Posts Tagged ‘ FOG .29

FOG .29 & .32 My Windows 7 Guide (32/64 Bit) DocV1


OK so lots of people including me have been having issues with Windows7 deployment using FOG (This guide covers versions .29/.32) I spend two days on this due to conflicting information on the FOG website/support forum. Although I found everyone very helpful !!

It would be good for you to read this all before you start your image (I recommend the virtual box idea)


So this is the settings that worked for me A-Z and some things I found out on the way…

Basic overall of this document

Step One - Installing Windows
Step Two - Using Sysprep
Step Tree - Cleaning PC for Deployment
Step Four - Upload Settings

Something to think about!
Your possible Questions

Step One – Install / Make Ready Windows 7 (32/64 Bit)

1. Install Windows7 (32Bit/64Bit) from CD,
2. Allow windows to create the 100MB partition.
3. Use the rest of the disk for the C, Don't have any other partitions
4. Complete Install, bla bla bla
5. Name the PC and create the first user. for this document call it "admin"

At this point personally I would enable the administrator account in windows > set password > login as administrator > can use the enabled administrator account from now on. (leave the admin account where it is, we will use it later)

So if you did my step or not your at the Windows 7 desktop as an administrator

6. Install All Required software
7. Install All Updates
8. Install Drivers ( If not doing in sysprep) - I just do it now.
9. Install FOG Service (Don't bother to start service now)
Base build "ready"

Step Two – Sysprep
you only need to create a sysprep unattend.xml file if you want your install to finish at a “login stage” instead of a “manual complete Windows install stage” – I recommend using an unattend.xml
On another machine download and install Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7
Important Note: I’m told If you are building a 32bit image then you will need to install and configure on a 32-bit OS, Same for the 64-Bit. But it’s easy to convert a x32bit XML into a x64Bit XML file or the other way around. just changing all “x86” records in the XML to “x64” will make a 32-bit XML into a x64 bit XML.

For more help with making the sysprep document I would read this for idea’s. I did not do the audit mode section. I Just created the XML file.

I have another good video source  Link to Video | Link to site
Below is a basic outline of what I did with sysprep.Download my unattend.xml (usable)
Important Note: I have removed passwords from my unattend.xml, so you need to edit.

1. Set Owner Information
2. Enable the administrator account and set password
3. Skip Activation
4. Hide License Info
5. Protect PC = 1 (basic protection)
6. Network Location = Work
7. Hide Wireless Setup
8. Set Language to UK
9. Show Windows Live = false

10. Skip Rearm = 1
This allows you to run sysprep more than 3 times on a machine, but i would recommend NOT using it.

11. copyprofile=true
copy profile will copy the administrator profile on sysprep and make it the default for any new user login. could be handy (i will use)

Important Note: Please note SkipReam & KMS
copy the finished unattend.xml to the “system32\sysprep” folder – keep a backup

Step Three – Cleaning PC for Deployment
So at this point we have a PC with windows7(32/64Bit) loaded with all your software , updates and settings ready. You should also have a unattend.xml file in the correct location.

I would recommend

1. Disable UAC
2. Disable System Restore
3. Disable Firewall
4. Disable Windows Updates
5. Disable Any software updates (e.g adobe updates)
6. Empty Recycle Bin
7. Clean Temp Folders
8. Clear Windows Update Uninstaller Files
9. Defrag C
10. Chkdsk C
11. Clear Event Logs

== Run below commands to clear Event Logs via Command Prompt
wevtutil cl Application
wevtutil cl Security
wevtutil cl Setup
wevtutil cl System

Please follow this link for the FOG guide to a clean system (for more idea’s)

My last cleanup action is to clean the “administrator” profile

1. Login as that admin account we setup & left. 
2. Take a copy of the "administrator" profile as a backup.
3. Go into system settings & Manage user profiles section & then delete the administrator account data.
Then Log back in as administrator and setup the last tweaks like use small icons, show run command etc….

Step Four – Upload Settings
OK, so almost done.
On your image you need to run sysprep regardless of creating the unattended file.

MEGA WARNING: If your not using the SkipRearm in your unattend.xml you will be locked out of using sysprep after 3 preps. but i would recommend not using SkipRearm. Use Virtual Box to undo the sysprep once uploaded (snapshots).

