Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Deployment: sysprep and answer files

07 Mar 2010   #1

Deployment: sysprep and answer files

Hi, I had a couple of questions regarding Windows 7 Deployment. Not sure if this is the right subforum to post to, but it seemed the best fit.

One: I tried using sysprep with an answer file to configure a different product key by adding the Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup component to the Specialize pass and configuring ProductKey setting (I should mention that this was the only setting I configured). When rebooting to the image after sysprep (for testing), it errors out and the image is useless. I'm wondering if I am configuring the wrong setting, leaving blank settings that need to be configured, or if maybe I am adding it to the wrong pass. From what I understand the specialize pass is the first pass to run at startup after running /generalize.

Two: I tried running sysprep again (after re-installing to my test partition of course) without the answer file and everything worked fine. However, I was under the impression that without configuring the PersistAllDeviceInstalls setting in an answer file, all the device drivers would be uninstalled. Yet when I logged on, to my surprise, all my drivers remained. This is a good thing in my opinion, but I want to make absolutely sure that it wasn't a fluke and that device drivers are not typically uninstalled when running /generalize.

If anybody can help me out with this I would very much appreciate it. Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2010   #2

Windows 10 Pro (x64)

Do not currently have any answers to your questions, but may want to review: Deploying Windows 7 - Part 1: Windows AIK 2.0 Enhancements
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2010   #3


Thanks. Unfortunately, most of that deals with server side tools, which I'm not really working with at the moment. It's an excellent resource though, and I have bookmarked it for further reading. I will continue my trial and error on this issue, however, if anyone else has any more thoughts or suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Thanks again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

14 Mar 2010   #4


After some more trial and error, I have come up with the following answers:

Question one: It turns out I was using a product key for the wrong edition of windows 7. It works just fine now

Question two: Without the PersistAllDeviceInstalls set to true in an answer file, the generalize pass DOES remove all the drivers. However, if a third-party driver was installed before running sysprep, the driver files will still be present and the specialize pass will re-install the third-party drivers for their respective devices. If you don't want the third-party drivers re-installed, you have to remove them before running sysprep. Also, if you apply the image to computers with a slightly different hardware configuration (and you're using an answer file), be sure that the DoNotCleanUpNonPresentDevices setting is set to false. Otherwise all drivers that were present on the original reference computer will be re-installed, regardless of the hardware configuration.

Hope this can be of some help to somebody in the future.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Deployment: sysprep and answer files

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
HELP - Unattended Answer File XML Sysprep Windows 7
There is no way ? Keeps all windows tweaks when sysprep Unattended Answer File for Windows 7 People help me create .xml sysprep windows files :(
Installation & Setup
Sysprep answer file
I have been reading a lot about imaging lately and I am starting to get it down. Somewhere in my searches I thought I read something about a program that will pull your system configuration and settings for you and create a sysprep answer file from it. I have read so much in the last few days...
Installation & Setup
Sysprep - Windows 7 - unable to sysprep image that joins domain
Good morning all: Below is my unattend.xml. I am using the sysprep + win7 for creating virtual machines in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 3.0 but having difficulty getting them to auto-join the domain. My sysprep progression proceeds normally and completes. The initial boot of the image...
cannot open files in Sysprep folder
ello, I'm in the trenches trying to develop a Windows 7 image for work. This is what I've done so far: I installed Win 7 64-bit on a test computer and did some customizations ( added programs, etc..). I then ran sysprep from C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep... and the process completed just fine. ...
Installation & Setup
Sysprep Fails After Deployment With: Windows could not finish configur
Getting the message after Sysprep stating "Sysprep Fails After Deployment With: Windows could not finish configuring the system...." This is a new out-of-box Lenovo T530 laptop, it came pre-loaded with Windows 7 Pro. I pulled laptop from box and inserted our Windows 7 Pro SP 1 disk and...
Installation & Setup

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:56.
Twitter Facebook Google+