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Windows 7 create/deployment help

Created: 26 Jun 2012 | 6 comments

Im very new to sysprep and Win7 imaging, so im trying to wrap my head around a few things.  We've read dozens of articles pertaining to sysprep, Win7 images, altiris, and hardware-independent deployments.  For example, i found this thread ( ), where the OP is in almost an identical situation as us. The discussion in that thread talks about doing things almost completely different than what we've been trying to do (somewhat unsuccessfully). 

A few questions pertaining to that thread...

- rename the pc to what the actual computer name should be after image is deployed

- install dagent

- detect pc model and download drivers

- install downloaded drivers

- apply unattend.xml and join the pc the domain

why cant a lot of this be done in the real Windows environment? Wouldn't Windows plug-n-play install drivers automatically if the driver directories are added to the plug-n-play list?

Windows 7 includes a TON of built-in drivers (that are obviusly WHQL certified and provided by the MFG); are ppl scripting the installation of ALL drivers, or just those for unknown devices and critically important devices (like gfx card drivers for CAD/media production computers)?

Is there a reason or benefit for changing computer name, either via script or sysprep, in WinPE over having altiris do it as part of a task in the imaging job?

Also, i read somewhere that DS should have sysprep cab files installed automatically under express\desployment server\sysprep.  We do not.  Are they needed, and where can i find them?

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digital12's picture

Hi Sweeten,

Not sure on how to automatically rename the PC but I may be able to help with the other tasks.

dagent can be installed on your image - the Altiris Prepare image for capture task will clear out all the unique identifiers.

You can use the deploy anywhere option to have Altiris install drivers to a particular image.  When using deploy anywhere you will need to add the system drivers

You can then add an unttand file through the deploy image task.

Please let me know if you have any other questions regarding this.

Also, windows 7 does not need to have the cab files uploaded.  XP does need the cab files uploaded.


Ishani Bose's picture


To create image you can follow below steps:-
1) Execute Prepare for Image capture Task - Execute the task on Managed client and after executing client will boot to PXE or Automation as per the task settings.
2) Execute Create Image task on the client.
3) Execute Reboot to Production job on client.

To Deploy the image follow below steps:-

1) GoToSettings->Deployment->DriverManagement .Add required drivers  to Deploy Anywhere.
2) Create Deploy Image task-
Select the image created,Provide the Product Key,Check Deploy Anywhere - this will deploy matching drivers available in Driver Database,Provide credentials to join domain.Save the task
3) Schedule the task on client machine.
4) Schedule Reboot To Production on client machine
5) Schedule Apply System Configuration task,to rename the client as per requirement.

SaintFrag's picture

In 6.9, you can use %NAME% in your unattend.xml file for the computername field.  This will properly name the computer based on what its name is in DS.

Joining the domain would be part of your unattend.xml file (specialize -> shell setup -> unattended join).  Realize that will only work if the computer is named before coming out of sysprep, not if you are prompted for the name.

I can help you further with that if you're having problems.

Sweeten's picture

OK thanks for the replies. i think i have finally wrapped my head around the new concepts (to me). i didnt realize that most things have to or should be done in winpe, and i was kind of resisting this as i'm used to changing most things via altiris tasks.  we are now fully sysprepping images, whereas before we were doing the bare necessities and trying to have altiris do the rest.  this was kind of pointless, and i dont think it worked as well as sysprep. For our XP images we were naming and joining the domain as a Modify Configuration task immediately after image deployment in our deployment job. This is now obsolete in most ways.

i do still have a few questions tho.  How are people adding drivers for hardware independent images? ive read up a little on deploy anywhere but have also read that its very simple with imagex files. is one method better/easier than the other?

BBC's picture

Hi Sweeten,

the HII depends much on your approach and how you want to achieve things. We use a VBS to identify the client during the build process and copy the according driver set over while being in WinPE (just in our case). We do not rely on DeployAnywhere for multiple reasons, but if this suits you, take a look at it.

Usually, we do only include the drivers we do really require for building the hardware to make sure the best matching ones are being used. For the installation, I use a very simple command after the OS has finished installing:

START /W %~d0%~P0%DPInst.exe /c /el /lm /q /sa /se /sh /sw

To use this command line, you need DPInst.exe, an XML file (which you should be finding along with any driver package you extract) and in my case a CMD file to execute this, but you could also integrate that command line into the Windows answer file or a DS job.

Hope this helps a bit in finding your decisions...