• Hey everyone,

    I installed a windows 11 with the free iso image download link from Microsoft and I do not have a license for it. I did not install anything except the google chrome and graphic driver.

    I used the sysprep tool in order to create a template image. Then I captured this image and I deployed this image on other machines. I followed the instructions in order to create usernames for other machines. After this, I captured the image for every machine in a different image. Now I have some questions:

    1- Why do I get a blue screen with this message when I boot my machine after deploying “Your PC ran into a problem and needs a restart.” What do I miss? what was wrong with the entire process?

    2- I know windows images are dependent on SID. But Having a separate image for all machines is quite crazy. How can I have one image for all machines?

    3- How can I create a template image so that I can maintain that image up to date easier? I do not like to install windows 11 from scratch every time I want to propose a new update.

    4- I know how Sysprep works. What is your best recommendation for installing windows 11 every week on hundred machines? Could I have an engineering solution review in this post?

    Thank you for your kind attention.


  • Thank you @george1421 .
    It was really perfect.

    Since I have some issues with Sysprep, I changed my way. So let’s forget the previous story for imaging.

    What is my scenario?
    My clients (coffeeshop) every day login to the systems. I need to reimage machines every time they log out from systems. So that they can get fresh installed windows after turning machine on.

    So what I did do for machines?
    I installed windows 11 on my workstation which is Dell 3420 Precision Tower. Then, I installed a few apps like chrome, pdf reader, vlc. Finally, I put this script to the windows task scheduler in order to execute it right after the computer boot up or shut down. this script helps me to keep network boot as the first boot order (Since windows manipulate the first option to itself while it should be pxe because of the next boot). This script will run on every boot and every shutdown(just making sure pxe is first order).

    What is my issue?
    I simply captured the image without anything else llike sysprep. I deployed this image on the original machine which I installed windows 11 from scratch. Now Windows 11 can not boot up. First, it goes to a blue screen and it says “BAD CONFIG SYSTEM INFO”, and then it goes to the automatic recovery page and SrtTrail.txt says: “Check for installed LCU Error code: 0x3f1”

    It seems fog can not capture windows 11 images correctly or can not restore the same image on the same machine.

    If fog is fine, what is my mistake? :))


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    @jamie002 First let me say I haven’t tried to deploy windows 11 or even develop a golden image for it as of now. My job has taken me in a different direction. So what I will say is based on windows 10 golden image development.

    1. Bluescreen: There are a number of causes for this. It could be drivers, hardware changes, disk structure, not being properly sysprep’d/power off correctly before imaging. More on this in a bit.

    2. SID. The SIDs are a software thing. Having different images for different machines is a hardware issue (kind of). I can tell you on my campus we deploy to 13 different models of computers with the same golden image. The key to doing this is syspreping the computer and either injecting the correct drivers for the hardware or preinstalling the needed drivers in the golden image before image capture. We do the first option of injecting the drivers just after FOG imaging but before the first boot of the target computer.

    3. Template: Use a virtual machine to create your golden image. Take a snapshot of the computer before sysprep and image capture, then restore the snapshot (basically undoing what sysprep did so you can make other changes to the system) On the next update repeat the process of snapshot, sysprep, image capture, reset the snapshot. In our case we use Microsoft’s MDT to consistently build our golden image the same way on each time we create a new golden image. We still create it on a VM, but don’t need to manage snapshots. The Windows build is a FAT image in that all of the common applications are already installed in the golden image and only departmental software is installed post deployment. The other option is a thin Windows build where only the OS and updates are installed and all applications are installed post deployment.

    4. Imaging hundreds of computers. It is surely possible with FOG. You will spend the most time perfecting your golden image which will be outside of FOG scope. On a well managed 1GbE network with contemporary computers we can push out a 25GB mother image in under 4 minutes to a target computer. Then upon reboot WinSetup and OOBE takes over to complete the workstation setup. With a well managed network with a 10GbE core network a 25GB image push is just over 2 minutes to push the image.

    Recommendations.

    1. Build your golden image on a VM for a few reasons. a) Its a hardware independent build. This way you won’t install unnecessary drivers in your golden image. You will have the snapshot capabilities (you will probably need that during the actual building of your golden image if you are doing it manually). I’ve more than once made a mistake where I had to role the machine back to the last snapshot. The alternative is to rebuild the golden image from start. \

    2. For the hard drive on the VM use around 100GB or the smallest size you “need” to contain your image. With FOG imaging its easier to expand a 100GB hard drive to a larger one than to shrink a 500GB disk image onto a computer with a 127GB hard drive. Save your self some aggravation use the smallest disk size that will contain your image. If you use FOG’s single disk resizable it will only capture your data so the actual size on the FOG server will be only the data, not the size of the disk.

    3. Sysprep your golden image before image capture. Use the proper sysprep commands to power off the computer after sysprep is done. This will close all of the files properly for disk image capture. Normal windows shutdown will leave open files and cause an error during image capture. Google “microsoft windows dirty bit” to learn more.

    4. Configure FOG to deploy the machine specific drives to the target computer during imaging.

    5. Use Microsoft Volume Licensed media so you can get a VLK key. You only need one license key if you are deploying the same Windows version that is on the target computer. For example if your computers came with windows 10 pro OEM and you have 1000 of them. You can purchase 1 windows 10 pro vlk license key for all 1000 computers. What you can’t do is upgrade software versions with that one vlk key. So if your computers come predeployed wiht windows 10 oem you can’t upgrade to windows 11 with this vlk key, you need to purchase an upgrade license key.

    6. Try to limit the number of different hardware models you have on your campus. Or at the bare minimum stick to one vendor (i.e. Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc). Trying to manage hardware drivers for 7 different vendors, on 20 different models of computers would be a nightmare.

    7. Use FOG Post install scripts to adjust deploy time settings to the target computers. For example in our case we don’t have FOG connect the target computer to AD, but we let windows sysprep do it. We have a post install script (which runs after the image is deployed to the computer but before the first OS boot) update the unattend.xml script with deployment time settings like computer name (calculated based on install site, hardware type, computer asset tag), target OU based on install site, hardware type (laptop/desktop), image name deployed. These are all deploy time values that aren’t know ahead of time. This also helps us keep “one image for all” mentality.

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