1. Open Command Prompt
2. type "cd c:\windows\system32\sysprep"

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

======= OR =======

3. sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown

The PC will complete it’s task and shutdown. Leave it there.
Now on the FOG server complete the following:

1. Create a new Image
2. Name it etc...
3. Select Windows 7
4. Select NTFS Single Partition from the list.
5. Assign the Image to the computer and Start an Upload Job.

Boot the PC and boot to PXE to upload image.  All done and now you can deploy..

Something to think about!

1. IMAGE CONTROL - I said that sysprep only lets you run 3 times before it's unusable. This is true, but instead of saving to another drive or something. I have downloaded VirtualBox and created my master image as a virtual PC. This works fine. I went with VirtualBox because it's free and i lets you take snapshots. So just before you run sysprep you take a snapshot. Once uploaded you just undo the snapshot and your ready to modify again. You can also export your image at any snapshot point to backup as a single file. VirtualBox runs on windows and Linux. You will need to download the expansion pack so you can the PXE feature. This has to be the best way of keeping your image safe and sysprep free. (oh and you can jump back to an old snapshot if your last image update failed for some reason) - TESTED AND CONFIRM WORKING

2.FINISHING UP - So I use FOG to add my PC's to the domain. All well and good but when it's finished the PC is left at login (don't want to use auto off idle settings in fog), anyway in my unattend.xml I added a command to add some domain login details to auto login. So once FOG has rebooted the PC twice to get it on the domain, the PC will login and run another script I have placed. The PC locks so no one can play with it. This script then runs any installs I need to run after (e.g Anti-Virus Agent), then removes the auto login details and shuts down. This is simple to do. If you interested let me know and i'll give you a hand and the script I have made.

3.COPY PROFILE - Some software leaves information in your profile. I was finding that domain users logging into a new image for the first time was taking a long time. I then found the profile size was 600MB. So evey time a new user is created the PC has to make a 600MB profile for them, this takes time. (2 mins) So remember to clean the administrator profile before you image; if you use the copy profile function in then unattend.xml. Now my administrator/default profile is only 20MB (20 Sec first login)


1. Sysprep can only be run 3 times on a Windows 7 install if the SkipRearm is not used.

2. Sysprep disables the default Administrator account so if you use, you need to enable in the unattend.xml

3. in the unattend.xml I set PC-name as * --This means windows will pick a random name, this is fine because FOG will rename it for you.

4. my unattend.xml has no passwords so you need to edit them using the software or notepad (software best)

5. Once you have deployed the image the unattend.xml is still on the machine with import info like passwords etc.. (c:\windows\system32\sysprep & c:\windows\panther\) DELETE THEM

6. If your thinking of using a Virtual Environment for your master image, It has been reported FOG doesn't like scsi controller settings. Select IDE as your Virtual HDD connector - Not personally confirmed.

7. If you are using KMS or planning on using a KMS server, don't use the skiprearm. (so set it to 0). Now if you have this on and your using KMS, Your KMS server will think all the hosts are the same host. We got out of this jam by making the change & then deploying 25 hosts. All our other machines kicked in as they all thought they where host 26.

8. You still have another "admin" account on your image that you don't needs. A) delete it before upload. B) Use GPO to remove account on deployment. (i use option B)

Let me know if there is anything you would like to add !

Your possible Questions

Do I need to use Sysprep? I’ll put it another way, I spent two days trying to make it work without sysprep and then as soon as i used it, it worked. For a test you could sysprep without anser file just to check it will deploy OK. once tested and OK, then create unattend.xml

Set Image Type to Vista? Again I tried but did not need it once I completed as above. It didn’t work when i tried vista and no sysprep.

What about Fogprep? I didn’t run it. I did try using it but it didn’t seem to do anything that sysprep didn’t do. Frogprep’s main use is to delete all records from the registry key “[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\MountedDevices]”. You could run it before sysprep if you wished, I just don’t see it’s use.

Did you try running the following as people say do?
bcdedit /set {bootmgr} device boot
bcdedit /set {default} device boot
bcdedit /set {default} osdevice boot

I did try them but the didn’t seem to help or hinder…

Did I Need to install NETDOM? Nope, Versions above .28 do not need it. The FOG service does it.