Just some quick notes for reference while at work.
Only worth reading if you are a hard-core techie and do Windows system building for imaging and/or play with Virtual PC images.
It's a Zen Thing
Howto: Fix Zenworks imaging problems with Dell Optiplex 755 - the back room tech
This is a pretty obscure situation. If you use Zenworks 7.0.1 and try to image a Dell Optiplex 755 platform, you will likely see some images.
Back room tech Julie steps us through the detailed workaround.
We do use Zenworks imaging "officially" to support our desktop/laptop image building. I however prefer to brew our own images using Microsoft's ImageX software and also Clonezilla as a backup imaging solution. Basically I just prep and Sysprep-seal the image, then capture it in both those formats. These are then distributed on USB hard-drives for our field-technicians to use.
Ben Armstrong's Virtual PC Guy blog posted some Virtual PC goodness:
- The Internet Explorer team have provided updated "IE Compatibility" test virtual machines, which now include an IE6, IE7 and IE8 Beta 1 virtual machine. Download available here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=21eabb90-958f-4b64-b5f1-73d0a413c8ef&DisplayLang=en
- The Microsoft Forefront Codename "Stirling" VHDs. While this is a potentially massive download (16GB all up) it is a great example of the power of virtual machines for easy evaluation of complex technology. The full download comprises 5 virtual machines that build an isolated domain environment with the latest Forefront technology and a client computer to test with. It can be downloaded from here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d4c3410f-11f0-42b8-9da7-b826d243536b&DisplayLang=en
The first offering is really great. You can run an almost fully functional version of XP SP2 with IE6, IE7 or IE8 Beta 1 in a pre-build virtual-pc environment. I use these to test software without nuking my primary systems. Awesome tool. Not only that, you can also play with an almost fully working version of Vista (business version) running IE7 to test applications. Only drawback is the download file sizes. They are whoppers. Bring your broadband connection with you to download these! They will expire in September 2008. So far Microsoft keeps issuing updated versions prior to the expiration dates
For more information on the second one, see Microsoft Forefront "Stirling" Home Page.
XP SP3 and Updated Sysprep'ing
From a previous post here. Seemed important enough to re-remind myself of:
This is critical info for all you system administrators who use Microsoft Sysprep to prepare a system before imaging and deployment.
- Updated Sysprep.exe now available for Windows XP SP3 « the back room tech
Back Room Tech guru Julie points us to a post by David Remy in which he provides the following summary:
...the issue deals with the default profile and it no longer being copied when running sysprep. Before SP3 and without the patch the default profile was copied from the administrator account during the sysprep process, this behavior however changed in SP3 or when you installed the hotfix 887816. In SP3 the default setting is to not copy the default profile, thus a new key was added to sysprep.inf to allow for this functionality. The UpdateServerProfileDirectory=1 setting tells SP3 to copy the administrator profile to the default profile during the sysprep process.
He also has updated his great sample sysprep.inf file to incorporate the changes in sysprep in it.
KB 302577 - "How to use the Sysprep tool to automate successful deployment of Windows XP"
Download details: Windows XP Service Pack 3 Deployment Tools - The new Sysprep tool for XP SP3 systems.
Disarming Sysprep in Vista
Mark Minasi has great information in his Newsletter #71 July 2008: Your Resume in 2018 and Disarming Sysprep.
Basically, Mark's post walks you through how to make a registry key change to keep Sysprep from not touching the Vista reactivation counter.
Good stuff to keep in mind.