Sysprep - I am confused.

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by John Farrar, Dec 2, 2004.

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  1. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    Many threads contain advice from Andrew (Acronis) that MS sysprep should be run prior to cloning or migrating an image to new hardware. I have TrueImage 8; 774 build as insurance in case my C: drive fails and I have to replace it.

    Does this mean that, even though I have no intention of restoring my image file to another computer, I should run sysprep NOW before creating an image, just because the replacement hardrive may not be compatible with the current hardrive? E.g. IDE replaced with SATA drive. This must be a fairly common scenario as most will replace a failed hardrive with a larger, faster drive.

    What effect on an OS does running sysprep have? I understand it removes the System Identifier. Does this mean the Activation is removed or what?
    It seems to me that sysprep is paramount in successfully restoring an image so could not this be built into True Image? o_O

    I just want some clarification as this does not seem as cut and dried as it should be. Or am I being paranoid about it? :oops:
    TIA
    John
     
  2. Tsu

    Tsu Registered Member

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    Don't run sysprep!

    This is not a utility for the one-off backup. The key phrases are migrating and cloning.

    If you are a system admin and want to "clone/migrate" to one or several thousand machines then you sysprep so that on boot up the user is prompted for all the uniqueness ( that's my word for it ) for that workstation just like answering all the questions during a new install.

    Sysprep kills all personalized settings right down to the machine name.
     
  3. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    Thanks Tsu
    But Andrew of Acronis has stated that if I were to replace an ATA100/133 hardrive, which has failed, with a SATA I would have to run sysprep to enable a restore. Why should I have to do that when all that is changed is a hardrive? TI should be able to handle the change itself. That is my point or have I got it wrong? I hope so.
    Thanks
    John
     
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello John,

    The problem is in drivers that Windows uses in order to operate with hard disk drives. They are different for IDE and SATA drives. Acronis True Image doesn't have a feature to force Windows to use the appropriate drivers when restoring an image. The only way to force Windows to determine the hard disk drive interface again (and use the appropriate drivers) is to run Microsoft Sysprep tool before taking an image.

    However, there is a probability that this procedure (restoring to SATA hard disk drive without running Sysprep before taking an image) will result in bootable and working version of Windows. BUT we don't guarantee this.

    We recommend you to buy a new SATA hard disk drive in the near feature, run Sysprep tool and then clone your system to this new hard disk drive.

    Thank you.
     
  5. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    Thank you for your reply Andrew. I already have a SATA hardrive which I use to store digital video files for editing. My other 2 drives are ata.

    This weekend I hope to disconnect the 2 ata drives, which have XP on both, configure the SATA drive as Primary Master and try to Restore an image to that drive from an external USB drive. I'll let you know how it goes.
    My motherboard is an Asus P4C800E-Deluxe which I see some others use also.
    I don't want to use the SATA drive as a System drive, until all my hardrives are SATA.

    Andrew, can you tell me what effect, if any, running sysprep on my PC has? Thanks
    John
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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  7. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    Hi Andrew
    I am going to try the Restore without using sysprep because I am feeling lucky :oops: :oops: :eek:
     
  8. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    John

    As you are disconnecting your 2 ATA drives (both of which contain your operating system) I'm assuming you intend restoring an image of your primary active partition onto your SATA drive and boot from that. If that's the case then I doubt if Windows will boot as the restored image of your ATA drive wont contain the necessary SATA drivers. After restoring, and prior to rebooting into Windows, me thinks you'll need to carry out a "Repair Install" as per this <post> by TheQuest.

    I don't see how SysPrep would help in your case unless it somehow prepares the image file to prompt for new HD drivers during the reboot from a restore. However, I've never had cause to use SysPrep so can't speak with any great authority on this.

    Regards
     
  9. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    Yes Menorcaman, you have my scenario correct. I am simulating a hardrive failure and restoring the image created from the ata c: drive to the SATA drive. If it does not work because of the driver issue than I know I have to replace the ata drive with another ata. in the event of a HD failure. Watch this space. ;)
    Cheers
    John
     
  10. foolproof

    foolproof Guest

    John has been asking, what is the effect on a disk of using sysprep before making an image, just in case it is later necessary for that image to be moved to a disk with a different interface and geometry. Come’ on, Acronis Support let’s have a straight-forward answer for once. If there is a downside to running sysprep before making an image, most of us are adults, we can take it.
     
