I’ve seen a lot of people having issues with Windows 7 sysprep at the moment and Microsoft’s new and ridiculously complicated rollout system. Here’s a quick breakdown of how to make a Windows 7 image:
Create a Windows PE disk with ImageX on it
Create an answer file called unattend.xml using the Windows Installation & Administration Kit (WAIK)
Configure Windows how you want it
Drop the unattend.xml in to c:\windows\system32\sysprep
Drop to a command prompt in that directory and do:
sysprep /oobe /generalize /shutdown /unattend:unattend.xml
Once she’s down, boot on the Windows PE disk and take an image.
Edit my unattend.xml file which is attached using the WAIK and change things like Key, usernames, etc. This version tries to join to a domain, you may want to delete that section.