BradLMComputers used Ask the Experts™
What i am trying to do is Make a Reference machine with vista business on it, then deploy this to 30 of the same computers.

My knowledge of sysprep is limited, i can take one image strip the drivers and put it onto another machine using the sysprep /generalize option.

All in all, i need to make a machine where all of the apps will be installed. The network printers are configured. All of the drivers are installed. I have some brother universal and specific ricoh drivers , but do not know how to integrate them. As well as these printers will they be configured after i run the generalize option. Also would like them to have any computer name it really does not matter but to be able to join the domain automatically , i have a dhcp server running that i can assign the ip address. Also to format the drive using whole drive as partion, essentially no user interaction at all. Is there some ms app i can use like system center of WDS help me with this or is this going to just be a scripting nightmare.

Essentially i need some way to make this all as clean and easy as possible.
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I would install the drivers for the Brother and other printer(s) into your reference image and run the following:

sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown

After your machine is in a shutdown state you want to boot into Windows PE and capture your image using imagex.

You can then overwrite the existing install.wim file in the sources directory. As for automating the whole drive partition, look into WAIK.
Some programs such as Office requires updating the default profile so even users don't have local admin rights can use the office or similar programs without your personal attendance at the first run! If you don't take this step I guarantee you will visit every each of the machine for the users who don't have local admin rights. PLUS, doing sysprep does not customize the default profile, unless you use the guide below. If you wanna create a proper master image please follow my guide below. I had created this article for Windows 7 but it is the same procedure for Vista aswell.

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 credentials, 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)
Unless this is a class project or other educational exercise (in which case you can ignore this comment) but I would STRONGLY urge doing this with Windows 7 Pro rather than Vista Business!

The useful life will be considerably longer!


This is a image for the Lincenses currently assigned to machines, windows 7 pro would be an additional cost to the organization, i would like to have windows 7 deployed , but thats not my call.

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