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Windows 7: Sysprep (basic as possible)


18 Jan 2011   #1

XP, 7
 
 
Sysprep (basic as possible)

Hello, I have about 175 machines I deploy each year in our organization. In the past with XP, I simply created a profile and copied it to default. That always worked well from me, but from what I understand was not necessarily the "correct" way to do things, nor will it work anymore.

Everytime I've tried to read up on sysprep though, my eyes glaze over. It seems like every resource I've found goes into way more detail than I need. I also realize that I've somewhat been forced into it and have to figure out my next step. In the past, I've simply used an open source imaging tool (g4l) set up the image with a generic page, and made a few changes as necessary.

So knowing my setup, would someone here be kind enough to either point me in the direction of something very basic for what I need, or be willing to work with me a bit more one-on-one? Thanks for the help.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jan 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

 

This tutorial makes SysPrep easy: Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer

Once your finished installation is SysPrepped using Method One, use Methods 2 or 3 to create an image you can deploy using your preferred method.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #3

XP, 7
 
 

Thanks for the quick reply, I'll have a look at it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jan 2011   #4

XP, 7
 
 

Gregrocker, while I appreciate your post, it doesn't help me figure out how to customize a default profile, from what I can tell. My computers are not extremely complicated, but I do like to have a few things configured on the default profile beforehand.

Could anyone give me some times on the easiest way to configure the default profile on 7?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2011   #5

XP, 7
 
 
Preferences, etc

I have another thread on here explaining about how I would like to customize a default profile. Sounds like this is rather a large pain in 7. I thought I would have to use sysprep but I think that is more involved than I want to go right now.

I have seen some other solutions and I can't seem to get them to work. Would appreciate any tips.

1) Set up some preferences in GPMC with changes I may want for defaults. I have tried this, but none of my preferences seem to work. Policies in the same group work fine, but not preferences.

2) Edit the registry of the ntuser.dat file for the default user. I do this, but it makes no difference. Where I'm editing is c:\users\default\ . I also see a c:\users\default user\ but I have no access to that, even as an administrator. I really only need to make a few small changes (background, etc) and would love some assistance and need to figure out how preferences and such work anyway.

Thanks.

on edit: the reason I made another thread for this was because my new thread was not about sysprep anylonger and I didn't want to scare away people who knew nothing about sysprep.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

 

Why couldn't you create a Default User account as you wish, then Sysprep the HD installed upon as described in Kari's tutorial, image it then deploy images using your preferred method?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2011   #7

XP, 7
 
 

Well I did not recall seeing anything in her tutorial about default profiles and configuring a profile and copying that info over, for one thing.

Another thing is, using sysprep seems to bring a whole other level of complexity that is way beyond what we need right now. I simply want to customize a few minor things, such as a default wallpaper, screensaver, etc...

I realize sysprep may be the way to go long-term, but it seems a bit extreme if I could just make some minor registry changes to a default profile.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

I asked the tutorial author to look at your post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2011   #9

XP, 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
I asked the tutorial author to look at your post.
Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

This is how to do it only with built-in Windows 7 tools.

When starting to create the master image, start a clean install to an empty hard disk. When Seven installation stops to ask user and computer name, do not enter anything. Instead of typing your username and computer name, press CTRL + SHIFT +F3 (press and hold down CTRL and SHIFT, press F3 still holding CTRL and SHIFT down, release all three keys).

Finalizing installation is now interrupted, and Windows reboots to a so called Audit Mode:
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Microsoft
By default, immediately after installation, Windows® starts Windows Welcome. However, you can configure a computer to boot to audit mode instead.

Audit mode enables you to customize a Windows installation without having to configure the user interface pages of Windows Welcome. During Windows Welcome, you are prompted to create user accounts and configure your location and time zone. By booting to audit mode you can ensure that the Windows image you are customizing would not have additional configurations that you would need to remove. Audit mode is ideal for making change to a Windows image before shipping a computer to a customer or capturing the image for reuse in your organization.
Simply, Audit Mode allows you to modify and customize the Seven setup as you wish before any user accounts are created or any user specific information is entered, using built-in administrator account. You can install all the apps needed in your master image, create default folders, user profiles etc. and set default locations.

When ready, use sysprep to generalize and create your hardware independent Windows 7 setup. Reboot to Audit Mode, create a system image using built-in imaging tool. Deploy the image.

To enter Audit mode, press CTRL + SHIFT + F3 when this screen appears during the installation:

Sysprep (basic as possible)-audit_01.png

When Windows has rebooted to Audit Mode, close Sysprep GUI by clicking Cancel here:

Sysprep (basic as possible)-audit_02.png

Do your customization. When finished, open command prompt, enter the folder C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\, type the command sysprep.exe /audit /reboot /generalize. Windows reboots now back to Audit Mode. Create your image, open command prompt, enter the folder C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\, type the command sysprep.exe /oobe /shutdown. Deploy the image to other computers.

You can also use so called unattend XML-scripts to customize your setup. In that case, the syntax to use sysprep is sysprep.exe /audit /reboot /generalize /unattend:X:\Unattend.xml, where X:\Unattend.xml is the path and filename of your script.

More about Audit Mode:About unattended setup:
Kari


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 Sysprep (basic as possible)




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