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I'm in a project where the hardware specification is closed. The Windows XP image will run always on top of the same configuration. We are thinking on using ghosting for enabling a quick restore of the system in case of failure.

I understand ghosting concept but I have never done it before. I have used imagex working with Windows XP embedded, but it is not clear for me the process to generate the first image nor the process for installation. Have you experience with that? What are your recommendations?

Also, any links to related material are welcome.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You only need to use sysprep if your capturing a single image to deploy to multiple machines, Is this the case for your scenario?

To capture an image using imagex you must PXE/CD/USB boot into Windows PE.

Then use the imagex /capture to capture your image.

You can then boot the machine you wish to deploy to & use the /apply switch.

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Thanks for the response. I'm going to deploy the image to systems with the same exact specifications. Do I have to use sysprep? – yeyeyerman Nov 27 '09 at 7:45
sysprep is used to give your machines unique SIDs. If you don't use it you'll end up in trouble - especially if you're in a active directory network. After your imagex image is copied onto the computer (and before you restart it), script in a sysprep.inf file containing (at least) a unique computer name for the computer. That way you can automate the entire process. – Trondh Nov 27 '09 at 9:05

Generating the initial image is straightforward enough; have a read of Microsoft's KB article on how to use sysprep for this.

Once you have that done, the imagex procedure will be virtually identical to what you already know: using diskpart to blow away any existing partitions and create a new one, format it, then bring down the image.

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