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Windows 7: Using Sysprep in Audit mode to deploy Win 7 multiple computers

26 Jun 2015   #1

Using Sysprep in Audit mode to deploy Win 7 multiple computers

I am trying to set up Win 7 Professional on three computers with the same MB.

I read the thread regarding the use of sysprep.

These are new instillations.

I have just been working under Audit Mode for the first instillation to move the Users folder to the D: drive. I ran the .xml file and am still in audit mode doing things like disabling certain services, etc.

I read that I cannot keep it this way, that I need to restore the users folder to the C: drive...however, no new account has been created.

Can I use the present image, that is prior to entering OOBE and using imaging software to clone what I now have to a second, install that SSD in another computer with a hard drive d:\ and have it boot up, still in Audit mode,

Then, on the new computer, will it boot up into Audit mode allowing me to go to OOBE and then find the D drive is linked...or will in not work that way.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2015   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Could you please explain your work flow, what you are doing and want to achieve a bit more detailed? What do you mean with being forced to move Users back to C:, that you cannot keep it as it is?

The Sysprep, to relocate the Users or to modify anything else should of course be the absolutely last thing to do after all customizations and such have been done.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2015   #3



Thanks for getting back to me.

I always wanted to know how to use sysprep. What I am trying to do is create one image which I can deploy to a number of systems. In this case, all of the MBs are the same.

Initially, I simply used the answer file that you created to move the users folder to a second drive, in this case d:

Then I came upon the videos regarding the use of sysprep and making the answer file with the AIK

So, I am still in Audit mode right now. I used that answer file. I thought that one had to move the users folder back to C: prior to making the image but I may be mistaken.

At this point, I have done the following SSD and performance tweaks...disabling services according to your list, turning off indexing, search, restore, hibernate, sleep, etc. (although for some reason, sleep or I can't recall, hibernate returned to the start button even though disabled.)

I next want to install some programs like M Office, Paperport, malwarebytes and a few others.

I am considering installing vmware. The reason is that my wife watches foreign videos and she seems to get malware. I thought rather than having a separate OS on a different drive, perhaps simply run a virtual machine and put it in the image now...that way, she can't corrupt the main OS.

I would also like to put the MB manufacturer, model, and an image...however, as I ran your answer file already, I am not sure I can.

This brings me to a final problem. I have a volume licensed instillation. I cannot find the image files...that catalogue what is it...clg I think. Every Win 7 from start to Ultimate is on this DVD 86 and 64. I opened up the install.wim which was really big...but know catalogue there is a install boot that might open up...have not tried it. The Sources folder simply does not have the catalogue file so I can't use the ADK executable to make the answer file.

If I am unable to do anything else other than what I have done, I am unsure of the next steps:

Do I stay in audit mode, make my image and clone what I have and then when I boot up the new machines I will still be in audit mode...then do the cleanup...or do I do it now.

The issue is that at the moment, the users folder has NOT moved to the other drive because I am still in audit mode.

You also mention using Macrium for the Win PE...however, there is a link to SIW2 who has something else...which to use?

I also want to give Win 10 a whirl. I have the iso...don't know whether to duel boot it, put it on a second drive, or different machine.

The issue is that if I like Win 10, having moved the users folder to d: if I were to upgrade, I would have to move them back...then again, I have never upgraded, but always done clean installs...meaning that I will have to start over with the procedure for multiple instillations with win 10 when the final comes out.

There is also something about using shell extension to move the instill directory to cut down on this necessary.

While I am not new at computers, having gone back to the DOS days, it seems like there is an ever endless amount of information that is overwhelming! Kari, I don't know how you learned it all!


So, in summary...I am in Audit mode, I can't find the catalogue file, have already run the answer file with ONLY the move of the users folder, and I need to know what to do next.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Jun 2015   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Long post, short reply:

Check this tutorial, especially the videos (at least the shorter one) in Part 2: Windows 7 Image - Customize in Audit Mode with Sysprep

That is a simple walkthrough to do exactly what you are trying to do.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2015   #5


I have looked all over and cannot find clg file....used win 7 to open boot wim... and can't find it there either. Without image info can't make my own answser file.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2015   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Open the install.wim file instead, the System Image Manager will then create the catalog file for you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2015   #7

Tried That got the following error

:47 PM : System.ArgumentException: An item with the same key has already been added.
at System.ThrowHelper.ThrowArgumentException(ExceptionResource resource)
at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.Insert(TKey key, TValue value, Boolean add)
at System.Collections.Generic.Dictionary`2.Add(TKey key, TValue value)
at System.Collections.ObjectModel.KeyedCollection`2.AddKey(TKey key, TItem item)
at System.Collections.ObjectModel.KeyedCollection`2.InsertItem(Int32 index, TItem item)
at System.Collections.ObjectModel.Collection`1.Add(T item)
at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.ComponentPlatformInterface.WimInfo..ctor(String wimPath)
at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.ComponentPlatformInterface.Cpi.OpenWim(String wimPath)
at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.ImagePicker.GetImageInfoFromPath(String path)
at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.ImagePicker.ValidateImageFileOrFolder(String fileOrFolder)

I tried going to the wim on my dvd...does not work...went to the folder of windows on the opened wim and I can't do it there either...maybe copy wim file and try again
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2015   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


What process / procedure / program gave you that error? What were you doing, exactly?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2015   #9


I ran the SIM...File..system image...install.wim and you what I got.

Additionally, after running in audit mode...the xml answer file that was created to move the user on my new system, I am unactivated!

Yet, I could use the DVD to install on mutliple computers and they are automaticallty isnot so easy!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2015   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


First, about creating the catalog, the install.wim file cannot of course be read and write protected. This means that you must first copy the install.wim from the DVD for instance to desktop.

Second, sysprepping Windows always means that when the sysprepped Windows is booted to OOBE, or the image captured from the sysprepped Windows is deployed to another computer, it needs to be reactivated with a valid product key. Sysprep will remove the activation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Using Sysprep in Audit mode to deploy Win 7 multiple computers

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