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Windows 7: New Installation: How to Create a General System Image in Audit Mode

06 Aug 2014   #40
milindsmart

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
As I have mentioned, the Sysprep is running all the time in the background [...] It works in Audit Mode when Sysprep is run and stopped with the Quit switch.
I completely understood what you said in your previous post itself. I just suggested that you include some form of that explanation in the tutorial so that others also can understand.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
To put it very simple, there are basically only one major difference in using this method (create a vhd image) and creating an install.wim file: The vhd restores an image setting up a copy (image) of a previously installed Windows, whereas the install.wim setups Windows by doing a clean install. Other than that the result is the same. For home users I recommend the method told in this tutorial, the vhd image as it is a bit simpler and does not require non-native Windows tools to capture the image.

Kari
Well DISM can be used to capture WIM images of installations... right? And DISM is native to Windows. And would not the WIM images be much smaller in size?

As I see it, from a higher level view :
  • The system image tool tries to capture a working windows installation for drop-in replacement of the OS instance at any time.
  • Image capture modifies the installation image with updates and software, so that one can newly install with much more up-to-date components.

So when considering the array of options available to windows users today to rollback, the system image tool should be used to get back immediately to a known good working point, usually when the current system has failed somehow. While the custom install.wim should be used to do a fresh install, just with more updated components and some software. Perhaps DISM is better suited to add updates, while system image better for software. Perhaps DISM is better suited for a generalized always-updated OS installation DVD ISO for any system to start afresh, while system image for single system and very predictably similar HDD partition layout.

I hope I seem like I'm heading somewhere with this...?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
06 Aug 2014   #41
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by milindsmart View Post
Well DISM can be used to capture WIM images of installations... right? And DISM is native to Windows. And would not the WIM images be much smaller in size?
Yes, DISM is a native Windows tool but not very easy for an average user to use. To keep instructions easy enough for an average user to understand them, to be sure that the procedure can be done without any deeper knowledge of Windows, this tutorial tries to offer an easy to do straight forward solution.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by milindsmart View Post
So when considering the array of options available to windows users today to rollback, the system image tool should be used to get back immediately to a known good working point, usually when the current system has failed somehow. While the custom install.wim should be used to do a fresh install, just with more updated components and some software. Perhaps DISM is better suited to add updates, while system image better for software. Perhaps DISM is better suited for a generalized always-updated OS installation DVD ISO for any system to start afresh, while system image for single system and very predictably similar HDD partition layout.
I disagree. Both methods can be used in exactly the same scenarios, either restoring a failed Windows setup or deploying Windows to a new computer.

From the end user's point of view there really is no difference between the two methods. Both methods allow you to customize the image, install applications, drivers and Windows updates and so on. When the system image, created as told in this tutorial is applied the result is exactly the same than when applying a captured install.wim image: a "virgin" (as in no existing user profiles) and fresh OOBE First Run boot.

If the goal is a hardware independent image which can be applied / deployed to any hardware capable to run Windows, both methods work even then exactly the same way: using the Generalize switch with Sysprep the hardware depended information is removed, SID reseted and a hardware independent image can be created.

More thorough walkthrough: Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2014   #42
looked

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

  1. What is the main difference between this solution plus imaging with Macrium or the standard installation plus Macrium, no user profile?
  2. I'm tempted to use Windows' System Image and save the image in a hidden partition and so creating it, could anyone please link me to the right thread if any?
  3. Alternatively I'll image with Macrium, but I feel like with Windows' tool and the hidden image I won't need to burn DVDs plus the tutorial here on Sevenforums explains how to create multiple images which is a good option.
Thanks very much for useful tutorial!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2015   #43
tjg79

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 

Hi, I'm in the process of following this tutorial for a clean install of Win 7 Pro x64. This one issue I'm having at the moment is that I can't check, download, or install Windows Updates. Is there a fix for that?

Thank you for your assistance.

Regards
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

11 Oct 2015   #44
hrhartist

Windows 7 Professional 32bit, 64 bit, Windows XP Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tjg79 View Post
Hi, I'm in the process of following this tutorial for a clean install of Win 7 Pro x64. This one issue I'm having at the moment is that I can't check, download, or install Windows Updates. Is there a fix for that?

Thank you for your assistance.

