Without using sysprep, is there another way to generalize an image for use with Clonezilla? I created a sysprep image and forgot to add a few things. So when I tried to redo it, I get the failed to initialize sysprep log error. I've googled my head off and nothing I've tried will get me around this. I'm tired of dealing with it and figured I'd look into alternatives. So...for FREE, what are my alternatives?

I'm working on an x64 Win 7 Pro image.

  • what are you trying to add to the image? Some apps but mostly drivers can be directly injected into the offline image via dism. – tony roth Apr 4 '13 at 18:56
  • I needed to add a few reg tweaks. But I already deleted the image on our drive since I was working on a new one :-/ – Joseph Apr 4 '13 at 19:18
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    You can mount registry hives and edit them with reg (command line) or regedit (GUI). I would highly recommend making a checklist of things to do when creating an image and follow it closely every time. – Chris S Apr 4 '13 at 19:23
  • A little too late for mounting. I no longer have the image. So for now I need to find a new way to generalize the image. – Joseph Apr 4 '13 at 19:26

Short Answer: NO. You can't generalize a Windows installation without Sysprep.

I don't think this is really your problem, however. Getting sysprep to run on already deployed image would have been a better line of questioning. A few things that could be interfering with this are: 1. You've run out of product timer resets - This can fixed with delwpa.bat (just google delwpa) 2. Your trying to run sysprep from non admin account. Put the system into audit mode (Audit mode runs under the Administrator account), then use sysprep to generalize the system.


Though I can't directly answer your question on how to generalize without sysprep (my guess is that it is not realistically possible), you may not need to worry about generalization at all. Are you assuming that you must use sysprep /generalize in order to generate new SIDs, as Microsoft dictates is a critically important security measure? If that's the case, read this article by Mark Russinovich (of sysinternals fame). There is no longer a need to generate new SIDs, from a security standpoint, though there are still other valid reasons to generalize an image.

In a nutshell, Mark's claim is that you only need to generate a new SID in cases where the image is for a Domain Controller (at which point it becomes very important). In addition, there are other things that sysprep does during generalization that may be required... depending on your needs.

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