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Windows 7: Do you really need to sysprep a Windows 7 machine?

10 May 2012   #1
MarvelK

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Do you really need to sysprep a Windows 7 machine?

Hi,

I work in a community college and I we image tons of PCs for classrooms and labs etc. I had been imaging all those labs with sysprep when we were using Windows XP. Now that we are using Windows 7, we decided not to use sysprep as my seniors said its not required if we are using Windows 7.

Now I also work part time on another company, and they are using sysprep on windows 7. So my questions is, do you really need to use sysprep on windows 7? I mean I had been imaging win 7 machines for 2 years without sysprep and I never seen any issue. They work perfect on domain, etc.

Now, when I suggest my co worker's and suggest not to use sysprep, they would pull up many website saying "you must sysprep when deploying win7 machine."

I don't have any clear answer why it worked for us and what will happen if we stop using it on my other job too.

I know sysprep changes SSID, hardware keys(or something) and clears event log. But I think we don't really need SSID. People are just too afraid to try it out I guess.

What do you guys think?

Thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 May 2012   #2
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

You would sysprep win 7 for same reason as past versions. You could get away with not sysprepping before, but if networked you really want to have unique sids.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #3
MarvelK

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

As I said before, I had not been syspreping my machines for 2 years now. They are in domain, all networking stuff stuff, no issues what so ever.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 May 2012   #4
gregrocker

 

For consumer purposes you need to SysPrep - or use Acronis True Image with Universal Restore or Paragon Adaptive Restore CD - to get Win7 to start on different hardware. You can try it first as it will sometimes start but this is not assured, and sometimes trying it first is not possible with a planned mobo change.

For the first year of Win7 we advised a Clean Reinstall in most consumer cases of changed hardware where Win7 will not start, however since Kari wrote SysPrep to move HD to another computer we have led the way to popularize SysPrep for consumer use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2012   #5
MarvelK

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

But that still doesn't answer the question that if you really need sysprep? I understand one purpose of sysprep is OOBE, but it is not required in production environment as we (Technicians) are the one who had to configure it for the end user.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 May 2012   #6
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

You have ONE image and put same image on MANY pc's? Is the image just a customized win7 install with answer file? Or.... please explain

All about SID mythe http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussi...3/3291024.aspx
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2012   #7
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

With respect to the "SID myth", I'm not entirely 100% sure that this previous article should be considered the be-all end all with respect to SID's.

Here is an article that explains why you still want to run Sysprep
Why Sysprep is necessary: All important functions and features - 4sysops

While not always a problem, you could run into an issue with a piece of software that has a problem if machine SID's are the same. The Qwest Migrator tool I believe had this issue. We had to use that on a previous network and I think we found a few machines with the same SID that failed to be migrated properly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2012   #8
Kaktussoft

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bits 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Uninstalls plug and play device drivers, which reduces the risk of hardware compatibility problems; required drivers will be installed automatically on the target machines

=> that's the main reason I use sysprep
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2012   #9
ckort

Windows 7 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Are you planning on using KMS for activations?

I'm currently in the middle of (attempting) deployment for about 4k workstations.

For our Windows XP machines, we've used Symantec Ghost without sysprep and haven't had any problems.

However, with Windows 7, the activation process is totally different and we're having problems with getting our machines to work properly. There are two different pieces that Sysprep changes, the SID and the CMID. If your machines have duplicate CMIDs, your KMS server will see your workstations as duplicates and your workstation count will not increase. Despite what I've read/tried, using the "slmgr.vbs /rearm" command does not change these IDs, either.

Good luck!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 May 2012   #10
event3horizon

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

yes, you'll want to use sysprep, otherwise if it wasn't needed it wouldn't exist. How else would you reset activation? you will probably end up with problems if you don't sysprep.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Do you really need to sysprep a Windows 7 machine?




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