Since MDT 2012 is out for a while now, I taught I’ll create a post on how to capture a clean and configured OS (reference computer), so this can be deployed later to multiple machines on your network. I will show you how to capture a Windows 7 and an XP system, especially XP because some problems occur on this one sometimes. O yeahh…if you are using MDT 2010 no worries, you can follow along.
Let’s start with Windows 7 first because it’s easier. I will capture a Windows 7 Enterprise x64 since this is used in companies and small business, but you can use whatever edition you want; and I hope you are not using the Starter edition ’cause that’s for children. Before we can actually capture the OS we need to create a Task Sequence in MDT. Go to the Task Sequence object, right-click it and choose New Task Sequence.
Type and ID, a name and description for this task sequence and click Next.
Because we want to capture a system, on the Select Template page select Sysprep and Capture from the drop-down-box.
Choose an operating system from the list and continue. You should select the type of OS that matches the one you want to capture. Don’t select an XP image here if you want to capture a Windows 7 system. If no images show up in the list you need to add them, by following this article.
I will choose here the default option not to specify a product key at this time, because I am capturing Windows 7 Enterprise. Once I deploy this OS to all the systems in the network I will use KMS for activation. If you are capturing a Windows 7 Ultimate, a Retail or OEM product key needs to be presented, or you need to do some manual work after the deployment.
This is a simple one; just fill in the boxes with the name and organization and click Next.
I recommend you specify and administrator password. This is the password for the local administrator account, not the domain one.
If your details are in order, click Next on the Summary screen, then Finish, to close the wizard.
Now the task sequence should appear in the Deployment Workbench console.
Before we go ahead and capture the system, verify that your MDT rules allow to capture systems. The option SkipCapture needs to be set to NO. Don’t forget to update the deployment share after making this change.
If everything is in order let’s go to our Windows 7 system and capture it. Open the path to your deployment share and go the Scripts folder. Type the credentials of a domain admin account when asked, then from the Scripts folder launch the LiteTouch.vbs script.
The system that you capture should not be joined to a domain, it needs to be in a workgroup environment.
After the wizard launch, select the capture task sequence that we’ve created earlier, then hit Next.
Here we have multiple choices, but only the first one will prepare the system and create an image of it. Select Capture an Image of this reference computer, and in the Location box type the path where the image will be saved, if the default one is not good for you. On the File Name box I recommend you type a descriptive name for the image.
Here click the Begin button to start the capture process.
The preparation will take a few minutes,
then the computer will reboot into WinPE environment and starts capturing the system.
The capture process take quite a while, but after is finished the image should be uploaded in the specified path that you typed during the wizard. If you followed along the image should be on your deployment share folder > Captures. Looks like I had a warning here, but nothing bad. Now you can start deploying this image to the rest of your workstations.
Let’s see how the capture works for Windows XP. First a task sequence needs to be created, but this time choose a Windows XP image on the Select OS page during the wizard.
XP doesn’t have an embed product key like Vista, 7 and Windows 8 does, so you will need to provide it now, or you will have some problems later when you deploy this image.
Open again the path to the deployment share, go in the Scripts folder and execute the LiteTouch.vbs script. Follow the wizard like before.
This is what I wanted to show you. The wizard pops-up with an error which tells you that an older version of sysprep is present in the deployment share, even tough is not correct. In my case I am using the same version of Windows XP, in MDT and the one I want to capture.
Error: “….”. Using older versions of Sysprep is not supported. Ensure that you have the appropriate version.
In this case you need to go the Microsoft web site and download the latest deployment tools. On the deployment share go in the Operating Systems folder. Here you will have the Windows XP system that you imported from the CD and used during the Sysprep and Capture task sequence wizard. Open the folder and browse to Support > Tools. Paste the deploy.cab that you just downloaded from Microsoft and replace the one that exists here.
Now reopen the capture wizard by executing the LiteTouch.vbs script. This time sysprep is working, and the system is captured with success.
Want content like this delivered right to your