The Microsoft system preparation utility for Windows 2000 is a very handy tool for network support shops that deploy PC images as a means of reformatting PC's with problems. Sysprep basically strips out all the hardware information and unique information from that specific PC, which allows you to deploy the image created from that PC on to many other PC's with different hardware configurations.
Not only does this program remove the unique information from each PC, but it allows you to do many configuration options automatically. For instance you can setup the workgroup or domain, organization name, computer name, default display size, and a whole lot more.
The Sysprep utility finds all it's configuration information in one relatively simple .inf file. Which for the most part follows the below example in terms of setup:
The documentation that comes with the utility can give hundreds of different options to aid you in the customization of your image.
One of the best features of this application is the ability to include all the drivers from the different types of PC's you have all on to one image. This increases the size of the image, however will save you hours of work loading drivers on each PC. An example of how to put all your drivers on one image is as follows:
As you can see you just keep adding directories under OemPnPDriversPath for all the different types of hardware you have. Also it deletes the page file with KeepPageFile=0. Take the time to read the documentation and help files that come along with this utility because it can really reduce your workload.
By: Ken Dennis