Windows 10: Customize Windows 10 Image in Audit Mode with Sysprep
OK, I have just finished my tests and have several hours of video material which I have to edit before it's undestandable. It will be here earliest tomorrow morning, might even be tomorrow evening.
Anyway, here are the results of 16 hours continuous installing and sysprepping and failing and finally finding a working solution which I can now reproduce at will, every time.
1.) Build 9926 Pro edition (from Windows Insider) fails the sysprep every time on vm and two thirds of tries on real machine (my subjective, not automatically factual statistics). This seems to be (comical enough!) due Windows Insider app. Checking the error logs there's various errors every time, but always something common: "Package Microsoft.InsiderHub_220.127.116.110_x64 was installed for a user, but not provisioned for all users". I tried removing the AppxPackage Microsoft.InsiderHub before sysprepping, did not work. Also trying to install offline, vm not connected to network when installing to avoid installing the Hub in the first place did not help, however logical solution that had been.
2.) Build 9926 Enterprise edition (from TechNet Evaluation Center), sysprep and customizations work every time like a charm as long as you remember to disconnect the computer or vm from the network before starting to install. As soon as you have arrived to desktop in Audit Mode you can reconnect the computer and download ADK and software to be installed. When connected to network while installing, all vm syspreps failed and over half on the real machines. As soon as I tried to install network disconnected, my success rate was 100%.
3.) You cannot create a catalog file (Part 5 Step 5.6 in this tutorial) using the install.wim file in Build 9926. Use Windows 8.1 Update, or Windows 10 Builds 9841, 9860 or 9879 install.wim. When you have saved your answer file, open it with Notepad and edit the highlighted part in below example answer file, everything between the double quotes. In this example it is wim:X:\Sources\install.wim#Windows 10 Enterprise, meaning that the Windows install media and its install.wim file used for Sysprepping (which as told above is not the same we use for catalog) are located on drive X:.
4.) The above answer file works if you want to save time and copy it, just editing the customized OEM information and path to Windows install media, I sysprepped my main image now with it. Although the whole process, from starting the install, to Audit Mode and customizations and finally capturing the image with Macrium took 1 hour 45 minutes, I am happy and satisfied; In my final tests I needed just 9 minutes to restore that image, getting a virgin clean installed Windows which is to begin with highly personalized and includes all my software.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
<SupportPhone>+1 (202) 456-1111</SupportPhone>
<cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim:X:\Sources\install.wim#Windows 10 Enterprise" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />
That's about it. A complete video tutorial follows as promised.
Just for bragging purposes, this is what I get on a real physical machine with totally wiped HDD exactly 13 minutes after I have booted it up with Macrium WinPE disk and restored the sysprepped image ( (9 minutes to "Enter you MS Account", creating the first user account and then 4 minutes "Windows is installing your apps" and such):Every customization I made in Audit Mode, every application is pre-installed:The best of it is of course that this is a hardware independent image and can be restored (installed) on every PC capable of running Windows 10.
That explains a lot! Thanks for the update!
I've not had much success this weekend, but perhaps I've not been doing something wrong after all, then?
When I've tried it, I've always killed the Start Menu and the Search box next to it.
I take it that there's no point me trying further to make the Pro version of 9926 work then?
When sysprep fails, how do you know it's failed? Where do those log files live?
All Sysprep logs are located in C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\Panther.
BTW, I edited my previous post adding some bragging screenshots after you posted. Check the post again .
Excellent work as always Kari
This video added to tutorial today. Please read this post before watching the video.
Can these profile customizations be done after install?
My answer is a definite Naturally yes and Of course no .
Seriously, the CopyProfile=True setting in the answer file (see tutorial Part Five Step 10) is the one that when Windows is syprepped copies everything from the built-in administrator account to the default user profile. The problem is, when Sysprep finds even a single existing user account other than the built-in administrator account, the CopyProfile will be ignored and nothing will be copied.
OK. The real answer to your question, based on the above explanation is that you can customize the default user profile only when there are no existing user profiles on the system, except of course the built-in admin. If you are willing to delete all your user profiles on an existing Windows system and recreate them you can do this. Here's how:
1.) Boot to Audit Mode using this command (Command Prompt or WIN+R):
2.) When in Audit Mode, delete all user accounts.
%windir%\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /audit / reboot
3.) Reboot (no worries, a reboot brings you automatically back to Audit Mode; you can exit Audit Mode only by specific command).
4.) Check that the main profile folder (by default C:\Users\) really is has no by user created profile folders, it should only have three system profiles there (Administrator, Public and the hidden (Default). If any remains (folders) from the user accounts you deleted above in step 2 are still there, delete the folder manually.
5.) Now you can follow this tutorial starting from Part Three. Part Five tells yoyu how to edit the answer file, its Step 10 how to be sure the modifications are copied to default user profile.
Thanks for the video.
For some reason the video won't play on my work machine so I can't check this... but I seem to remember from a look at the first bit of the video earlier that there's a comment in the video about the ADK becoming available in Feb.
However it seems there is something along the lines of an ADK published already...
Download Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 10 Technical Preview from Official Microsoft Download Center
Is that the same thing mentioned in the video, or something different?
Thanks for the link !
That's the one! You have no idea how much I have awaited this to be released. I checked a few days ago, it wasn't online then.
Thanks for the link, seems it's going to be a long day as I have to remake half of the video and the tutorial .
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