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I've just cloned a PC (Win7 + SysPrep + CloneZilla) and after starting up the new clone, Win7 wants to be reactivated again and the video driver seems to be missing (as in the aero effect has disappeared from the new clone) and the internet connection settings seem to be missing too.

All those were set in the master before running SysPrep.

Why have these settings been lost?

The master PC was had windows 7 activated using a volume license key, and the clone pc is the same make and model as the master computer.

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how did you use SysPrep? unattend ? more info.... – Logman Aug 27 '13 at 11:07
sysprep just gave me 2 options, 1. enter system out-of-box experience, 2. enter system audit mode. I selected option 1. – oshirowanen Aug 27 '13 at 11:28
You're doing it wrong, see my basic walkthrough below... – MDT Guy Oct 29 '13 at 15:17

This is normal behavior for Sysprep. Please see the TechNet articles ‘How Sysprep Works and 'Maintain Driver Configurations When Capturing a Windows Image'. However, this makes your image restricted to that specific hardware. You can also 'Add and Remove Drivers Offline'. You should not activate Windows or join it to a domain prior to running sysprep.

The newest imaging and deployment tools from Microsoft can manage device drivers to make your images hardware independent. If you have a Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer, then Windows Deployment Services(WDS) is a built in role that can be enabled and has a driver store that you would put all device drivers into for automatic installation during the deployment.

The Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) is a free deployment solution that not only manages device drivers, but allows you to install software, packages and updates (even checking your WSUS server or Windows Update) during the deployment process, automatically. This allows you to create a hardware independent image that you can deploy to all your machines. MDT can be installed on your Technician workstation.

Hope this helps,

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You're doing this all wrong. Clonezilla is a very poor Ghost clone (sorry for the pun) and Symantec doesn't even sell Ghost anymore, so that should give you a clue as to how outdated this 'disk cloning' approach is. See:

So there's two options here:

Using the PersistAllDeviceInstalls and copyprofile settings you could set the unattended.xml file to tell sysprep to persist all drivers and settings (not recommended). This puts you in the business of building an image for every make and model you support (pain in the ass). Copy profile is good, persist drivers? not so good. See below.

...Better Idea...

USE MDT 2013 instead. It's free AND actually written by Microsoft (the people who wrote the OS)

  • Download and install ADK 8.1 (yes, it works for Win7)
  • Download and install MDT 2013 (yes, it also works for Win7)
  • Create a share for building the reference image in the MDT workbench.
  • Import the .wim file for Win7 from the ISO
  • Create a build image task sequence (enable windows updates if you like)
  • Update share and using a VM, boot to WinPE image it creates in boot folder
  • Build your reference image in a VM (this way you have a driverless image)
  • Capture your image (MDT will do the sysprep for you.)
  • Build a second share in MDT for deploying this image.
  • Create a deploy image task sequence.
  • Load your drivers into this share using the "total control" method taught by Johan Arwidmark
  • MDT will inject drivers at deploy time.

A more thorough guide can be found here:

I know this seems like overkill, but it has several key advantages, one of which is you have a hardware agnostic image that runs on all makes and models.

MDT will also name systems for you, update the images and install java, flash, firefox, whatever and finally join to the domain for you.

Clonezilla is a bad, bad choice if you're trying to roll out windows 7. Don't try to be a hero and reinvent the wheel here, the new MS Deployment tools are money, they just take some work to get up and running but are worth the time.

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By default Sysprep doesn't clone the video drivers.

Apart from that, these are the limitations of Sysprep, as stated on TechNet:

You must use only the version of Sysprep that is installed with the Windows image that you intend to configure. Sysprep is installed with every version of Windows and must always be run from the %WINDIR%\system32\sysprep directory.

Sysprep must not be used on upgrade installation types. Run Sysprep only on clean installations.

  • The partition number where Windows Vista is installed must match.
  • The partition type (primary, extended, or logical) must match.
  • If you have another active partition for Bootmgr and BCD stores on the reference system, you must also capture this partition and apply it to the same partition on the destination computer.

This limitation applies only to the imagex /apply command. If you run Setup and reinstall Windows, you can change the drive letters where Windows is installed.

When you copy Windows images between computers, the reference and destination computers do not need to have compatible hardware abstraction layers (HALs). The /detecthal option in the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) will enable a system that has already run Sysprep to install the correct HAL.

The Plug and Play devices on the reference and destination computers, such as modems, sound cards, network adapters, and video cards, do not have to be from the same manufacturer. However,

The drivers for these devices must be included in the installation. You cannot automate the running of Sysprep by using a RunSynchronous command in auditUser configuration pass. You can automate the running of Sysprep only by using a FirstLogonCommand in the oobeSystem pass.

Running Sysprep will cause Windows Welcome to prompt you for a product key. You can use an answer file with Sysprep to prevent Windows Welcome from prompting you for a product key. If you specify a valid product key in the ProductKey setting of the Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup component during the specialize pass, then Windows Welcome will not prompt you for a product key.

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So how do I change Sysprep's default behaviour to clone the video drivers? – oshirowanen Aug 28 '13 at 9:55
@oshirowanen under settings tab u can create it(Beware, if you have different settings you'll have to use more than one image – or to use an answer file). – BlueBerry - Vignesh4303 Aug 28 '13 at 9:59
Which settings tab? When I run sysprep from the default sysprep in windows 7, I see no settings tab. – oshirowanen Aug 28 '13 at 10:07

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