Customize Windows 10 Image in Audit Mode with Sysprep  

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  1. Posts : 5,286
    Win 10 Pro x64

    This thread reminds me of Remastersys application for Linux where after installing the OS you can install all your favorite programs and customize the desktop to your liking. And then create the ISO from it. You can even customize the splash screens and status screen while installing your personalized ISO. But the developer discontinued and abandoned it for some reason. Is Sysprep the same concept?

    Great work Kari! I have yet to try it one of these days.
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  2. Posts : 17,661
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    badrobot said:
    Is Sysprep the same concept?
    Basically yes, only more comprehensive. If you check the Part Five, steps 5.9 to 5.12, that's where you can customize about everything, from splash and lock screens to almost every visual element of the UI, as well as many non-visual features.

    This tutorial is meant to be more an introduction to image customization than a complete walkthrough, only covering the basics, but I will be happy to answer any questions about more advanced functions, what's possible and what's not.

    I like the Audit Mode very much as a tool in preparing Windows before any user accounts are created. In Windows 10 Tech preview the Hyper-V virtualization is native, nothing is easier than to set up a Windows 10 vm, enter Audit Mode and create a checkpoint (snapshot, allows restoring to checkpoint in a few seconds, kind of speed imaging), then start testing various answer files with SIM as told in Part Five. If it does not work, restore your checkpoint and start from beginning.
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  3. Posts : 5,286
    Win 10 Pro x64

    I don't know how much work is involved but it would be a very useful tool for all Windows users if the entire tutorial can be simplified and compressed into a program with simplified user-interface like this one:

    Customize Windows 10 Image in Audit Mode with Sysprep-remastersys-gui-main1.png

    I will be willing to donate or buy a copy myself. :)
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  4. Posts : 17,661
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    I have been toying with the idea but always decided against; the process itself is quite simple:
    1. Boot to Audit Mode
    2. Personalize
    3. Use the Windows System Image Manager to create the answer file (= instructions set for Sysprep)
    4. Run Sysprep

    "An App" to do this would only be used in phases 3 and 4, of those two I could never create a user interface as practical, logical and simple as the one SIM already has, so basically only part in "my app" would be to run sysprep command. No use in creating an app to run one single command which takes user a few seconds to type.
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  5. Posts : 3
    Windows 7

    User profile relocation?


    Thanks for all your hard work on the previous write ups on Seven Forums and here on this one. They are extremely helpful, thorough and easy to follow.

    I saw the note about build 9879 and user profile relocation failure
    The below tip describing how to relocate the main profile folder Users does not work in Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9879; if applied to this build the Sysprep will fail. Use this method to relocate Users if sysprepping Build 9841 or 9860.
    I think this feature should have been in included with the OS - even as an option available after installation.

    Is there another way to accomplish this task on Build 9879? Thanks.

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  6. Posts : 17,661
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    itcinc said:
    Is there another way to accomplish this task on Build 9879? Thanks.

    Hi Ron, welcome to the Ten Forums. As an incredibly vain geek it gives me great pleasure that you joined us because of my tutorials. That's my story and I'm sticking to it :).

    Note   Note
    Dear readers of this post, please notice that the Sysprep method to customize a Windows image as told in this tutorial works perfectly well, exactly as told. Member Itcinc (Ron) in his quoted post above is talking about another Sysprep related tutorial of mine, not this one and my response below is to that post, not to any issue in method told in this tutorial.

    Seriously, at the moment I am not willing to believe this will remain as it is now, Sysprep failing catastrophically if the answer file contains FolderLocations > ProfilesDirectory tags in OobeSystem settings pass:
    However, it really will fail in Build 9879 although working perfectly on earlier builds of Win10TP. Before even thinking about saying something definitive about this subject I want to wait for the next build or two.

    I have done some quite extensive testing with 9879, sysprepping it with various answer files, testing different scenarios, and at the moment it seems this ProfilesDirectory issue is the only major customization not possible to accomplish.

    Let's wait what happens, I believe we have the next build to play with latest in mid January. In the mean time you can use the method in this tutorial on our sister site the Seven Forums to relocate main profile folder; although not doing the job completely it is as good an alternative as any other.

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  7. Posts : 3
    Windows 7

    Sorry for the delayed reply - work and life keep getting in the way of the technical preview. I like your story and I think you should stick to it!

    If you think having this post attached to the other tutorial is clearer or a better location please feel free to move it anywhere you like.

