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Making a Universal image for Windows 7 using sysprep?


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Hi

I have a base windows 7 build that i'd like to make a universal image that can be used on any hardware. Once I gather all the drivers that we use in our organization, what would be the most efficient way of getting this task done, using sysprep?.

Can someone point me in the right direction with some guidance?

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Microsoft has made this very easy with Windows 7. I have an 7 image that to date I have deployed to more than 12 different models of machine including desktop and laptop.

What I did is create my base image with no additional drivers, I build my images in VMWare Workstation. Once I had all the software installed and the OS configured as desired I copied my drivers to a subfolder in c:\windows\inf. Then I captured my WIM image.

After the image was captured I've installed the necessary mass storage drivers use DISM and the offline driver install method.

For deployment I create the 100 mb system reserved partition, then the rest of the drive and deploy only the Windows partition to the large partition. Then I run BCDBOOT to update the system reserved partition with the needed BCD information. All of our laptops are encrypted with Bitlocker so this makes that step easier. You can use this same method to deploy to a single partition also.

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we use Symantec Ghost in our organization. So you do not use sysprep in the method you use?.

I was wondering if there is a way to make a universal image of Windows 7 using sysprep. I have gathered all the drivers for the different makes and models in our organization but don't know where to go from there.

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Sorry, forgot to add that, yes I use sysprep after copying the drivers to c:\windows\inf, then capture the WIM image. If you are using ghost you will need to install the boot critical devices suring the sysprep process.

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Driverpacks work just fine for Windows 7.

THere is no finalized tool for integrating them but the Vista/7 driverpacks exist and work just fine.

I don't use them in my image as I have a limited collection of hardware so it is easier for me to have collected the drivers I need.

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Driverpacks work just fine for Windows 7.

THere is no finalized tool for integrating them but the Vista/7 driverpacks exist and work just fine.

I don't use them in my image as I have a limited collection of hardware so it is easier for me to have collected the drivers I need.

Nice. I will try. :rolleyes:

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Driverpacks work just fine for Windows 7.

THere is no finalized tool for integrating them but the Vista/7 driverpacks exist and work just fine.

I don't use them in my image as I have a limited collection of hardware so it is easier for me to have collected the drivers I need.

Nice. I will try. :rolleyes:

So basically I have to extract bashrat's Windows 7 driver packs to C:\Windows\inf, and run sysprep to reseal the pc?. Do I need to tell sysprep where to look for the drivers? Am I missing something or is it that easy with Windows 7 to create a universal image?

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Windows 7 automatically scans subfolders. So since c:\widows\inf is the default driver location it searches there and all of it's subfolders. Only thing left is to install any needed boot critical drivers, settings in the answer file for this. If you switch to using WIM you can inject them to the image.

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How do I put the critical drivers in the answer file?, and what constitutes as critical?

Windows 7 automatically scans subfolders. So since c:\widows\inf is the default driver location it searches there and all of it's subfolders. Only thing left is to install any needed boot critical drivers, settings in the answer file for this. If you switch to using WIM you can inject them to the image.

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I've found some help here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744512(WS.10).aspx#UsingAnswerFilesWithSysprep

Extract:

Persisting Plug and Play Device Drivers During generalize

You can persist device drivers when you run the sysprep command with the /generalize option by specifying the PersistentAllDeviceInstalls setting in the Microsoft-Windows-PnPSysprep component. During the specialize configuration pass, Plug and Play scans the computer for devices and installs device drivers for the detected devices. By default, these device drivers are removed from the system when you generalize the system. If you set PersistAllDeviceInstalls to true in an answer file, Sysprep will not remove the detected device drivers. For more information, see the Unattended Windows Setup Reference (Unattend.chm).

Inside the answer file sysprep.xml (example: Windows 7 x86 Professional):


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
<settings pass="generalize">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<SkipRearm>1</SkipRearm>
</component>
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-PnpSysprep" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<PersistAllDeviceInstalls>true</PersistAllDeviceInstalls>
<DoNotCleanUpNonPresentDevices>true</DoNotCleanUpNonPresentDevices>
</component>
</settings>

I hope that will help you!

Edited by myselfidem
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A boot critical device would be a kernel filter driver needed by a security / encryption package, or a RAID or SCSI driver that Windows would need to boot your hardware, etc. Any driver that considers itself boot-critical is a boot critical device, though - I've seen some synaptics touchpad drivers install themselves as boot-critical... they're not, but they install that way!

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so if I take the bashrat's driver packs for Windows 7 and extract them to C:\Windows\inf, and run sysprep and make an image with my imaging software and then deploy it to different hardware it should run the sysprep process on next reboot and install the drivers if they are there.

Is this correct?

ps: I have already generated a sysprep.xml file and placed it in c:\windows\system32\sysprep

Edited by clivebuckwheat
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