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ct39164 Absent Member.
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Win7 Imaging

We have started testing Win7 imaging and have run into several problems. It turns out that you are now required to use sysprep when creating your image. This was not required in WinXP. You are also limited to only 3 syspreps on one image and then you have to start a new image from scratch. We have ZCM and are just starting to work with this updated product. Most of our imaging for XP is still done using Zen7.

I am curious to find out what others are doing to get around this sysprep limitation for imaging win7 computers. I did sit through a demo on the ENGL tool that looks like it might have something that would eliminate the need to sysprep the machine. Please post any comments or suggestions on what you are doing to successfully image windows7 machines in your environment.

Thanks
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26 Replies
cdowgos Absent Member.
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Re: Win7 Imaging

Use vmware to build the image, thats what I do, I snapshot it before sysprep then when I need to update the image, I load the snapshot, make whatever updates are required, sysprep then upload the image. I didnt even know there was a limit 🙂
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raynor17 Absent Member.
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Re: Win7 Imaging

What cdowgos said! Using VMware Workstation or VMware Fusion to build your images saves a lot of time and headaches! The snapshot feature is a great safety net in case you forgot something in the image.

Using a VM also makes your image portable. My base image virtual machine actually has a snapshot for each client I customized it for, right before I ran Sysprep.

Just be sure not to install the VMware Tools in your image. That would cause a headache or two. 🙂

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lcowart Absent Member.
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Re: Win7 Imaging

+1 for this solution as well. I have even been using vmware for building my xp image.This is really the way to go.
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adrockk Trusted Contributor.
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Re: Win7 Imaging

raynor17;1986624 wrote:

Just be sure not to install the VMware Tools in your image. That would cause a headache or two. 🙂


I install the VMware drivers in my image, and it works fine. (This lets Aero themes stay on as part of the default profile)

Sysprep will "remove" the drivers when the machine is generalized anyway.
I don't, however, install the userspace tools.

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atrofimov Absent Member.
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Re: Win7 Imaging

Would anyone have more or less step by step guide how to sysprep in ZCM environment ? or even how to build a universal image without moving to WDS ? do I need WAIK ? do I install Zen agent as a post-imaging task ( and how do I do that ) or keep it on the image ? on a bunch of brand new computers that are not registered ? can I prompt for a computer name as a part of post-imaging ? and still have Novell client / DLU working after that ? Can I maintain the same image for Intel and AMD hardware ? even if I built it in VMWare ? How do I "inject drivers" ?

Nevermind all those questions .. I am pretty sure I can find answers to nearly every one ( as I've already done for some ) of them but I wish there was a document or a wikil. I've looked at Novell's own wiki, I don't think ZCM is even mentioned, let alone Windows 7 ( I think everything there dates back to 2006/07 ). Looked at jaredjennings.org ZCM wiki but it is more about the product in general rather than image prep. Checked the documentation but as you'd expect Novell doesn't cover sysprep, not that I could see that.

Aaargh .. *ends rant*
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janrik Absent Member.
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Re: Win7 Imaging

A step by step guide will be a life saver.

I am very proficient in imaging Winxp and doing custom syspreps, but I have to admit that Win7 imaging is looking very daunting at the moment!
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adrockk Trusted Contributor.
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Re: Win7 Imaging

Sysprep for Vista/windows 7 simply generalizes and cleans up the machine, then tells it start windows setup. You really need to read Windows 7 Desktop Deployment Overview and Unattended Windows Setup Reference to understand windows setup, and the different passes. "Settings to Use for an Unattended Installation" is probably a pretty important section.
I use the unattended.xml file to hide the EULA, set the network location to "work", generate a random machine name, set machine owner name, create local Admin and User accounts, etc. I'm still working on getting it to find out-of-box drivers that aren't installed directly into the image (like OemPnPDriversPath used to in XP). Installing all of the drivers in the machine should work, but bloat it. I don't change the key, as we use KMS, so I don't have to worry about rearms. The <copyProfile> tag in the specialize section of the xml file tells it to copy the most recently modified profile to the default user profile. It's the only supported way of modifying the default user profile. It rarely works if there's more than on user profile on the machine, and it almost never works if the windows SID has been changed after sysprep has been run (like Zen imaging environment usually does). Disable the SIDchanger, and let sysprep handle that part, by placing a restoremask.xml on the root of C: as described here: Novell Doc: ZENworks 10 Configuration Management Preboot Services and Imaging Reference - Novell ZENworks ISD Service (novell-zisdservice)

As far as the ZCM specific stuff, I install the agent in the image, unregister it, run "zac fsg -d", delete the .sav files in the %zenhome%/conf directory, rename "initial-web-service.bak" to just "initial-web-service". Next reboot, it should regenerate a guid and register.

I also rearm office 2010 (we use KMS server), create a runonce key to do a few other stuff on first boot (like remove the restoremask.xml file).

Read the references above, and if you have questions about specifics, post them; but it's not fair to ask people to "tell me everything about everything". 😉

HTH, and Good luck!

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adrockk Trusted Contributor.
Trusted Contributor.

Re: Win7 Imaging

FYI: Building my image on VMware worked fine for windows SID and whatnot, but when KMS activation came into play with Win7, it really botched stuff up. The KMS client wouldn't re-generate a CMID after being rearmed when moving from a virtual machine to a physical. Moving between different types of physical hardware was no problem, but not from virt to physical. I built my image on vmware, but my final sysprep/seal was on a physical machine.

