How to use the System Preparation tool to prepare computers for shipping

This article was previously published under Q251241
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SYMPTOMS
When you run the Microsoft Windows 2000 System Preparation (Sysprep.exe) tool in audit mode, after the computer completes a mini-setup and returns for the end user first boot, you might see one or more windows open on the desktop and the Sysprep folder now resides on one of your hard disk drives.
RESOLUTION
When you want to run Sysprep.exe on a computer before the computer is shipped to a customer, and you want to remove the Sysprep folder, unwanted windows, and shortcuts that are open on the desktop after the end user first boot, then follow these steps:
  1. Before you run Sysprep.exe in audit mode, you must close all windows, which includes Windows Explorer, instances or delete any other shortcuts that might be on the desktop. Otherwise, those windows appear maximized and the shortcuts are present after the end user first boot.
  2. For a clean removal of the Sysprep folder, the Sysprep folder must be placed under the %systemdrive%. This means that for a CD-ROM installation, the folder either needs to be on a floppy or a hard disk drive. If the folder is copied onto a hard disk drive, make sure that you copy it under the drive to which the global variable %systemdrive% is assigned.

    You can use the following steps to identify your systemdrive disk drive:
    1. On the Taskbar, click Start, and then click Run.
    2. In the Run dialog box, type %systemdrive%, and then press ENTER.
    For a network installation that uses a distribution tree, the Sysprep folder must be placed under the \\$OEM$\$1 subfolder and not under the \\$OEM$\C folder or any other \\$OEM$\%driveletter% folder. This ensures that even if you place your Winnt folder to a drive that is not your first active partition, by using the /tempdrive:x: switch with your installation command (where x: is the target drive for the master image), the Sysprep folder is copied onto the target drive x: or the systemdrive, and is removed entirely before the computer goes into the end user first boot.
STATUS
This behavior is by design.
MORE INFORMATION
For Information on the Distribution Directory structure as well as preinstallation please refer to the Windows 2000 OEM Preinstallation Kit User's Guide that is shipped with your OEM CD.
REFERENCES
System Builders

The preceding Web location is secure and you must be registered in the System Builder program to access the site. If you have not registered, you can do so at the following Web site:
kbsbk kbopk sysprep unattended $oem$
Properties

Article ID: 251241 - Last Review: 02/28/2014 00:30:32 - Revision: 4.2

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP1, Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP2, Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3, Microsoft Windows 2000 Server SP4, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP1, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP2, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP3, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server SP4, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP1, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP2, Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional SP4

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