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How to create and deploy Windows 7 images

Created: 12 May 2010 • Updated: 12 May 2010 • 1 comment
sugeily's picture
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I had problems with the create and deploy Windows 7 images specifically. I tried with the RDeploy, ImageX tool and none  was executed sucessfully.

Here is a procedure I found in the knowledgebase and it works.

Applies To

• Deployment Solution 6.9 SP3


Instructions for creating and deploying Windows 7 operating systems.


Imaging the Windows 7 operating system is only supported in Deployment Solutions 6.9 sp3 and newer versions

The proper procedure for capturing an image of Windows 7:

1. Build the Windows 7 source machine from a CD.

2. Once the Windows 7 is installed and updated, install the Dagent client.

3. Do not join the Windows 7 system to a domain at any time during this process. The domain join can happen on

the distribute disk image process.

4. With Dagent communicating to the Deployment Server, create a new job and add a Create Disk Image task.

5. Choose the Ghost imaging tool and make sure to set the automation environment to use WinPE 2.1.

6. For the first image capture, it is recommended that you capture without Sysprep. The reason for this is that

Sysprep can only be run 3 times on Windows 7 before it stops working, so capturing a base image without Sysprep

on the first capture is best. That way, if you have to make changes you can do so before capturing a new base

image without worrying about Sysrep failing.

7. Once the base image is captured, you can then install any necessary applications and capture the image

again. For this image capture task, it is important to enable the Microsoft sysprep utility in the Create Disk Image


   a. If you're imaging Windows 7 Professional, you'll need to use a valid volume license key.

   b. If you're imaging Windows 7 Enterprise, you'll need to choose the Use Existing Key option.

8. With the image capture now completed you're ready to deploy the disk image.

The proper procedure for deploying a disk image of Windows 7:

1. Create a new job and add a Distribute Disk Image task.

2. Make sure that the option to use Sysprep is enabled and the correct key choice is chosen as outlined above.

3. Check all 3 options under the Configuration section of the task.

   a. Automatically perform configuration task after completing this imaging task.

   b. Boot to production to complete configuration task.

   c. Use DeployAnywhere hardware independent imaging.

4. Make sure to choose WinPE 2.1 as your automation OS.

This procedure will allow you to capture and deploy a disk image of Windows 7 without any issues. If you'd like your

destination machine to be part of a domain after imaging make sure that the machine exists in the DS as part of a

domain prior to the image being deployed to it.


1. See Microsoft technical notes for limitations on running Sysprep more than three times on a Windows 7 system.


2. Microsoft Windows 7 systems must use the DAgent Deployment Server agent and not the traditional AClient agent.

Additionally, I had a problem with the boot mapping and I solved recreating boot disk and change drive letter mapped.

I hope this helps.

Comments 1 CommentJump to latest comment

Lery's picture

If you anticipate running the Sysprep command multiple times on a single computer, you must use the SkipRearm setting in the Microsoft-Windows-Security-Licensing-SPP component to postpone resetting the activation clock. Because you can reset the activation clock only three times, if you run the Sysprep command multiple times on a computer, you might run out of activation clock resets. We recommend that you use the SkipRearm setting if you plan on running the Sysprep command multiple times on a computer.


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