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Windows 7: switching mobos without reinstalling windows 7

27 Sep 2011   #11
Microsoft MVP


How does the SysPrepped OS differentiate between a laptop and desktop?

How would you install drivers if the OS will not start?

Paragon Adaptive Restore will inject the drivers, but so will Win7 once the conflicting drivers are removed. It is the conflict of old hardware drivers attempting to start, along with incorrect SID which causes Win7 to not start on new hardware most times. That's why SysPrep and PAR remove the old drivers, PAR injects new, but they both remove activation, SID and HID which combine to make the start fail at boot animation.

An expert on this is Kari who wrote the tutorial, so I will ask him to discuss it with you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2011   #12

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

I have a sysprep'd Latitude E6420 image and will attempt to use that against a Lattitude D630. Different laptop. Will let you know. I will then use the same image on a Desktop machine.

Btw it's Win XP.

Update: Device Manager showed missing drivers for

Ethernet Controller
SM Bus Controller
Unknow Device
Unknow Device
Video Controller
video Controll (VGA Compatible)

From above errors, these are built in devices. A change in mobo will definately effect the image.

As previously mentioned, sysprep image will be make and model specific. Hardware independent would be Machine A, Machine B, Machine C etc, but all are the same make and model.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2011   #13

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


With respect, I am either misunderstanding you, Aem, or we are talking about different things.

When SysPrep is used with Generalize switch, it does exactly what the switch says: it generalizes the sysprepped image. This is an extract from the tutorial referred earlier in this thread, but this part of the tutorial is a direct quote from Microsoft:

Note   Note
What does Sysprep generalizing do to my Windows 7 setup?
  • All system specific information is removed or uninstalled
  • Security ID (SID) of your hardware setup is reseted
  • All system restore points are deleted
  • All event logs are deleted
  • All personalization is removed (taskbar, toolbars, folder options, start orb etc.)
  • Built-in administrator account is disabled (if it was enabled) and needs to be re-enabled if needed

What happens when booting first time after sysprep generalizing?
  • First boot configuration is run
  • New SID is created
  • Re-arm counter is reseted if not already re-armed three times
  • Windows 7 is booted using first boot default drivers and settings

Sysprep with Generalize switch is especially meant to be used when deploying images to different hardware setups. To borrow Greg's words: That's its function. Hardware independent deployment.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

27 Sep 2011   #14

Windows 7 Ultimate 64Bit

Hi Kari, I looked at your Tutorial and unless my eyes are deceiving me you have left out the capturing of the image after the sysprep. Was this intentional?

I was of the thought that you would use imagex to capture the image and then deploy that image to another machine. Another machine means another physical machine of the same type not another make and model.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2011   #15

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


I left it out intentionally. Basically, it was / is meant to be a "poor man's deployment tool" , with everything done with tools natively included in Windows 7 without additional downloads and installs, as simple as possible.

Generalizing removes all hardware specific data and resets the SID. When this image is then booted, it's a full and complete OOBE boot, mostly using general drivers.

I have transferred Windows 7 setup from Sony Vaio laptop to HP Envy laptop using this method without a single issue. Screenshots in my tutorial are from a HP Pavilion laptop image generalized and moved to a self assembled desktop.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 switching mobos without reinstalling windows 7

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