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Windows 7: Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep

16 Aug 2014   #90
johnvturek

Win 7 Enterprise 64
 
 

Hi, Amazing Sysprep Post! Thank you!

The links in this section of your tutorial are not valid, do you know if there are newer versions out?
Thanks!
John

==== QUote===
Another of our resident gurus, Siw2 has speliazed in creating ever more unbelievably nice PE systems. For this tutorial I use one of his gems. Siw works constantly with updates to his excellent WinPE , download links to latest versions will be edited here as new versions will become available.

Current versions:
For 32 bit Windows: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rzaxya9kuip47xk/RE86v7i.zip
For 64 bit Windows: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dd2jecmia3s0x00/RE64v7i.zip

============================


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Aug 2014   #91
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Welcome to Seven Forums johnvturek. This is the thread for the PE by SIW2

new versions of simple winpe maker

A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2014   #92
Monumental

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

Kari, I'm about to do a clean install and I'm considering following this guide but have a few questions.
1. Can I follow this tutorial at Part three to install using a UEFI usb?

2. If I don't intend to relocate Users and ProgramData but still want to generalize, do I just leave this off in sysprep- /unattend: DRIVE:\AnswerFileName.xml?

3. Assuming that I did sysprep to move Users to a data drive, can I later use the image created here to re-image the System drive without affecting the data drive? I'm just trying to understand if this image doesn't include the data drive how that would work. Does this avoid the requirement of Part 15 to move back the user profiles? I guess I'm just not sure if using this to re-image falls under rules 1 or 2.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Sep 2014   #93
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Monumental View Post
1. Can I follow this tutorial at Part three to install using a UEFI usb?
This method works as well on both legacy BIOS and UEFI setups.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Monumental View Post
2. If I don't intend to relocate Users and ProgramData but still want to generalize, do I just leave this off in sysprep- /unattend: DRIVE:\AnswerFileName.xml?
Simply skip that part of the tutorial where I tell how to make relocating in answer file.

I edited the tutorial just now a bit, adding two subtitles to Part 9 like this:
Quote:
9.1 OPTIONAL: If you do not want to relocate any folders jump to next step.

See the following 4 self-explaining screenshots to see how you change the location of Users and ProgramData folders:
...
(Screenshots removed from this quote.)
...
Done!

9.2 CUSTOMIZING: Customize the default user profile

...
If you do not relocate folders, skip 9.1 and continue from 9.2. The answer file will of course still be needed but now it will not contain instructions for Sysprep to relocate folders.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Monumental View Post
3. Assuming that I did sysprep to move Users to a data drive, can I later use the image created here to re-image the System drive without affecting the data drive? I'm just trying to understand if this image doesn't include the data drive how that would work. Does this avoid the requirement of Part 15 to move back the user profiles? I guess I'm just not sure if using this to re-image falls under rules 1 or 2.
Using Windows own native imaging, all drives and partitions containing system folders must be included in an image. As both Users and ProgramData are system folders, the drive containing them will be included and respectively overwritten when the image is restored.

That is why I recommend using a third party tool for imaging. For instance using Macrium you can create the image only containing the system reserved partition and the C: drive, excluding the drive where your relocated Users folder is located.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Sep 2014   #94
Monumental

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
That is why I recommend using a third party tool for imaging. For instance using Macrium you can create the image only containing the system reserved partition and the C: drive, excluding the drive where your relocated Users folder is located.

Kari
Awesome. Your answers to the first two are quite clear. Thank you. On the last bit, I haven't been the best at doing system image backups and have never restored from one. So let's say I sysprep the Users folder and then down the road I decide to re-image the C drive using the image we make here. Would there be a need to do anything to the D drive?

I'm just imagining that it might be similar to when you login after following your relocate tutorial. You'd have to create a temporary account on first boot at OOBE but then your Users folder and profile should still be there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2014   #95
Monumental

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

Kari, I've been following along with the tutorial as written. This has been my first time using a virtual machine so it's been a pretty cool learning experience. Everything has been going fine up until the point where it is supposed to reboot into WinRE. I'm using VMware Player because I use x64 Windows and it supports EFI. The problem is getting it to boot from physical disk, virtual disk, or usb with the WinRE iso file. It's instead booting straight to OOBE. Just a heads up for anyone else trying this.

Should it make any difference if I make the image after it's booted in to OOBE or does that lose the generalize that we did in the unattend file?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2014   #96
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

There's one significant difference in either creating the image still in Audit Mode after Sysprep has finished, or when the image is booted to OOBE. I'll try to explain.

The whole idea of this tutorial is to create something I call a "virgin" image in Audit Mode. This way whenever the image is used for deployment (installation), it contains no user profiles nor user data or hardware drivers. Talking about Windows 7 with only two possible account types, admin or standard, most users use the same username and account type on all of their Windows computers, but Windows 8 brings a new aspect to this, doubling the possible account types: Microsoft Account admin and local, a local account admin and local. With increasing number of account types comes situations when the user for example might want to set up the main desktop with an MS admin account but the laptop only with a local admin account, plus the HTPC with a totally different MS admin account.

In these cases it is a great benefit to be able to use the same image in "virgin" state and be able to decide separately each time the image is used for deployment which user and account type will be the first initial user created when the machine is booted to OOBE first time after deployment.

If you exit Audit Mode and let machine boot to OOBE, you need to create this initial user before you can create the image. This means that the image is no longer a "virgin"; it contains at least one user profile and some user data. It also means that after restoring this image Windows does not do the OOBE first run boot, it is no longer a clean install regarding the hardware drivers and such.

Other than that there's no difference. If you will only use the image on the same computer and it's OK for you to have the user profile already included in image, it's a working solution.

I cannot assist you in how to boot the VMware vm from WinPE, having never used VMware.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2014   #97
Monumental

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

Well, I found a way to enter a boot delay so I could get to the boot manager. However, when trying to reboot to windows it hands at Setup is starting services and I get a popup saying, 'Windows could not complete the installation. To install Windows on this computer, restart the installation.' Everything was going to sell to this point, I'm not sure what happened!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2014   #98
Monumental

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

I've gone through it all again. Much faster the 2nd time around!

I still had trouble booting to the RE cd. I've rebooted into Audit Mode. I can see that the unattend file ran because Users is on D: now. I'm not sure what exactly caused the install fail last time. I'm thinking about running sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /reboot without running the unattend file again since it already ran. Does that make sense or should I also run the unattend again?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2014   #99
Monumental

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

Ok...having trouble getting it to boot to the cd or file for winRE and I've used my 3 generalize attempts. Can you explain how to do skiprearm?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep




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