This document assumes that you have already configured your OS Deployment manager, are familiar with the process of capturing and deploying standard images, as well as capturing and deploying sysprep images using Asset Core. If not, you may find it helpful to review these documents before proceeding.
Now that we have seen the process for capturing and deploying standard and sysprepped images, let's see how these can be used together to deploy an image to new systems, and easily update the image (for example, with new applications or updates).
Preparing the capture source
Typically, you would start preparing the system which the image will be captured from by installing a fresh copy of Windows. Using the Microsoft supplied media is generally recommended, however, it is possible to start with an image created with other tools as long as the image has NOT been sysprepped previously. Starting with a fresh installation, or a non-sysprepped image is recommended due to a Microsoft limitation on the number of times sysprep can be run with the /rearm parameter (limited to 3 rearms). After the Windows installation has been rearmed 3 times, you will not be able to perform a sysprep capture using Asset Core, as the /rearm parameter is used when sysprep is run via the RunSysprep.bat.
If you are not sure if the system you are starting with has been sysprepped, you can check the rearm count by clicking Start > Run, and entering "slmgr.vbs /dlv", which opens the following window:
If sysprep has not been run, the rearm count should be 3 (and may be 4 in some cases if a Windows service pack has been installed); in the above screenshot, we see that the remaining rearm count is 2, meaning sysprep has previously been run on this system.
After Windows has been installed, install any additional applications according to the instructions provided by the application vendor, and make any configuration changes required for your environment. Keep in mind that the sysprep process will remove domain membership information, and local user accounts from the source system, so there is no need to create accounts, or join the source system to a domain before proceeding with the capture.
Performing a standard capture
If there is any possibility that you will want or need to update any software in the image, or make any configuration changes to the image at a later time, creating a standard image before running sysprep is highly recommended. With a standard image, the need keep track of the number of rearms, and the need to start from scratch to include updated software is eliminated. Further details on using this standard image when updating applications in the image can be found below. The standard image will essentially act as a starting point for updates to the image, and is not typically deployed to large numbers of devices.
Performing a sysprep capture
After capturing the standard image, please boot the source machine into Windows again, and proceed with launching the RunSysprep.bat, and capturing the sysprepped image. This sysprepped image will be used when deploying to your end users' systems.
Updating the image
If there is a need to include a change in the image (for example, including Windows updates, or a new version of an application in the image), and you have captured a standard image before running sysprep as described above, you can use the process below to update the image without needing to reinstall Windows from scratch, and without reducing the remaining Windows rearm count:
- Deploy the standard image you created before running sysprep to any target system (it is not necessary to deploy to the exact same machine, though deploying to a system with a similar hardware configuration is highly recommended). This will become the source system for the captures described in the following steps.
- Make the desired changes on this new source system (i.e. apply any updates, and install any new applications).
- After the changes are made, perform another standard capture. There is no need to create a new capture project, however, if the source system being used at this point is not the same as the original source system, you will need to update the MAC address in the target list to be the MAC address of this new source system.
- Once the standard image has been captured, perform a new sysprep capture of this new source system. Again, there is no need to create a new project if the MAC address in the target list for the capture project is updated.