Completely new to FOG... some basic questions

  • After reading a ton about FOG online etc. I still am not sure about a few things…

    1. Is Sysprep required for Windows 7 images. If so, why?
    2. Is Fogprep required for Windows 7 images. If so, why?
    3. I downloaded the latest kernel using the built in kernel updater, is it okay for older PCs?
    4. Can a Windows 7 image created on a Dell be used on an HP?

    I apologize in advance for such basic questions, but we all started at ground zero at some point with FOG. Appreciate your help. I’m sure I’ll have more questions as I go down this road, so far, I see great potential!

  • Thanks a lot for the replies! Certainly a lot to digest but I’m willing! Jaymes, I really appreciate you taking the time it took to write all of that. I may very well take you up on the offer of working together with you on the walk through process.

  • Developer

    FIRST OF ALL, use methods you are familiar with. There is nothing more frustrating than beating your head against a wall to accomplish something you know NOTHING about. if you are familiar with the sysprep process, then you can begin to tweak it. Until you have a firm grasp of the features and what they do, it can be very daunting and troublesome. There are a MILLION walk throughs that will show you the sysprep process, but nothing can prepare you like jumping in and getting dirty. Something to note is that the methods you are reading about work in THEIR environment and may not transpose well to yours. Be prepared to alter the unattend.xml file to suit your specific needs.

    Sysprep is easy, setting up your answer file is where it starts to get rough.

    1. Best practice is to install windows, and enter the Audit mode. Install all software, and drivers, then sysprep and upload to the fog server. It is [B]IMPORTANT[/B] to note that I activate during the SetupComplete.CMD phase when it deletes the sensitive files, because it runs Asynchronous to the first log on. I also [B]MANUALLY[/B] copy my profile to the default user instead of leaving it to the sysprep.

    I use the registry to install my drivers and make them available on the systemroot in a drivers folder.
    look for the DriverGrabber at the end of the post, if you have machines currently setup, run this on each different model, it will harvest the drivers for you and make it easy to deploy later.

    1. Don’t use FOGPrep, it is no longer necessary. Sysprep will be all you need to do to upload your image as long as you generalize your set up. After you are finished working in audit mode and you are ready to deploy use the following command and save your unattend.xml in the specified folder.

    [COLOR=black][FONT=Calibri]sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:c:\windows\system32\sysprep\unattend.xml[/FONT][/COLOR]

    1. As for kernels, you only have to build a kernel if your drivers aren’t supported. First try to image, if you run into issues, then build a custom kernel. I had to do so with the use of a VMWare server because it uses special SCSI drives. [url][/url] Second post, Ozzy has made a FANTASTIC walktrough for compiling and enabling a custom kernel. You can specify a kernel for your special units when you register so you don’t have to change the kernel, just make another available too.

    2. If you are interested I am working on a walk through for my corporation as I am the first to adapt FOG in the imaging process, but I have a feeling the rest of the corporation will change their tune. I am almost 1 month into my imaging and I am almost completely finished, they have yet to start. If you are interested in my walk trough I would be more than happy to share with you, it is a work in progress though.

    here is a snippit on the sysprep process.
    Step Two – Sysprep

    You only need to create a sysprep unattend.xml file if you want your install to finish at a “login stage” instead of a “manual complete Windows install stage” – I recommend using a unattend.xml.

    On another machine download and install Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7.

    Important Note: I’m told If you are building a 32bit image then you will need to install and configure on a 32-bit OS, same for the 64-Bit. But it’s easy to convert an x32bit XML into an x64Bit XML file or the other way around. Just change all “x86″ records in the XML to “x64″ will make a 32-bit XML into an x64 bit XML.

    Launch the AIK, click File, Select Windows Image, and Navigate to your Windows 7 Installation CD and open the folder Sources. You will see a list of folders and files, look for install.wim and select it, in the next window select Windows 7 Professional and click ok. Click File, New Answer File.

    On the left pane at the bottom you will see the Windows 7 image listed with some folders underneath, Components and Packages, Expand the folder for Components.

    •Find x86_Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP_6.1.7600.16385_neutral, right mouse click and tell it to add to Pass 3 Generalize.
    •Below the security setting you just added is x86_Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP-UX_6.1.7600.16835_neutral, right mouse click and add it to Pass 4 Specialize.
    •Find x86_Microsoft-Windows-Deployment_6.1.7600.16835_neutral, right mouse click and add to Pass 4 Specialize.
    •Find x86_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.1.7600.16835_neutral, right mouse click and add to Pass 4 Specialize.
    •Add this same x86_Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup_6.1.7600.16835_neutral to Pass 7 oobeSystem.
    •Find x86_Microsoft-Windows-International-Core _6.1.7600.16835_neutral, right mouse click and add to Pass 7 oobeSystem.

