Earlier this year someone else took over the duty desktop building (in Kace) and decided to use images instead of the SI's that I've used for years without issue. (  :-p  ). After much discussion about agent's that can't be installed on the image, the new images were built and each has the agents installed. These 8 WIM images are being pulled down, corrected and uploaded again. I don't believe Sysprep was used on them. 

My 1st question is what would be a better way that would allow us to correct such issues (ie edit or at least view the image files without actually deploying)?
I think SMal mentioned Sysprepping at one point, but I'm unclear on what that gains us over a regular WIM image. I've found a ton of info, but I'm hoping to be pointed in the right direction to save some time on research.

2nd Question: Can I use the same Kace agent post install task on the images that I use on the Scripted OS Installs? I tested one this morning and the Kace agent and McAfee didn't install but the rest of the image was fine. Both installs succeed on SI's. It seems like it might need some extra instruction or need to be timed right in order to install.

We're are at Win 7 and won't use Win 8 or 8.1 so my focus is on the Win 7 available options for now.
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I use the KISS (keep it simple stupid) method for building system images or scripted images. Basically I let the K2 build me a answer file and then copy that file in a answer.xml file for sysprep under c:\windows\system32\sysprep. You can put the answer file under c:\windows\panther directory and point sysprep.exe using command prompt to the answer file. Example: sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:c:\windows\panther\answer.xml .

There are some really smart people using itninja so please don't paste information including serial keys other information that could be used illegally in the comments.

But yes to answer your question its always a good idea to sysprep images that way the misc. data will get cleaned up and not polute other images or scripted images. Purchase the Microsoft Windows Desktop Administrator book and watch some  youtube videos for better understanding of whats going on. System imaging can be a bit confusing if this is your first time messaging around with it. I would build scripted images and see how that works and then go from there using some of the information that you find on itninja.

Here a how-to I wrote on imagex.exe when using system images when you get to that point. Make sure you download WAIK from Microsoft.



Answered 12/02/2014 by: mikesharp1
Second Degree Black Belt

  • Thanks for the reply. The panther directory suggestion for the answer file may prove helpful. I'll test it out shortly.
    I've used SI's since 2009 as noted in my OP because of the various hardware we have, but we have multiple buildings on and off campus with different Help Desk techs supporting each area. They've been using the Ghost images I built between 2004 and 2008, but were apprehensive about trying the SI's in Kace. Once they started using them, all was good, but we got a new contract with new techs and the consensus was to use images to handle the approx 10 different hardware models we have even after I explained the benefits of SI's a few times.
    They built so many images with Kace agents already installed that it ate up my K2000 space and broke the agents on those images. So I figured I'd setup an imaging method that would make them happy and I'm very close to complete with SMal's method. The offboard images do seem to capture and deploy much faster given our pipes on the storage server.
    With the method SMal suggested, we can keep a master image that deploys to various hardware and our techs can run Windows Updates on that master whenever they want without having to update 10 total images. :-)
    I'm getting closer. Just a few bumps to get over I believe. Thanks again.
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I have learned it is better to modify a master machine of changes and recapture a new wim instead of trying to edit it and reseal.  I use mid level task to fix minor errors to save time of creating a new image some times.  I use a physical machine for my masters, a lot of techs use vm's.  I have a second 2tb hdd in my master machine to keep backups of all my unsyspreped masters. I use the create system image to take a backup of my master just prior to sysprep, that allows me to do a restore by booting to a windows DVD and choose repair options

If you want to change existing wims use either Imagex or dism to mount and edit.

Syspreping does a couple of important things.  MS say it regenerates the sid.  This is important if you are using wsus to update.  It also generalizes the hardware so when you cast the image to different machines the proper drivers can be discovered.  The third thing which is most important to us at the college is you can create a user profile and tweak the software settings and browsers to what you want to user to experience and sysprep then copies those settings to default.  When a user logs in they get a new profile on the machine and it is already configured how IT wants it to be.  I have 90 windows images stored in kace (I build my images based on software licenses not hardware)

My experance with SI vs Images post tasks is most of them will work with either.  Some have to be unique because a new install vs a sysprep does vary slightly.  The hardest part of sysprep is getting a good working answer file. I do have some older blogs on imaging you can find, I plan on creating updated ones after I return from Dell World.





