Welcome, Guest. Please Login
 
  HomeHelpSearchLogin FAQ Radified Ghost.Classic Ghost.New Bootable CD Blog  
 
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print
Sysprep v1.1 (Read 8852 times)
Citizen_Kang
Radmeister
**
Offline



Posts: 53


Back to top
Sysprep v1.1
Nov 4th, 2002 at 3:08am
 
Hey Rad how's it going,

Have you ever looked-into\researched this MS utility? - I did a search on your BB and at least one user has mentioned it before.   This tiny app (63 KB) appears to be immensely (super) powerful, especially if used for its implicit purpose: allowing a network admin to do a base install of W2K or XP onto a  workstation and then deploy an image of that setup, via a 3rd party app like Ghost (or I suppose MS's own Intellimage), to a host of non-homogeneous client machines!!! ...simply amazing by the looks of the documentation.  (Obviously there are some caveats, but it appears that once you configure Sysprep for your installation environment and needs, your rocking)....If you thought Ghost packed a lot of punch for its size, I get the feeling you would consider Sysprep to be very De la Hoya-esque. 

[ Side Note: isn't it incredibly funny how some of the truly great apps that allow you to push the envelope of your computing activities, with the most ease and flexibility, and with the least overhead, and which result in making your computing  experiences\adventures more enjoyable and productive (which collectively, I suppose, could be summarized as, equivalently, the digital pursuit of happiness)  are so small in size!]   

Anyways, I find myself needing to utilize Sysprep now for a  much much less complicated (Ghost) imaging need.  I came across it on Symantec's support site, as they reference how to use it as a solution to a particular problem that I have run into with Ghost.

Cheers, CK
 

 
 
IP Logged
 

Citizen_Kang
Radmeister
**
Offline



Posts: 53


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #1 - Nov 4th, 2002 at 3:16am
 
Note: Sysprep v1.1 is the latest version for W2K.  XP comes with its own version that is packaged on the installation disk.  The W2K installation disk also comes with Sysprep, but it was an earlier version that only supports deploying an image to clients that are homogenous to the parent machine.  This eariler version still has some neat functionality - setting up SIDs etc. - but its definitely not as cool as the latest version and all the tricks it can do!

cheers, CK
 
 
IP Logged
 
Rad
Radministrator
*****
Offline


Sufferin' succotash

Posts: 4090
Newport Beach, California


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #2 - Nov 4th, 2002 at 3:32am
 
Hey Kang.

No, I have no experience with sysprep, but I did a search a read up on it a little. It's a M$ product:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/tools/sysprep/default.asp

Yes, it is funny how some of the most powerful utilities are so small.

Gonna read a little more.
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Citizen_Kang
Radmeister
**
Offline



Posts: 53


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #3 - Nov 4th, 2002 at 12:14pm
 
Go back one page from that MS link you posted to this one, and on the right hand side there is a "Read document" that you can download.  Also see the documentation that is contained in the actual Sysprep download.

You can also read this Symantec discussion group article and go to the link that Symantec provides the user for their problem i.e. this page

It is the virtual mem problem outlined in the first Symantec link that I am trying to circumvent, and it looks like Sysprep is the answer....don't know yet, got some reading to do myself...and then the fun shall begin.  Will let you know how things turn out. 

Cheers, CK
 
 
IP Logged
 
Citizen_Kang
Radmeister
**
Offline



Posts: 53


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #4 - Nov 4th, 2002 at 7:45pm
 
Doh!

Although I became aware of Sysprep by way of mishap, I am very happy to have discovered it because it may prove quite useful in the future.  However, it is not the solution to my current problem....although I'm sure it would work, but I don't particularly need or want to rebuild the PnP driver database on the restored image.

Got some investigating to do (Ghost Walker might help but don't know yet).  Anyways, here's what I'm simply trying to do:

Ghost 2K3, W2K, NTFS only, 2 drives.

Drive number 1 has 5 partitions.  Drive 2 has 2 partitions

Using Ghost nomenclature of Disk : Partition,  1:1 is from where I boot. Using Ghost, I successfully create a valid image of 1:1 on 2:1.  I then boot back into W2K and move that image from 2:1 to 1:4.  Using Ghost, I then successfully restore the image now contained on 1:4 to 2:1.  Power down and remove Disk 1 from the system.  Boot back up with only Disk 2 in the system.  Everything looks good and then just before you get to the desktop screen, a Virtual Mem error comes up and you can do NOTHING.

This and this both mention a -FDSP switch as a possibile pervention (I think this may have come up in one of the other threads here on the Radified forum too...will have to check)

And in this thread here a couple of references about GUID might be on target.

