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Is it safe to move a sysprep'd image to another computer with identical hardware? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    again and again I was asked if it is possible to move a sysprep'd image to another system that has identical hardware without the need of running sysprep agein. The background behind this question is that customers prefer a replacement media (e.g. flash card) with pre-installed O/S and expect that the system is running immediately - without the need of waiting until sysprep completes.

    I know that this works in general and I also know that some drivers become reinstalled, for example, network adapters because of the different MAC adressses (which also means that the previous network settings will not be applied to the "new" adapters).

    Regardless of that, is it safe to do so? If not, what problems may occour? I already recommended to go the sysprep way, but I need some more convining arguments, I hope you can help me.

    Best regards,
    Willi K.

    Friday, January 15, 2016 3:22 PM

Answers

  • Ok. That is clearer. As long as the target hardware at the customer site is the same, there shouldn't be a problem. If the target hardware is something different - chipset, processor, etc., the image could run into problems with driver conflicts.

    Sean Liming - Book Author: Starter Guide SIM (WEI), Pro Guide to WE8S & WES 7, Pro Guide to POS for .NET - www.annabooks.com / www.seanliming.com

    • Marked as answer by Willi K Friday, June 5, 2020 8:37 AM
    Friday, January 22, 2016 5:45 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • It is possible to move a non-sysprep'd image to a system with identical hardware. That doesn't mean there isn't risk. The image could run into issues. The drastic example is that the system doesn't boot. The subtle issues could be something that doesn't work quite right.

    Booting from a sysprep'd image is pretty quick compared to installing the image. Does your system take very long to go through a sysprep process?


    Sean Liming - Book Author: Starter Guide SIM (WEI), Pro Guide to WE8S & WES 7, Pro Guide to POS for .NET - www.annabooks.com / www.seanliming.com

    Friday, January 15, 2016 3:49 PM
    Moderator
  • Hello Sean,

    it seems that there are some mis-understandings. The intended workflow is:

    1. Attach replacement media to a reference system (at our site)
    2. Deloy a "resealed" (sysprep /generalize /oobe) image
    3. Let Sysprep perform it's task on the reference system, including our setup stuff, then shut down
    4. This system should be delivered to the customer, who puts the media into their devices

    That means that sysprep was already running when the customer puts the replacement media into their devices. The question here is, if there may be a risk of unpredicted problems when doing so and so on.

    Unfortunately our Sysprep phase may take up to 10 minutes:

    • We have an image that supports multiple platforms (Intel "SandyBrigde" and "IvyBridge"), however, there are some small differences that makes it required to install the graphics driver during/post sysprem setup
    • IE11 needs to be installed AFTER the sysprep process. Of course, I tried to pre-install before running sysprep, but this resulted in loss of all the user-interface setings (desktop background, layout of desktop items, taskbar/start menu settings, ...).
    Monday, January 18, 2016 9:29 AM
  • You can put all the drivers in *and* IE11 before you sysprep. (I do that, but only with assorted lan drivers, I could stuff  various graphics drivers in too I guess.) 

    Is your media so unreliable you keep needing to replace it? A case for FBWF/EWF if ever there was one.


    =^x^=

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016 6:35 AM
  • Reliability of the local media is not the problem. Most likely the procecss belongs to software, regardless if in meaning of "recovery" or updating the system. Write filters are included and customers know that. However, I cannot force customers to use it.

    Regardless of the reason, there are request to get a media wit O/S preinstalled which starts as a new device usually does - in meaning of sysprep has already done it's stop. This still is what this thread is about.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016 9:57 AM
  • You can probably shorten first boot time if you sysprep your image with an answer file (/unattend) with the following setting:

    Products\Operating System\Foundation Core\Windows Embedded Edition - PnpSysprep-PersistAllDeviceInstalls (P3)

    But this will work only for the-same-hardware deployments.

    Friday, January 22, 2016 4:35 PM
  • Ok. That is clearer. As long as the target hardware at the customer site is the same, there shouldn't be a problem. If the target hardware is something different - chipset, processor, etc., the image could run into problems with driver conflicts.

    Sean Liming - Book Author: Starter Guide SIM (WEI), Pro Guide to WE8S & WES 7, Pro Guide to POS for .NET - www.annabooks.com / www.seanliming.com

    • Marked as answer by Willi K Friday, June 5, 2020 8:37 AM
    Friday, January 22, 2016 5:45 PM
    Moderator