SCCM 2007 Deploy Custom image
I am working in a corporate image. We would like to create an image for windows 7 using SCCM 2007. We usually update our images every few months. Sysprep can only be done 3 times as I understand it. We are using a dell OEM install on a dell GX360. I can't find a straight walk through for a corporate image. My sysprep file seems to work fine offline without using SCCM 2007. I just am confused about how I can update the image regularly. Do you sysprep, then upload? Or do you upload and run the custom install from SCCM 2007 when deploying? The only thing I thought would work is to have one image that isn't sysprepped, then upload that image. Then sysprep and upload another image. But this doesn't seem practical, then I would need to store two images. The image doesn't seem to take my unattend.xml file when deploying through SCCM 2007. 1. I hope I get a real answer instead of some url. I have seen a lot of posts but there isn't anything that distinquishes the SCCM 2007 custom install verses sysprepping before upload. Do you sysprep before upload or does the custom install apply when doing SCCM 2007 task sequence? 2. In addition I have read somewhere that you should have 2 images. One sysprepped and one not. Is that the solution to make more work for IT guys or is this wrong information?
April 5th, 2010 7:29pm

The real answer is to use a Build and Capture task sequence that installs Windows from source files every time, installs windows updates, software and other customizations you want in your image, then syspreps it and captures it. This essentially automates the whole process making it repeatable, self-documenting, and easily modifiable. It also automates something that my 6 year old is qualified to do: manually installing Windows. I won't go on my soapbox rant on this :-)Jason | http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/jsandys | http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/jsandys/default.aspx | Twitter @JasonSandys
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April 5th, 2010 9:27pm

I totally agree with Jason there...the right way is to build a process that is fully automated that starts from scratch each and every time. That way you don't have to worry about how many times you can Sysprep a machine or other such stuff. Mike N.
April 5th, 2010 11:41pm

and for the original poster, here's a quick quide for Building and Capturing Windows 7 from start to finish, if you follow that you'll be up and running in no time, and then you can start doing extras with unattend.xml My step by step SCCM Guides windows-noob on Twitter
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April 5th, 2010 11:48pm

Thanks to all of you. I see now how the image process works. Previously we were doing things differently. I can see the automation part helping. It does seem a little redundant, but automation really makes it so it doesn't take any time to build from scratch every time. I like the idea of the base image and then adding cusomized apps on top of it.
April 6th, 2010 11:43pm

I don't really consider those as answers. I like him want to deploy the oem version of windows. So back to the actual question. We have a laptop that just arrived from lenovo. Ran the Capture Media sccm that syspreps and captures the .wim file. When we deploy the .wim file everything works fine, but when i deploy the same task sequence with a custom unattend file, not only does it ignore my unattend file but it reverts my image to lenovo out of box experience and not the image i had capturedBenjamin Niaulin
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April 4th, 2011 10:02am

Licnesing wise, you are not allowed to deploy the OEM version of Windows. The vendors use a completely different method for staging their systems that I'm sure has conflicting actions that is resulting in the behavior you are seeing. It's just not something anyone does or should do.Jason | http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/jsandys | Twitter @JasonSandys
April 4th, 2011 10:19am

licensing wise im not allowed? then why do they sell me laptops with operating systems (by force) if im not allowed to deploy them :S i already payed windows 7 on those oem's.. your telling me i have to go buy windows 7 again just to deploy and capture and repackage all my applications that come on oem laptops to manage battery, wireless etc..? does not make much sense to me is all. Mind you if we go back to the question, any ideas why the unattend file is not being applied to the osimage being deployed? i thought sccm TS with unattend files overrides any unattend that would be cached by the oem guys no? is there any settings in the captured image that could override this? Seems to me that when i deploy just the image, all is good. but as soon as i check the box "use unattend package" it gets ignored and uses a builtin lenovo one. Benjamin Niaulin
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April 4th, 2011 10:27am

to keep you updated, i opened the original laptop to try to figure out whats going on. I went to c:\windows\panther and found the unattend.xml used with lenovo pcs. going to try to mount my .wim image to remove this file and re-deploy with my custom unattend. Will keep posted.Benjamin Niaulin
April 4th, 2011 10:35am

Almost correct. OEM licensing is very specific to what you can't do, including imaging. No one is forcing you to buy the systems with an OEM Windows install on them. If you have a valid Microsoft pruchase agreement, the vendor will work with you to deliver whatever you want/need. Anyone who tells you different is ripping you off. As for repurchasing, no you don't have to. You simply need to buy a single Win 7 volume license and then your OEM lisences can effectively be "reused" for reimaging: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/volume-licensing-briefs.aspx (see the Reimagin right document). Why would you want to delpoy a generic image from the vendor anyway? Most of them have so much garbage in them and are definitely not customized to your environment. It takes a little work to get your base image "perfect" and your deployment working well, but it saves tons of time in the long run.Jason | http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/jsandys | Twitter @JasonSandys
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April 4th, 2011 11:00am

We (Setup and Deployment MVP's) did meet with the licensing team in Redmond a few weeks back (at the MVP Summit), and the OEM licensing/imaging was the topic for the discussion. The shorthand deal is that Enterprise deployment is a Volume License (or SA) benefit. As an Enterprise you are not allowed to reimage Retail or OEM images. The below article explains your different options from a few common scenarios. OEM and imaging - The rules of the game http://www.deploymentresearch.com/Blog/tabid/62/EntryId/4/OEM-and-imaging-The-rules-of-the-game.aspx / JohanRegards / Johan Arwidmark Twitter: @jarwidmark Blog: http://www.deployvista.com
April 4th, 2011 11:11am

Thanks for all the information guys, i ended up calling microsoft licensing directly and purchased a VL. I want to image the oem and deploy it because i need the garbage that comes with it. The little applications to manage the battery and so on, dont want to repackage them. Sure their is a way to capture this image and apply unattend files to it... i erased the unattend.xml that was in the panther folder but it still doesnt apply mine, doesnt even join the machine to the domain which is part of the TS..Benjamin Niaulin
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April 4th, 2011 1:57pm

seems to me that when i syspreped for some reason it wants to use the oem unattend that is probably hiding somewhere else. Because i just realised that my custom unattend files work, except for settings specified by the "lenovo think" xml file wherever it is hiding. Does anyone know how and where does this info get stored so that i can remove it? I think its stored somewhere with even higher priority over sccm unattend files.Benjamin Niaulin
April 4th, 2011 2:51pm

is it possible that an oem version of windows 7 skips certain components of an unattend file? for example the manifests doesnt include the other settings? still doesnt work for me, seems when i dont check the box use unattend package in my TS, sccm is able to join domain. and if i do check the box use an unattend package and specifile my file for example that just changes IE settings, the PC doesnt join domain, and only some IE settings are applied. Could be in the manifests file? any ideas at all?Benjamin Niaulin
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April 4th, 2011 5:15pm

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