Windows Sysprep - Automated Install Settings



Tested on Windows 7, 8.1, 10 and 11

Creating an Answer File for Windows Unattended Setup

Computer Imaging is an important part of Life Cycle Management. Creating and deploying Windows images requires running the System Preparation (Sysprep) tool. Sysprep removes system-specific data from Windows ensuring a successful restoration of the image, and creates a "generalized" Windows installation that will then be ready for configuration at next bootup. This article is a step-by-step guide on creating an answer file for Sysprep to completely automate the Windows 7 setup.

Creating a Sysprep unattended answer file

At this point you can either

  • Use the Filewave Answer File Generator
  • Use a 3rd party creation tool
  • Manually create the answer file
  • Skip this and have no answer file or an empty answer file (not recommended)

It is highly recommended generated answer files are used with matching Windows releases, e.g 1909 answer file with Windows 10 1909, etc.  If preparing a newer Windows 10 release, e.g. 2004, generate a new matching 2004 answer file.

Check Disk

Please make sure that before you Sysprep your Image, that you check the disk. A reboot will be required.

chkdsk /R 
shutdown -r -t 0

Use a administrator command prompt to run the commands and reboot
waik21 chkdsk2

System Prepare with Sysprep

Once  chkdsk  has completed and the machine is back in Windows, run a command prompt as administrator and type the following command to Sysprep your machine: 

C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /shutdown /unattend:PATH TO SYSPREP ANSWER FILE XML


Sysyprep will prepare the machine to be copied and shutdown.

You are now ready to upload your Master Image to the FileWave Imaging Appliance.

To continue this workflow and capture this as a Master Image see... Windows Network Imaging - PXE