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Configuring operating systems for automated deployment is a fundamental task of desktop management. Over the years, Microsoft has provided some tools and methodologies, and third-party vendors have filled in the gaps.

BDD was a big step toward bringing those tools together in a cohesive framework, and it has now evolved into the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit MDT. Using the tool, you can automate a complicated OS configuration, including custom drivers, patches and applications. You can install the MDT Workbench on a workstation or server. The MDT installation is straightforward. The initial download is about 30 Mb, expanding into Mb after installation. Once you launch the toolkit, a Microsoft Management Console MMC interface opens into an information center that will walk you through the steps required to configure MDT, introduce you to the documentation, check for news and updates and prompt you to download the components.

However, to really understand how to leverage the ning lin (ningl) of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and task sequencer, spending time reading the documentation is recommended.

The first step in configuring the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit is to download and install the required components. If these components were installed ahead of time, MDT will recognize them and not prompt you to download them.

This share will be where MDT loads the script libraries, components for Windows PE and operating system source media, drivers and applications. When configuring the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit on a server, I typically place the distribution share on a larger secondary drive instead of the C: drive to allow the directory size to expand. Your size requirements will depend on how many operating systems you are loading, as well as the number of applications, drivers and patches.

Typically, around MB should be a working minimum for a production server. Do not configure the share manually at this point, as MDT will configure it later. After the share is created, upload the Windows Operating System source media. The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit recognizes the media and will import the files for you. You can load both bit and bit versions of multiple operating systems. Adding applications is an optional step that uses a similar process.

Operating system packages are patches and other files required by the OS that you would like included in the base install. This directory will only work with Windows Vista and Server updates. The last step is to install drivers. The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit handles this automatically -- simply point it to a driver directory and it imports and segments the drivers for you.

You can create custom groups for specific drivers and use WMI queries to install them to specific hardware platforms. Microsoft has built in a number of templates that will get you started quickly, but you can also create a custom sequence from scratch. Next, configure the Unattend file with your organization name and license information. Then, using the task sequencer, you can tell MDT to load specific applications and groups of drivers, capture an image of the workstation, back up the user profile, customize the desktop, restore the user profile, or configure server roles.

Once a task sequence is completed, have MDT finally create the actual deployment share. For more details on the advanced capabilities and features of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, check out the Deployment Guys blog.Sysprep has been the go-to utility for a long time for preparing Windows images for deployment.

When I was lead author of the team that wrote the Windows 7 Resource Kit for Microsoft Press, we made sure that we devoted almost a quarter of our almost 1, page book to the topic of creating, preparing, deploying, and maintaining Windows images using such tools as the built-in Sysprep.

One of the tools we focused on, of course, was Sysprep.

sysprep for dummies

Over the years, as new versions of Windows were released by Microsoft, the Sysprep utility was enhanced with new command-line options that provided various different capabilities. For example, in Windows 7 you could use Sysprep to remove computer-specific and operating system-specific installation data from Windows 7, configure Windows 7 to boot in audit mode, configure Windows 7 to boot to the Windows Welcome screen, or reset Windows Product Activation WPA on the system up to three times. But not quite.

I asked a few deployment experts whether there is anything different when using Sysprep on Windows 10 compared with using it on previous versions of Windows, and also whether there any gotchas or things one should be aware of when using Sysprep in Windows 10 to prepare an image for deployment. The answers I received from them were quite enlightening. Mikael works as a consultant, trainer, and speaker at conferences in the areas of his expertise, which especially include OS deployment, system management, and virtualization.

I received the same award myself a year later in but consider Mikael light-years ahead of me in this subject area. Mikael responded to my questions like this:.

So the trick is to make sure it does not have access or to block it. There are basically two ways to block that from happening, either by blocking network access using proxy, firewall, or by configuring the Windows Firewall during deployment to block it or by modifying a policy before the virtual machine is booted, which is a bit tricky but is a great way to fix this. And for a discussion of problems associated with the Windows Store see this Windows Insider article from an issue last year of Redmond Magazine.

The other expert I pinged to get some thoughts on this matter was Keith Garner, who formerly worked at Microsoft on the Deployment Toolkit as a developer, technical program manager, and subject matter expert. Keith also pointed me to an article by Johan Arwidmark another deployment expert that explains why Sysprep sometimes fails in Windows 10 due to Windows Store updates and how this can be fixed.

