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MDT 2013 Can you capture a physical machine without Sysprepping it? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Sometimes I want to take a physical machine, drop an OS on it, some software, drivers...and capture it whole and NOT have it sysprepped. I may need to make changes to it and do not want it sysprepped at all. I believe the new order of things is you're only allowed to sysprep a machine 3 times, and who wants to keep track of that! I once tried the Sysprep and Capture TS and omitted the sysprep steps and the whole thing blew up. All I want to do it capture a physical machine, customized, and NOT have it sysprepped. I'm versed well enough in a regular Sysprep/capture and Deploy but not Capture without sysprepping it. Thanks Besides, since a Deploy of the image does a sysprep, why is it sysprepped by default when you capture it as well?
    Thursday, February 19, 2015 10:28 AM

Answers

  • You can capture a machine without sysprepping, that could work just fine on a physical machine, where you might want to take that image, and put it back on the exact machine to continue upgrading at some later time.

    Where it won't work is if you try applying that image to *ANY* other machine. The OS won't like that due to licensing.

    Additionally, you can't use that image for deployment through MDT. MDT requires some steps to be performed during Specialize and OOBE phases of WIndows Setup, and those phases will only be "Triggered" if you sysprep the machine. Using a non-syspreped image is strictly not supported in MDT Deployments.

    Note: the three sysprep rule still applies.


    Keith Garner - Principal Consultant [owner] - http://DeploymentLive.com

    Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:49 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hello, the1rickster.

    Have you tried to disable Sysprep step in Task Sequence?


    Thursday, February 19, 2015 1:03 PM
  • Are you building your images on VMs? It's generally recommended you build on a VM, for multiple reasons such as the ability to take snapshots. So you simply deploy your OS, apps, and anything else you need, take a snapshot, and then run through the sysprep and capture. Whenever you need to recapture, for whatever reason, you simply revert to your snapshot.

    Deployment of an image does not sysprep the image. Sysprep occurs before the image is captured so that system-specific data is removed.

    -Nick O.

    Thursday, February 19, 2015 3:58 PM
  • The 3 times sysprep treshold to my knowledge isn't relevant any more. Although for your own gut feeling / my own gut feeling I wouldn't recommend sysprepping a machine over and over again to infinity and beyond.

    Yes you can capture a machine into a WIM file without sysprepping it, but this is also not recommended.

    Also it is not recommended to use a physical machine as basis for your reference machine due to driver pollution.

    The way to go would be to build your operating system and all requirements you want to include in that image on a virtual machine and deploy that image to physical hardware, while injecting the drivers during that phase.

    Cheers! Rens


    If this post is helpful please click "Mark for answer", thanks! Kind regards

    Thursday, February 19, 2015 9:40 PM
  • All of my images are built from a VM. In some cases, though - because either there are no CAB files, or just because I want a capture of a factory build - I do need to capture a physical machine and do not want it sysprepped. All I'm asking is...can I capture a physical machine in MDT without it being sysprepped? Regardless of 'should' or whatever. I have tried to skip the sysprep step but it failed. 
    Monday, February 23, 2015 5:25 AM
  • I did try this. Is this a method allowed in MDT or just something someone can 'try'? I still don't see why an image gets sysprepped when doing a capture AND when doing a deploy. My one model has no CAB files and I want to simply capture it w/o it being sysprepped.
    Monday, February 23, 2015 5:26 AM
  • I'm curious: What are you seeing that makes you think images are sysprepped when they are deployed?

    For capturing without sysprep, it may be easier to simply use ImageX or DISM manually.


    -Nick O.

    Monday, February 23, 2015 4:50 PM
  • Every machine that is deployed goes through the entire sysprep process. You're also required to set up the unattend (or use default) for a deploy task (standard task). I don't know anything about capturing using DISM. I was just curious about MDT capture w/o sysprep.
    Tuesday, February 24, 2015 3:38 AM
  • You can capture a machine without sysprepping, that could work just fine on a physical machine, where you might want to take that image, and put it back on the exact machine to continue upgrading at some later time.

    Where it won't work is if you try applying that image to *ANY* other machine. The OS won't like that due to licensing.

    Additionally, you can't use that image for deployment through MDT. MDT requires some steps to be performed during Specialize and OOBE phases of WIndows Setup, and those phases will only be "Triggered" if you sysprep the machine. Using a non-syspreped image is strictly not supported in MDT Deployments.

