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Taking A Backup Of 'The Golden Image' RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I have built a 'Master' image that I will be running Sysprep on we have Deployment Workbench and WDS available for use, we do not have SCCM. The version of Windows 7 will be Professional.

    I have installed all the base applications such as Office, Email client, Windows Updates but have left off drivers with the exception of the NIC for which I used the PnpUtil command to add only the NIC drivers, it has also been licensed.  Other drivers will be added as part of the Task Sequence and additional apps such as Java, Adobe Reader will be selected during the Windows PE phase via the interface when the systems are actually being built.

    Now that I have this 'Golden Image' is there a way to take a backup of it using Deployment Workbench or ImageX?  I want to keep this image stored separately so that we can deploy it again three months down the line, update it with any patches etc, take a fresh backup to store and then Sysprep it so that we have an updated image for deployment.  I appreciate that I could use DISM to maintain the images which is fine but as far as I'm aware there are no tools to compare the current updates in an image to the number of updates that have been released since those that are included.

    My build steps would be something like this -

    • Install Windows 7.
    • Install Applications.
    • Add NIC driver if required using PNPUtil.
    • Run Windows Update.
    • Activate Windows.
    • Customise the image.
    • Take a backup of the machine (ImageX, Task Sequence?)
    • Golden Image created/stored.
    • Run Sysprep

    Three months down the line –

    • Deploy Golden Image
    • Run Windows Update
    • Take a backup of the machine (ImageX, Task Sequence?)
    • Updated Golden Image created/stored old one deleted.
    • Run Sysprep

    Any advice or tips anyone has regarding this would be greatly appreciated.



    Thursday, May 24, 2012 12:42 PM

All replies

  • Thursday, May 24, 2012 6:10 PM
  • Thanks for the nudge in the right direction Nate. I'm thinking now that the process would be along the lines of the following -

    Build process would be -

    • Install Windows 7.
    • Install Applications.
    • Add NIC driver if required using PNPUtil.
    • Run Windows Update.
    • Activate Windows.
    • Customise the image.
    • Run Sysprep

    Three months down the line –

    • Deploy Golden Image.
    • Logon in Audit Mode.
    • Run Windows Update.
    • Run Sysprep with OOBE + Shutdown but with out generalizing?
    • Capture the updated WIM.

    The reason I say with out generalizing is that I'm of the assumption I can only generalize the machine to reset the clock 3 times?



    Friday, May 25, 2012 9:39 AM
  • Hi,


    If you use Deployment Workbench to create and modify the image, you can try the following steps to update the image to a .iso file.


    1. Create a new media under Advanced Configuration\Media.

    2. Right click the media you created and choose Update Media Content.


    For more information, please refer to the video: Deployment Workbench in Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010.


    Hope this helps.


    Jeremy Wu

    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, May 25, 2012 11:32 AM
    Moderator
  • another good program to just get the image (and free) is clonezilla
    Friday, May 25, 2012 11:54 AM
  • I will take a look at Clonezilla and see if this would be suitable, I will also try what has been suggested by Nate as I would rather have a single provider solution rather than mix it up but if it is simple for the technicians to use then I can also propose the use of this.
    Friday, May 25, 2012 12:24 PM
  • Hi,


    Just checking if you have any update.


    Regards.


    Jeremy Wu

    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, May 29, 2012 1:40 PM
    Moderator
  • Not at this moment as have been grabbed to assist with other projects, will update when I have had the chance to test. 
    Wednesday, May 30, 2012 12:13 PM
  • Jeremy,

    Having quickly reviewed your solution I do not believe that this is what I am after, also the video posted seems to explain things with out actually explaining them.  It seems that imaging methods/solutions/processe's with Windows 7 are almost like a form of undocumented witchcraft.... 

    Having looked around online I am now of the understanding that I cannot run Sysprep without generalizing however it appears I can use ImageX to capture an installation image -

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744521%28v=ws.10%29

    Based on this information I will perform the following steps as part of the build maintenance routine.

    • Install Windows 7.
    • Install Applications.
    • Add NIC driver if required using PNPUtil.
    • Run Windows Update.
    • Activate Windows.
    • Customise the image.
    • Take a backup of the machine using ImageX.
    • Golden Image created/stored.
    • Run Sysprep.