As you can see from this article, the problem is complex but can be resolved fairly easily if you build your Windows 10 reference images in a virtual machine environment and can deny access to the Internet during the image-building process. Some things always seem to break and come apart when Microsoft releases a new version of Windows.

Sysprep mostly works on Windows 10, but certain scenarios can cause things to break. He has written more than a thousand articles and has authored or been series editor for over 50 books for Microsoft Press and other publishers.

He currently runs an IT content development business in Winnipeg, Canada. Your email address will not be published. Learn about the latest security threats, system optimization tricks, and the hottest new technologies in the industry. Over 1, fellow IT Pros are already on-board, don't be left out! TechGenix reaches millions of IT Professionals every month, and has set the standard for providing free technical content through its growing family of websites, empowering them with the answers and tools that are needed to set up, configure, maintain and enhance their networks.

sysprep for dummies

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Log In. Web Dev. NET App Servers. We help IT Professionals succeed at work. Windows 10 Sysprep Guide Published on Last Modified: Windows 10 is here and for most admins this means frustration and challenges getting that first working Windows 10 image.

As in my previous sysprep articles, I've put together a simple help guide to get you through this process. The aim is to achieve that first deployment image quickly and easily.

How to run Sysprep on Windows 10

This should be install on a computer not being used for imaging. Home Page Direct Link - Windows 10 image. Install Windows 10 on your image computer. Here are initial settings I use. Activate Windows then disconnect the computer from the Internet. This will ensure that the built-in apps do not update otherwise your sysprep will fail. Uninstall built-in apps using PowerShell. Run PowerShell as Administrator. Paste the following commands onto the PowerShell command line and hit Enter.

The following four apps should still be present as they cannot be removed. This has changed in Windows Useful apps that you may want users to have access to are: Store, Calculator and Voice Recorder Following the uninstall instructions above will allow the apps to be reinstalled on first log on for all new users.

To remove certain apps you will need to script this at logon or just after the user logs in. Enable the local Administrator account. Set a password for the account. Password never expires optional. Update the local Operator account. Now, install all necessary programs, run windows updates, configure the start screen, create local user accounts and configure the profile and OS the way you would like it to be. Find below some tips and tricks to add to your image.

When completed, the computer should almost be ready to be sysprepped.A clone is a copy of an existing virtual machine. The existing virtual machine is called the parent of the clone. If you want to save the current state of the virtual machine, so you can revert to that state in case you make a mistake, take a snapshot.

If you want to make a copy of a virtual machine for separate use, create a clone. Installing a guest operating system and applications can be time consuming. With clones, you can make many copies of a virtual machine from a single installation and configuration process. With clones you can conveniently make complete copies of a virtual machine, without browsing a host file system or worrying if you have located all the configuration files.

What Is Sysprep (Microsoft's System Preparation Tool)?

Clone is a real time-saver feature which enables you to build a base image and use it multiple times to provision more VMs. Think about working smart. This technet from Microsoft explains how to perform Sysprep Generalize a Windows installation. I use the command line syntax more preferably. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email.

November 4, May 21, vTechDummies. If you are using virtualization, then you must be using clone feature. Changes made to a clone do not affect the parent virtual machine. Changes made to the parent virtual machine do not appear in a clone. An MIS department can clone a virtual machine for each employee, with a suite of preconfigured office applications.

Windows 10 Sysprep Guide

A virtual machine can be configured with a complete development environment and then cloned repeatedly as a baseline configuration for software testing. A teacher can clone a virtual machine for each student, with all the lessons and labs required for the term.

Share this: Twitter Facebook. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment hereWith Windows System Preparation Tool Sysprep tool, you can create a fully customized Windows 10 reference image with all apps, drivers and updates installed.

In this article, we will show how to use Sysprep to create a reference image on the latest build of Windows 10 You can use this guide to create a Windows image that is ready to be deployed on a physical or virtual machine VDI solutions. Before deploying a Windows image on user computers, first you need to configure a reference image: install the necessary drivers, applications, and configure other Windows settings.

Sysprep utility is used to generalize the Windows image. Everything configured in the operating system before you run Sysprep installed software, desktop, system personalization, and network settings, File Explorer, installed and pinned on the start screen Metro apps, and other parameters will remain untouched. In Windows 10 and Windows Serverthe Sysprep.

