We have many different computers (different hardware, most running XP) that all need to be updated to 7 Pro SP1 64bit. So far we've ordered a copy of 7 for each computer, but I'm debating on how to quickly get 7 on each.
The method I'm using so far is:
- Configure and install updates/programs/policies/etc on one unactivated computer (Acer M265 for example)
- Save image of the computer (with native Windows 7 image tool) to a network share
- On another Acer M265, restore that image from the network from a Windows 7 recovery CD
- Boot, assign proper PC name, IP, and activate with a key
What I've run into, however, is that I can't restore an Acer M265 image onto a M275, X275, etc. Windows won't boot normally or into safe-mode. Start-up repair will run but never complete successfully... and fixboot fixmbr etc doesn't help, either. How can I make a master image that will boot onto all different hardware types? I've seen a lot of people talk about SysPrep but I have no idea how to use that while still making use of Windows 7's built-in imagining tool and avoiding any third-party software. Do I run sysprep and tell it to not shutdown when complete and make the image prior to the restart?