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Moving an Audit Mode Windows 7 Hard Drive

Posted on 2014-01-15
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Last Modified: 2014-02-05
Hi,

Does anybody know if I can move around a hard drive that's currently holding a Windows 7 Install in audit mode into different hardware?

I'm curious if it will rescan for hardware at boot and throw me back into the start screen waiting for me to sysprep.

Actually sorry, let me rephrase. I know I can probably do this, but I do not know if there are any negative repercussions in doing so.

The reason being that this system once sysprepped will not be in .wim form, nor will I be using WDS, so using dism or WDS to inject drivers is out of the question.

I also want to use the unattend of persistdevices, because I'm trying to reduce initial install time by not having it parse through a drivers folder and installing the drivers during the initial boot after OOBE.
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Question by:happytang
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Expert Comment

by:Lionel MM
ID: 39785841
These questions are always difficult to answer because there are so many variables, variables based on current hardware drivers and what the new hardware will require. If this is a one time thing you may simply want to clone it and just try it. If you are asking to use this image on a big number of different systems then the questions becomes more of just how different are the systems, same manufacturer, but different network cards--what is the same (network cards, video cards) and what is different?
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by:happytang
ID: 39786327
The systems aren't that different. We're talking about from one Dell model to another.

I guess the question is more of whether or not this is a safe practice. I'm not too sure myself  how the machine will configure itself on the initial audit mode preparation if I move it to another machine.

I guess I'm just most worried about the file structure not knowing wtf to do.
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Lionel MM earned 500 total points
ID: 39788314
No there is not too much to worry about especially between quite similar systems. As long as you have the proper licensing then just go ahead and give it a try. If you are worried that you will corrupt your Windows install that is highly unlikely. I have been able to move syspreped drives into very dissimilar systems and have had to do a repair or reinstall to get it to work without issues.
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Assisted Solution

by:happytang
happytang earned 0 total points
ID: 39825396
I'm not too big of a fan of using system repair in order to fix broken windows directories / installations, as I've found it sometimes produces unnecessary clutter and orphaned GUIDs laying around.

I guess instead of doing that I've went ahead and just added a driver store for the unattend to look up during offlineprep.

Thanks for the input though!
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Author Closing Comment

by:happytang
ID: 39835100
No concrete answer really found.
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