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Windows 7: Custom Taylor Master Image

13 Apr 2012   #1

windows 7 enterprise, X86 and X64


I work for a corporation that supports a part of our military. I have a question for the pros here. We are given an image that we install on our computers here. What I'd like to do is customize the image without disturbing much.

The image we have, has accounts that I don't want to lose. So far I've been doing my best to research how Sysprep works. What I did is, I installed the master image to a laptop and installed all the updates, and a few programs that we use. Had to join it to the domain for a few things to run. Then I ran sysprep: I chose oobe with generalize checkbox and shut down option, it ran just fine and shut down. When I restarted the machine to see what I'd be dealing with, I found the expected out of box experience but what I didn't count on is it prompted me for a user name and password, the two accounts that come with the master image were deleted, and the default administrator account was created--which is an account we don't use or even have on our machines.

All I want to do is edit the master image with updates and software after it's installed and sysprep it so that when I use ghost version 15 to take a cold image of it, I've got something that won't create duplicate sids all over our network as the image is slowly deployed to PC's. Is this possible? Should I be using audit mode at some point to accomplish this.

Want to install image on PC, update it with appropriate updates, install some software; prep machine without losing: accounts, drivers, or having an administrator account created--i don't mind if first boot prompts for timezone or PC name. I thought about using command line such as sysprep /generalize with no other option but have no idea yet if that will work or if it's possible.

Oh forgot to mention the OS is windows 7 X86, enterprise edition.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


It's flattering that you would ask us but maybe more appropriate for the IT Pro's at TechNet.

We have indeed helped popularize SysPrep to move HD to another computer for consumer use however this is considerably above our pay grade as an end-Consumer Forum.

That said, someone who knows may happen by.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hi Oceandographer, welcome to the Seven Forums.

The problem in sysprep /generalize approach as you describe it in your post is the SID, or rather RIDs (relative identifiers) of the user profiles you want to keep.

A RID is based on SID, in another words the RID of a Windows user profile is created adding user identifier to SID. An example: Let's say the machine SID is S-1-2-21-123456789-123456789-12345678. Built-in administrator's identifier is always 500, and the initial user's (account created when first OOBE boot run) 1000, so these two profiles would have in this example following RIDs:
- Built-in administrator user profile: S-1-2-21-123456789-123456789-12345678-500
- Initial user (administrator) profile: S-1-2-21-123456789-123456789-12345678-1000

You see my point? The SID is needed for RID, but the SID is removed when you generalize. This very effectively also removes the user accounts.

I think you should start learning WAIK and join TechNet, as Greg already pointed out. These are too big shoes for at least me to fill.

Some thoughts giving reading: The Machine SID Duplication Myth (and Why Sysprep Matters) - Mark's Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Custom Taylor Master Image

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