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Last updated on 5/12/22

Create an Image of Windows 10

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Are you preparing for a Windows 10 deployment but don’t know how to do it yet? By the end of this chapter, you will have all you need to ensure your deployment goes smoothly. This method helps you to save time and reduce the likelihood of making mistakes. Let’s have a look at how it’s done.

Create an Image of Windows 10

What do you mean by an image of Windows 10?

An image of Windows 10 is almost the same as the ISO image that you originally downloaded to install Windows 10; there’s just one difference. The Windows 10 image has the OS installed and pre-configured. This means that when you boot into the ISO image on a new computer it will copy your installed version of Windows, including any changes you have made to it.

There are two different versions of this image: The Generalized Image and the Custom Image

The Generalized Image

All different settings are deleted (all settings related to the user or the computer equipment). Using this image provides you with a generalized version of Windows 10 that you can install on all types of computers.

The Custom Image

With this option, keep these specific settings, such as the drivers, which can be helpful if your company uses the same computer model.

How can I create these images?

Microsoft has once again thought of everything and has a very simple and effective tool: Sysprep (System Preparation).

Access Sysprep

The Sysprep application already exists as part of your Windows 10 system. The executable file can be found here:  C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep.

You can use it in a command line or in graphics mode.

Let's Recap!

  • Sysprep is a Microsoft tool that enables you to create an installation image for Windows 10.

  • This image allows you to install Windows 10 more quickly as it is a copy of a previously completed installation.

  • There are two different types of copies:

    • The generalized copy, to be used when doing a deployment for different types of computers/equipment.

    • The custom copy, to be used when doing a deployment on machines with identical equipment.

  • In both of these situations, the user’s personal information is deleted so that the new user can start from scratch.

  • You can find Sysprep.exe in the following folder: C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep.

You have now seen how to deploy Windows manually. In the following chapters, you will learn to use the generalized and custom Sysprep methods. You will then be able to handle most deployment scenarios that administrators encounter daily.

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