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Sysprep Tools and Settings

Updated: March 28, 2003

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Sysprep Tools and Settings

In this section

The following tools, answer files, and command-line parameters are associated with image-based installations with the System Preparation tool (Sysprep). You use the tools and answer files to perform image-based installations with Sysprep.

Sysprep Tools

The following tools are associated with image-based installations with Sysprep.

Winnt.exe: Windows Setup program for 16-bit operating systems

Category

Windows setup and installation tool available on the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 product CD.

Version compatibility

Runs on Microsoft MS-DOS and Windows for Workgroups.

You can use this tool to initiate an unattended installation from the 16-bit operating systems MS-DOS and Windows for Workgroups. Typically, you use Winnt.exe to perform an unattended installation on a master computer prior to running the Sysprep tool. You cannot perform an upgrade with Winnt.exe; you can only perform clean installations with Winnt.exe.

For more information about Winnt.exe, see “Command Line References” in the Tools and Settings Collection.

Winnt32exe: Windows Setup program for 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems

Category

Windows setup and installation tool available on the Windows Server 2003 product CD.

Version compatibility

Runs on Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, and Windows 95.

You can use this tool to perform an interactive setup or an unattended installation on a computer that has an existing operating system. To perform an interactive setup or an unattended installation from a 32-bit Windows operating system you must use the 32-bit version of Winnt32.exe. To perform an interactive setup or an unattended installation from a 64-bit Windows operating system you must use the 64-bit version of Winnt32.exe. Typically, you use Winnt32.exe to create a master installation on a master computer prior to running the Sysprep tool.

For more information about Winnt32.exe, see “Command Line References” in the Tools and Settings Collection.

DiskPart.exe: DiskPart

Category

Windows Server 2003 operating system tool.

Version compatibility

DiskPart is identical for all versions of Windows Server 2003. DiskPart includes a few 64-bit parameters that are only available on Itanium-based computers.

DiskPart is a text-mode command interpreter that enables you to manage objects (disks, partitions, or volumes) by using scripts or direct input from a command prompt.

For more information about DiskPart, see “Command Line References” in the Tools and Settings Collection.

Setupmgr.exe: Setup Manager

Category

Windows deployment tool available on the Windows Server 2003 product CD.

Version compatibility

Runs on the 32-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP.

Setup Manager is a wizard-like program that helps you configure distribution shares and answer files that can be used to perform automated installations, including unattended installation, image-based installation with Sysprep, and Remote Installation Services (RIS) installations. Setup Manager prompts you for information in a series of dialog boxes. Setup Manager configures answer file settings and distribution shares based on the information you provide in these dialog boxes.

Usually, you run Setup Manager on the administrator or technician computer. Setup Manager does not affect the system files of the technician computer on which the tool runs and does not actually run Setup. Also, you do not need to specify all of your customizations with Setup Manager. Instead, you can create an answer file in Setup Manager and then manually edit the file with Notepad. If you later open the answer file in Setup Manager, the tool displays your changed settings.

Setup Manager is not installed when you install Windows XP or Windows Server 2003. You must manually install Setup Manager on the administrator or technician computer.

To install Setup Manager
  1. Insert a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 product CD into your CD drive and open the \Support\Tools folder.

  2. Double-click Deploy.cab.

  3. Right-click the file named Setupmgr.exe and click Extract.

  4. In the Select a Destination dialog box, select a location on your hard drive where you want to save Setup Manager, and then click Extract.

You can run Setup Manager from the graphical user interface by double-clicking the Setupmgr.exe file that you saved to your hard disk, or from the command line by typing setupmgr.

Note

  • If you use Setup Manager to create or modify a distribution share that is not on the local computer, be sure you run Setup Manager under a user account that has the minimum user rights to connect to the remote computer. This is because Setup Manager sends the user name and the password across the network in plaintext when it connects to a remote distribution share.

The following sections provide information about each Setup Manager dialog box. The section names correspond to the dialog box name that you see in Setup Manager.

New or Existing Answer File

Enables you to create a new answer file or edit an existing one.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • None

Type of Setup

Provides three Setup options: Unattended, Sysprep, or Remote Installation Services (RIS).

