Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


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

23 Apr 2014   #80
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

That warning is more or less a "hand wash", Microsoft making it clear that OK this works and can be done, even telling how it's done, but if anything happens it's your own fault .

Anyway, not a single Windows update, fix or service pack fail or is known to cause issues because of a relocated Users and ProgramData folders on Seven or relocated Users folder in Eight.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
23 Apr 2014   #81
bawldiggle

XP/7x32 & x64/8x64/8.1x64
 
 

Kari,
... and following Britton30's comment

To get it clear in my mind, updates are not affected with user-directories in other drives.
But version upgrades are ? (ie, upgrades must be a clean install, or use SysPrep)
By upgrade eg, from Home Premium to Pro ?

SysPrep to "move" user-directories back to C:\ > upgrade Windows > sysprep to move user-directories back to alternative drive. ?

Upgrades:
I only upgrade by clean install, mostly because the HD died or pre-2000 OS were unstable.
-----------

I don't have a spare PC to experiment with (they are all workhorses), but I do have an XP rig with a crashed HD (2011 vintage) With a new HD I could play with that. I cannot afford to expose income generating machines to experimentation.
I guess I would need a new Win-7 disc to play with. All I can find are OEMs -- I have already 3 other new OEMs ready for 2 XP rigs and one XP laptop. The laptop came with Vista downgraded to XP

I have assumed I "can" use OEMs to "upgrade" (clean install) to replace an older OS ? I intend replacing HDs ... and in the XP laptop replacing the 256 GB disc with a WD new SSD-spinner combos.

Hope I have not gone to far off topic
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2014   #82
bawldiggle

XP/7x32 & x64/8x64/8.1x64
 
 

Just started re-reading this thread.
As I re-read earlier "stuff" it is becoming clearer (reptilian brain cells)

Your post #73 suggests limitations of OEMs, but not impossible ?

Have I shot my self in the foot by buying Win-7 OEMs. (32bit Home Premium) to "upgrade" (clean install)?
(Home Premium does everything I want, no servers here)

Thanks for your patience
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2014   #83
Britton30
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

The OEM I referred to in post #73 is that which is installed on a machine you would buy at a store, ex. Dell, eMachines, etc. I don't think it would apply to an OEM "System Builder". Kari will have to explain that a bit more.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

23 Apr 2014   #84
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GrayGhost2 View Post
Kari,
... and following Britton30's comment

To get it clear in my mind, updates are not affected with user-directories in other drives.
But version upgrades are ? (ie, upgrades must be a clean install, or use SysPrep)
By upgrade eg, from Home Premium to Pro ?

SysPrep to "move" user-directories back to C:\ > upgrade Windows > sysprep to move user-directories back to alternative drive. ?
As I have repeatedly told in various threads, these two "rules" apply with sysprep and upgrade:
  1. You cannot sysprep an in-place upgraded Windows, whether the sysprep was used to relocate Users and / or ProgramData folders or for any other customizations. This applies to following in-place upgrade scenarios:
    • In-place upgrade to superior version of the same edition (example: 7 Home Premium to 7 Ultimate)
    • Repair installed Windows (repair install = in-place upgrade to same edition and version)
    • In-place upgrade to superior edition (example: windows 7 Professional to Windows 8 Pro)
  2. You cannot in-place upgrade a Windows setup where the Users and / or ProgramData folders are relocated on another drive than systemdrive, be the relocation done with sysprep or any other method
Both of these restrictions can be worked around but as it goes to totally unsupported territory, I will not explain it any further.

This really is no rocket science: If you decide to relocate some system folders with sysprep, and you later want to upgrade your OS to a superior version of the same edition or to a superior edition, back up your data on your user profile drive, format it and do a normal clean install with your upgraded OS. Sysprep it to relocate your Users and ProgramData if you want to, then restore your personal data from backup to respective folders.

That's it.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GrayGhost2 View Post
Just started re-reading this thread.
As I re-read earlier "stuff" it is becoming clearer (reptilian brain cells)

Your post #73 suggests limitations of OEMs, but not impossible ?

Have I shot my self in the foot by buying Win-7 OEMs. (32bit Home Premium) to "upgrade" (clean install)?
(Home Premium does everything I want, no servers here)

Thanks for your patience
I cannot explain it in a clearer way I already did on that post #73. Image can be created without entering the product key as you enter Audit Mode from first OOBE boot before Windows asks the key.

When done, the post #73 tells the four different activation scenarios. The OEM activation scenarios apply to both manufacturer delivered and system builder OEM versions.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2014   #85
bawldiggle

XP/7x32 & x64/8x64/8.1x64
 
 

Thank you Britton30 ... and ... Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2014   #86
Pendaws

Win7 SP1 + Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

All I can say is WOW

I started to read the whole tutorial but it is 11.00pm here in Australia and I am afraid that I am not getting out of it what I need to see, old eyes and tired

Thanks to all those that had a hand in this project and massive Kudos to you Kari

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jun 2014   #87
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

You are welcome Pendaws . The procedure is in fact a lot simpler than it feels after first read.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Aug 2014   #88
tjg79

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 

Hi,

Very well done tutorial.

I have a question based on the referenced tutorial, How to Create a Virtual Machine in Windows Virtual PC, link below. The referenced tutorial explains how to install a 32-bit guest operating system on a 32-bit or 64-bit Win 7 as host. I want to use this tutorial as a guide to Create, Customize, and Maintain a 64-bit Win 7 Image in Audit Mode with Sysprep Tool on my 64-bit Win 7 as host.

Is it possible to use this tutorial to create a 64-bit Win 7 Image?