    I did use one of the other Seven Forums tips to move subsequent profiles to D:\users and it worked properly. Since I was in audit mode all profiles were created on D:\users which was the result that I wanted.

    I have another problem with autodiscover and Outlook that I will post in a new message.

    Thanks for your assistance and keep up the good work.
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  8. Posts : 1,524
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) 16299.15

    Hi Kari,

    This is a great tutorial... but I have to admit I got stuck at step 5.6.

    I couldn't get it to catalogue the .wim file from Windows 10 TP Build 9926 (32-bit version)

    I tried it from within (32 bit) Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 itself.

    The error log file it generates contains the following:
    00:50 : This application requires version 6.3.9600.16384 of the Windows ADK.
    Install this version to correct the problem
    01:01 :
    01:01 : Windows SIM was unable to generate a catalog. For troubleshooting assistance, see the topic: 'Windows System Image Manager Technical Reference' in the Windows ADK User's Guide.
    01:01 :
    01:01 : System.ComponentModel.Win32Exception (0x80004005): Unknown error (0xc1420117)

    Server stack trace:
    at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.ComponentPlatformInterface.WimImageInfo.PostCreateCatalog()
    at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.ComponentPlatformInterface.OfflineImageInfo.CreateCatalog()
    at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.ComponentPlatformInterface.CatalogCreatorImpl.CreateCatalog(OfflineImageIn fo offlineImageInfo)
    at System.Runtime.Remoting.Messaging.StackBuilderSink._PrivateProcessMessage(IntPtr md, Object[] args, Object server, Object[]& outArgs)
    at System.Runtime.Remoting.Messaging.StackBuilderSink.SyncProcessMessage(IMessage msg)

    Exception rethrown at [0]:
    at System.Runtime.Remoting.Proxies.RealProxy.HandleReturnMessage(IMessage reqMsg, IMessage retMsg)
    at System.Runtime.Remoting.Proxies.RealProxy.PrivateInvoke(MessageData& msgData, Int32 type)
    at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.ComponentPlatformInterface.ICatalogCreator.CreateCatalog(OfflineImageInfo offlineImageInfo)
    at Microsoft.ComponentStudio.CatalogGenerator.CreateCat(ProgressDialog pd, Object o)
    The message at the top seemed to be the same whether I was running the later version (6.4.9600.17029) or the version mentioned in the log as being the one it needs (6.3.9600.16384). In both cases I would have thought the version was OK as I was using the same version or a later one.

    As you mentioned a way round this (copy the XML file from elsewhere) I've got past this stage, but wondered if you had any ideas on how to do it properly?

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  9. Posts : 17,661
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    DavidY said:
    I couldn't get it to catalogue the .wim file from Windows 10 TP Build 9926 (32-bit version)

    I tried it from within (32 bit) Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 itself.
    I am very sorry that I have forgotten to add a warning at the beginning of the tutorial! Adding a big warning now.

    For some reason you cannot use the 9926 install.wim file, for the first when you open it in order to create the catalog it lets you choose between Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Pro, which is of course wrong. Second, the catalog creating end always with error.

    Workaround: Use install.wim from Build 9879 if you still have the ISO. If not, use any Windows 8 or 8.1 install.wim; these work because they are only needed to create the catalog to write the answer file. Create the answer file as told in this tutorial using a catalog based on the Windows 10 Build 9879 or earlier, or Windows 8.1 / 8.1 Pro install.wim.

    When you have saved the answer file, if you used a Windows 8 / 8.1 to create the catalog you have to edit the answer file, its last line (#3 in screenshot below) before using it. Change the OS Windows 8 there to Windows 10 Technical Preview.
    Customize Windows 10 Image in Audit Mode with Sysprep-8640d1416605505t-windows-10-image-customize-audit-mode-sysprep-2014-11-20_22h25_53.png

    Now you can use this answer file to sysprep Build 9926.

    I'll add a video of the whole process this weekend here, I'll embed it to tutorial itself. It's 10 PM here, might be I'll do it first tomorrow but I promise you it will be posted :).

    Last edited by Kari; 07 Feb 2015 at 17:56. Reason: Forgot the screenshot, added now.
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  10. Posts : 17,661
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Kari said:
    ...When you have saved the answer file, if you used a Windows 8 / 8.1 to create the catalog you have to edit the answer file, its last line (#3 in screenshot below) before using it. Change the OS Windows 8 there to [/FONT]Windows 10 Technical Preview.
    Sorry, I mentioned a screenshot in my previous post (see highlighted text in above quote) but forgot then to attach it. The post now edited, screenshot added.
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