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eggbert

Why use sysprep?

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If you use the 'standard' IDE ATA/ATAPI controller for an XP image and make sure you restore to a machine with the same HAL, do you not have a sort of universal image?

Obviously it won't work with some SATA / RAID controllers and you will have to install new drivers, but I am just wondering why every says you have to use Sysprep?

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sysprep is just a 'best practice' sort of thing.

I Dupe with a hardware duplicator, PING, and Altiris and i dont sysprep on any of them unless i have issues duping them

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Sysprep is more than just preparing for hardware. One of the main reasons for using sysprep is to generate unique SIDs for local accounts. Basically, if you are using the same image for multiple machines you should use sysprep, especially if these machines are going to be on the same network.

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If you use the 'standard' IDE ATA/ATAPI controller for an XP image and make sure you restore to a machine with the same HAL, do you not have a sort of universal image?

Obviously it won't work with some SATA / RAID controllers and you will have to install new drivers, but I am just wondering why every says you have to use Sysprep?

If all of the systems you intend to support with the resulting image have the same base configuration as you outlined above, then yes, you would have an image that is "universal" to your environment in so far as it should boot. In the environment I support, I leverage sysprep to develop an image that applies to a broader hardware base and is independent of HAL or controller type. Sysprep enabled me to accomplish this. Usage of sysprep also takes care of SIDs, clearing event logs and preparing the system for a new user. Also, in mini-setup mode (-mini), sysprep gives me the ability to execute additional actions post-image (Cmdlines.txt) prior to the first user login. This is useful as there are some items I can't or don't want to integrate on the master workstation.

Depending on your environment, you could also opt to run sysprep in a fashion that exposes all or portions of the Windows Welcome/mini-setup process to the user, enabling them to customize some of the settings.

Ultimately, it depends on what is required of your environment. In some situations, like my own, sysprep has been a valuable tool.

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