    Note: the three sysprep rule still applies.


    Keith Garner - Principal Consultant [owner] - http://DeploymentLive.com

    Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:49 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks. That's half my question...whether MDT allows a capture w/o sysprep. The other half is HOW to capture in MDT w/o sysprep. I'm not so concerned about deploying it out. I still don't see why MDT syspreps when you capture AND deploy. PXE only did it on deploy. I tried to disable the sysprep steps in MDT Capture but it blew up.
    Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:52 AM
  • Disabling the Sysprep Step in the TS is the right start.

    note that the graphic from FAPW above is wrong. you would want to disable the Sysprep step under "Capture Image" *NOT* under "Sysprep Only".

    AS for "why"? Really, because it's not a best practice, and it's best not to encourage people to do it.


    Keith Garner - Principal Consultant [owner] - http://DeploymentLive.com

    Tuesday, February 24, 2015 7:00 AM
    Moderator
  • I will try disabling Execute Sysprep under Capture Image next time. I'm still puzzled why Capture TS AND Deploy (Standard TS) both perform a sysprep. As to previous comments, I did read that MDT only allows an image to be captured 3 times and then it will fail to deploy. I experienced that myself, and then began using a VM, where using a Snapshot allows for endless updates to the same image.
    Tuesday, February 24, 2015 7:21 AM
  • How about capturing the system without syspreping it, mounting that as a VM and then grabbing the image again except this time with sysprep on? This way it could be redeployed.

    yaro

    Tuesday, July 21, 2015 6:05 PM
  • My whole reason for posting this article was to find out HOW to capture w/o sysprepping in MDT. If I knew how to do that, I could reuse that image endlessly without rebuilding (a physical machine).

    Thanks :)

    Wednesday, July 22, 2015 5:46 AM
  • "Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should." -Ian Malcom :)

    You could use ImageX or DISM to manually capture a non-sysprepped but that's bad practice. Windows needs to be sysprepped to deploy it to other machines. If you want to build an image that isn't rendered useless after it runs sysprep, then build it in a VM. Add a suspend task to the sequence and when they TS gets to that point you can make a snapshot. Then you can always reload to that point when it hasn't yet run sysprep and endlessly use the same image adding patches or making changes to the themes, policies, etc.


    If this post is helpful please vote it as Helpful or click Mark for answer.


    • Edited by Dan_Vega Thursday, July 23, 2015 1:18 PM The quote is for fun :)
    Wednesday, July 22, 2015 2:54 PM
  • Did you ever get a solid solution to this question?  I've asked it SOOO many times before and all you ever get is, use a VM. While I get it MS, I get it, use a VM!  However,  some people need to grab a nonsyspreped image of a particular piece of hardware that will need to be laid down a couple of more times before its ready to be sysprepped.  For instance, lets say you're at a company that at the top level will build a base image for a particular model of hardware. It's now 80% ready for primetime.  It ships to a local region, where another set of edits are needed for that image (same hardware), and now its at 90%. Now its shipped again to its end location, where it will need a final set of edits that makes it ready for that particular location. Each site is in a silo, and no connection to it is possible. Also each site has specific edits that are made that are not privy to the "home" office.  The topography is constantly changing so it has to work like this. It isn't a typical single entity top down flow. Finally the image is ready and needs to be sysprepped and be made ready for prime time.  So in this scenario of using the *Same* hardware, needing to have the image laid down a few times and edits made, before capturing with sysprep, you need to be able to lay down the image a few times and make edits to it. Sounds like you cant use MDT for this, but need to put in a manual process for it?
    • Edited by Slade1040 Wednesday, August 26, 2015 4:24 PM
    Wednesday, August 26, 2015 4:22 PM
  • AS I mention above, just disable the sysprep step in the task sequence and perform the WIM capture for the "Base" build

    Now, at the "regional" build sites, make sure that you are running on an isolated network, and apply your 2nd set of updates to the image, and sysprep when finally done.

    Do not take a non-syspreped image and apply it to *more* than one machine on the same network or domain. WHen done, sysprep and continue with the normal process.


    Keith Garner - Principal Consultant [owner] - http://DeploymentLive.com


    Wednesday, August 26, 2015 4:41 PM
    Moderator
  • Keith,

    Thanks for clarifying. Err in my case re-stating. 

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015 10:35 PM