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Creating a Windows 7 image with Ghost Solution Suite GSS 2.5 (11.5.1.2266)

Created: 24 Jul 2012 | 5 comments

I have been trying in vain to create an image file that I can use on a range of Dell equipment (Latitude laptops, Precision and Optiplex Workstations), but to no avail.

When I used XP it was easy. Build the OS how you want it, create the sysprep.ini and in there provide the locale info and a path to all the drivers.

With Windows 7, I tried the same, but editing the unattend.xml. This has caused three issues for me:

1. The drivers are ignored. It always installs the Standard VGA Adpater driver, not the specific ones I provide.

2. The network type is ignored. It always asks me to select Work or Public etc.

3. The locale settings cannot be changed easily. I used to pull up the image, then use Ghost Explorer to delete the pubkey.crt to allow it work on another Ghost Server, then edit the locale settings in the sysprep.ini. Last time I tried that with the unattend.xml, I changed the local in the file in sysprep folder and C:\Windows\Panther and it said the file could not be parsed and the system would no longer boot.

I have been hacking at this for 6 months on and off and getting a bit fed up. There is no real help on this ANYWHERE, and I would appreciate some help on what I am doing wrong, or pointers to some info. Also, which unattend.xml is actually used? There is one in C:\sysprep and one in C:\Windows\Panther, but I don't get the difference.

Below are screenshots of my settings and the unattend.xml that was built

.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">

     <settings pass="offlineServicing">
      <component name="Microsoft-Windows-PnpCustomizationsNonWinPE" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
         <DriverPaths>
            <PathAndCredentials wcm:keyValue="1" wcm:action="add">
               <Credentials>
                  <Password>*******</Password>
                  <Username>administrator</Username>
               </Credentials>
               <Path>C:\Drivers</Path>
            </PathAndCredentials>
         </DriverPaths>
      </component>
   </settings>
    
   <settings pass="oobeSystem">
      <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
         <OOBE>
            <HideEULAPage>true</HideEULAPage>
                <NetworkLocation>Work</NetworkLocation>
                <ProtectYourPC>3</ProtectYourPC>
                <SkipMachineOOBE>true</SkipMachineOOBE>
                <SkipUserOOBE>true</SkipUserOOBE>
         </OOBE>
            <TaskbarLinks>
                <Link0>%windir%\system32\services.msc</Link0>
             </TaskbarLinks>
      <AutoLogon>
         <Password>
            <Value>genesys</Value>
            <PlainText>true</PlainText>
         </Password>
         <Username>Administrator</Username>
         <Enabled>true</Enabled>
      </AutoLogon>
     <UserAccounts>
         <AdministratorPassword>
            <Value>*****</Value>
            <PlainText>true</PlainText>
         </AdministratorPassword>
      </UserAccounts>
<!--
         <Display>
            <ColorDepth>32</ColorDepth>
            <DPI>120</DPI>
            <HorizontalResolution>1024</HorizontalResolution>
            <RefreshRate>60</RefreshRate>
            <VerticalResolution>768</VerticalResolution>
         </Display>
-->  
          <RegisteredOwner>*</RegisteredOwner>
            <RegisteredOrganization>*</RegisteredOrganization>
            <TimeZone>GMT Standard Time</TimeZone>

      </component>
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-International-Core" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
            <InputLocale>en-GB</InputLocale>
            <SystemLocale>en-GB</SystemLocale>
            <UILanguage>en-GB</UILanguage>
            <UserLocale>en-GB</UserLocale>
        </component>
   </settings>
    <settings pass="specialize">
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
           <CopyProfile>true</CopyProfile>
           <ComputerName>*</ComputerName>
            
        </component>
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-UnattendedJoin" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
            <Identification>
                <JoinWorkgroup>WORKGROUP</JoinWorkgroup>
            </Identification>
        </component>
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-IE-InternetExplorer" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
            <DisableFirstRunWizard>true</DisableFirstRunWizard>
            <Home_Page>http://www.genesyslab.com/GU/evals/</Home_Page>
        </component>
    </settings>
    
    <settings pass="generalize">
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-PnpSysprep" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
            <PersistAllDeviceInstalls>false</PersistAllDeviceInstalls>
        </component>
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Security-Licensing-SLC" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
            <SkipRearm>1</SkipRearm>
        </component>
    </settings>

  <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim:c:/vista/x64/image.wim#Windows Vista ULTIMATE" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi"/>
 </unattend>

Comments 5 CommentsJump to latest comment

Terry BU's picture

Windows 7 has sysprep built in.  It is not added after like XP was.

I would recommend using the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) to build the sysprep unattend.xml file.  Inside the WAIK you can even have it validate an XML file for you, and if something is wrong it will tell you what.  You then feed the sysprep program the flags, with one of them being the unattend.  for example: sysprep /oobe /generalize /shutdown /quiet /unattend:c:\tech\unattendedskip.xml

you can have multiple unattends and have them set up in batch files so you can just double click the one you want for that time.

msassoon's picture

Yeah, I get that sysprep is built in, and I am looking at WAIK, but how does that then operate within Ghost? Ghost is adding all those mentioned switches, but the details are hidden.

Terry BU's picture

rather than sysprepping with the Ghost console, you sysprep the computer from Windows before backing it up.  the flag i used for /shutdown makes the computer turn off after completing the start of sysprep.  You then boot it with a Ghost Boot CD and take the image.  When you restore that image, the first thing it will do when you restore it is to finish the sysprep and get the comp ready.

msassoon's picture

Ok, I get the idea. It would be nice to be able to do it from the Console though. That's the point of the thing! I will try that, but I will see if someone from Symantec chimes in. I get the feeling there is also a lack of the install.wim in my initial build that is referenced at the end of the file, but I will see.

msassoon's picture

Ok, cracked it! I added the path c:\Drivers to the reg key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Device Path and that took care of the drivers.

I also changed the line <SkipMachineOOBE>true</SkipMachineOOBE>  to false as apparently this is not supported anymore, so should be changed.

So far, that is all I did. Now to see if I can get different keyboard settings.