How to run Sysprep on Windows Server 2008 R2

Sysprep is a tool, that allows you to prepare a computer that is going to be imaged. This is useful if you have several computers of identical hardware, each needing the same OS + Applications installed.
Sysprep can also be used by PC Manufactures, to prepare the computers for shipping to an end user. Once run the end user will only have to enter, the computer name, admin password, Product key,  instead of running setup from starch.
With the increase in virtualization cloning virtual machines, will speed up deploying new servers.

When sysprep is run it will remove all the security ID’s from the computer (SID), and regenerate them. This allows you to clone a computer, without having duplicate SID’s on the network.

Step 1
First you will need to install and setup your reference computer. You will need to complete the Windows setup process, and install any required drivers.
Optionally you can install any applications you also want to be cloned, along with the OS.
Once you are happy with you reference setup, you can move onto step 2.

Step 2
Next we are ready to run Sysprep, it might be a good idea to remove any temporary files you don’t need, as this will reduce the image size.
The Sysprep tool is installed with windows by default, and is located in the following location, C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe. Open the Sysprep application, this should bring up the Sysprep application.
There are two option to choose from “Enter System Out-Of-Box Experience OOBE” and “Enter System Audit Mode”, we want to use the first option “OOBE”.
The next option to select is the “Generalize” option, this will make sure that the SID’s are regenerated.
You can also select what happens after you click OK, i.e. Reboot or Shutdown.
Once happy, click ok to start the process.

Step 3
When the Sysprep process has finished, you can clone your computer and run the Mini-Setup. This will only ask for the essential information, such as host name, and passwords.
All the Drivers and applications that you installed will now be on the target machine.
This will same you time and effort, when setting up new machines.