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Windows 7: Windows 7 - Default Profile. How can I edit it?

09 Nov 2009   #31
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

System Image Manager is part of Windows AIK, it is used to create these unattend.xml files which can be created on Windows XP. On the Windows 7 machine you set it up make the changes you want, then with the unattend.xml file you run "C:\Windows\System32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /audit /generalize /unattend:"C:\path\to\unattend.xml \reboot" (Be logged into the account you want copied) This will restart Windows 7 in audit mode, add any drivers or printers here or additional software. Then running sysprep again with "/oobe /shutdown" Then proceed with imaging. Untested process with the oobe step, you may have to reboot a second time.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Nov 2009   #32
Roasted

Ubuntu
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
System Image Manager is part of Windows AIK, it is used to create these unattend.xml files which can be created on Windows XP. On the Windows 7 machine you set it up make the changes you want, then with the unattend.xml file you run "C:\Windows\System32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /audit /generalize /unattend:"C:\path\to\unattend.xml \reboot" (Be logged into the account you want copied) This will restart Windows 7 in audit mode, add any drivers or printers here or additional software. Then running sysprep again with "/oobe /shutdown" Then proceed with imaging. Untested process with the oobe step, you may have to reboot a second time.
Hm, okay. So essentially the unattend.xml file is just created on any other Windows machine, but when you run the sysprep.exe, it APPLIES that xml file to the system you're editing (in my case the Windows 7 machine).

Question... on all of our machines, we have a local administrator, and that's where we set up the default profile by adding the printers, desktop icons, start menu, taskbar settings, home page in firefox/ie, etc etc. We always use this method... always. With that being said, if I create one unattend.xml file that is adjusted to use the CopyProfile switch from "Administrator" to "Default", so I ever have to worry about running AIK again?

Because if you think about it, if I run AIK and generate the unattend.xml to point to Administrator for the CopyProfile command, and I keep that on file stored somewhere, any Windows 7 image I create I can just pull that unattend.xml file, run sysprep, and bam - it points to Administrator for the default profile.

Is my thinking on track or am I way off?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2009   #33
Roasted

Ubuntu
 
 

Okay. I'm trying here. I really am.

I put the DVD in my laptop. I launched AIK. Okay, fine. Looks familiar to the link you posted me. As instructed, I went to check out the deployment tools which is where the answer file was supposedly located according to the one guide I was reading regarding this procedure.

I run the installer and I get prompted with "You do not have permission to access this file. Contact your system administrator."

...I AM THE SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR. I have full administrator access. I even tried a local administrator account on my laptop - no dice either.

EDIT - So eventually I got it running. Not sure if the guide was wrong or what but I found other guides that had told me to do something different, so I did. I got the system imager program working and I can generate a new answer file, but under specialize I don't have a drop down option like you did in your thumbnail you posted.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Nov 2009   #34
logicearth

Windows 10 Pro (x64)
 
 

You first need to open a Windows Image, either by poping the DVD in or if you have an ISO virtual drive or even extract it. Either way you need to select the install.wim file or one of the install_*.cfg files for the version you are using.

Once you have the Windows Image pane on the far bottom left filled out, look for x86_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup (replace x86 with x64 if you are using 64bit), right-click on it and select the appropriate configuration pass (specialize).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2009   #35
Roasted

Ubuntu
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
You first need to open a Windows Image, either by poping the DVD in or if you have an ISO virtual drive or even extract it. Either way you need to select the install.wim file or one of the install_*.cfg files for the version you are using.

Once you have the Windows Image pane on the far bottom left filled out, look for x86_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup (replace x86 with x64 if you are using 64bit), right-click on it and select the appropriate configuration pass (specialize).
I did that. And I get an error. Not compatible with the current version of Windows.

Am I not allowed to run Windows System Imager on an XP Pro SP3 computer??

EDIT - Nevermind. Just ran it on another Windows 7 PC and it still gave me the same error.

Really, Microsoft?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Nov 2009   #36
Roasted

Ubuntu
 
 

I followed the guide, just as instructed.

I ran sysprep with the unattend.xml set up with the CopyProfile = True switch.

It rebooted automatically and as it booted up said updating registry settings.

Now every time it boots up, I get:

Windows could not finish configuring the system. To attempt to resume configuration, restart the computer.

Each time I restart it, it gives me that error again.

Somebody. Please. Stab me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #37
Roasted

Ubuntu
 
 

I decided to post a through-and-through step by step of what I did in hopes that somebody might be able to notice something I did wrong or something I need to change.

My work laptop is running Windows XP Pro SP3. I installed AIK and from within there I am able to get WSIM rolling.

I create a new answer file by going to file - new answer file. Then in the lower left corner, I navigate to Components / x86_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.1.7100.0_neutral_31bf3856ad364e35_nonSxS

I right click it and send to Pass 4 (specialize). Then I adjust CopyProfile to "True". Then, I save the answer file as unattend.xml.

