The process of preparing a computer for imaging using sysprep can be intimidating but in fact is easy.
Here is how to sysprep your Windows XP images:
1. Find your Windows XP media. On the root of the CD go to %CD%\Support\Tools\deploy.cab. Deploy.cab contains all the files you will need to sysprep the computer. Be sure you have the right version of sysprep for the service pack level of the operating system you are deploying. Slip streaming service packs into the i386 directory will not update the deploy.cab. If you are planning to use post install tasks with sysprep use the deploy.cab version 5.1.2600.0. This is the most compatible with our system.
2. Extract the Deploy.cab to a folder called sysprep. There will be 10 files in the folder when the extraction is done.
3. With in the sysprep folder, you can also copy the i386 directory from your XP source in case the Windows needs to install additional components. Since the i386 is inside the sysprep folder it will be removed when SysprepClean runs.
4. Back in the root of the sysprep folder you are going to create a file called sysprep.inf. It should look something like the sample attached. Inside of the deploy.cab there is also tool called setupmgr.exe, which can assist you in creating this file.
Here are the fine points
i. FullName is to your company name. If you are using a long name such as “Sample Company” you will need to quote the value.
ii. OrgName should be initials that represent your company. The length should be no longer than three of four characters since they will be come part of the temporary name created during the mini setup process.
iii. ComputerName=* should be left alone since this is what generates the random name but in detail the name of the computer will be the OrgName and a random set of characters.
iv. ProductKey is the key from Microsoft. Include the dashes!
i. JoinworkGroup signifies the name of the workgroup you intend to join.
ii. JoinDomain allows the computer to be joined to the domain on the fly as part of sysprep mini-setup. If you intend on joining a domain you will have to add the DomainAdmin and DomainAdminPassword references.
Note: The JoinDomain references can be added in place of JoinWorkgroup information.
; JoinWorkgroup = WORKGROUP
JoinDomain = Domain
DomainAdmin = administrator
DomainAdminPassword = password
Now you are ready to sysprep your source computer. We recommend that all service packs and Microsoft patched be applied prior to capturing the image. You might also take the time to do some customizations. What you DON’T want to do is add applications to the image. That is where the post installation tasks come in.
5. Once the computer ready to be captured you simple double click on sysprep.exe. You will be presented with some choices; mainly you just need to select Mini setup but if you are working with OEM media you will also need to select "Don't reset grace period for activation" (the wording might be slightly different depending on what version of the deploy.cab you are using). By default the computer will shut down but you can use the dropdown at the bottom to select another option. Whatever you do, do not miss KBE. If you do and the computer starts mini setup, you will have to sysprep all over again.
You can also use the “Run” command and enter “C:\sysprep\sysprep.exe –reseal –quite –mini –shutdown. This will trigger the sysprep process and shut down the computer. This can also be turned into a batch file that preps the computer for future use. If you are using OEM media you may also want to include the - activate switch to keep sysprep from unvalidating your OEM license.
6. Restart the computer and enter PXE and KBE. Select Windows deployment and recovery and once up, capture your image using Imaging -> Capture image to your K2000 appliance.
7. When imaging is complete, allow the source computer to reboot and start the mini setup process. Any errors that occur can be repaired using the image editor on the K2000 appliance.
Version of the different deploy.cab file can be found in the sysprep bundle.
This bundle also contains file and instruction on how to sysprep with Vista.