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Microsoft Windows: SYSPREP


This is related to SYSPREP. It is at a desktop computer.

1) When I click “ generalize” ….
2) It will take 5 to 15 minutes “to process something” …
3) Then, It appears “the windows screen” (like a brand new computer)
4) I will press the “Shift” key and “F10” together which bring me to the “command prompt”
5) Etc

My question: What is the SYSPREP? What is the function of it? Would you explain whatever you know related to it (with the sample if possible please)

3 Solutions
Sysprep is designed to create an "out of box" experience for a new computer. Let's say you are preparing a new computer for a customer. You want to deliver it, but you want to give them the choice to give it a name, user account etc.

That is what sysprep does. If you "generalize" sysprep, then you will get a wrap that would theoretically allow you to clone an image of the computer to another machine, even if the hardware configuration is slightly different.

To give you a real world example of how I use it at work; if we are deploying a number of new computers to clients that are of same spec, but require different names etc., then I will prepare one computer with the software envrionment required, then run sysprep (without generalize) and then create an image using Acronis.

When you restore the image to another machine, with the same hardware, you can tell Acronis to give the computer a new hardware ID and it will essentially become a new, unique clone.

Once the computers are deployed to the client, we can give it individual names once we load it the first time, etc.

So, in short, the sysprep tool prepares an installation of Windows for duplication, and customer delivery.
Emmanuel AdebayoGlobal Windows Infrastructure Engineer - ConsultantCommented:
The System Preparation (Sysprep) tool prepares an installation of Windows for duplication, auditing, and customer delivery. Duplication, also called imaging, enables you to capture a customized Windows image that you can reuse throughout an organization. Audit mode enables you to add additional device drivers or applications to a Windows installation. After you install the additional drivers and applications, you can test the integrity of the Windows installation. Sysprep also enables you to prepare an image to be delivered to a customer. When the customer boots Windows, Windows Welcome starts.

Sysprep must be used only to configure new installations of Windows. You can run Sysprep as many times as required to build and to configure your installation of Windows. However, you can reset Windows activation only up to three times. You must not use Sysprep to reconfigure an existing installation of Windows that has already been deployed. Use Sysprep only to configure new installations of Windows.

Sysprep is typically used during large-scale rollouts when it would be too slow and costly to have administrators or technicians interactively install the operating system on individual computers.

For more information about sysprep please read the following link


How Sysprep Works
If the computers being prepared from the same image are on a domain, then they need to sysprep, because the domain controller will confuse the computers because they will have the same Security Identifier.  Skipping this step can cause computers to be dropped from the domain, and might be unable to login.
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tjieAuthor Commented:
Hi All:

Thank you for the explanation ...
Two more questions please ...

It seems that sysprep is a third party software (it is not a part of windows), is it right?

If it is right, is it also belong to Microsoft?

Sysprep is part of Windows. In XP it was in a separate directory on the CD, in Windows 7 it's part of the OS and a folder in the Windows\System32 directory.

There may be other third party tools, but the Microsoft tools work just fine.
tjieAuthor Commented:
Thanks, EMJSR!
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