From my skimming the referenced tutorial, I got the impression that you can only load a Virtual Machine with a 32-bit guest OS.

Thanks for the assistance.

Regards



Windows Virtual PC - Create Virtual Machine
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Aug 2014   #89
Kari

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by tjg79 View Post
Hi,

Very well done tutorial.

I have a question based on the referenced tutorial, How to Create a Virtual Machine in Windows Virtual PC, link below. The referenced tutorial explains how to install a 32-bit guest operating system on a 32-bit or 64-bit Win 7 as host. I want to use this tutorial as a guide to Create, Customize, and Maintain a 64-bit Win 7 Image in Audit Mode with Sysprep Tool on my 64-bit Win 7 as host.

Is it possible to use this tutorial to create a 64-bit Win 7 Image?

From my skimming the referenced tutorial, I got the impression that you can only load a Virtual Machine with a 32-bit guest OS.

Thanks for the assistance.

Regards



Windows Virtual PC - Create Virtual Machine
An important point which I have covered badly in the tutorial. I will edit the tutorial to cover this.

You are of course right, you can only install 32 guests to Windows Virtual PC, regardless if the host is 32 or 64 bit. In order to create a 64 bit Windows guest vm on Windows 7 host you need to use third party virtualization programs. Two most common and well known free alternatives are VMWare Player and Oracle VirtualBox, both free to download and use.

This tutorial was made using a Windows 8.1 Pro host which allows 64 bit guests using its native built-in Windows Hyper-V virtualization. Hyper-V is available in Windows 8 / 8.1 Pro and Enterprise editions.

Kari



EDIT:

I have now edited the tutorial as shown in the quote below. Added info highlighted:

Quote:
Tip   Tip
You can do everything told in this tutorial on a virtual machine, in fact I recommend it. It has many advantages. You might for instance have a fully working Windows 7 setup, no need for reinstall at the moment, but creating a customized image for future reinstallation on a virtual machine is fast and makes reinstall when needed a piece of cake. Restoring a system image with your software already preinstalled is usually faster than doing a clean install with no additional software, making your Windows personal and customized from the first boot to desktop.

In Part 11. we will generalize the image (see Part 11. for further explanation), removing all hardware related information and drivers from the image so that it can be used later on any hardware capable of running Windows 7, not only on your own machine. This, of course, requires a valid product key for Windows and each program on image for each computer you use the image to install Windows.

You can use any virtualization platform (Virtual PC, VirtualBox, VMware, Parallels) on any operating system (Windows, Linux, Mac) for following this tutorial to create a customized Windows 7 System Image. See for instance this tutorial for installing Windows 7 on Virtual PC: Windows Virtual PC - Create Virtual Machine. Create the image on a Windows 7 virtual machine running on a Linux Mint machine on a VirtualBox virtual machine, save the image on a stick and take it with you when visiting that Apple fan boy cousin of yours and install Windows 7 from your image to a Parallels virtual machine running on his Mac.

Notice that you can only install 32 guests on Windows Virtual PC, regardless if the host system is 32 or 64 bit. In order to create a 64 bit Windows guest vm on Windows 7 host you need to use third party virtualization programs. Two most common and well known free alternatives are VMWare Player and Oracle VirtualBox, both free to download and use.

This tutorial, the process itself, screenshots and videos were made on a Hyper-V Windows 7 virtual machine running on a Windows 8.1 Pro HP Envy 17 laptop. The vm was given 2GB of RAM, two virtual hard disks (100GB and 500GB) and two virtual CD/DVD drives.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Comment

 Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep




Tutorial Tools Search this Tutorial
Search this Tutorial:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Windows 7 Tutorial Category
New Installation: How to Create a General System Image in Audit Mode
Audit Mode is a very practical way to prepare a system image without any user specific information like usernames or computer name. With it you can create a General System Image that gives you always when used a fresh, clean Windows 7 setup as if it were a virgin, fresh install, only difference...
Tutorials
Not sure if I am in Audit Mode in Sysprep
I just completed an entire Windows 7 installation (this will be my master image) using an answer file, and in the answer file I have it as <Reseal><Mode>Audit</Mode></Reseal> under the oobeSystem configuration pass. Now that I have done all my customizing, I started wondering if I was really in...
Installation & Setup
sysprep automatic audit -> oobe boot
Quick rundown of what I have and what I want to do. I'm deploying a Win7 x64 image to roughly ~2000 users. Sysprep is fully configured to rename machine to service tag and join domain, activate admin account, auto login for audit/oobe administrator, various company branding, driver installation,...
Installation & Setup
Fatal Error when Trying to SysPrep from Audit Mode
I was following the advice in this tutorial: =Backup Restore"]New Installation: How to Create a General System Image in Audit Mode But when I open sysprep I get a fatal error: System Preparation Tool 3.14 A fatal error occurred while trying to sysprep the machine. Running sysprep
Backup and Restore
Sysprep - Windows 7 - unable to sysprep image that joins domain
Good morning all: Below is my unattend.xml. I am using the sysprep + win7 for creating virtual machines in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 but having difficulty getting them to auto-join the domain. My sysprep progression proceeds normally and completes. The initial boot of the image...
Virtualization
Failed to reboot after sysprep (deploying windows 7 x32 image)
I have created a base image of Windows 7 x32 to deploy to same systems. After a sysprep, with drivers and programs installed. I capture the image using Clonezilla and reboot. Once reboot occurs I get "Setup is updating registry settings" followed by the error message "Windows could not...
Installation & Setup


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 14:44.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App