Hi all.
I’ve been trying to create a deployable Vista image for our corporate environment, and I’m finding it quite painful to do the Microsoft-approved method of sysprep/imagex.

Here’s the procedure I’m following:

Start up new Dell notebook - latest company model is the Latitude E6500

Join the domain, log in as test user, install corporate apps, and tweak settings.

Create an unattend.xml using Windows AIK 1.1 and system image manager.

In this xml I have it join the domain, copy my test user profile to the default user, enable local admin, hide EULA and a few other common settings.
Also I specifically tell it <PersistAllDeviceInstalls>true</PersistAllDeviceInstalls>

I copy the unattend.xml to c:\windows\sysprep then run
Sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:unattend.xml

Then I boot PE2 do a net use g: to a network share and run imagex /capture /compress fast /check c: g:\E6500.wim “E6500 corporate image”

This takes a long time, but I can live with it, even though I really miss the speed of using Ghost.

Next, I unbox another E6500 same hardware config, boot PE2, format c: , net use g: to my share and run imagex /apply g:\E6500.wim 1 c:

This runs for a while (much faster than the capture thankfully)

Once done, I reboot.

Vista does the OOBE thing (annoyingly slow) and once it’s done, I log in.
Looking around I see that almost everything is there, and most of my unattend settings worked BUT, it’s deleted the video card and NIC drivers, even though I thought that the PersistAllDeviceInstalls would prevent this.
One workaround is to add the driver path to the offline servicing pass. This gets the drivers re-installed but adds to the already too long OOBE process.

Is there any way I can prevent the drivers from being deleted by sysprep?
I know that the Vista .wim install makes life easier for different hardware platforms, but I’m fine with having 2 or 3 images for our different models.

And are there any other things I can do to speed up any of this?


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Well re-creating my answer file from scratch solved the driver issue (not sure why, the file looked fine) so I guess it's working fine now save for the speed issues.

We can live with it, but we don't have to like it :)
Answered 03/24/2009 by: smason
Orange Belt

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