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Building an Image in Audit Mode


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13 replies to this topic

#1
justpooped

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Hi All,

New to the phorums.. I am currently building an image (win7 enterprise) and testing out different sysprep configs. As I've been doing some research I keep seeing others say they build their base image in 'Audit Mode'. This concerns me, because I just did a straight up Windows 7 install and went to town with built-in Administrator account. In the past I never used audit mode and was just wondering what yall thought about, if you use and how it differs from my method. Thanks All

-Justpooped


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#2
cluberti

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For an enterprise image, neither a "thin" (windows/patches and nothing else) nor a "thick" (every last thing under the sun installed) image really make sense, as each has pretty significant drawbacks. A mixture "hybrid" image, with all of the long-term and not frequently changed or updated software that everyone will use (and is licensed) for should be in the image, and anything else should really be installed post install. Audit mode can be used for software distribution, but if it's really an enterprise deployment it's better to do this with a tool designed for this purpose post-install (but pre-user delivery, perhaps) with tools like SCCM or MDT, or any of the 3rd party alternatives like Marimba or LanDesk.

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#3
justpooped

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Hey Cluberti Thanks for the welcome!

I understand what your saying about thin vs thick vs hybrid deployment methods. The image I am building is minimal (as for software goes, but technically a thick image with some post-image stuff) .. I have some post scripts that shoot off during/after sysprep (anti-vrus install, activate windows, join the domain/OU/group etc).. I would of loved to of used SCCM for deploying windows but I am limited to using Norton Ghost.. =[ .. not a bad product but I like some features in SCCM.. also I still don't understand if I should be building my image in audit mode or if it really matters? ..

Anyways thanks for the reply. Much Appreciated!

-Justpooped

#4
WinOutreach4

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Audit mode is usually combined with the Copy Profile setting in your Unattend.xml and is used to create a default user profile. Audit mode can save a little time as it enables and logs in as the local Administrator account and skips Windows Welcome. It also allows the AuditSystem and AuditUser passes of the Unattend file to run. These two articles might help you to understand it better:
Understanding Audit Mode
Customize Windows in Audit Mode

I would like to Recommend MDT if you are not familiar with it. It is task based, similar to SCCM, and provides a common console for many of Microsoft’s deployment tools (WAIK/WADK, USMT, MAP, SCM, etc…). It allows you to keep the software and operating systems separate, so you can update individual items (even off-line images) without having to re-capture a new image.

One last note: TechNet is having a webcast – Everything You Wanted to Know and Ask about Windows Deployment On May 15th and 17th. Registration for the 15th is here, and for the 17th is here.

Edited by WinOutreach4, 08 May 2012 - 11:17 AM.


#5
justpooped

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@WinOutreach4 Thanks for reply! Those links look good, gonna give em a reading. Thanks for the info on the webcast, gonna sign up now actually. Good lookin out!

#6
cluberti

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I understand what your saying about thin vs thick vs hybrid deployment methods. The image I am building is minimal (as for software goes, but technically a thick image with some post-image stuff) .. I have some post scripts that shoot off during/after sysprep (anti-vrus install, activate windows, join the domain/OU/group etc).. I would of loved to of used SCCM for deploying windows but I am limited to using Norton Ghost.. =[ ..

I usually don't recommend audit mode for corporate images, and MDT is free if SCCM is not an option. I wouldn't necessarily recommend Ghost as an option anymore as it *really* limits a lot of the functionality that the Windows Image format gives you (basically you lose all of it), but I can understand sometimes business decisions (good or bad) dictate IT policy. If you can at least move to MDT though, it will solve the problems you're having without having to resort to Audit mode.
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#7
justpooped

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I wouldn't necessarily recommend Ghost as an option anymore as it *really* limits a lot of the functionality that the Windows Image format gives you (basically you lose all of it), but I can understand sometimes business decisions (good or bad) dictate IT policy. If you can at least move to MDT though, it will solve the problems you're having without having to resort to Audit mode.


Yeah it stinks, but I have no choice. Gotta use Ghost. So this MDT thing (which I hear about all the time) is good? I can still use Ghost for the capturing/deploying part?

