Can an Image be captured offline?


  • Since we started using MDT several years ago we have always used the same method to capture an image to the imaging server's deployment share

    • connect to the imaging server deployment share folder
    • run the LiteTouch wizard script
    • choose the standard Capture task sequence from the Wizard menu and running it

    I realize that I can use the CAPTURE command from the command line but that this will capture all of the hardware attributes of my host machine and obviously don't want that. The image needs to be sysprepped the way it is when you capture it via the script.

    Is there a way to capture & sysprep an image "offline" and avoid using a network altogether?  For example can an image be captured directly to a local drive on my virtual reference machine (or an external USB drive) or on the physical machine it is hosted on?

    I appreciate your feedback.


    Friday, October 12, 2018 8:37 PM

All replies

  • Yes you can. You will need to manually run sysprep from "C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep" using a command like "sysprep /oobe /generalize /quit /unattend:unattend.xml. Your unattended file goes here "C:\Windows\Panther". Once you run sysprep you will need to shut down the machine. Do not boot until you are ready to capture.

    Then make a WINPE boot dvd or flash drive. Boot the machine to that and use DISM commands to capture. Or just a capture boot image with WDS.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2018 5:11 PM
  • Hello Lynchburg Mike,

    Yes! you can achieve this, Please follow the below mentioned steps inorder to do this! let me know if you need any help on this.

    • Use SYSPREP to prepare the system for capture Run C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe and select the generalize and shutdown options.
    • Note: When you run sysprep, the operation may fail with the fatal error, To resolve this issue, remove the appx package for the user.
    • Review the log file at %WINDIR%\System32\Sysprep\Panther\setupact.log for more details.
      You will get package information from log file.

    • Based on Requirement : Run Remove-AppxPackage -Package <packagefullname> from PowerShell. 
    • Create bootable media, such as a USB flash drive, copy the content of WinPE ISO From Location
    • Reference link 
    • Insert the newly created PE media into the device to be captured.

    •  Boot the system from WinPE USB only.

    • Turn on the system. The system should boot to the Command prompt for PE, identified as X:\

    • Prepare the media location to which the image will be captured. Use USB device to copy the .wim image  

      Note: Assigning of drive letters to partitions is handled by WinPE when it first boots normally assigns the System Reserved partition a drive letter C: and the OS partition a drive letter D:
    • Run the capture command 

        Dism /Capture-Image /Compress:maximum /ImageFile:<USB DRIVE>:\CaptureImage.wim /CaptureDir:D:\ /Name:"CaptureImage" 
    11 hours 51 minutes ago
  • Thanks for this info Greg.  Do I need to edit or re-create an unattend.xml file or just use one that is on my MDT/WDS server?  Also, I cannot use WDS to capture because it is not working, something is occurring with the network connection between my virtual reference computer and the network after I run the LiteTouch vbs script and choose the Capture task sequence from the Wizard menu,  hence my desire to capture the image offline and eliminate the network portion of this altogether.  This was working a few months ago when I captured an image back then, I have not been able to determine why it is not working now.  I have not upgraded MDT or the ADK on the imaging server since the last time I Captured an image.

    1 hour 37 minutes ago
  • Thank you for these instructions Jitesh,  I will try these steps.  I need to determine how to create a bootable WinPE USB drive using my MDT/WDS server. This is a virtual server and I do not have physical access to the host to connect and create a USB boot drive. Then I need to boot my virtual reference computer(the one I need to capture an image of) using the WinPE USB drive.  I have never done this before.

    1 hour 34 minutes ago