Best Practices Question

Sysprep and Windows 7

02/17/2015 2140 views
This seems like a stupid question but here we go.  Who all syspreps their images?  As of right now I do not but all I hear is how long it takes to image because of the system starting up.  We used to use Ghost and those images were not sysprepped, I keep telling them that this is the proper way to do this but all I hear is complaining.  So I wanted to see what everyone else is doing.  And if I don't sysprep what are some of the draw backs?  I know one huge one is that I can't join it to the domain because I can't use the pre-install task to gather the name. 
2 Comments   [ + ] Show comments


  • You actually should be able to join the domain without sysprepping, as long as your pre and post install name tasks are working.
  • Thanks guys. I've told them most of this stuff but you know that it falls on def ears. I think total image time is about 1 hour from the time the copy starts to the time the system is ready to use. I only install 2 pieces of software during the install and that's the Kace app, and anti-virus.

All Answers

There's lots of information about Sysprep and the need for it.

What is Sysprep?
Do SIDs Matter Anymore?
ITNinja - Is Sysprep Really Needed?

From a Microsoft point of view if you move/copy an image to another machine without running Sysprep it is not supported. You could have an extreme situation where Microsoft won't support your estate because you didn't Sysprep your image before deployment.

Answered 02/18/2015 by: dunnpy
Red Belt

Sysprepping basically removes all the fingerprinting/drivers that are unique to a system for imaging purposes. While you can technically get away without using it in many cases you may end up causing problems. For example if you use KMS and don't sysprep and rearm your machines the KMS server will see them all as one instance and your licensed machine count won't go up. We've also seen a similar issue with our antivirus server and licensing machines. You can rearm a machine after the fact, but still. It's much easier to do nowadays compared to XP. If you don't sysprep your image may not boot on all your hardware - so sysprepping let's you keep one image for all your boxes.
Answered 02/18/2015 by: jegolf
Red Belt

not syspreping also causes wsus problems and using ad to store bitlocker passwords.  Syspreping should not stop you from gathering the old system name.  You just need to do that prior to formatting the target HDD
Answered 02/18/2015 by: SMal.tmcc
Red Belt

The part of Sysprep that is maybe taking a long time is the reinstalling of system drivers.  You can skip that by placing this code into your unattend.xml in the proper section:
This works great if you're imaging the same model of computer that you captured from, but you don't want to do this if you're imaging different models.
On any modern computer, Sysprep really should not take all that long.
Answered 02/18/2015 by: nheyne
Red Belt

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