#8
WinOutreach4

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There are many benefits of using MDT over a sector based imaging solution. Since MDT is task based, you can keep a base Windows 7 wim file (thin image), and use post installation tasks to install software after the deployment. This works well when you have different software requirements for different departments, as you will not need a separate image for each department or spend time installing software manually after deploying. You can update images off-line, so there is no need to deploy an image just to run Windows update and re-capture, or to wait for updates to install after deployment. The same is true for software. Since the software can be installed separately, you can update just that piece of software without (again) deploying the image and making changes and re-capturing. These features alone can be huge time savers. Further, MDT uses other deployment tools like USMT, so if you are going to upgrade computers, you can capture user settings and documents and re-deploy those to the freshly upgraded computer automatically using USMT in MDT.
MDT also allows you to deploy either by DVD, USB drive, or using the network. It will also integrate with SCCM or WDS. If you already have a Windows Server 2003 SP2 or higher, WDS is a built-in role you just have to enable, so WDS is free also under those conditions. WDS allows you to setup multicasting for large deployments, and PXE booting.
A great place for more information is the Deliver and Deploy Windows 7 page of the Springboard Series on TechNet, and a few things to get you up to speed on the capabilities of MDT –
1. Article- Automated Installation to upgrade to Windows 7: Step by Step Guide
2. Video – MDT, MAP, ACT, WDS, SCCM, AIS and P2V: You can’t spell deployment without them


Hope this helps,
David
Windows Outreach Team – IT Pro

#9
mackrack5

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I am Bit Confused. .Please Help Me
Following is My Senerio......
1 Installed W7Prof in virtual machine.
2 At OOEB reverse to Audit Mode.(ctr+Shift+f3)
3 Installed all basic softwares which required for various type of customers.
4 Run Updates.
5 Sysprep machine with Generalize,Audit and unattended.xml then Shut down.
6 Captures this Drive which became my Master image.
7.Now i deploying this image to various type of desktop laptops etc .
8.After deploying, in Audit mode installed drivers Antivirous etc.Then Sysprep to OOBE and Shifted system to End User.

Now my question is can i capture Image after Step No.8 and deploy this image to another Same model like follpwing.
Suppose My Master Image is XYZ
Now Laptop Model A Laptob Model B and Laptod Model C with All different Hardware .
Deployed Master image XYZ On laptop A,
Installed Drivers .
Recaptured this image which Named to XYZA.
Then when ever i have to work On Laptop Model A i simply deploy XYZA image to that laptop,XYZB On Model B etc.

Thanks in Advance .... :D :D :D

Edited by mackrack5, 18 July 2012 - 08:05 AM.


#10
Tripredacus

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You can generalize twice, so yes.
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#11
mackrack5

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Thanks For Reply Tripredacus .
But at second sysprep i am not generalizing.
Means i have to generalize at second sysprep,but then i will lost installed drivers,if i am not mistaken

Thanks in Advance.

#12
WinOutreach4

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That is possible, however you willbe storing multiple images (one for each model). If you were to use MDT, you could keep just the master image and use selection profiles to install theproper drivers for each specific model during the deployment and have it give alist of applications to choose from for each deployment. This eliminates the need to load an image that is in audit mode and sysprep again. This also helps when new drivers or new versions of the applications are released, as you canjust make a quick change in MDT to replace the drivers or applications. There will be no need to load the image to make changes and then re-capture the image again. This will save you time during your deployments, as it will require less interaction from you. Here is a short video that will show you how MDT can make deployments easier (links are giving me trouble today, here is the URL: http://technet.micro...indows/ee529974 ).

Hope this helps,

David

Windows Outreach Team – IT Pro


Edited: words are being merged...

Edited by WinOutreach4, 18 July 2012 - 10:58 AM.


#13
mackrack5

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Thanks David ..
Looking The Video.

#14
ricktendo

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Its allot better if you only install the apps you want in sysprep, then for updates/drivers you can use dism to integrate them without the need to install & capture




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