Monday, September 22, 2014

Windows 8.1: How to capture a golden image and preserve the Metro layout.


Windows 8.1: How to capture a golden image and preserve the Metro layout.

Overview: There are several ways in which it is possible to customize the start screen/ Metro layout in Windows 8.1 (GPO, PowerShell, XML). I didn’t want to use GPO as the menu options would be enforced preventing the end user from making customizations and PowerShell would only modify the current users profile.  The intention was to provide an out of box experience that was customized for each users who logs in.
The use of ‘CopyProfile’ during the image capture is able to apply a default layout for each user who logs in after being built.


The solution:
 1. Customize the Metro layout, start screen etc
2. Create an XML file called Unattend.xml
3. Open Unattend.xml with notepad and copy the corresponding text below (Choose the correct OS architecture). Save to C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep
[64-bit Unattend.xml]
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">
    <settings pass="specialize">
        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="amd64" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="
http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
            <CopyProfile>true</CopyProfile>
        </component>
    </settings>
    <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim:f:/sw_dvd9_sa_win_ent_8.1_64bit_english_-2_mlf_x19-49847/sources/install.wim#Windows 8.1 Enterprise" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />
</unattend>



[32-bit Unattend.xml]
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?><unattend xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:unattend">    <settings pass="specialize">        <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WMIConfig/2002/State" xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
            <CopyProfile>true</CopyProfile>
        </component>
    </settings>
    <cpi:offlineImage cpi:source="wim:f:/sw_dvd9_sa_win_ent_8.1_64bit_english_-2_mlf_x19-49847/sources/install.wim#Windows 8.1 Enterprise" xmlns:cpi="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:cpi" />
</unattend>


4. Open Admin command prompt and type:
 C:\Windows\System32\Sysprep\Sysprep /generalize /oobe /shutdown


TechNet reference.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh825135.aspx

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