Any caveats in capturing a physical machine for deployment use?


  • I'm given a latitude 5550 with specific software installed. I'm not concerned about drivers as this will only go back onto other 5550 laptops. There are several profiles on it, mostly MSSQL users and .net profiles. Administrator is also activated and had been logged on as.

    I'm concerned about sysprep bombing because of multiple users on the pc. I just know that I am asked to capture this pc as is so that we can deploy it as it. I always use the standard Sysprep and Capture TS for 1703 or 7 when I capture a VM.

    What can I do specifically to make sure this captures the whole pc sysprepped without bombing during boot up?

    I might also add that this pc appears to have been created using MDT, then more software has been added to create the image they'd like to capture.


    Wednesday, July 11, 2018 4:19 PM

All replies

  • I would say there are always caveates to capturing a physical machine and not sysprepping it.

    Some that come to mind are duplicate SID's, computer names, and depending on the software that is installed, I would say some of that might have to be reset or prepped to prevent duplicate registrations or ID's.

    For instance, Office and Symantec have to be reset/rearmed before capturing an image in our environment or else we'll end up with conflicting configurations or duplicate ID's.

    But if you don't have any of this installed, no need to worry.

    Here's what I would do:

    I would convert that laptops HDD to a virtual image and use Virtualbox to test sysprepping and deploying to see what may or may not break.  This link may provide some insight.  The benefit is you can create snapshots and start fresh if something bombs.

    I honestly want to say that you can sysprep a machine with multiple accounts on as long as the accounts are disabled.  You'll want to do it from audit mode too.  Then when deploying, use a script or something to enable them all back.

    The reality is, it's just bad practice when trying to capture and deploy an image without sysprepping it first.  I'm sure there are workarounds for everything you're trying to do but you'll be doing a lot of trial and error, and won't know for sure what it'll break until it's out in production and being used for a while.

    Good luck!

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018 5:27 PM
  • Thanks. I did mention that I WOULD be sysprepping the device during the capture. My main concern is, as I thought I had seen in the past, the pc blowing up as it came up because of more than one user on the pc. I do intend on using Sysprep and Capture task so that it will sysprep.

    I don't want the thing to bomb since it is built in a specific way.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018 5:30 PM
  • Aaaaah, good deal.  I always tell myself to "pay attention to detail" but some things still slip my mind.

    Again, in your case I'll still try to convert that laptop to a VirtualBox vm so you can do some trial and error.  Not sure how your environment is setup, but I'm able to sysprep and capture from my VirtualBox vm's.  If it bombs out for whatever reason, I just use a snapshot to restore it to previous state and do some digging as to why.

    I still believe it's possible to sysprep and capture an image with multiple accounts as long as the other accounts are either disabled and the default Administrator account is left intact.  I want to say the unattend.xml file depends on this information and if you miss with it you'll have to modify some settings, but this all depends on your setup.

    But capturing from bare metal shouldn't be an issue as long as the image will always be deployed to that specific model.  But I want to say the sysprep and capture sequence generalizes the machine and sets it to OOBE so you may need to modify or use a specific capture TS if you want the drivers and stuff to say intact.

    Thursday, July 12, 2018 3:06 PM
  • So by saying that the other accounts should be disabled.....should I disable them on the physical machine prior to capture? I've read several posts about user accounts causing sysprep bombs.

    Normally, I create a Vm with a local admin account, not the admin. I let the unattend activate the admin account and I set the p/w in the unattend as well. Early on, in Win7, sometimes I would see two administrator accounts in users and that was a huge mess, so I don't activate the account until this other user has logged on first. We'll see. I will make a Sysrep and Capture TS using all defaults and see if the pc boots up after its captured. If the deploy fails, who cares, as long as I still have my physical pc intact :)

    Update soon...

    Friday, July 13, 2018 1:39 AM