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • None

Product

Prompts you to select the Windows product that you want to install.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • None

User Interaction

Prompts you to select the level of user interaction you want. This dialog box is not used if you are configuring a Sysprep or RIS installation.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [Unattended]

  • UnattendMode

Distribution Share

Enables you to create a new distribution share, modify an existing one, or set up Windows from a product CD.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • None

Location of Setup Files

Prompts you for the location of the Setup files you want to copy.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • None

Distribution Share

Prompts you for the location of the distribution share you want to create or modify. This section is used only by Setup Manager when an existing distribution share is edited. It is not used by Setup during an unattended installation.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [SetupMgr]

  • DistFolder

  • DistShare

Name and Organization

Enables you to provide a default user name and organization name.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [UserData]

  • FullName

  • OrgName

Display Settings

Enables you to change the change settings for colors, screen area, and refresh frequency.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [Display]

  • BitsPerPel

  • XResolution

  • YResolution

  • VRefresh

Time Zone

Prompts you to select a default time zone.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [GuiUnattended]

  • TimeZone

Product Key

Prompts you to provide a Product Key to identify your copy of Windows.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [UserData]

  • ProductKey

Computer Names

Prompts you to provide names for the destination computers.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [UserData]

  • ComputerName

Administrator Password

Enables you to specify a password for the Administrator account on all destination computers.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [GuiUnattended]

  • AdminPassword

  • EncryptedAdminPassword

Networking Computers

Enables you to choose typical or custom network settings.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [Networking]

  • [NetAdapters] (if custom settings are configured)

  • [NetClients] (if custom settings are configured)

  • [NetProtocols] (if custom settings are configured)

Workgroup or Domain

Prompts you to specify how the destination computers will participate in a network.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [Identification]

Windows Components

Enables you to install commonly used Windows components.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [Components]

Telephony

Enables you to provide telephony information for the user.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [TapiLocation]

Regional Settings

Enables you to customize Windows for different regions and languages.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [RegionalSettings]

Languages

Prompts you to select the language groups you want to use.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [RegionalSettings]

  • Language

Browser and Shell Settings

Enables you to customize the browser and shell settings for Windows.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [FavoritesEx]

Installation Folder

Enables you to specify the name of the Windows folder.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [Unattended]

  • TargetPath

Install Printers

Enables you to install network printers on the destination computers.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [GuiRunOnce]

Run Once

Enables you to automatically run a command the first time the user logs on.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [GuiRunOnce]

Additional Commands

Enables you to add commands to run at the end of the Mini-Setup stage.

Answer file sections and entries configured:

  • [Commands] (in the Cmdlines.txt file)

Sysprep.inf Answer File Settings

This section describes the settings that you can configure in the Sysprep.inf answer file, which controls the Mini-Setup stage of an image-based installation with Sysprep. For more information about how to structure the Sysprep.inf answer file, see “Sysprep Physical Structures” in How Sysprep Works.

The following table lists all of the valid sections that can appear in a Sysprep.inf file.

Answer File Sections for Sysprep.inf

 

Section Description

[adapter_specific_protocol_section]

Contains an entry for specifying a network component. Used in conjunction with the [Networking] section.

[Display]

Contains entries for specifying display settings for graphics devices.

[GuiRunOnce]

Contains commands to run the first time a user logs on to the computer after the Mini-Setup stage completes and the destination computer restarts.

[GuiUnattended]

Contains entries for configuring the way the Mini-Setup stage runs as well as time and date settings. .

[Identification]

Contains entries for specifying the network identification of a computer. If these entries are not present, Setup adds the computer to the default workgroup. If there is not enough information for this entry, Setup prompts the user to provide this information.

[IEHardening]

Contains entries for configuring Web content zones.

[LicenseFilePrintData]

Contains entries for installing licensing information for Windows Server 2003.

[MS_AppleTalk parameters]

Contains entries for configuring AppleTalk.

[MS_ATMArps parameters]

Contains no entries.

[MS_ATMLANE parameters]

Contains no entries.

[MS_ATMUni parameters]

Contains no entries.

[MS_L2TP parameters]

Contains entries for the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP).

[MS_MSClient parameters]

Contains entries for Client for Microsoft Networks.

[MS_NetMon parameters]

Contains no entries.

[MS_NWClient parameters]

Contains entries for Client Service for NetWare.

[MS_NWIPX parameters]

Contains entries for the Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX) protocol. Its parameters are network adapter–independent.

[MS_NwSapAgent parameters]

Contains no entries.

