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Sysprep Skip Rearm in Win 7 Pro

    Question

  • We have 2 Dell 3010 AIO All-in-Ones that I'm trying to prep an image for (via Dell Kace K2000).  We are prepping for an order of 80+ where Dell takes an image from us and delivers the PCs with it.  I set up the source machine like I wanted and then ran the following command:

    C:\windows\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:C:\windows\system32\sysprep\AAFCU-Unattend.xml

    In my unattend.xml file, in the "generalize" pass, I have SkipRearm set to 1.  And a little further down in the "Specialize" pass, I have SkipAutoActivation set to true.  However, when I ran this command, rebooted, took my image, and then started the source machine up again I noticed that my rearm count was now 1 instead of 2 and everything was activated.

    My questions are thus:

    1. Why would this not work?

    2. What happens if I need to sysprep beyond one more time?  Fdisk, format, reload or new license purchase?


    Thanks in advance.

    Linc

    Thursday, December 05, 2013 9:11 PM

All replies

  • Well,for the second question,you can sysprep unlimited times but the best practice says to do sysprep only once  in order to have an image that functions properly.At my workplace they have sysprepped 3 times one pc without issues once,on another machine the second sysprep caused weird behaviour.So,it seems a matters of luck.

    Also,there is this article in technet that state:
    "There is no limit to the number of times Sysprep can run on a computer. However, the clock for Windows Product Activation begins its countdown the first time Windows starts. You can use the sysprep /generalize command to reset Windows Product Activation a maximum of three times. After the third time you run the sysprep /generalize command, the clock can no longer be reset."
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766514%28v=ws.10%29.aspx
    Saturday, December 07, 2013 8:14 PM
  • In my unattend.xml file, in the "generalize" pass, I have SkipRearm set to 1.  And a little further down in the "Specialize" pass, I have SkipAutoActivation set to true.  However, when I ran this command, rebooted, took my image, and then started the source machine up again I noticed that my rearm count was now 1 instead of 2 and everything was activated.

    My questions are thus:

    1. Why would this not work?

    when you set SkipRearm=1, you are instructing sysprep *not* to rearm Windows Activation as part of generalize.
    This is the complete opposite of what you need to be doing, when you intend to capture an image.

    SkipRearm=1 is *only* relevant when you are developing/building/tweaking/tuning/testing/auditing/customising.

    When you have completed your auditing and are ready to generalize and then capture, you must set SkipRearm=0, so that when sysprep /generalize runs, it performs Windows Activation Rearm for you as part of generalize, it then shuts down the machine, you then boot it up with your capture media.


    Don
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    Sunday, December 08, 2013 12:39 AM
  • Thank you for your replies.

    I am developing/building/tweaking/tuning/testing/auditing/customizing the image, so when I was reading the documentation, I interpreted that I need the SkipReArm set to 1, is that a misunderstanding then?  Its the first image I took of the source machine to do a test deploy with.  I already need to tweak it, but if I run the command I originally posted again, i'm going to hit my third activation of Windows despite trying to avoid that while I tweak/adjust my image.  Should I be using a different sysprep command to do my tweaking and test deploys of images?

    Monday, December 09, 2013 5:24 PM
  • Using SkipRearm with sysprep only works if the initial image source was deployed using SkipRearm. Was that the case here?

    Monday, December 09, 2013 7:42 PM
  • I would have to venture a guess of 'no'.  I unpacked the Dell machine from the box, customized it, and then ran my sysprep commands.

    So if I take this same machine format it and reload Windows from DVD with its product key, then the skip re-arm should work until I'm done customizing?

    Monday, December 09, 2013 7:49 PM
  • You will need to use an answer file and specify the setting there. I don't know if an answer file will work with a Dell Recovery DVD. You'd have to try it out.

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013 6:12 PM