Anyways, I goto go walk the dog...it will give me some time to think this through a bit....(maybe)

Cheers, CK


 
 
IP Logged
 
Citizen_Kang
Radmeister
**
Offline



Posts: 53


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #5 - Nov 4th, 2002 at 11:11pm
 
Hey Rad,

Problem solved...with only disk 2 in the system, I booted into DOS and then used Fdisk to set 2:1 as the active patition.  Rebooted into W2K no problem.  It then proceeded to set up the "new" hardware configuration and after a requ'd reboot, presto, all is well.  Its always the little things I tell ya..(the devil in the  details, so to speak).   

Well now that I have brought my brief ordeal to a close, I have reminded myself how important it is sometimes to take a step back away from a problem, give it some rest and then maybe come back to it from a slightly different angle.

And, as I somewhat alluded to in my earlier post, having been made aware of Sysprep, I am now that much more the richer from the whole experience.

Cheers, CK
   
....scurries off to live another day....
 
 
IP Logged
 

Rad
Radministrator
*****
Offline


Sufferin' succotash

Posts: 4090
Newport Beach, California


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #6 - Nov 5th, 2002 at 12:25pm
 
Congrats.

What gave you the idea to set 2:1 as active partition?

I would've thot that, once you remove disk 1, partition 1 of disk 2 would automatically be assigned as active partition (it will become disk 1 soon as you remove the other disk).

squeeky had a thread mentioning the -fdsp swithch here:

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.cgi?board=general;action=display;num=10358...

i like the ghost disk:partition nomenclature. It's easy to understand.
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Rad
Radministrator
*****
Offline


Sufferin' succotash

Posts: 4090
Newport Beach, California


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #7 - Nov 5th, 2002 at 2:21pm
 
Ran across this:

http://www.anandtech.com/guides/viewfaq.html?i=115

Not sure if it helps.
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Citizen_Kang
Radmeister
**
Offline



Posts: 53


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #8 - Nov 5th, 2002 at 6:02pm
 
Hey Rad,

Hmmm...where to start... maybe with addressing your posts first:

Quote:
What gave you the idea to set 2:1 as active partition?


One of the threads I read...which one and where, I can't remember.....too many hours of reading ghost, syspret and other mumbo jumbo fried my short term memory...which will lead to other problems/considerations as you will soon read below.

Quote:
I would've thot that, once you remove disk 1, partition 1 of disk 2 would automatically be assigned as active partition (it will become disk 1 soon as you remove the other disk).

Yes, thats what I would imagine too, which got me thinking today...

And yes Squeaky's thread was the one I had in mind.  Will have a deeper look at the Anand article later (right now Sysprep has no bearing on my well being....but as I stated earilier, may very well come in handy someday down the road).



Okay, here's what's going on now:

I was happy to get things functioning with my lillte project last night, however today I started to think about what I had done to resolve the problem and too many things didn't add up right.  So, wanting to be able to reproduce my success (and also being someone who is a real sucker for punishment - a.k.a someone who doesn't subscribe to the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" school of thought), I proceeded to replicate my imaging activity.

To recap those steps:
- in DOS, imaged 1:1 to 2:1
- boot back into Win, copied image on 2:1 over to 1:4
- boot in DOS, restored image on 1:4 to 2:1
- shutdown, removed disk 1 from system,
- with only disk 2 in system, boot normally

- from here windows starts to load up, it gets to the preparing networks part and then you get the Low Virtual mem message.  You can click ok, but windows drops to a snail's pace and then another Virtual mem message comes up...and if you click okay, the message just comes back after about a quarter of a second...that's it, no further you may go, endless loop

So, thinking I had figured this one out last night, I proceed to boot into DOS and use Fdisk to reset the active partition.......Result: no luck, same endless loop described above.  I then proceeded to go back into DOS and try all kinds of Fdisk mumbo jumbo, all to no avail.

Frustration sank in....too many lost hours, and so many reboots later, I was back at square one.

So I says to myself, "self, what the hell did you do yesterday that got things working?".   Sad fact was, I had tried many things yesterday, in various order, and documented none of my steps.......simply put, I introduced so many variables to be sure what the winning combination ended up being.

So, I stepped back.  Thought I'd try this from the start.  Reformated 2:1 with the W2K installation CD.  Hooked disk 1 back up and restored the image from 1:4 to 2:1.  Unhooked disk 1 and fired back up normally...no luck...tried playing around with the active partitions some more....no luck, getting no where...

Then I remembered that at some point I had tried using the /MBR switch on Fdisk yesterday (which is supposed to rewrite the master boot record on the system disk)...at the time it didn't appear to do anything except access the floppy (actually I thought I had hosed my WinME boot disk at first).....well, I decided to try again and to be a little observant this time round....yep, sure enough, there was some activitiy on the hard disk.  So I gives firing into Win a whirl again...and...and....bango! Windows fires up, reconfigures the setup, reboots and comes back perfectly.

