Friday, February 17, 2012

Unsupported Sysprep scenarios

Specops Deploy is using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, which is using Sysprep to capture a client when doing a new image. There are some scenarios that Microsoft does NOT support when doing sysprep as described in KB: 828287

Here is the most important stuff from that article;


Upgrades
Microsoft does not support the use of Sysprep to create images of an installation that has been upgraded. For example, if you install Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) and then upgrade to Microsoft Windows XP, you cannot use Sysprep to create a new image of that installation.
Sysprep is only supported on clean installations. This restriction also applies to in-place upgrades, such as Windows XP-to-Windows XP upgrades.

Production environment
Microsoft does not support the use of Sysprep for the following scenarios
To take a computer that has been running in production for extended period of time and run sysprep then create a new image or clone from the computer. Sysprep is designed to prepare new installations of Windows for imaging.

 And some scenarios that only applies to Windows XP. 
Incompatible Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL)
Microsoft does not support the use of Sysprep to install an operating system from an image if the image was created by using a computer that has a different HAL. For example, you cannot create a Sysprep image on a computer that uses a standard PC HAL and deploy the image to a computer that uses an ACPI uniprocessor HAL.  

Note Microsoft also does not support the use of Sysprep to install an operating system from an image if the image was created by using a computer whose motherboard has a different manufacturer, or if the image was created by using a computer with the same configuration but from a different manufacturer.

Different processor vendors 
We do not support using Sysprep to install an operating system from an image if the image was created by using a computer that has a different processor. For example, you cannot create a Sysprep image on a computer that has an Intel processor and deploy the image to a computer that has an AMD processor.  Issues can occur if there are "processor" specific drivers installed on the source machine.

A common question is if it's possible to do a Capture of a client as backup, and leave the current client running in the environment. The answer is no, not supported.

To run sysprep after imaging or cloning production computer for the purpose of changing the SID and computername to join the domain and make the computer unique. For example if you cloned or performed a Physical to Virtual(P2V) of a computer but want to leave the source computer running instead of decommissioning it.


It does happen now and then that some customers have problems with the capture process.
I've mentioned before that disabling "Windows Defender" and other AntiVirus is a great first step in troubleshooting Sysprep issues.

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