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Windows 7: Imaging and Deployment


02 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Imaging and Deployment

Hey all,

A couple years ago, I began a help desk job where no imaging was being used. Someone had been manually setting up as many as 20 machines a month. I quickly figured out some half-assed ways to image which I don't think will work in Windows 7 so I was coming to ask to be pointed in the right direction.

Current method:
-Setup a machine the way I want
-Take Image with Acronis off of a BartPE disc
-Run NewSID before joining to the domain
-Join to domain and setup user account

I read that NewSID was nothing more than a tool for breaking things Vista and later. Is sysprep where I need to be headed or is that for people not using an imaging tool?



I'm always looking for help and great forums - I hope to find both here!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

02 Nov 2009   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64
 
 

You might have a look at something like this:

Paragon Paragon Adaptive Imaging Tools - Overview


Quote:
Paragon Adaptive Imaging Tools

Get essential system tools for free!

The software installation process isn’t as trivial as it seems, especially when performed on multiple machines at a time, from operating system installation to client software configuration. The process to set up a new system can take a long time to complete - time which could be spent on your business or other more important tasks. Paragon's Adaptive Imaging Tools can help you prepare a universal image for further deployment on new machines and best of all is totally free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Nov 2009   #3

Windows 7
 
 

I don't ever mess with sysprep. The way I look at it is I am joining the machine to the domain anyway and remaning it only takes a second longer. Renaming it resets the SID.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


02 Nov 2009   #4

Windows 7
 
 

ultraplanet,

Wow, I didn't know that. So that must be what people meant by "they fixed the SID issue." Alright, well, that's what I get for not reading any Vista documentation. My company skipped Vista and I just got some Windows 7 books in the mail today so... I have my work cut out for me.

So do you pretty much do it the way I do?

Thanks for the post!

**edit**

I tried to change the name of a computer already on the domain and it didn't change. I will try and unjoin it and try again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2009   #5
NSM

Windows 7 Professional, Windows Server 2008 R2, VMWare 4.1, HP Servers
 
 

I am using Sysprep and an unattend XML answer file for Windows 7 deployment and it works fine with a tiny exception I am discovering. I can either have it stop and prompt me for a name and have the join the domain fail so I have to do that manually or I can let it randomly create a name and join the domain automaticlly.

Here is what got me started - Sysprep a Windows 7 Machine – Start to Finish - Blog.BrianLeeJackson.com

FYI, I am still using an old version of Ghost to deployment Windows 7 after Sysprep.

One last thing for those doing image deployments...

Windows 7 seems to be very portable across multiple hardware platforms. I created a generic/quick image and reployed it to various laptops/desktops/TabletPCs we have back on the image building desk. All work without fine and just some of the 6+ year old hardware need basic drivers (sound card, video card)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2009   #6

Win7x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ultraplanet View Post
I don't ever mess with sysprep. The way I look at it is I am joining the machine to the domain anyway and remaning it only takes a second longer. Renaming it resets the SID.
Renaming doesn't change a machine's SID.

The point of SysPrep is to "prepare" the installation for imaging by stripping away those portions which are hardware and instance-specific. If you rolled out an image created on (say) a Compaq laptop onto a Dell Precision 670 workstation, without first using SysPrep, you'd be lucky if the thing booted. SysPrep removes the "Compaqness" and causes certain hardware detection routines to be re-run on the Dell when the image is deployed there.

@Heyash: SysPrep is the only utility of this nature that leaves you in a "supportable" state as far as MS is concerned. The bigger you are as an org, the more you'd normally care about that. If you're just experimenting a bit with a couple dozen machines... it hardly makes a difference what you do. But if you're being tasked with creating a SOE image that's going to run on hundreds or thousands of machines, I'd advise you to spend some time reading about SysPrep.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2009   #7

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by H2SO4 View Post
Renaming doesn't change a machine's SID.
A new SID does not get created when a system joins a domain? So duplicates are not a problem then? Looks like I have more reading to do too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Nov 2009   #8

Win7x64
 
 

[quote=ultraplanet;353080]
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by H2SO4 View Post
Renaming doesn't change a machine's SID.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ultraplanet View Post
A new SID does not get created when a system joins a domain?
No. The machine keeps its name and its SID. Perhaps you're thinking of a new "secure channel" which is a link that the domain-joining workstation establishes with a DC.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ultraplanet View Post
So duplicates are not a problem then? Looks like I have more reading to do too.
Oh, duplicates are a problem, precisely because of that SID immutability. If a machine is simply imaged (without SysPrep/NewSID), then all the other boxes built off the same image will keep the same SID, and that's v.bad when they're all domain-joined. Avoiding that problem is one of SysPrep's functions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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