    Three months down the line –

    • Deploy Golden Image.
    • Run Windows Update.
    • Take a backup of the machine ImageX.
    • Updated Golden Image created/stored old one deleted.
    • Run Sysprep and capture image for deployment.

    Does anyone have any comments or opinion regarding this method as to why it would or would not work? In theory I think that it should work but with so much contradictory information out there it's not possible to be 100% until I get round to testing it fully.  How do other people update their master/base/golden images before they are deployed?


    • Edited by MauriceMoss Thursday, May 31, 2012 10:28 AM
    Thursday, May 31, 2012 10:27 AM
  • That looks good to me...You could look into "answer files" at the time of sysprep to do some handy things for you during the deployment...you can inject the windows key in one of these so you don't activate it before...or change the computer name, things like that.

    I personally would use clonezilla to capture the golden image and the image after running sysprep...not that theres anything wrong with imagex I just found clonezilla easier to use


    • Edited by Ang101 Thursday, May 31, 2012 11:39 AM
    Thursday, May 31, 2012 11:38 AM
  • Thanks for taking the time to take a look and providing feedback Ang101.  I like it to be activated beforehand so that I do not have to worry about windows updates that check if the OS is genuine as the ‘Golden Image’ will be over 120 days old at some point. Clonezilla does look nice but I want to make this process as simple as possible for the guys who will have this solution handed over to them so don’t want to introduce any non Windows based products as that is what the roll out team have used before.

    The licence key will be included as part of the unattend.xml file associated with the Deployment Workbench scheduled task for installation.  At the point the image is being rolled out it will have been sysprep'd and generalized so all licensing information will have been stripped out anyway. 

    Thursday, May 31, 2012 1:21 PM
  • You can use DISM to inject updates and software into an image without loading the image. You would mount the image then inject your updates and then save that image. This does not use up any sysprep and is fairly easy to do.

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff794819(v=winembedded.60).aspx

    http://www.utilizewindows.com/windows-7/windows-7-deployment/1023-applying-updates-to-windows-7-images-using-dism.html

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744346(v=ws.10).aspx

    This means you would not have to capture or deploy the image you can actually update it without deploying it.

    If you do what you are suggesting you would only be able to do that three times and then you would have to start a new "golden Image" because you would not be able to sysprep anymore. If you use DISM to update the image you take this factor out of the equation.

    Thursday, May 31, 2012 1:27 PM
  • Nate56, thanks for your reply but as I mentioned before the problem with DISM is that (as far as I'm aware) there is no tool to compare the current updates in an image to the updates that have been released by Microsoft since the day the image was created. Funnily enough on one of the articles that you linked has a comment by me asking if such a tool exists. If there is such a tool then this would be obviously be the answer.

    As far as the 'Golden Image' is concerned I would not need to do a new one at all as during the configuration process I take two images, one that is backed up with ImageX before Sysyprep and set aside then Sysprep is run giving me an image I can roll out. I’ve updated the process so that this is a little clearer:

    • Install Windows 7.
    • Install Applications.
    • Add NIC driver if required using PNPUtil.
    • Run Windows Update.
    • Activate Windows.
    • Customise the image.
    • Take a backup of the machine using ImageX.
    • Golden Image (non sysprep’d) stored/set to one side.
    • Run Sysprep
    • Use Deployment Workbench Task to capture the Master Image for deployment.

    Two images now exist the stored non sysprep’d Golden Image that will be updated in the future and the sysprep’d Master Image.

    Three months down the line –

    • Deploy the non sysprep’d Golden Image.
    • Run Windows Update.
    • Take a backup of the machine using ImageX.
    • New Golden Image (non sysprep’d) stored/set to one side and the old one deleted.
    • Run Sysprep.
    • Use Deployment Workbench Task to capture the new updated Master Image for deployment.



    Thursday, May 31, 2012 2:07 PM
  • I'm testing Server 2012 with VDI. It would seem that once you re-deployed the 'Golden Image' (after another Sysprep) that the VM would need to be reactivated.

    Is there anyway around this. If not, I'm guessing you would need a KMS server or a lot of typing.

    Thursday, December 27, 2012 4:55 PM