The kace agent can be installed on an image prior to capturing, but if you do that you must delete the id keys in the registry.  Even if you had the agent on the image and uninstalled it prior to syspreping you must remove the id keys in the registry or all machines will have same kace id.

I use a batch file prior to call the sysprep command that does some house cleaning prior to sealing the image.

Rem: this is the sysprep batch file.
start /wait notepad c:\windows\w2d\tmccimageversion.reg

start /wait mspaint C:\Windows\System32\oobe\info\backgrounds\backgrounddefault.jpg

start /wait Reg.exe delete HKCU\Environment /v Building /f

Reg.exe delete HKCU\Environment /v Room /f

Reg.exe delete HKCU\Network\x /f

reg.exe delete "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment" /v Building /f

reg.exe delete "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment" /v Room /f

reg.exe delete "HKLM\software\microsoft\windows nt\currentversion\winlogon" /v defaultdomainname /f

regedit /s c:\windows\w2d\sus.reg
regedit /s c:\windows\w2d\kace.reg
regedit /s c:\windows\w2d\ip6kill.reg
regedit /s c:\windows\w2d\tmccimageversion.reg

sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:acadf14cpnname.xml

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



Academic sysprep answer file:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
<settings pass="specialize">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Deployment" 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">
<RunSynchronousCommand wcm:action="add">
<Path>net user administrator /active:yes</Path>
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" 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">
<TimeZone>Pacific Standard Time</TimeZone>
<Link0>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Mozilla Firefox.lnk</Link0>
<Link1>%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Google Chrome.lnk</Link1>
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer" 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">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-UnattendedJoin" 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">
<settings pass="oobeSystem">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core" 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">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" 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">
<LocalAccount wcm:action="add">
<settings pass="generalize">
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" 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">
<Manufacturer>TMCC Helpdesk</Manufacturer>
<SupportHours>8 - 5</SupportHours>
<Model>Compuiter Support</Model>
<cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="catalog:c:/w7image/install_windows 7 enterprise.clg" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />

Note: I store my wims on windows shares that is why there is a mid level task to cast the real image.  All my captured images are just shells with no files to use as the template to image to.  Otherwise the tasks will work with standard wim images.  If you look at the image size you see they are only 1.7 k in size (formatted boot info). 

Bat - Acad F14 post1 cleanup and Join Domain

net start w32time
%SystemRoot%\system32\w32tm /config /update /manualpeerlist:tmccacad.tmcc.edu /syncfromflags:manual

c:\windows\w2d\ksleep 10

net user administrator /active:yes
net localgroup administrators f14admin /add
net user administrator xxxxxxxxxxxx

reg.exe add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon" /v AutoAdminLogon /d 1 /f
reg.exe add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon" /v AutoLogonCount /t REG_DWORD /d 10 /f
reg.exe add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon" /v DefaultDomainName /d tmccacad /f
reg.exe add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon" /v DefaultUserName /d install /f
reg.exe add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon" /v DefaultPassWord /d xxxxxxxxxxxxx /f
reg.exe add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Enviroment" /v LSFORCEHOST /d ms-vdf.tmccacad.tmcc.edu /f
reg.exe add "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background" /v OEMBackground /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

del C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\webcache\*.* /f /q
del C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\*.log1 /f /q /a:hs
del C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\*.log2 /f /q /a:hs
del C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\*.blf /f /q /a:hs
del C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\*.regtrans-ms /f /q /a:hs
del C:\Users\Default\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\*.* /f /q
del c:\users\default\downloads\*.* /f /q /s

