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In the passed, I have used clonezilla, sysprep and a volume licence keep to clone images to many computers. This was based on Windows XP.

How about Windows 7 pro? Will the steps be exactly the same? As in

  1. Setup a PC as required
  2. Sysprep it with a volume license key
  3. Clone the HDD/partition using clone zilla to an img
  4. Clone the img to the rest of the computers

Or has cloning changed since XP, and is there a newer way of doing this without using sysprep?


Production environment

Microsoft does not support the use of Sysprep for the following scenarios

To run sysprep after imaging or cloning production computer for the purpose of changing the SID and computername to join the domain and make the computer unique. For example if you cloned or performed a Physical to Virtual(P2V) of a computer but want to leave the source computer running instead of decommissioning it.

With Windows XP, I used sysprep with cloning so when clones and switched on for the first time, I would be able to give the computer a name so it's unique on the network.

Looks like micosoft will not support such a scenario with windows 7.

So what's the alternative?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Your 4 step process is fine according to that document. The difference between your process and the part you quoted is that you are sysprepping the image before cloning and the article states that you cannot clone a non-sysprepped machine to a new machine, then run sysprep on that new machine. So, you cannot deploy an image that was NOT sysprepped prior to capture.

Since you appear to be gearing up for a deployment of Windows 7, I recommend that you take a look at the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). MDT is a free deployment tool that can make your deployments a lot easier. It is a task-based process that can install Windows, Device drivers, Packages and software. There are even tasks that will call your WSUS server or Windows update to make sure the deployment is completely up to date. This video will show you how simple and powerful MDT can be:

Deployment Day Session 1: Introduction to MDT 2012

Hope this helps,

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