System Preparation Tool (Sysprep) in Microsoft Windows 10/8/7

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The System Preparation Tool (Sysprep) is designed for system administrators and OEMs to automate the use of Windows operating systems. After performing the initial installation steps on a single computer, you can run the Sysprep tool to prepare the sample computer for cloning and automate deployment on other computers. It is located in the WindowsSystem32sysprep folder .

System Prep Tool – Sysprep

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You can use Sysprep with other deployment tools to install Windows operating systems on new hardware. It prepares a computer for disk backup or delivery to a client by configuring the computer to create a new computer security identifier (SID) when the computer restarts. In addition, the Sysprep tool cleans user and computer-specific settings and data that should not be copied to a target computer.

This video shows how to capture a custom Windows system image using the System Preparation Tool (Sysprep) to generalize the installed image, and ImageX to capture the contents of the generalized system image for redeployment to other computers, including different types of hardware.

You can get more information about SysPrep on TechNet.

Note that KB8282828 does not support the following sysprep scenarios :

  • Create images of an updated installation. However, Microsoft does support using Sysprep to create images of an installation that has been updated with a Service Pack.
  • To run Sysprep on a computer that has been in production for a long time, create a new image or clone of the computer. Sysprep was developed to prepare new Windows installations for imaging.
  • to join the domain and make the computer unique./span>/span>
  • To install an operating system from an image if the image was created with a computer having a different or incompatible hardware abstraction layer (HAL). This limitation only applies to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 ; from Windows Vista, Sysprep includes an independent HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) version in the ready-to-use installation.
  • Create a new image of a system originally created using a custom OEM installation image or OEM installation media. Microsoft only supports such an image if it was created by the OEM.
  • Microsoft also does not support using Sysprep to install an operating system from an image if the image was created with a computer whose motherboard is another vendor, or if the image was created with a computer having the same configuration but from another vendor.
  • If another user profile has been copied to the default user profile, Microsoft does not support using Sysprep to create a new installation image.
  • Microsoft does not support using Sysprep to install an operating system from an image if the image was created on a computer with a different processor.

A Windows installation created with the Sysprep tool is easy to detect

  • Look for a CloneTag value in the registry. Sysprep places the CloneTag value in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemSetup key, noting the date and time the image was prepared for duplication.
  • -Mini. This places the GUI Setup mode in the Mini-Wizard./span> phase
  • Check the OemDuplicatorString value. It is used by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to label the systems they create. This is added via a response file (Sysprep.inf) for the Mini Setup Wizard.
  • Check the existence of Setupcl.exe. This is the file that changes the security ID (SID) on the system. Locate this file in the %SystemRoot%System32 folder.

If you need more information about using the system preparation tool for Windows NT 4.0 on a computer, visit KB180962.

Want to know more about Windows Image Boot (WIMBoot)?

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