Phase 3: Preparing and Customizing Your Windows Image

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2


This content applies to Windows 7. For Windows 8 content, see Windows Deployment with the Windows ADK.

This section describes how to prepare and customize a Windows� image.

To customize a Windows image

These steps are common to all customized Windows images, and are described in the How-To topics in this section:

  1. Create or open a Windows image in Windows�System Image Manager (Windows�SIM).

  2. Create or open a network distribution share where you can supply information and files for Windows Setup.

  3. Create or open an answer file in Windows�SIM.

  4. Work with partition keys, language settings, and partition information that can affect other areas of Windows Setup.

  5. Preconfigure other Windows settings. You can preconfigure these settings through:

    • Windows Setup. Preconfigure settings to be managed by Windows Setup through a combination of answer-file settings and custom scripts.

    • Audit mode. Preconfigure Windows Setup to boot the computer to audit mode. Next, configure your system in the Windows audit environment. Finally, prepare the system for deployment.

    The following diagram shows how to create a custom installation of Windows on a reference computer.

In This Section

Create or Open a Windows Image or Catalog

Describes creating or opening a Windows image in Windows�System Image Manager (Windows�SIM).

Create or Open a Distribution Share

Describes creating or opening a network distribution share where you can supply information and files for Windows Setup.

Work with Answer Files

Describes creating or opening an answer file in Windows�SIM.

Work with Product Keys and Activation

Describes entering Windows product keys and managing the activation clock.

Configure International Settings in an Answer File

Describes how to specify default languages and locale values.

Create a Distribution Share for a Multilingual Image

Describes copying language packs into the Windows image.

Create Hard-Disk Partitions during Windows Deployment

Describes how to create hard disk partitions on either BIOS-based or UEFI-based systems.

Add Custom Commands and Scripts

Describes how to configure a command to run after Windows Setup completes.

Customize Windows in Audit Mode

Describes how to manually customize a Windows image after Windows Setup completes but before starting Windows Welcome.

Enable and Disable the Built-in Administrator Account

Describes how to enable the built-in Administrator account.

Add Applications, Drivers, Packages, Files, and Folders

Describes how to customize your Windows image by adding applications, device drivers, and packages.

Configure Other Windows Options

Provides a collection of procedures on how to customize configurable Windows options.

Build Configuration Sets or Data Images

Describes how to prepare your Windows settings for deployment.

Next steps

After you create an answer file, your next step is to assemble the hardware and to run Windows Setup using your answer file. This process is described in Phase 4: Deploying Your Windows Image.

With offline servicing support, you can update an existing image without having to create a new one. For information on managing and servicing images, see Phase 5: Managing and Servicing Your Windows Image.

See Also


Windows Preinstallation Phases