How do I perform a Windows 7 Pro installation on one computer and clone it to identical systems?

Hello experts,

I have a bunch of Dell Vostro computers at work with the same model/hardware configuration.  Currently they are running Windows XP Pro and we would like to install Windows 7 Pro. We have the Dell windows 7 Pro install discs as we initially elected the Windows XP Pro downgrade option.

After I have installed Windows 7 Pro and configured the first PC, what would be the best way to clone that config onto the others?  

Will I run into problems changing the username and password on the cloned PCs and will this affect their ability to be authenticated by our Windows 2008 server? Before cloning the PCs, should I delete these users from the server or can I leave them as is?

Also, what apps should not be installed on the machine to be cloned, i.e., that won't work after cloning (e.g., MS office)?

Thank you for your help.

Regards,
Mike
jumptohighAsked:
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
If you use Sysprep.exe on this machine before you take image of it then it will ask for username and other details at first start on new machine. Just do sysprep.
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Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/ee530017
Preparing an Image Using Sysprep and ImageX

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744519(v=ws.10).aspx
Windows 7 Deployment Frequently Asked Questions
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Dell computers normally come with OEM Media which restricts your options. OEM media cannot be cloned onto other machines the operating system lives and dies with the original machine that it is installed on.

The biggest rule is that the machines must be sysprep'd before the image is captured and then you can apply this image to your other machines.

I use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and other tools from Microsoft
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Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
I missed the fact that these were OEM
This is probably a better resource
http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/installation/downloads/Pages/windows_7_opk.aspx
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jumptohighAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the advice everyone.

Hi CrisHanna_MVP, I tried downloading the windows 7 OPK from the link you provided, but it said I must be a Microsoft Partner Network Member.  I tried to join but I keep getting the error "We are sorry; due to high demand, the enrollment system is not available at this time. Please try again later..."

Where else can I download the Windows 7 OPK?  I need to get started on this right away.

Thanks,
Mike
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Cris HannaSr IT Support EngineerCommented:
There's no where else to download it.  They could be doing server maintenance etc.
If you're company does not sell Microsoft products and services, you may not qualify to become a partner.  Just an FYI

But if you can't, you should be able to find a Microsoft Partner nearby that you can work with and get you what you need to accomplish this
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