ntfs LABEL="OS" QUICK
<< exit diskpart >>

bootsect /nt60 C:
bcdboot c:\windows
then restart
A couple of things to do when imaging an installation for mass deployment:

1. Use "sysprep" just before making the image. Sysprep prepares the system for re-imaging by doing some special things like renaming the UID of the user accounts, prepping the system for relicensing and reactivation, etc.

See here:

2. When you take a system image, make sure you get the 100MB System Reserved Partition as well as the C:\ drive (Basically get the whole hard drive, not just one partition).

3. After restoring, make sure the C:\ partition has its bootable flag set. If you get weird boot-sector or master boot record issues after restoring it can usually be resolved quickly by booting off a Windows 7 setup disk and running startup repair

In theory Windows 7 is supposed to be able to be imaged to dissimilar hardware, but I don't trust it. Imaging computers works best if your target computers have reasonably similar hardware - at least the same Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL). As a general rule of thumb try to stick to the same series of CPU and motherboard chipsets.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
You have clearly described your steps but I still cannot see if you select MSR and system partition for backup or only C: partition?
And what is the error message when you try to boot from restored HDD?
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philkryderAuthor Commented:
noxcho - missing bootmgr is the msg.
you may be reading the reply from
by: ve3ofaPosted on 2012-03-12 at 17:16:23ID: 37712547

: ve3ofaPosted
where in your description to I RESTORE/RE-APPLY THE IMAGE?
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
No, I am not reading reading the reply. Did you copy the MSR 100MB partition as well?
philkryderAuthor Commented:
nope - is that the key?
does every w7 machine now need a 100mb MSR partion?
how can I use GIMAGEX to copy it?
it looks like GIMAGEX only copies at the volume level - not the entire drive.

do I copy each partition separately and then apply them separately?
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
apply the capture.wim after the <<exit diskpart>>

You don't "NEED" the recovery partition, it is a 'nice to have' item

1. sysprep machine
enable oobe

2 . boot your winpe disk
3. capture the 2 disks
imagex /capture c: d:\recovery.wim "Recovery Partition"
imagex /capture d: d:\os.wim "Operating System"

On new machine boot with your winpe disk

select disk 0
create partition primary size=100
create partition primary
list volume
select volume x
format fs=ntfs LABEL="System Reserved" QUICK
select volume x+1
format fs=ntfs LABEL="OS" QUICK
<< exit diskpart >>
imagex /apply x:\recovery.wim 1 c:\
imagex /apply x:\OS.wim 1 d:\

bootsect /nt60 C:
bcdboot d:\windows
list vol
select vol x << the recovery volume>>
reboot machine

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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Or simply reconfigure your OS again but make it single partition based. For that you need to install the Windows 7 OS into single partition. This can be done if you create a single partition on HDD where you want to install Windows 7 and then during installation select this partition as your OS destination. Like it was in XP.
philkryderAuthor Commented:
I'm on vacation. won't be able to test this for a couple of weeks.
philkryderAuthor Commented:
I'd like to keep this open.
I'm working on a different project and hope to get back to this by the end of may.
please don't delete it.
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