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Creating a windows image for replication

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The time has come for me to re-image a group of machines and i'll looking for the most efficient way of doing it... a few year a go i tried making a 'master image' from one computer that in theory should have been able to use on all other machines... unfortunately i could never get it working, install always failed or i ran into various other issues and i realised it would be much quicker to work on each machine manually.

 

I would like to have another go creating an image but before i spend days running in circles i'm looking for any advice, helps or tips anyone can give me.

 

I am wanting to install Windows 7 x64, silent install, slipstreamed with all updates, have various registry settings in place, preferably have it join a domain without much interaction, install some printers/drivers etc.. basically i want a base machine that will just work that can be distributed with little human interaction.. once it's on the domain i can push out other apps through the group policy.

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  once it's on the domain i can push out other apps through the group policy.

While that's a lot easier to update it does use a lot more resources and time for larger programs like Office and Adobe.

 

The basic process for creating an image is

 

  1. Install windows in a vm
  2. install all your programs and updates
  3. Make sure you are using local group policy instead of regedit as any changes to HKEY_CURRENT_USER will be ignored (as the current user is deleted)
  4. sysprep and shutdown
  5. boot from the windows cd and press shift+f10
  6. Dism /Capture-Image /ImageFile:c:\goldimage.wim /CaptureDir:C:\ /Name:"goldimage" where c:\ is wherever your os drive is mounted
  7. add the .wim to WDS or replace the install.wim on a bootable usb key

WDS gives you a GUi to do all this with a capture image but you can do it without a domain or wds

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MDT 2013 can do all of this for you. You might have to check out a few youtube videos to see how it works but it does well.

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