Run Sysprep on an Image (Standard 7 SP1)


Sysprep is a tool that helps you prepare a device for imaging or for end-user delivery. Running Sysprep is necessary a necessary part of many deployment and servicing tasks, such as capturing an image or preparing a device for an end-user. Usually, you will use Sysprep to accomplish the following:

  • Remove device and user-specific information from a deployment with the /generalize option. This is necessary if you plan on imaging a device and redeploying the Windows Embedded Standard 7 instance on multiple devices.
  • Reboot a device in Audit mode. Audit mode allows you to skip the Windows Welcome startup, enabling you to customize or test an image prior to delivering it to an end-user.
  • Reboot a device in Windows Welcome (also known as the Out-of-Box Experience) Windows Welcome allows a user to configure setting such as language, time-zone and logon.


If you are planning on deploying an image to a new device, you must run sysprep /generalize, even if the device has the same hardware configuration. The sysprep /generalize command removes unique information from your Standard 7 installation, which enables you to reuse that image on different devices. The next time you boot the Standard 7 image, the specialize configuration pass runs. During this configuration pass, many components have actions that must be processed when you boot a Standard 7 image on a new computer. Moving or copying a Windows image to a different computer without running sysprep /generalize is not supported.

Hardware and Software Assumptions

Key Concepts and Technologies

This guide assumes you have a basic familiarity with Sysprep. For more information, see Sysprep Technical Reference.

Removing device and user-specific information from an image

  1. On a Standard 7 image, at a command prompt, type the following to use Sysprep to remove all device and user-specific information from the image, and shutdown the device. Once the image restarts, it will start in audit mode.

    sysprep /generalize /audit /shutdown
  2. Alternatively, you can type the following to use Sysprep to remove all device and user-specific information from the image and restart the image in Windows. You will do this, for example, if you wish to deploy the image directly to an end-user without any additional testing or configuration once the image has been redeployed.

    sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown
  3. You can now use this image as a reference image that can be deployed to other devices. For information on how to capture this image and redeploy it, see Capture and Mount an Image and Deploying Images.

Preparing a Device for an End-User

Before providing a device to an end-user, you should remove all user-specific information from the Standard 7 installation and setup the installation to boot into Windows Welcome so that a user can configure their settings. Type the following to use Sysprep to remove user-specific information and prepare the installation to boot into Windows Welcome.

sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown

See Also


Capture and Mount an Image


Deploying Images