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\ospprearm.exe"
cscript "c:\program files\microsoft office\office15\ospp.vbs" /act
cscript %SystemRoot%\System32\slmgr.vbs -ATO

start /wait cscript.exe c:\windows\w2d\join_domain.vbs tmccacad.tmcc.edu install password

c:\windows\w2d\ksleep 20

Bat - Acad F14 post2  Kace and reg keys

c:\windows\w2d\ksleep 10

start /wait msiexec /i "\\kbox.tmcc.edu\client\agent_provisioning\windows_platform\ampagent-6.2.1020-x86.msi" HOST=kbox.tmcc.edu /qn

start /wait reg.exe add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\Tcpip6\Parameters\" /v DisabledComponents /t REG_DWORD /d 4294967295 /f

start /wait net user kpreper /delete

Bat - Acad F14 post3 DR-vdf DeepFreeze install

reg.exe add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce /v setthaw /d "dfc password /BOOTTHAWED"

"\\dr-vdf\DeepFreeze 8\F14\PCs\DR-workstation.exe" /install

Do not hesitate to post questions, The techs on ITNinja will either point you to training content or post the info you need.

Answered 10/29/2014 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

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Such good info SMal. Thank you!

I'm trying to track down our tech who is working on this so we can bring things up to speed. What's your opinion on using a Master Image for 8 different pieces of hardware? You noted that sysprepping should allow us to deploy to a variety of hardware models and also handle the drivers. We have 8 different Dell models of Latitude and Optiplex with 8 images killing my K2k's space. I'd like to get it down just 1 or 2 images with post install tasks handling the variance.

The default profile advice is great. I used to do it the old forcible way in XP, but others have been working on a lot of our Win 7 stuff and informed me there was no way to edit a default profile in Win 7. It was never a priority in my tasks and they were ok with it, but I'd rather give everyone the same profile. I'm not sure our current techs are aware of how useful that is in general troubleshooting and navigation alone.

Answered 10/29/2014 by: murbot
Tenth Degree Black Belt

  • windows 7 has a undocumented feature I discovered. When a machine comes out of sysprep the discovery engine looks at c:\windows\inf for drivers. I created a subdir under that on my master called tmccdrivers and under that I create subdirs for every model of computer we have and put that models drivers there. Currently about 6 desktop and 6 laptop models. If you are worried about disk space (I use about 4-5gig for all my extra drivers) run a post task to delete the directory. that is what this blog covers.
  • The best drivers to go get for the systems you have are the driver packs listed under systems management, they contain all the drivers that model needs. I usually download the cab packs and expand that with 7-zip and place that expanded structure in c:\windows\inf\tmccdrivers
    • Nice work!! Slick method of getting those on there.

      I'm gonna work on getting a master image sysprepped and ready to go. Really, really great stuff you've suggested. So cool. Thanks!!
    • When you say the best drives [for my systems] are under system mgt, what do you mean? I mean where is the system mgt to which you are referring?

      Do you mean in Device Mgr? Are you getting each driver name by expanding each line on each device one at a time or is there a list or group of drivers to download? Basically, how are you building the list of drivers and where do you download them? I usually get them from support.dell.com.
      • under the support site for each product is a catagory named something like system management, this is what dell calls that section. Other manufactures may name it different but look for this driver set for all systems if possible, then you only need to download one file and expand that for each model. See other ans for pic
  • If you are worried about disk space you can store your wims on windows shares. this has many advantages. I have blogs for each kace version on how to do this. http://www.itninja.com/blog/view/wim-storage-freeing-up-space-on-your-k2000-if-you-are-using-wims-k2000-version-3-6
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Answered 10/29/2014 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

  • I had this working. Saved an offboard image and deployed it to another machine of the same model.

    I added some more drivers to the inf folder and sysprepped it. When I tried to boot to the kbe, it get to the point of mounting the install shares and has 2 lines under that which say it completed successfully, then says "T: was deleted successfully", then goes to a Dell Kace logo screen and reboots the computer and starts up the sysprepped system.

    I've gone through this 10 times today with new kbe's with different names each time. I clean up the old kbe's in between.

    Any idea why it's rebooting there?
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