How to Sysprep a Windows 7 Machine Ready for WDS Capture

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I’ve recently been working on a project using WDS and MDT rather than SCCM and I needed to create some new custom images to deploy to around 200 machines. These consisted of Windows XP, Windows 7 Enterprise x86 and x64.

Once I had created the custom image, I needed to then capture it using Sysprep and WDS capture boot image. To do this is very simple.

Firstly, you need to ensure that you have your WDS environment setup and working fully and that you also have a capture boot image ready to use via the F12 (PXE boot) method.

Once this is in place, you can load up your capture machine (I’d recommend using a virtual machine at all times to capture a generic hardware image) and then run Sysprep on it ready for the capture.

To do this, follow the steps below:

Run the Sysprep program from:


You should then see a dialogue box pop up and you should ensure that you use the following settings:

  • Enter System Out-of-Box Experience (OOBE)
  • Tick the Generalize box
  • Shutdown as your Shutdown Options
Please be aware that I’m using my Windows 8 machine to grab these screenshots so your Sysprep Tool version may be different from above.
Once you are happy with this, click OK.
The machine will then run through the Sysprep process and shut down, this means that the machine is now syspreped and ready for WDS capture.
The shutting down part of sysprep process I think is important as you need to PXE boot the machine at this point and use the WDS capture boot image to run the capture. If you let it reboot and run the mini-install, the WDS capture will not work.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.
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About A.J. Armstrong

Founder of TechyGeeksHome and Head Editor for over eight years! IT expert in multiple areas for over 20 years. Sharing experience and knowledge whenever possible! Making IT Happen.

View all posts by A.J. Armstrong