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Capturing image with WDS

Posted on 2014-04-25
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I am using Windows Deploy to capture my image to deploy to other laptops. I have done this with Windows 7 Ent a couple years back. I now have a few new laptops that I want to deploy with Windows 7 Pro. For some reason when I run the capture image on the machine with the installed windows, no volumes appear. I tried Shift-F10 and I can see both drives C and D. I ran Sysprep on system before the capture. The only thing that could be is that this was an HP machine with Windows 7 Pro already installed. Would this not work with WDS?

Thanks,
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Question by:swenger7
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40023637
Did you specifically run sysprep /generalize (or check the generalize box in the GUI?) and then immediately boot to the capture image? If you reboot the machine and let the hardware detection routine run, even once, after generalizing then the image is no longer valid for capturing.
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by:swenger7
ID: 40023707
Yes. I did says prep but did not check the generalize box and chose shutdown. I then booted to the F12 pxi boot to wds
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40023720
Only generalized images can be captured. Full stop. Otherwise the OS has already been stamped with a unique SID and installing it on multiple machines can have disasterous problems, hence the block.
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by:swenger7
ID: 40023751
Can I start the windows and redo says prep with generalize
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40023822
Yes. You can generalize an image any time. Be aware that generalizing does make significant changes to the OS, so if this is a system that you use in production, I'd strongly encourage you to make a backup so you can restore the non-generalized version when you are done. Otherwise you may find many of your personalizations wiped out.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40023836
For a good image one should ALWAYS use a virtual machine either Vmware or Hyper-V as the source.  This allows you to fix any mistakes when doing a deployment.  Another item is ONLY use WDS as a transport layer, use SCCM or Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to create / capture and deploy .. Hint: get the driver packs from the manufacturer and when deploying disable plug and pray enumeration of drivers and only install the drivers from the drivers pack. If you also have WSUS then you can install the updates during your deployment using the 2 mentioned tools.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40023862
And another point - you CANNOT capture customized OEM images - you can only capture and deploy customized images created using a Volume License edition of Windows.
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40023875
First, let's get the obligatory out of the way. From a technical perspective, you can definitely capture an OEM image if it has been generalized. Whether it will install on other machines or not is more questionable. And this doesn't at all address the legal implications. But just wanted to be clear on that.

And *now* the obligatory "I am not a lawyer" disclaimer. No advice from me or anybody else on EE is legally binding and cannot be used to protect you if you choose one opinion over another. Call Microsoft for clarification if you are going down this path.

In any situation where I think something is blatantly illegal, I won't bother with the "technically it can be done" statement. It doesn't matter if it is technically possible if it is illegal, from a production standpoint.

So I mention it here because, perhaps an esoteric point, but unless things have changed (and of course, they always can), you actually can legally capture an image based on OEM media under some circumstances. OEM licensing does not give you "reimaging" rights, but VL does. VL does *not* however, dictate that the OS installed be from VL media. The license itself gives you reimaging rights, and there are certainly instances where using the original OEM media is preferrable for drivers that cannot be downloaded or easily slipstreamed into VL media. I've seen this done in very large deployments (think thousands) where the company buys massive numbers of HPs or Dells in bulk.

...so there are situations where such a thing is normal, legal, and even desirable. As far as I know.
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Author Comment

by:swenger7
ID: 40023879
I purchased a dozen identical laptops that I don't want to customize all my software twelve times. My plan is to install all my software on one machine and then capture and redploy back to the other ones which also came with the same version of windows. I also own sa with an vl agreement so I don't think there should be a legal
Issue here as long as I can technically deploy this. Thanks for all the advise and I will try on Monday and update
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40024924
Cliff,

My wording was chosen purposefully.  
you can only capture and deploy customized images created using a Volume License edition of Windows.

For reference, please see
Reimaging licensed Microsoft software using Volume Licensing media
http://download.microsoft.com/download/3/D/4/3D42BDC2-6725-4B29-B75A-A5B04179958B/Reimaging.pdf

While I agree licensing issues can differ from one location to another and (as pure hearsay) I've heard Germany's laws make some aspects of Microsoft's standard licensing unenforceable, the VAST majority of the world must still adhere to the agreement as it is written.
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by:swenger7
ID: 40028063
I did the generalize option and was able to capture the image. But for some reason when I reboot this machine or any machine that I tried pushing the image, it just loops between starting windows, setting up for first time, rebooting and just going in a continuous circle. I am doing a new setup and will sysprep with generalize the first time and capture again and see what happens.

If this doesn't work than I will have to reinstall with my Enterprise license download install.
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Author Comment

by:swenger7
ID: 40029431
Is there a problem running sysprep on a preinstalled windows. This is not a WDS issue. After I run sysprep, prior to working with WDS, when I reboot the laptop it shows in this order
1. starting windows
2. Setup is updating registry settings
3. setup is starting services
4. Setup will continue after restarting the computer

Then starts 1-4 over again in a continuous loop.
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Cliff Galiher earned 200 total points
ID: 40030495
This can happen when software or drivers are installed on the OS that do not support being imaged. So, no, it isn't a problem with all preinstalled copies of windows, but that make and model may come with hardware or OEM software that is not compatible.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40031101
you can get the software package (softpack) from HP that will have only the drivers that you need for both windows pe and for installation. Do it right and do it once.. As I mentioned earlier Always, always, always use a virtual machine for your capture image, this will save you a lot of grief.  People that have been doing this for many years and do deployments as their form of income always do this. They also state do not do it from anything other than a virtual machine. Learn from the masters, they do tens of thousands of deployments in a year.
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by:swenger7
ID: 40081095
I am not sure if it is the hardware combpatibility but I couldn't get it to work, so I settled to not using Sysprep and making the images duplicated with Acronis. Not my first choice but I had no choice.

Thanks for all the input.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40081645
Then you are out of compliance with the OEM Eula and the Microsoft Terms of Service.
1. the image that you are using to reimage must be VL media
2. you must use sysprep

The master image should be built on a virtual machine (always always always) and it doesn't matter which brand (vmwre/hyper-v/virtual box) of virtual machine.
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