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This article provides an outline of how a computer should be prepared using Sysprep prior to the golden image creation.

Before a computer image is captured and deployed to other computers, Microsoft recommends that the image is generalized in order to remove PC-specific information from the Windows installation so it can be deployed to different PCs. To do this, Microsoft includes a tool called Sysprep which can be run to generalize the image.

Installing an operating system

The first step, when preparing a reference computer to be imaged, is to select an operating system. This operating system will be deployed to the endpoints.

Skipping the OOBE

When an operating system starts for the first time, it will enter a first-time setup. This is known as the out Out-Of-Box-Experience (OOBE), the first page of the OOBE is the 'Region' page. As soon as the OOBE starts, it should be skipped using the key combination CTRL + SHIFT + F3.

Installing software

The system has now entered 'Audit' mode. This enables changes to be made, like installing software, prior to the golden image being created. Once the relevant changes have been made to the system, restart the system, then boot using the deployment media. The golden image can now be created.

Creating the image

Once the computer has been prepared with the operating system and software that will be deployed, the golden image can be created. For further information about creating a golden image, please read the article found here.

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