Help me understand SysPrep and its benefits to home users!

Discussion in 'Windows 10' started by MonarchX, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. MonarchX

    MonarchX MDL Expert

    May 5, 2007
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    From what I gathered SysPrep is a great tool for Admins who create their own custom OS images and plan to deploy them on other machines using unique SID's. How is this of benefit to plain home users who just want custom OS images without whichever stuff (like Store) they do not like/want?

    Some answers (with questions marks...) I gathered:
    1. Custom images with integrated/removed components often have "pending operations" that will continue to pend until OS is installed and images captured with SysPrep (after operations finalize) will no longer have any pending operations. In other words images captured after/with SysPrep are cleaner in nature..?
    2. SysPrep is helpful to those who want to have more integrated items/components not related to the OS, like MS Office.
    3. SysPrep image capture creates a reference image. This is of benefit to those with "butchered" OS versions that fail SFC ScanNow and DISM Scan/Restore Health. Since SysPrep image becomes the reference image, SFC and DISM pass..? That, however, does not mean that truly "butchered" and SysPrep'ed images become be update-able.., does it???

    Now for the actual questions:
    A. What installed software will SysPrep discard? For example, I made a custom updated Windows 10 1703 image that has Store AppX's and other needless stuff removed with MSMG Toolkit and NTLite. The image passes both SFC ScanNow and DISM Scan/RestoreHealth. It is also update-able (not that "butchered" I guess). I installed the OS, applied some tweaks that do not include disabling any services or tasks or drivers, finalized pending operations with ResetBase, cleaned up temp files, cleaned the registry and installed drivers. I was hoping to make a SysPrep image at that point, but "Hardware-Independence" kind of freaked me out. Will SysPrep discard NVidia software along with the drivers or just the drivers, leaving NVidia left-overs? Is it best to make a SysPrep image BEFORE applying driver installations? My custom OS image did not have any integrated drivers because I ultimately wanted an image that could be applied to any PC, not just mine.
    B. Are there other tasks that are recommended to be performed before running SysPrep?
    C. What is the easiest method to capture SysPrep'ed image?
    I saw several guides that used official MS software like MDT and they seemed somewhat complicated. Are there some 3rd party tools that simplify the process?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    a) none will be "lost", "hardware-independent" is what the real advantage of the sysprep is. You can then put it on Dell/HP/homebuild, desktop/laptop, whatever.
    In proper installation (business), drivers are supplied during PC creation (from master image)
    Best platform to build image is Hyper-V (as it has no external drivers)
    I would NOT include ANY hardware specific drivers in master image! - that would answer you b)
    Install it AFTER new machine was created from it!

    b) any software that gets installed should be done really in Audit mode

    c) whatever you feel like, any image creation software, IMO best are plain dism or dism++ or wimlib (from WinPE)
     
  3. MonarchX

    MonarchX MDL Expert

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    PE? Are you saying I need to download ADK and install that giant software package? I have the latest WIMLib + WIMLib CLC GUI. Can I use that with PE somehow or do I need to use command-line?
     
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  4. MonarchX

    MonarchX MDL Expert

    May 5, 2007
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    OK, so I run SysPrep + Generalize + Reboot after installing the OS and finalizing pending applications, fixing registry, etc. Then it takes me a screen where I need to create a new Username and... I have no idea at which point to load WinPE to do the capturing..?
     
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  5. s1ave77

    s1ave77 MDL Guide Dog/Dev

    Aug 15, 2012
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    SysPrep + Generalize + Shutdown, boot PE media for the capture.
     
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  6. MonarchX

    MonarchX MDL Expert

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    A! Thank you! I think I got it now!

    Is Audit Mode only for those who want extra software pre-installed?
     
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  7. MonarchX

    MonarchX MDL Expert

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    So, I need to enter the Audit mode as the first thing upon booting into Windows for the first time? Should I do all the cleaning and fixing in Audit mode too?

    BTW, adding WimLib folder to Sources directory on USB or to root directory on USB did not work with Shift+F10. It does not see the folder at all. I think I need to mount Boot.wim or Install.wim and add WimLib there because X:\Sources\ only sees Program Files, Program Files x86, Users, and Windows folder. That is confusing because I am not sure what it actually boots with Shift+10 - the PE part? WinRE part? Setup part? Install.wim?
     
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  8. CommanderHK47

    CommanderHK47 MDL Novice

    Apr 8, 2012
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    Based on the video guides I've been watching on how to do this, you enter audit mode by pressing "Shift +Control+ F3" at initial install and at the screen that provides "use express or custom settings". It then boots you into the "Default User" account.
     
  9. MonarchX

    MonarchX MDL Expert

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    I did try CD C:\ and CD D:\ and CD E:\ and it never actually went to any of those drive letters - say at X:\ ...
     
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  10. MonarchX

    MonarchX MDL Expert

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    The implication being that the method you suggested simply does not work or what?
     
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  11. MonarchX

    MonarchX MDL Expert

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    I placed WimLib folder in just about every directory possible on USB drive and within Boot.wim and within Install.wim and it does not see it AT ALL. There is no way to access root of USB drive from within that environment. I tried every letter from A to Z...

    I am not in any PE - I just pressed Shift + F10 and found out there was no WimLib folder anywhere there, even though I placed it that folder in every directory and sub-directory.
     
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  12. surround

    surround MDL Novice

    Aug 20, 2014
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    How about sysprepping in VM? After shutdown just mount VHD and capture with gimagex.
     
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  13. MonarchX

    MonarchX MDL Expert

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    Yeah, except it takes more time to get that done through VM because its just so damn slow, even when I allocate as much CPU and RAM and other resources as software allows me.
     
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  14. surround

    surround MDL Novice

    Aug 20, 2014
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    Then there is VHD boot ;)
     
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  15. MonarchX

    MonarchX MDL Expert

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    I just removed the Setup part of Boot.wim and left only the PE part, but it gave me an error saying that Windows PE SystemRoot is different from other Windows directory - bla bla... I think I'll do more research into ways of making this happen that actually work rather than trying this and that that MIGHT work... From what I understand all I need is a bootable USB drive that can launch WimLib.
     
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  16. Mr.X

    Mr.X MDL Guru

    Jul 14, 2013
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    Wow! just Wow!
     
  17. MonarchX

    MonarchX MDL Expert

    May 5, 2007
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    What is so exciting..?
     
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  18. surround

    surround MDL Novice

    Aug 20, 2014
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    Like already said, use notepad to see available drives. Or in command line type "diskpart" and then "list vol" (and "exit" to quit), you should recognize drives by their name or size. There is nothing difficult or magical in this.
     
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  19. MonarchX

    MonarchX MDL Expert

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    "X:\Sources\Notepad.exe". I will try. Thank you.
     
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  20. CommanderHK47

    CommanderHK47 MDL Novice

    Apr 8, 2012
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