[MS_PPTP parameters]

Contains entries for the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP).

[MS_Psched parameters]

Contains no entries.

[MS_RAS parameters]

Contains entries for the Routing and Remote Access service.

[MS_RasSrv parameters]

Contains entries for the Routing and Remote Access service for remote access servers.

[MS_Server parameters]

Contains entries for the File and Print Service.

[MS_TCPIP parameters]

Contains entries for configuring the TCP/IP protocol.

[MS_WLBS parameters]

Contains parameters for configuring Network Load Balancing (formerly, Windows Load Balancing Service, or WLBS) and binding Network Load Balancing to multiple network adapters.

[NetAdapters]

Contains entries that specify network adapters.

[NetBindings]

Contains entries for disabling, enabling, and demoting binding rules for network components such as services, protocols, and adapters.

[NetClients]

Contains an entry for specifying the network clients to install.

[NetOptionalComponents]

Contains entries for installing optional network components.

[NetProtocols]

Contains an entry for installing the network protocols.

[NetServices]

Contains entries for installing network services.

[Networking]

Contains no entries. However, to configure network protocols, you must include the [Networking] section name in your answer file.

[params.adapter_instance]

Contains entries for specifying an adapter’s instance on a computer.

[protocol_parameters_section]

Contains an entry for specifying network protocol parameters that are also specified in the [NetProtocols] section.

[RegionalSettings]

Contains entries for installing regional options during the setup process.

[Sysprep]

Contains an entry for automatically generating the entries in the pre-existing [SysprepMassStorage] section and then installing those mass-storage controllers.

[SysprepMassStorage]

Contains entries for identifying the different mass-storage controllers that you want to install on each destination computer.

[TapiLocation]

Contains entries for specifying the telephony API (TAPI). It is valid only if a modem is present on the computer.

[Unattended]

Contains entries that control the Mini-Setup stage.

[UserData]

Contains entries for specifying user settings during the setup process.

Winbom.ini Answer File Settings

This section describes the settings that you can configure in the Winbom.ini answer file, which controls the Factory mode stage of an image-based installation with Sysprep. For more information about how to structure the Winbom.ini answer file, see “Sysprep Physical Structures” in How Sysprep Works.

The following table lists all of the valid sections that can appear in a Winbom.ini file.

Answer File Sections for Winbom.ini

 

Section Description

[Components]

Contains entries for installing the components of Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003.

[ComputerSettings]

Contains entries for configuring user settings on the destination computer.

[DesktopShortcutsFolder]

Contains an entry for specifying a shortcuts folder on the desktop.

[DiskConfig]

Contains entries for configuring and partitioning one or more physical hard disks when Factory.exe runs in the Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE)

[description.config]

Contains entries for configuring partitions located on a physical disk.

[Factory]

Contains entries for managing the actions of Factory.exe.

[NetCards]

Contains an entry for configuring the network adapter on the destination computer, if Setup requires a network connection.

[OEMLink]

Contains entries for adding graphics and text to the Start menu so that users have easy access to an OEM’s customized folder, .htm file, or .exe file for a tour.

[OEMRun]

Enables you to run external applications and command-line scripts when auditing the computer in Factory mode, by using the Sysprep -factory command.

[OEMRunOnce]

Enables you to control how and when external applications and command shell scripts run when auditing the computer in Factory mode, by using the Sysprep -factory command.

[section_name]

Contains entries for configuring the preinstallation of applications during the Factory-mode stage of Sysprep. This section can be used only with the [OEMRunOnce] section.

[PnPDrivers]

Lists all the updated drivers to copy onto the destination computer.

[PnPDriverUpdate]

Contains entries for specifying optional user credentials and a source location of drivers to place on an installed image.

[SetupHomenet]

Contains an entry for setting up a firewall on a computer with a preconfigured Internet connection.

[Shell]

Contains entries for specifying the visual style of the user interface.

[StartMenuMFUList]

Contains entries for installing shortcut links in the Start menu.

[UpdateSystem]

Contains entries, called directives, for performing registry or file system updates.

[UserAccounts]

Contains entries for controlling the creation of user accounts on the destination computer.

[UserDefined]

Contains branding information or any other data that other processes might need to access.

[WinPE]

Contains entries for identifying the configuration set and Windows operating system that you install.

[WinPE.Net]

Contains entries for controlling the settings that Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) uses to connect to a network.

