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

09 Sep 2014   #100
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

In all honesty, you are the first person I have heard about being unable to boot with a WinPE disk. I did not even think to add instructions on this tutorial for how to skip the rearm when generalizing and be able to Sysprep the same image again; the tutorial is already complex enough, I wanted to leave out everything not absolutely necessary.

Seems that I was wrong and I have to add that part to the tutorial. For you this comes too late, but there's a simple command to insert to answer file, in between the [settings pass="generalize"] tags (see the highlighted command):
Code:
<settings pass="generalize">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP....
...
...
<SkipRearm>1</SkipRearm>
</component>
</settings>
You can generalize a WIndows 7 image 3 times and Windows 8 or later 8 times. AS the sole purpose of this tutorial was to generalize successfully, then create the image, I left that part away. My fault, I am sorry but I cannot change that now.

All above put very short: You have to start from scratch by installing Windows and entering Audit Mode again. This time, before you start, find out how to boot your PC or virtual machine with WinPE boot disk.

Kari


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
09 Sep 2014   #101
Monumental

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
In all honesty, you are the first person I have heard about being unable to boot with a WinPE disk. I did not even think to add instructions on this tutorial for how to skip the rearm when generalizing and be able to Sysprep the same image again; the tutorial is already complex enough, I wanted to leave out everything not absolutely necessary.

Seems that I was wrong and I have to add that part to the tutorial. For you this comes too late, but there's a simple command to insert to answer file, in between the [settings pass="generalize"] tags (see the highlighted command):
Code:
<settings pass="generalize">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP....
...
...
<SkipRearm>1</SkipRearm>
</component>
</settings>
You can generalize a WIndows 7 image 3 times and Windows 8 or later 8 times. AS the sole purpose of this tutorial was to generalize successfully, then create the image, I left that part away. My fault, I am sorry but I cannot change that now.

All above put very short: You have to start from scratch by installing Windows and entering Audit Mode again. This time, before you start, find out how to boot your PC or virtual machine with WinPE boot disk.

Kari
The issue I've run into is that I have a 64 bit system so Virtual PC wasn't an option. I also wanted to try an EFI install because my mobo supports it and between VMware and VirtualBox only VMware supports EFI. But then there's no way to set boot sequence in the GUI for VMware. Using VMTweaker I was able to select EFI and also to add a 10 second boot delay. Then on initial boot you can use F2 to enter the BIOS and move the CD-ROM drive up to the first boot device in the Boot Sequence Manager. On testing this seems to work.

I imagine that anyone using VMware will need to use VMTweaker to add the boot delay and enter the BIOS on first boot to change the boot sequence or they're going to run into these same problems of not being able to boot to the Windows RE disc.

One more question for you, can I assume that once we've done Part 10. Creating Windows PE boot disk that we don't need to repeat that step? The iso file or disk we create isn't image specific, is it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2014   #102
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Monumental View Post
One more question for you, can I assume that once we've done Part 10. Creating Windows PE boot disk that we don't need to repeat that step? The iso file or disk we create isn't image specific, is it?
The Windows Preinstallation Environment or shortly WinPE is a full fledged operating system by itself. When used as in this tutorial, to work with a Windows image, WinPE does not even know what OS is installed on the HDD. As far as WinPE is concerned, when booted it is the current operating system of the computer; when you launch let's say Macrium Reflect installed in WinPE to capture the image of a HDD, both WinPE and Macrium are totally unaware of what the OS on that HDD is.

So the short answer is yes. I for instance use the same Windows 8 based WinPE to image all my Windows 7 and 8 installations.

Kari

P.S. A personal apology: I have been quite sick a few days now, I notice that I have some concentration issues at the moment and my replies might be even less coherent than before. Sorry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2014   #103
Monumental

Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Monumental View Post
One more question for you, can I assume that once we've done Part 10. Creating Windows PE boot disk that we don't need to repeat that step? The iso file or disk we create isn't image specific, is it?
The Windows Preinstallation Environment or shortly WinPE is a full fledged operating system by itself. When used as in this tutorial, to work with a Windows image, WinPE does not even know what OS is installed on the HDD. As far as WinPE is concerned, when booted it is the current operating system of the computer; when you launch let's say Macrium Reflect installed in WinPE to capture the image of a HDD, both WinPE and Macrium are totally unaware of what the OS on that HDD is.

