itafd
Contributor
Contributor

Is it possible to create a generic Windows 7 image?

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Hi everyone

Is it possible to create a golden image which can be “deployed” onto several machines?

If so, how is it done?

Kind regards

Nick

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Gkeerthy
Expert
Expert

as mentioned by others, there are many ways.. WDS, SCCM, WAIK and windows deployment tool kit etc... to deploy to create the image...

For VMware  the best and easy thing you can do is

1- Install windos7 VM and install VMware tools and customize it as per your need

2- Sysprep the image - if you want to regenerate the SID

Now to run sysprep you need to launch  Command Prompt as an administrator. Next navigate to the sysprep folder by typing: cd sysprep and pressing enter.

cd-sysprep

Next, input the following commands:


sysprep /generalize /oobe  /shutdown


3- this will Shutdown, the VM.

4- The now, create a Virtual appliance in the OVF or OVA format, in FUSION, select the VM, and in the menu bar > click file > then select the option "export to OVF" then give a file name and location. In the file name give a name with file extension OVA. that is VMxxxxxxx.OVA this will save the applicance as a single file.

5- once done you can use that OVA for other deployment, or just you can also copy the virtual machine VMDK. OVA will consume less space than the VMDK.

NOTE: if you want to do the automatic cusotmization that is after the SYSPREP you need an answer file to automate the rest of the deployment process. you can use free tools like VLITE (http://www.vlite.net/download.html) or Windows System Image Manager (WSIM)

Once the answer file is created, give a name for that file like unattend.xml or Autounattend.xml.

Copy or that unattend.xml file to : C:\windows\system32\sysprep.

then run the sysprep tool

sysprep /generalize /oobe /unattend:unattend.xml /shutdown

An answer file for Windows Vista and Windows 7 is an XML-based file that  contains settings definitions and values to use during Windows Setup.  The easiest way to create an answer file for use with a Windows 7  deployment is to use the Windows System Image Manager (WSIM) which is a part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK or WAIK).

Please don't forget to award point for 'Correct' or 'Helpful', if you found the comment useful. (vExpert, VCP-Cloud. VCAP5-DCD, VCP4, VCP5, MCSE, MCITP)

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8 Replies
dlhotka
Champion
Champion

I don't believe that Microsoft's licensing policies allow this.

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WoodyZ
Immortal
Immortal

dlhotka wrote: I don't believe that Microsoft's licensing policies allow this.

A side from the fact the OP's quest is generic and doesn't specify whether or not it's physical or virtual nonetheless the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) is geared towards mass deployment and Windows 7 can be and is allowed to be mass deployed from a golden master image.  This of course is assuming one has the appropriate number of licenses to do so.

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itafd
Contributor
Contributor

Is this the right way?

1. Create a Windows 7 image with Fusion

2. Customize it

3. Sysprep the image and shut the VM down

4. Copy the image to another Mac and load the VM up

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dlhotka
Champion
Champion

I thought those tools were for deployment to physical machines - didn't realize they'd been updated to include virtual ones.

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WoodyZ
Immortal
Immortal

dlhotka wrote: I thought those tools were for deployment to physical machines - didn't realize they'd been updated to include virtual ones.

My reply actually had little to do with whether or not the OP was referencing physical or virtual and was mainly to point out that both are allowed when used in accordance with its EULA and with the correct type and number of licenses for the number of instances one intends to deploy.  That's really the only point I was trying to make since the statement you made, "I don't believe that Microsoft's licensing policies allow this", was not necessarily accurate for all licence types.

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dlhotka
Champion
Champion

Gotcha - it's been a while since I did a big windows deployment 🙂

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Gkeerthy
Expert
Expert

as mentioned by others, there are many ways.. WDS, SCCM, WAIK and windows deployment tool kit etc... to deploy to create the image...

For VMware  the best and easy thing you can do is

1- Install windos7 VM and install VMware tools and customize it as per your need

2- Sysprep the image - if you want to regenerate the SID

Now to run sysprep you need to launch  Command Prompt as an administrator. Next navigate to the sysprep folder by typing: cd sysprep and pressing enter.

cd-sysprep

Next, input the following commands:


sysprep /generalize /oobe  /shutdown


3- this will Shutdown, the VM.

4- The now, create a Virtual appliance in the OVF or OVA format, in FUSION, select the VM, and in the menu bar > click file > then select the option "export to OVF" then give a file name and location. In the file name give a name with file extension OVA. that is VMxxxxxxx.OVA this will save the applicance as a single file.

5- once done you can use that OVA for other deployment, or just you can also copy the virtual machine VMDK. OVA will consume less space than the VMDK.

NOTE: if you want to do the automatic cusotmization that is after the SYSPREP you need an answer file to automate the rest of the deployment process. you can use free tools like VLITE (http://www.vlite.net/download.html) or Windows System Image Manager (WSIM)

Once the answer file is created, give a name for that file like unattend.xml or Autounattend.xml.

Copy or that unattend.xml file to : C:\windows\system32\sysprep.

then run the sysprep tool

sysprep /generalize /oobe /unattend:unattend.xml /shutdown

An answer file for Windows Vista and Windows 7 is an XML-based file that  contains settings definitions and values to use during Windows Setup.  The easiest way to create an answer file for use with a Windows 7  deployment is to use the Windows System Image Manager (WSIM) which is a part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK or WAIK).

Please don't forget to award point for 'Correct' or 'Helpful', if you found the comment useful. (vExpert, VCP-Cloud. VCAP5-DCD, VCP4, VCP5, MCSE, MCITP)
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itafd
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you so much for the detailed guide. Much appreciated!

Nick

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