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Windows 7: Deploying Win7 on multiple, differing, PCs - sysprep?

16 Mar 2012   #1

Deploying Win7 on multiple, differing, PCs - sysprep?

hi guys,

was hoping someone could gime me some guidance and answer a couple of questions on deploying win7 (pro, x64) to three different PCs, each with different hardware. what i would like to have is a dvd with an image on win7 that i can deploy with customised settings, meaning customised user accounts, internet explorer settings, and pre-installed programmes such as office 2010. i've found this method:
How To Image and Deploy Windows 7 a Complete Guide - Using sysprep and imagex

it seems to do what i want to have (i.e. prepare a win7 dvd that can be installed on any PCs without having to go through the hassle of setting everything up manually), but i wasn't sure about a couple of things:

1. i have three win7 keys, one for each pc. when i prepare this 'custom' installation, does it matter whether i put in my win7 key on installation and/or activate the software online, for the purpose of the prepared build? i.e. if i put in key 1 when preparing this installation that i will then image, does key 1 automatically get applied toward any PC i install the image on? or can i submit my own key? and does this depend on simply not putting in the key during installation/within 3 days of installing?

2. similarly, for programmes such as office, i have multiple keys for the various PCs. I would ideally want to install office 2010 and then image this, after i've set up the email accounts. again, does the key i use for that install automatically get used on each and every installation? i don't think there is a way to install office 2010 without putting in a key, unless i've missed something.

3. what about differing hardware - if i use a PC with, say, an ATI graphics card, then, assuming i don't install ati drivers into the installation of win7, what happens on deploying this image on a pc that has an nvidia graphics card?
generally, what issues, if any, are there with drivers? i have intel-based motherboards on each PC, but the chipset drivers will be different (and win7 installs some automatically - is this going to be a problem when deploying the installation to a different machine?)

4. within the custom image i prepare, i'd like my user accounts to be based on default settings set up for the admin account - does the below conflict in any way with the above link, since both refer to unattend.xml?

How to customize the default local user profile when you prepare an image of Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2

would be really grateful for any guidance, as this would save me loads of time whenever i need to re-install. equally, if anyone thinks this is the wrong path, then would be interested to hear.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2012   #2

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

I would make sure all 3 computers are functioning properly before you activate them, you have 30 days.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2012   #3


thank you... any other input appreciated!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Mar 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP


After the model install is setup as you want it without activating any software, SysPrep it to remove drivers, SID, HID or any activations already done: SysPrep to move HD to another computer

Then capture an image with a good imaging program with more flexibility than Win7 backup, like free Macrium, Paragon, free Acronis premium imaging app which comes with any WD or Seagate HD, or paid Paragon with Adaptive Restore, or Acronis True Image with Universal Restore which will do the SysPrepping for you.

Re-image the target HD with the image which will start up as if on a new computer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Deploying Win7 on multiple, differing, PCs - sysprep?

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