So the short answer is yes. I for instance use the same Windows 8 based WinPE to image all my Windows 7 and 8 installations.

Kari

P.S. A personal apology: I have been quite sick a few days now, I notice that I have some concentration issues at the moment and my replies might be even less coherent than before. Sorry.
Ok, thanks. That's what I was thinking, just didn't know if anything specific to the install was being captured. And no worries. This board is great in the support it provides. I'd give you more rep but it says I gave it to you last!

Also, I was able to boot into the Win RE disc and didn't have to use the SkipRearm on my third attempt at this. You might add a note that for anyone using VMware Player they'll need to use VM Tweaker to add a boot delay to the BIOS. They'll then need to enter the BIOS, then enter the Boot Sequence Manager at the initial startup and move the CD Rom drive to the top priority. Then they'll have the option to "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD..." before Windows boots.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Oct 2014   #104
HEADSHOTPUNK

Windows 7 Enterprise x64
 
 

I'm having an issue setting my default search provider in IE 11. I keep trying to set it to Google, but it changes the default search provider back to bing after running sysprep. I started a thread a few days ago looking for some help:

IE 11 Default Search Provider Resets After Sysprep


Any thoughts on why my answer file isn't working?

Thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Oct 2014   #105
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by HEADSHOTPUNK View Post
I'm having an issue setting my default search provider in IE 11. I keep trying to set it to Google, but it changes the default search provider back to bing after running sysprep. I started a thread a few days ago looking for some help:

IE 11 Default Search Provider Resets After Sysprep


Any thoughts on why my answer file isn't working?

Thanks for your help.
I replied in your original thread: IE 11 Default Search Provider Resets After Sysprep
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2014   #106
matisptfan

Windows 10 x64 Preview
 
 

Hello there,
I've registered in sevenforums due to this amazing tutorial which I believe will be a time saver for me in the future. Even though it's clearly written with good detail and pointing to lots of other resources from the forum, there's this little thing I came across in the step 9: the ISO I'm editing doesn't have a catalog file (even though it has all x64 and x86 Windows 7). So the natural thing to try - and I'm in that process - is for WSIM to generate a catalog when you add install.wim as an image, but I'm not really sure it's going to work. Can I have a little guidance here? Should I look for Catalog files online? I'd sure wouldn't like to lose my process, since finally Windows Updates are up to date.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2014   #107
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by matisptfan View Post
Hello there,
I've registered in sevenforums due to this amazing tutorial which I believe will be a time saver for me in the future. Even though it's clearly written with good detail and pointing to lots of other resources from the forum, there's this little thing I came across in the step 9: the ISO I'm editing doesn't have a catalog file (even though it has all x64 and x86 Windows 7). So the natural thing to try - and I'm in that process - is for WSIM to generate a catalog when you add install.wim as an image, but I'm not really sure it's going to work. Can I have a little guidance here? Should I look for Catalog files online? I'd sure wouldn't like to lose my process, since finally Windows Updates are up to date.
Hi Matisptfan, welcome to the Seven forums.

No worries, if the catalog file is not present just open the install.wim instead (same location, Sources folder), the SIM will then create catalog.

See this on our sister site the Ten Forums, Part Five in a similar tutorial tutorial for Windows 10 explains how to open the install.wim instead of catalog file and let SIM create the catalog: Windows 10 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep

Notice the step 5.2 in that Ten Forums tutorial; if you are using a DVD or write protected USB Windows 7 install media, you need first to copy the install.wim to a non-write protected location and then use it instead. The process needs to write data to install.wim, it must be in a location where system can write.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2015   #108
raymondub

windows Pro 64
 
 

Very nice Tutorial !
I ll read quite quick cause i was searching in particular.. You do a generalize so that it ll be possible to install that image on multiple hardware. The generalize removes the hardware info if i understood well.
BUT where in the image or in sysprep or in windows folder have i to copy my drivers cd to make windows uses it ?
windows\system32\drivers ?
or has it to be a post script after the installation ?
I made some tests but i had some drivers missing.
I was searching for the default profile and your informations seem to be just perfect.. I ll try it it today but 1st on a Vbox machine.

thx

R.D.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2015   #109
Javierrrr

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
Windows AIK
Quick question. When installing the WAIK, do I have to do it on the machine that would be used as source for the image, or can I do it on my laptop and then move the answe file to that machine?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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