Once a prepared reference Windows 10 image is installed and configured in the correct way with a certain installed software, with the operating system settings, with the specified permissions and restrictionsit can be deployed to all computers of the company using MDT, WDS take a look at Deploying Windows 10 with MDT and WDSSCCM or manually. You need to customize your reference Windows 10 Image in the Audit Mode. You can also enter Audit Mode using the Sysprep.

To do this, run the command:. The computer will automatically restart and boot to the Audit Mode. In the Audit Mode, Windows 10 automatically boots and logs in with the built-in administrator account this account will be further disabled.

Windows 10 will boot in this mode no matter how many times you reboot your computer until sysprep is running. There is only one visible sign to mark that you have entered the Windows 10 Audit Mode desktop, the Sysprep dialog in the middle of the display.

Do not close the sysprep utility window—you will need it at the end of the configuration step. Just minimize it. In Audit Mode, you can configure your Windows 10 reference image.

We will take a look at several popular steps that sysops configuring in their reference image most often. You can set your company branded info in the computer properties windows.

The easiest way to configure these settings is through the registry. Create a text file oem. To apply the reg file, double-click on it and accept registry changes. As a result, these settings will be imported into the registry. You can install drivers and third-party programs that you would like to see in your Windows 10 image.

You can install programs manually, or using the integrated Windows 10 package manager— Chocolatey. To install Chocolatey, run the PowerShell console with administrator privileges and run the following commands:.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service.

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I am new to Windows 7, but want to deploy it in a Netware read: no Active Directory, no domain, etc. I have used Novell Zenworks for imaging and deploying Windows XP in the past, and have never used sysprep because it was never necessary.

sysprep for dummies

Now, I find that Zenworks is unable to image Windows 7 at all. It appears that there is a bunch of hardware-specific information that breaks the image on all machines except the specific machine it was created on. I have recently learned what sysprep was, just a few weeks ago.

My question is simple. Where can I find a step-by-step guide to using sysprep to image and deploy Windows 7? Edit: I see that my question has been migrated. It seems that this is becoming out of date.

Is there nothing else that sums up how to use sysprep to prepare Windows 7 for imaging and deployment? There's only one decent guide I've come across so far for Windows 7, and that's Brian Lee Jackson's "sysprepping" guide. Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Where can I find a beginner's guide to using sysprep for deploying Windows 7? Ask Question.

Asked 10 years, 4 months ago. Active 6 years, 6 months ago. Viewed 4k times. Active Oldest Votes. TheCleaner John T John T 1, 1 1 gold badge 15 15 silver badges 19 19 bronze badges. Sign up or log in Sign up using Google.

Sign up using Facebook. Sign up using Email and Password.Images can include pre-installed applications and configurations. The Azure Marketplace provides many first and third-party images for most common OS' and application environments, or you can create your own custom images tailored to your needs.

This article details how to use the open-source tool Packer to define and build custom images in Azure. Azure now has a service, Azure Image Builder previewfor defining and creating your own custom images. Azure Image Builder is built on Packer, so you can even use your existing Packer shell provisioner scripts with it. During the build process, Packer creates temporary Azure resources as it builds the source VM. To capture that source VM for use as an image, you must define a resource group.

The output from the Packer build process is stored in this resource group. Create a resource group with New-AzResourceGroup. The following example creates a resource group named myResourceGroup in the eastus location:. Packer authenticates with Azure using a service principal.

An Azure service principal is a security identity that you can use with apps, services, and automation tools like Packer. You control and define the permissions as to what operations the service principal can perform in Azure. The value for -DisplayName needs to be unique; replace with your own value as needed.

To build images, you create a template as a JSON file. In the template, you define builders and provisioners that carry out the actual build process. Packer has a builder for Azure that allows you to define Azure resources, such as the service principal credentials created in the preceding step. Create a file named windows. Enter your own values for the following:. The final Packer image then includes the required software install and configuration. If you don't already have Packer installed on your local machine, follow the Packer installation instructions.

It takes a few minutes for Packer to build the VM, run the provisioners, and clean up the deployment. The supporting network resources are created if they do not already exist. When prompted, enter an administrative username and password to be created on the VM. If you wish to create VMs in a different resource group or region than your Packer image, specify the image ID rather than image name.

You can also use existing Packer provisioner scripts with Azure Image Builder. You may also leave feedback directly on GitHub. Skip to main content. Exit focus mode. Learn at your own pace.

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Sysprep and Windows Image Clones

Dismiss alert. Note Azure now has a service, Azure Image Builder previewfor defining and creating your own custom images. Is this page helpful?

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