Regards


this may be an obvious question, but it has happened to me a few times
but, do you have your network driver installed?

if so, make sure you have connection to the internet.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2015   #45
tjg79

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 

The network driver is installed. I did it in Audit Mode. I was a bit confused following the tutorial instructions. From what I can observe, I couldn't download any updates until I exited audit mode and entered the Win 7 software key. Now I get the indication that the system is checking for updates, but there is nothing downloading. I suspect there is a glitch somewhere and I might need to reload something.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2016   #46
code9063

Win 7 pro x64
 
 

I found this very useful.

Now, can you please tell me how I can use the image to restore? When I tried "Restore this computer to an ealier point in time" -> Advanced -> restart, I could not locate the last dvd.. in the list.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2016   #47
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by code9063 View Post
I found this very useful.

Now, can you please tell me how I can use the image to restore? When I tried "Restore this computer to an ealier point in time" -> Advanced -> restart, I could not locate the last dvd.. in the list.
Restoring the PC to an earlier point with System Restore has nothing to do with this tutorial, or the method told in this tutorial. A Windows system restore and an image restore are two different things. Of course the system restore wont recognize an image created with an imaging program.

In Step 3 of this tutorial you are told to boot the PC with the boot disk of your chosen imaging software and create the image. Whenever a restore is needed, you simply boot the PC again with the boot disk of your imaging software and restore the system image you created in Step 3.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2016   #48
jiggunjer

windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by milindsmart View Post
Well DISM can be used to capture WIM images of installations... right? And DISM is native to Windows. And would not the WIM images be much smaller in size?
Yes, DISM is a native Windows tool but not very easy for an average user to use. To keep instructions easy enough for an average user to understand them, to be sure that the procedure can be done without any deeper knowledge of Windows, this tutorial tries to offer an easy to do straight forward solution.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by milindsmart View Post
So when considering the array of options available to windows users today to rollback, the system image tool should be used to get back immediately to a known good working point, usually when the current system has failed somehow. While the custom install.wim should be used to do a fresh install, just with more updated components and some software. Perhaps DISM is better suited to add updates, while system image better for software. Perhaps DISM is better suited for a generalized always-updated OS installation DVD ISO for any system to start afresh, while system image for single system and very predictably similar HDD partition layout.
I disagree. Both methods can be used in exactly the same scenarios, either restoring a failed Windows setup or deploying Windows to a new computer.

From the end user's point of view there really is no difference between the two methods. Both methods allow you to customize the image, install applications, drivers and Windows updates and so on. When the system image, created as told in this tutorial is applied the result is exactly the same than when applying a captured install.wim image: a "virgin" (as in no existing user profiles) and fresh OOBE First Run boot.

If the goal is a hardware independent image which can be applied / deployed to any hardware capable to run Windows, both methods work even then exactly the same way: using the Generalize switch with Sysprep the hardware depended information is removed, SID reseted and a hardware independent image can be created.

More thorough walkthrough: Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep

Kari
I think you're wrong. This does not seem HAL independent. Step 3 omits the /generalize switch. Meaning this will give a nice oobe image for people with the same or similar hardware. But change your laptop brand and the image won't work properly.
Audit mode =/= HAL independent
After skipping useroobe and installing windows, you locked your drivers. Using sysprep without /generalize means you don't revert that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Jan 2016   #49
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jiggunjer View Post
I think you're wrong. This does not seem HAL independent. Step 3 omits the /generalize switch. Meaning this will give a nice oobe image for people with the same or similar hardware. But change your laptop brand and the image won't work properly.
Audit mode =/= HAL independent
After skipping useroobe and installing windows, you locked your drivers. Using sysprep without /generalize means you don't revert that.
Hi Jiggunjer, welcome to the Seven Forums.

This tutorial is made for average Windows 7 users who want to create a system image for their specific machine, with everything already installed, allowing the user to apply this image to restore their system to pristine condition.

The discussion you quoted is a bit out of context here. Naturally this image cannot be used as such on another hardware. To do that the /generalize switch needs to be used.

This tutorial is for as I mentioned average users without no deeper knowledge of Windows. I have covered the process of creating a really hardware independent image in a much more advanced step-by-step walkthrough here: Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep

In addition, if a user who has followed instructions in this tutorial wants to move the Windows installation to new hardware, I have written the instructions here: Windows 7 Installation - Transfer to a New Computer

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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