So, thats where I stand now.  Not 100% sure if the /MBR switch was the only thing that solved the problem...once again, I've introduced too many variables.  But I know this much, without it, I was getting no where.

I Can't even remember where I found out about the/MBR swtich from (most likely from this thread or one of the links provided in it.  BTW, you can read up on this switch in this MS Fdisk article.

Later tonight I going to repeat the above image activity and then just try Fdisk /MBR to see if it alone solves the problem.  Won't be happy until I can get a reproducible fail safe solution...which I think I'm pretty close to, but right now I've got some other stuff that needs to get done....

will let you know later how things turn out

CK
 
 
IP Logged
 
Rad
Radministrator
*****
Offline


Sufferin' succotash

Posts: 4090
Newport Beach, California


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #9 - Nov 5th, 2002 at 6:36pm
 
fdisk /mbr would make sense.

I've resorted to it more than once, usually following fubar linux installs, when nothing else will work.

fdisk /mbr can work magic when nothing else will.

was reading your ms linky.

they claim the mbr is also called 'partition table'  I thot these were two separate things.

Lots of great arcane info there.

I know that feeling of screwing with something to figure out wtf is going on. I have been up until the sun comes up sometimes, cuz i refuse to quit on a problem.

Sometimes it's best to let sleeping dogs lie.  Smiley
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Citizen_Kang
Radmeister
**
Offline



Posts: 53


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #10 - Nov 5th, 2002 at 11:36pm
 
Hey Rad

I can now say,  100% proof positively, that it was /MBR, and nothing else, that brought the restored image back to life.

Unfortunately, in the process of taking the ide ribbon out of disk 1, I snapped one of the plastic tabs on the side of the ribbon interface.  The good news is that this one is probably repairable with a little epoxy ... which is in stark contrast to others that I've been not so gentle with and fubar-ed (oh like the last one about a year ago).  The bad thing is that I only have one ribbon right now (see previous sentence for details), and now its down to the one connector for the time being .... Maybe needless to say, but when I broke the last cable a year ago I swore that I'd never buy another one, that I would become a holdout until SATA finally arrived.  My anticipation  has now only been heightened...just think, no more stupid ribbons, flimsy interface connectors or jumpers!

So, minor set back with the ribbon aside, where am I left now?  Wondering....wondering why or how all this Virtual mem errors occur in the first place.  Oh sure its great that using /MBR will resolve the problem, but it would be nice if it wasn't there to begin with.

This leads me to my next consideration, perhaps all it may have taken was removing the second drive from the system just before imaging....kind of just like how you would run sysprep and then image right after.   Now, if that stupid little tab had not snapped I would be well on my way to finding out right now.  When I get it fixed (tommorow) I'll try it out: 

- start in windows with both Disk 1 and 2 in system
- device mangler -> remove disk 2, will require reboot
Now here's the fork in the road:
- should I shut down and physically detach disk 2 and boot back into W2K (letting W2K completely flush and reconfig), and then shutdown, re-attach disk 2, boot into DOS and then do the imaging
or
- restart into DOS and do the imaging right away

I kind of think that the former would be the better opinion, as it gives Windows the opportunity to completely flush the disk 2 from the system....don't need or particularly want disk 2 remnants in the image file.

I also have my suspicions that neither case would resolve the Virtual Mem error.... I'm guessing that an logical error related to the MBR would still cause trouble.


Dispite all the hassle this may seem, I'm really glad its happening now.   This is my first attempt with Ghost 2003 and working exclusively in the realm of NTFS....I want to make sure things will work later on down the road, especially at those inconvinent times when that all so annoying guy Murphy decides that you need them to work.   Second, I normally wouldn't image and restore the way I have been....I just want to try out some software (beta testing) and don't want to f*ck with my good drive.  Hence the reason for copying the image back to 1 and then restoring to 2. 

I have to say, this experience has raised further concerns for me about 2K3, such as:

What if I imaged normally i.e 1:1 to 2:1 and then had to (under non ideal circumstances) restore the image back to 1:1?  Is it going to work without hassle?

Or how about if disk 1 dropped dead and I was forced to get a replacement.  Say, then, I decide I no longer want a 5 partition configuration on my new disk 1 and set it up with fewer (or even 1 for that matter).  Is restoring the image to the new disk 1 going to cause windows to kick and scream when it boots up?

These are a couple of important questions that I want to iron out completely before I have entire faith in a pure NTFS realm.  My bets are on Ghost working fine, but I', still gonna have to prove it to myself first.

Cheers, CK
 
 
IP Logged
 

Rad
Radministrator
*****
Offline


Sufferin' succotash

Posts: 4090
Newport Beach, California


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #11 - Nov 6th, 2002 at 12:59pm
 
All valid questions.

I like that you are testing things before you actually need them.

