April 1, 2010

Working Windows 7 Sysprep

By Geekphreek

I don’t know about you but I’m finding more and more that Microsoft only want the good paying folks of the world to have access to their maniacal documentation and phone support, while writing some of the worst coding known to man.

I’m not referring to Windows for a change, this time I’m aiming a swipe at Windows 7 Sysprep and the Hell it’s put me through to get it to work correctly. I have total respect for this blog: http://theitbros.com

Brian wrote a complete how to for the common man with input from other frustrated IT people. When I stumbled upon this blog I was all ready knee deep in MS documentation regarding Windows PE3 and the Sysprep process. Unlike the MS wording, his is straight cut and doesn’t give you all the crap you don’t need. I worked through his Sysprep guide (v2) and found that it did what it said on the tin. It’s been a great starting point…

Now, I needed to do some additional work to the image where Brian hasn’t. At the end of his tutorial you have a working Windows 7 image that will roll to most hardware, this is great stuff; but I need to join a domain and depending on the location of the PC I need it to go in to different OUs. Inside of the sysprep.xml file I have added all the information required to make it join, but will it? Will it Hell. You gotta love MS, the WAIK DVD you download and install is painful. I don’t mind it too much as it’s all command line based which suits me down to the ground, but when features they write it just plain don’t work you tend to turn grey and start pulling chunks of your hair out.

So, I’ve attached 3 files to this post, my sysprep.xml file with a few bits I’ve removed such as activation keycode and name of my company, you’ll need to add those yourself; my joindomain.vbs script which will join the PC to the domain as the final task of the build process and my SetupComplete.cmd file. Please edit the sysprep.xml in WAIK and set your settings as required.

WAIK Files as Required