Then I go to my Windows 7 computer, copy the unattend.xml into the C/Windows/System32/Sysprep folder and I double click Sysprep.exe. I check generalize and hit okay.

It applies the settings, reboots, says it's changing stuff in the registry, and I get that error.

Windows could not finish configuring the system. To attempt to resume configuration, restart the computer.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #38
SquonkSC

Win7 Build 7600 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Roasted View Post
I decided to post a through-and-through step by step of what I did in hopes that somebody might be able to notice something I did wrong or something I need to change.

My work laptop is running Windows XP Pro SP3. I installed AIK and from within there I am able to get WSIM rolling.

I create a new answer file by going to file - new answer file. Then in the lower left corner, I navigate to Components / x86_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.1.7100.0_neutral_31bf3856ad364e35_nonSxS

I right click it and send to Pass 4 (specialize). Then I adjust CopyProfile to "True". Then, I save the answer file as unattend.xml.

Then I go to my Windows 7 computer, copy the unattend.xml into the C/Windows/System32/Sysprep folder and I double click Sysprep.exe. I check generalize and hit okay.

It applies the settings, reboots, says it's changing stuff in the registry, and I get that error.

Windows could not finish configuring the system. To attempt to resume configuration, restart the computer.

Is this the guide you followed?
How to customize default user profiles in Windows 7

Microsoft states very explicitly:
This is the only supported method of customizing the default user profile for the Windows operating system. If you try to use other methods to customize the default user profile, it may result in extraneous information being included in this new default user profile. Such extraneous information could lead to serious problems with applications and system stability.

Sidenote:
I cannot for the life of me imagine why you would choose not to use roaming profiles, for that many computers.

The way you do it, makes managing such a large network unnecessarily difficult, time consuming and prone to errors.

Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #39
Darryl Licht

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Steve Ballmer Signature Edition
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by MacGyvr View Post
It seems as though the proper way to do this is by using GPOs for things like wallpapers, start menu, etc. and "delivered" apps from the domain, nothing to do with profiles although you could have the profile wiped at logout so that everything gets reapplied at the next login.
The college I work for uses GPOs for our Vista machines, and it works very well for us!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2009   #40
Roasted

Ubuntu
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by SquonkSC View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Roasted View Post
I decided to post a through-and-through step by step of what I did in hopes that somebody might be able to notice something I did wrong or something I need to change.

My work laptop is running Windows XP Pro SP3. I installed AIK and from within there I am able to get WSIM rolling.

I create a new answer file by going to file - new answer file. Then in the lower left corner, I navigate to Components / x86_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.1.7100.0_neutral_31bf3856ad364e35_nonSxS

I right click it and send to Pass 4 (specialize). Then I adjust CopyProfile to "True". Then, I save the answer file as unattend.xml.

Then I go to my Windows 7 computer, copy the unattend.xml into the C/Windows/System32/Sysprep folder and I double click Sysprep.exe. I check generalize and hit okay.

It applies the settings, reboots, says it's changing stuff in the registry, and I get that error.

Windows could not finish configuring the system. To attempt to resume configuration, restart the computer.

Is this the guide you followed?
How to customize default user profiles in Windows 7

Microsoft states very explicitly:
This is the only supported method of customizing the default user profile for the Windows operating system. If you try to use other methods to customize the default user profile, it may result in extraneous information being included in this new default user profile. Such extraneous information could lead to serious problems with applications and system stability.

Sidenote:
I cannot for the life of me imagine why you would choose not to use roaming profiles, for that many computers.

The way you do it, makes managing such a large network unnecessarily difficult, time consuming and prone to errors.

Good luck.
That's not my call to make. I'm not the network administrator. Plus, I'm not familiar with roaming profiles, but there's one thing we absolutely need and I'm not sure how roaming profiles would apply it.

In the business lab, we need xyz settings which are very unique. In the photoshop lab, we need abc settings which are very unique. Each printer needs to be set up in a particular manner with certain settings. I don't know if a roaming profile can take care of this, but we have NO issues with local profiles, none at all. It's just a total pain when we get the new OS that's supposed to be easier and Microsoft throws us through a loop. Let's just say, I understand why XP will be around, pretty much... forever.

Anyway, I did follow that guide on the Microsoft web site. I hate to say it, but that guide sucks. It's very vague. Luckily I found other guides taht went into more detail than what Microsoft offered.

One guide in particular said this:

"go to “My Computer” and you are going to rename the Default folder to Default.bak (The CopyProfile setting in Sysprep on Windows7 does not seem to work yet)."

So, let me get this straight.

Microsoft has 3 ways to set the default profile. 2 of which are not supported by Microsoft. Those 2 methods also don't necessarily work. With one of them, I can get SOME settings, but not all that I need. Yet the one they support DOESNT WORK?

And I can confirm it doesn't work. I've been pulling out my hair for the last 8 weeks over this...

I guess I just expected better.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows 7 - Default Profile. How can I edit it?




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