Whenever friends/family pump me for guidance, I always fall back on what I know works for sure .. things I've actually done. Even in the guides, I try to note when I haven't actually done something.

Friends will say shit klike, "Well, I could do it this way, It *should* work."

I say, "Yeah, should. But things don't always work the way they should." If they go their own way, they're on their own.

A nomal image restore restore back to 1:1 should work. This I've done.

If disk 1 dies, and you replace it with a different partitioning scheme, I dunno, cuz I've always used identical partitioning schemes with the new drive. This has always worked for me .. about 3 or 4 times now.

Then again, you are working solely with Ghost 2k3 and NTFS drives .. something I've never done. It wouldn't surprise me if you stumbled upon a wierd configuration glitch.
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Citizen_Kang
Radmeister
**
Offline



Posts: 53


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #12 - Nov 7th, 2002 at 11:19pm
 
Follow up:

Yesterday I did some testing of some various software.  One of the things I tried out was a driver update for my NIC.  It didn't go so good and excising it from the system was not working.  Rather then wasting time combing through  the bowels of windows' resistry and inf files, and  eager to restore my internet connection, I, again, just restored the image I have on 1:4 to 2:1 .... Because my one 80pin IDE ribbon is down to just the one (end) connector (see one of my above posts, and oh, BTW, I ended up destroying the middle connector instead of fixing it - DOH!), I  connected Disk 2 on its own channel with the 40 pin ribbon used for my CD/DVD Roms....surprise, no Fdisk /MBR required this time!

I'm not sure about what to make of this change in events.  Perhaps it was because I had already "corrected" Disk 2's MBR the last time I restored it and that I never entered into W2K with the two disks connected this time (would have been catastrophic to 1:1 if I had without without formating 2:1 first...plus I had no reason too, seeing that, this time around, the image file was already happily residing on 1:4)?  Perhaps, although unlikely, it was strictly because I used two seperate channels this time?

My money is on W2K rewriting the MBR of all disks it sees....Testing this thouroughly would require running through a couple of imaging configurations/steps:

1) Using the 2 unique channel setup:
a)  I would reformat 2:1 and then restore the image to it without ever going back into W2K when Disk 1 is reattached to the system
b)  reformat 2:1, but this time go back into W2K with the two disks attached (i.e. booting off 1:1).  Then go back into DOS and proceed with the image restore 

2) Run things off a single channel configuration:
Reformat 2:1 and then restore the image to it without ever going back into W2K when Disk 1 is reattached to the system.

The outcomes of those tests would most likely shed some pretty good light on what's going on....really, the only major time consumer would be the formating 2:1 step from the installation CD, everything else is minimal down time....so maybe on Saturday when I can run all this while doing something like sorting and folding laundry .... we'll see.

On another note:  I happened to discover by chance a little software glitch between Winamp 3 and the Age of Mythology trial.  If you just leave Winamp open (not playing anything) and have it set to "always on top" and then launch AOM, then after the opening (and very cool I might add) trailers to the game, at the game loading/options screen, the sound starts crapping out as Winamp tries to come back on top....at least, this happens for me...your milage may vary...

Hmmm...this sysprep thread has fully transformed itself into an investigation of some ghost2k3 perculiarities....perhaps you or I should edit this (rename or remove portions to another thread) to properly reflect the subject matter...just a thought.

Cheers, CK




 
 
IP Logged
 
Citizen_Kang
Radmeister
**
Offline



Posts: 53


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #13 - Nov 8th, 2002 at 10:59pm
 
Hey Rad

Well I did some more testing (1a and 1b from above post).  The two channel long shot can definitely be tossed out the window as, although 1a passed without a need for fdisk /MBR, the 1b test required a dose of /MBR.

I interpret this as a clear indication that W2K does indeed configure the MBR of every disk it sees.   But does this include the installation CD too?  I don't know, it would require refining my test a little more. 

This much I know: at what point, and how you remove or introduce a disk to your system may well end up affecting the imaging/restore process.

I'm not certain if your interested in these finer details or not..or if what I have been writing is clear enough to follow....if it is and if you are interested, I can continue describing my steps to get to the source explanation.

Cheers, CK




   
 
 
IP Logged
 
Rad
Radministrator
*****
Offline


Sufferin' succotash

Posts: 4090
Newport Beach, California


Back to top
Re: Sysprep v1.1
Reply #14 - Nov 9th, 2002 at 1:40am
 
It's clear.

I always configure new disks exactly as the ones they replace.

Haven't had a problem with that yet.

Everytime I install a new disk, I see W2K says, "Installing your new hardware", so I know it knows the difference between new & old disks, even tho the new one may be the exact same make & model & partitioning the same as the old one. Then it requires a reboot.

When it sees it, maybe it rewrites its MBR?

Sounds like your getting lots of experience restoring images.  Smiley
 
WWW  
IP Logged
 
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print