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I have installed Windows 7 and prepared to OS by configuring it and installing the necessary applications.

I want to keep a local administrator user account I created, "johndoe", so that I may login as "johndoe" on the clones I create from the image and everything in his Startup gets executed, his environment variables are set, programs configured etc. I also have a share, "johnsshare" of the directory "c:\johnsshare" with permissions set for "johndoe". This is also something I´d like to keep.

Apart from that I want the image to be prepared for cloning in a good way. Ideally so that I am asked for the new computer name when the machine starts or upon first login. Should I run Sysprep? I suspect it might interfere with my John Doe stuff above.

How can I achieve this?

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Give the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit a try. You have your reference image done so you can run the capture process and have the Sysprep done for you. It will create a wim file that you can use for deployment and modifications later if you need it. I don't think you'll have any problems with your John Doe account.

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Yes, you supposed to run sysprep ANY time you want to clone.

No, it won't interfere with user accounts and their settings.

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My reasoning for posting it here was that performing a mass deployment of Windows 7 is a typical task of a system administrator. I think it´s the correct forum. – Deleted Dec 7 '11 at 13:16
Ok, removed that ;) – Sandman4 Dec 7 '11 at 13:19
Absolutely - Sysprep is always the very last step of any imaging process - after accounts are set up, software is installed etc. There's always the possibility something may break, but ultimately you're working the right order and that's what backups and testing is for. – Dan Dec 7 '11 at 14:21

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