Summary of the limitations of the System Preparation tool

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Article ID: 830958 - View products that this article applies to.
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This article lists some of the limitations that apply when you use the System Preparation (Sysprep) tool to create images.


The following list describes the limitations that apply when you use Sysprep to create an image:
  • Sysprep can only be run on an installation that resides in the C: partition. Sysprep does not support creating images of computers that have multiple partitions.
  • You cannot run Sysprep on a computer that is a domain controller or on a computer that has started the Certificate Services service or the Cluster service.
  • The source computer and the destination computer must have compatible HAL types. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    309283 HAL options after Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 Setup
  • You need third-party software or a hardware device to duplicate a disk.

    Sysprep prepares the image for copying. Then, Sysprep runs a version of Setup after the image is copied to a new computer. However, to actually make the copy, you need third-party software or a disk-duplicating device.
  • The capacity of the hard disk on the destination computer must be at least as great as the capacity of the hard disk on the source computer.
  • The source computer on which you prepare the Sysprep partition must contain a clean installation. This installation must include no user accounts, no users profiles, and no encrypted data. The user can set up accounts when the Setup process is completed.

    Note A new installation should include all appropriate Windows software updates. Windows software updates include critical updates, feature packs, hotfixes, security updates, service packs, updates, and update rollups.
  • We do not recommend that you use an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) installation to install a corporate Sysprep image on different hardware. Typically, OEM installations are designed specifically for that hardware. You may experience issues with activation or with licensing when you deploy the image. When you create a corporate image, we recommend that you use volume-licensed media. For more information about the Microsoft Volume Licensing program, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Note These limitations also apply to Remote Installation Preparation tool (RIPrep).
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
302577 How to use the Sysprep tool to automate successful deployment of Windows XP


Article ID: 830958 - Last Review: November 7, 2007 - Revision: 6.3
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Standard Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition (32-bit x86)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
kbsyspreptool kbinfo KB830958

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