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chbeyer Absent Member.
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Re: Win7 Imaging

I have been working on a Windows7 image also. I have been able to get a base image created from an older Dell, using the sysprep and the AIK - my issue is trying to create the addon for newer dell laptops. Anyone have any success with getting that to work?
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atrofimov Absent Member.
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Re: Win7 Imaging

Thanks, adrockk, that definitely helps and will keep me busy for a while. I wasn't asking for specifics quite deliberately as I reckon forums is not the best place to put together a "procedure" like this ( besides it will vary anyway but there would be a few common scenarios I believe ). I just wanted to know if maybe someone has already done this before for ZMC/Win 7. I know there's doco from M$ and quite a few writeups online purely about sysprep in Win 7 and WDS related stuff. The reason I'm posting here is obviously that we all have to deal with a few other variables in addtition to that like ZCM, Novell client etc.

Ok, couple more questions 😉 How does sysprep handle the 'Novell logon' only option when installed on the image and let's say we want to use DLU policy and no workstation only option .. as already configured on the image ( or is it ? ). Will autologon still work for sysprep ?

Re KMS - we have KMS here, does yours just activate by itself after imaging or you do this as part of sysprep running some script / via unattend.xml ?

Driver shares - I'd like to try and avoid adding drivers to the image but maybe setting up a drivers share that syspre (?) can check as part of post-imaging ( hence avoiding a bloated image; in fact we could remove most of the unnecessary drivers from the image - e.g. stuff like printer drivers ). I'd really like to remove M$ client and only keep Novell client so was thinking of setting up an NCP drivers share with read rights for Public, would that work ..

Computer name - how do you do this, names based on a serial number retrived from BIOS ? Ideally I'd like to be prompted for a name ( by sysprep ? ) when setting up unregistered machines, not sure if having ZCM will make any difference here ?

Also what's the deal with a 100MB partition that Windows 7 creates without asking, do you get rid of it and change the boot manager accordingly ?

Thanks .. I'm sure I'll get there in the end 🙂
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adrockk Trusted Contributor.
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Re: Win7 Imaging

atrofimov;1993092 wrote:

How does sysprep handle the 'Novell logon' only option when installed on the image and let's say we want to use DLU policy and no workstation only option .. as already configured on the image ( or is it ? ). Will autologon still work for sysprep ?



I'm not sure about having the workstation only option turned off in the image. Maybe you could keep it enabled in the image, and either push out the reg key to disable it, or run that at the end of the userAudit pass? I do use DLU for my users, but have local admin accounts created with sysprep in the audit pass. Only hurdle I have with this is the ZCM logon box doesn't honor the workstation only box on windows 7. This means you have to intervene and cancel the ZCM login while audit pass is running.

Re KMS - we have KMS here, does yours just activate by itself after imaging or you do this as part of sysprep running some script / via unattend.xml ?



Either. We let them go, and activate on their own, but that may take a while (days?). Running "slmgr /ato" will force an activation, and can be run either in the audit pass, or as a runonce machine registry key.

Driver shares - I'd like to try and avoid adding drivers to the image but maybe setting up a drivers share that syspre (?) can check as part of post-imaging ( hence avoiding a bloated image; in fact we could remove most of the unnecessary drivers from the image - e.g. stuff like printer drivers ). I'd really like to remove M$ client and only keep Novell client so was thinking of setting up an NCP drivers share with read rights for Public, would that work ..



I'm sure the samba share would work, but I doubt it would work as an NCP share. Windows needs to "elevate" for anything like driver install, and an elevated session knows nothing of the novell client, it seems. Even shares that have public permissions seem to be inaccessible from an elevated session for me so far. If you find different, I'd love to know.

Computer name - how do you do this, names based on a serial number retrived from BIOS ? Ideally I'd like to be prompted for a name ( by sysprep ? ) when setting up unregistered machines, not sure if having ZCM will make any difference here ?



I just set that as * in my unattend.xml file. A tech changes it (or image safe data) after the image. If you didn't assign one, I bet it would prompt.

Also what's the deal with a 100MB partition that Windows 7 creates without asking, do you get rid of it and change the boot manager accordingly ?



Nope, I keep it as part of my image.

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atrofimov Absent Member.
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Re: Win7 Imaging

adrockk;1993156 wrote:
I'm sure the samba share would work, but I doubt it would work as an NCP share. Windows needs to "elevate" for anything like driver install, and an elevated session knows nothing of the novell client, it seems. Even shares that have public permissions seem to be inaccessible from an elevated session for me so far. If you find different, I'd love to know.

Thanks .. just a note regarding accessing shares from elevated sessions, I haven't thought about that but I'd look at EnableLinkedConnections reg hack - formally unsupported by MS, check their KB937624 and http://forums.novell.com/novell-product-support-forums/open-enterprise-server/oes-platform-independent/oes-client-windows/341242-vista-dialog-box-doesnt-show-mapped-network-drives.html. If you don't want it permanently enabled I imagine you could only have it enabled initially when drivers are required then turn it off later ( although it does require a reboot, apparently ). Not that I have tried using it (yet) let alone doing it in sysprep.
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adrockk Trusted Contributor.
Trusted Contributor.

Re: Win7 Imaging

atrofimov;1993259 wrote:
<snip>Thanks .. just a note regarding accessing shares from elevated sessions, I haven't thought about that but I'd look at EnableLinkedConnections reg hack <snip>


Interesting. I'll have a look at that and play around with it. Wondering if it passes your Novell credentials to the Admin environment as well.
Thanks!

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atrofimov Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Win7 Imaging

adrockk;1993830 wrote:
Wondering if it passes your Novell credentials to the Admin environment as well.!

Well, what I was thinking would be giving access to NCP shares ( with drivers ) to *unauthenticated* ( to Novell ) users, similar to SYS:LOGIN done via Public user. As long as you could still access stuff via NCP from an elevated session you wouldn't have to worry about passing credentials. Please let me know how it goes .. as this definitely isn't on top of my list ATM !
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