Sysprep Command-Line Parameters

Sysprep.exe can be run from the command line or it can be run in the Windows graphical user interface (GUI). Use the following syntax when running Sysprep.exe from the command line.


            sysprep [-bmsd] | {{[-factory] | [-reseal]} {[-clean] | [-activated] [-audit] [-forceshutdown] [-mini] [-noreboot] [-nosidgen] [-pnp] [-quiet] [-reboot]}}

Parameters

Sysprep.exe uses the following parameters.

-bmsd

If the [SysprepMassStorage] section header exists in Sysprep.inf, and you run the Sysprep -bmsd command, then Sysprep populates the [SysprepMassStorage] section with the Plug_and_Play_ID = path_to_device_inf_file entries corresponding to the Plug and Play IDs of mass-storage devices specified in the Machine.inf, Scsi.inf, Pnpscsi.inf, and Mshdc.inf files. Sysprep builds the list of mass-storage devices; it does not install these devices in the critical device database or do any other processing.

After using the Sysprep -bmsd command to generate entries in the [SysprepMassStorage] section, you can delete items from this section before running Sysprep -reseal or Sysprep -factory. Installing a smaller number of items in the critical device database reduces the time required for this image to reboot into the operating system.

Do not use the -bmsd parameter with any other command-line parameters.

-factory

Restarts the destination computer in a network-enabled state without running Mini-Setup. This parameter is useful for updating drivers, running Plug and Play enumeration, installing applications, testing, configuring the computer with customer data, or making other configuration changes. For companies that use disk imaging (or cloning) software, Factory mode can reduce the number of images you need to create.

When you have finished your Factory mode tasks, run the Sysprep -reseal command to prepare the computer for delivery.

-reseal

Prepares the computer for final delivery and configures the computer so that Mini-Setup runs the next time the computer is started. If you run the Sysprep -factory command, you must seal the installation as the last step in your preinstallation process, either by running the Sysprep -reseal command or by clicking the Reseal button in the Sysprep dialog box.

-clean

Clears unused mass-storage drivers added by the [SysprepMassStorage] section of Sysprep.inf, and removes previously installed but nonexistent devices created by Plug and Play.

-activated

Does not reset the grace period for Windows Product Activation.

Use this parameter only if you have activated the Windows operating system on the destination computer prior to running Mini-Setup. The Product Key that you use to activate the Windows installation must match the Product Key located on the COA sticker attached to that computer.

-audit

Restarts the computer into Factory mode without generating new security IDs (SIDs) or processing any items in the [OEMRunOnce] section of Winbom.ini.

Use this parameter only if the computer is in Factory mode.

-forceshutdown

Shuts down the computer after Sysprep finishes.

Use this option if your computers have an ACPI BIOS that does not shut down properly with the Sysprep default settings.

-mini

Configures Windows XP Professional to use Mini-Setup instead of Windows Welcome. This parameter has no effect on Windows XP Home Edition, where the first-run experience is always Windows Welcome. Likewise, this parameter is not needed on Windows Server 2003 because Mini-Setup is the default first-run experience.

-noreboot

Modifies registry keys without the system restarting or preparing for duplication. This option is used mainly for testing, specifically to see if the registry is modified properly. This option is not recommended because making changes to a computer after Sysprep has run may invalidate the preparation done by Sysprep. Do not use this option in a production environment.

-nosidgen

Runs Sysprep without generating new SIDs. You must use this option if you do not duplicate the computer, or if the computer is a domain controller.

-pnp

Runs the full Plug and Play device enumeration and installation during the Mini-Setup stage. This command-line option has no effect if the first-run experience is Windows Welcome.

Use the -pnp parameter only to detect and install legacy, non-Plug and Play devices. Do not use the -pnp parameter on computers that use only Plug and Play devices. Otherwise, you will increase the time required for the first-run experience without providing any additional benefit to the user.

-quiet

Runs Sysprep without displaying onscreen confirmation messages. This is useful if you automate Sysprep. For example, if you plan to run Sysprep immediately after an unattended installation, add the Sysprep -quiet command to the [GuiRunOnce] section of the Unattend.txt file.

-reboot

Forces the computer to restart automatically and then start the Mini-Setup stage or the Factory-mode stage, as specified. This is useful when you want to audit the system and verify that the first-run experience operates correctly.

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