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This page contains information for condideration by advanced users and/or uses desiring to create a "generic" system image that can be deployed to a new machine.

Install Considerations:


  • Set to static size (1.5x-2x RAM installed). Do this early in the install process so the pagefile is not fragmented (preferably right after OOBE boot). Consider defragmenting disk before setting static pagefile. Consider no pagefile on high RAM/SSD only machines? (jury is out…)

User Files/Folders:

  • Consider moving “User” files/folders/settings to a separate partition? (would make nice for Image restores, can make fully recoverable backups easier, runs risk of omitting some files that are difficult to move from C: drive)

Logon Screen:

  • Set Registry key to “forget” last logged in user (requires entry of username and password instead of just entering password and having username shown)?

Software Configuration Issues:

If a "generic" image is going to be created, consider the following.

  • Install LabVIEW without License key. Run NI Update and update all packages and drivers (do not update to Labview 2014). After Software/Modules/Drivers/Updates are all installed, make sure to start the license manager and activate the software (after OOBE boot)
  • Configure WinSCP with account (don’t store password).
  • Login once to UCB VPN and UCB VPN-CIRES and with Cisco AnyConnect so the CU VPN addresses are cached for the user
  • Run Microsoft update (again… and again… and again…) until there are no more critical updates. Consider “hiding” unused language pack updates. Also update recommended updates.

Creation of a “Deployable Image” File

SysPrep: Unattended Answer File

The Unattended Answer file will be used by SysPrep to setup the computer during the first boot after the SysPrep image has been created. It can do things like copy a prepared profile (desktop environment) to the default profile, setup standard accounts (J-Group, Administrators) and passwords, automatically agree to the End User License Agreement (ELUA), etc. Detailed below are the options that will be used for the J-Group Unattended Answer file. This file is created using the Microsoft Automated Install Kit’s(AIK) System Image Manager (SIM). <DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS HERE>

SysPrep: Booting to Audit Mode

After completing the base install, preforming Microsoft updates, and installing 3rd party packages SysPrep will be entered in Audit mode to setup the user environment, enter the Product license key and prepare the system for generalization and imaging. <DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS HERE>

SysPrep: Generalizing the Install

This step “generalizes” the system and is the last step before creating a deployable image file. This will be accomplished with the sysprep command. You will use the /oobe and /shutdown options. It will cause the system to run a driver check, run the OOBE (Out of Box Experience), and regenerate the computer’s Security Identifier (SID) upon the next boot. This is why you must use the shutdown option. After completing this step, the system should be booted with an external boot device (CD/DVD/USB), and the system should be imaged. This step uses the unattended answer file to store information that will make the next boot into the OOBE more seamless. Everything should be automated except the operator will be asked to enter the computer's name. <DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS HERE>

Creating the Image File

Disk Imaging software such as Acronis True Image (paid) or AOEMI Backupper (free) can be used to create a deployable image of the computer after completion of the generalization step. The Image file will be stored on an external hard drive, though it can be split to CD or DVD sized chunks. The number of disks will depend on the amount of 3rd party software installed and is currently around 13 DVDs. <DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS HERE>

Deploying Image file to another machine

Us=ing the external boot device (CD/DVD/USB stick) and the image stored on the external hard drive, the Deployable Image file can be installed on another computerer. This process should be relatively quick (30min to an hour), and the computer will be ready to boot to the OOBE setup.