  11. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    Thanks for your concern foolproof. Following my test in this thread I have found I do not have to bother with sysprep. I said I was feeling lucky. :rolleyes: ;)
    Cheers
    John
     
  12. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Nice one John. You weren't prompted for a driver disk, so I guess we conclude that your Windows XP SP2 setup contained native SATA drivers compatible with your Asus's chipset. Not sure if it would have gone quite so smoothly though for someone with less well supported HD controllers.

    Regards
     
  13. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    The salient point here ( to my way of thinking) is that he already had the Sata controller installed within his existing WinXP installation. Therefore, he was not really changing hardware as far as XP was concerned. I had similar success with add-on controllers by installing the controller with nothing connected to it and letting windows detect it and install the drivers. Then I switch the drives and windows is able to boot with no problem.
     
  14. Menorcaman

    Menorcaman Retired Moderator

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    Hi beenthereb4

    Yep, that's perfectly feasable. If John had enabled his SATA controller in the motherboard's BIOS (even without a SATA drive connected) then, when booting into Windows, it would have detected the new hardware and either installed native drivers (if availabe) or requested his SATA driver disk.

    Regards
     
  15. jimshu1

    jimshu1 Registered Member

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    I think some of the newer chipsets, like the ICH5R do not require separate SATA drivers. The newer hardware is starting to make PATA and SATA appear the same to the software.
     
  16. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    Here is a simple test that will confirm or disprove your theory for a given chipset:

    Try to install XP without pressing F6 to install drivers. If that works (For example on ICH5R) then you would be correct. By the way, for me at least, your example requires F6.
     
  17. jimshu1

    jimshu1 Registered Member

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    Just built a new system during Thanksgiving using an ASUS P4C800E Deluxe MB:

    -ANTEC Sonata Black Case w/380w TruePower
    -ASUS P4C800-E DELUXE. Latest BIOS 1019
    -P4 / 3.0C GHZ SL6WK - Not OC'd
    -ALPHA PAL S-PAL8952T & 80mm SUNON case80HO FAN (exhausting)
    -Corsair TWINX1024-3200C2PT 1GB DDR400
    -ATI RADEON 9800 PRO AGP 8X 256MB DDR 256 BIT
    -SOUND BLASTER AUDIGY 2 ZS
    -MODEM BLASTER Model DI5633 v.92
    -2 x MAXTOR DiamondMax Plus 9 SATA 80Gb HD's (non-RAID)
    -1 x MAXTOR DiamondMax D740X-6L PATA 40Gb HD
    -ASUS Model DVD-E616P2 DVD-ROM
    -NEC Model ND-3500A DVD+-RW
    -ASUS CRW-4816A CD-RW
    -19" Monitor: SAMSUNG 955DF / Model PG19JSBL
    -Windows XP Pro 5.1.2600 SP2 w/all updates
    -LinkSys BEFSR41 v3 Cable/DSL Router and Cable Modem

    Loaded WinXP Pro first thing with no F6 key and it recognized all drives except the one 40Gb PATA I had on the IDE 133 connector which does take a Promise Std. IDE driver. None of the drives were connected as, or setup as, a RAID array.
     
  18. jimshu1

    jimshu1 Registered Member

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    Actually, the hardware even recognized the 40Gb PATA drive, but Windows needed the Promise driver.
     
  19. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    Ok, nice to know! --- and very nice system! Where the heck are you mounting those extra fans in the Sonata case? Did you cut some holes?
     
  20. John Farrar

    John Farrar Registered Member

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    Jimshu1 has the same motherboard as I do so that explains it. The board has ICH5R support as you can see. By the way Jimshu1. I am using the onboard audio AC'97 which seems fine for me.
    Cheers
    John
     
  21. jimshu1

    jimshu1 Registered Member

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    Thanks beenthereb4. I have two 120mm case fans, one behind the HD rack pulling air over them onto the MB and one (included) fan exhausting. The 80mm Sunon is exhausting out of my PAL heatsink. Better cooling than trying to blow into it, especially with the HS shroud the PAL comes with.

    The fan control on this case is super. I barely know it's running. Both case fans are controlled by the PS and the CPU fan is controlled by the MB. The P4 CPU (not overclocked) is only a degree or two C over the MB temp under no load. The highest CPU temp MotherBoard Monitor has shown is 40 C.

    120mm fans are the way to go!!!

    http://pages.sssnet.com/jimshu1/DSCF0003.JPG
     
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