    Now we have a Generic answer file but we must modify it for our location and give it some information.

    •In the middle pane labeled “Answer File” and expand Generalize and click on the Security-Neutral. On the right hand pane set SkipRearm to 0.
    •Expand Specialize and expand the Deployment section. Set ExtendOSPartition to TRUE, this will give the partition the extra space on the drive at the end of the partition. Right mouse click RunSynchronus and insert a new command. Click on the newly created command; set Action in the right pane to AddListItem, Order 1, Path insert the following command net user administrator /active:yes, and finally WillReboot to Never.
    •Click on Security and set SkipAutoActivation to FALSE, we can only activate our codes against our KMS server, DO NOT USE A KEY!!! If you MUST use a key use a generic one, search google, use this one FJ82H-XT6CR-J8D7P-XQJJ2-GPDD4
    •Click on Shell-Setup, set ComputerName *, let it randomly generate a name, FOG will change it anyway. CopyProfile to FALSE, I do this manually, DisableAutoDaylightSavingsTime to FALSE. We will activate against KMS later, set RegisteredOrganization to Microsoft, and RegisteredOwner to AutoBVT, and finally set the TimeZone to Eastern Standard Time.
    •Expand oobeSystem, click on the International-Core, and set all language to en-US.
    •Click on Shell-Setup and set the Time Zone, Organization, and Owner information.
    •Expand the Shell-Setup. Click AutoLogon, set Enabled to FALSE, LogonCount to ANY number > 0, and the Username as administrator.
    •Click on OOBE, set HideEULAPage TRUE, NetworkLocation Work, ProtectYourPC 3.
    •Expand UserAccounts, click on AdministratorPassword and set your password, this will encrypt the password. Right mouse click LocalAccounts and Insert New Local Account.
    •Expand LocalAccounts and click on the newly created item. Set Action to AddListItem, Description Local Administrator, DisplayName Administrator, Group Administrators, Name Administrator.

    Save your answer file in a safe place.

    This is how my Answer file is set up; this is the “technical run order”.
    1.Set Owner Information.
    2.Enable the administrator account and set password.
    3.Skip Activation.
    4.Hide License Info.
    5.Protect PC = 3 (configure later).
    6.Network Location = Work (for sharing purposes).
    7.Set Language to enUS.
    8.Show Windows Live and wireless setup = false.
    9.Skip Rearm = 0 (Setting this to 1 allows you to run sysprep more than 3 times on a machine, but I would recommend NOT using it, only use it for sysprep practice. It has a hard limit of 9 resets that can NOT be avoided). I would set up a VIRTUAL machine and install in that environment, I would save snapshots before I sysprep so I could fall back on the snapshot to try again if I messed something up rather than starting with a whole new image.

    Sysprep takes sometime to master, and even then there is still a lot to learn. There are a lot of settings that can really goober up your install, or make the unattend.xml fail during set up. TAKE SNAPSHOTS it will be your saving grace!

    Copy the finished unattend.xml to the “system32\sysprep” folder – keep a backup!!!

    AGAIN THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS, don’t shoot me if it doesn’t work. It works in our corporation with our specific set up.

    I install the drivers from the Drivers folder on the system root, this causes some longer load times on the first initial boot, you can use Snap-ins or scripts to set up and install your drivers if you like. I just have not worked with the system yet, and the registry is familiar to me.

    DriverGrabber (save drivers before you wipe)
    Site: [url][/url]
    Download: [url][/url]

    Use the program to harvest drivers from your currently active machines. If you want to register your drivers before installation:

    [FONT=Calibri]In [B]HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version[/B] click on “DevicePath” and enter “C:\Drivers” (remember the entries must be separated by a semicolon). [/FONT]

  • Thanks Chad…

    1. So best practice would be to use sysprep when creating the image to be used to build several PCs to avoid weird things with Windows down the road as you say.
    2. I will discontinue using Fogprep unless creating an XP image, correct? If so, should I do both Fogprep & Sysprep?
    3. As for kernels, is there a wiki that explains the procedure for trying different kernels?
    4. I was hoping FOG would do this out of the box, I need to learn about how to create a generalized image as you describe.

    Thanks again for the reply and your time… much appreciated.

  • Moderator

    1. No, Sysprep is required for Windows, but FOG can clone Windows 7 without sysprep, but you may run into weird things with Windows and related service such as KMS activation, WSUS.
    2. In FOG 0.32 and Windows 7, you do not need FogPrep
    3. You’ll have to find a kernel that works best for you.
    4. If you make it a hardware generalized image, and you include the necessary drivers somehow. Scripted, SAD2, inserted via some other method.