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I would like the image to detect and install storage controller and video drivers for a limited but varying set of machines, known ahead of time. Windows 7 x64 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

I would like to activate each restored instance separately.

I have a developer MSDN subscription, if that helps. We commonly use Acronis Server.

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have you tried deploying vhd's, if needed you can inject your drivers for storage and video but typically thats not necessary. –  tony roth Apr 28 '11 at 16:47

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted
  1. Setup a machine with Win7 or Server 2008 the way you want, install various software, clients, updates, whatever. This can be a VM (my preferred method), so you don't need to use physical hardware for the reference machine.

  2. If you require drivers which are not already installed in Windows, you'll need to stage them with dism /online /add-driver (run dism /online /add-driver /help from the command prompt and it will give you the details, easy stuff really).

  3. Run sysprep and do not generalize the image.

  4. Capture the image. I know Acronis has this capability at some level, I don't know the software though. I use SCCM which has it's own proceedure. I've also used WinPE and ImageX to capture images.

  5. Deploy the image, same idea as the previous step, whatever technology you use, keep using it.

  6. Use VAMT (part of Win AIK) to activate the machines across the network.

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