sysprep for Win7

To deploy any size able number of Windows 7, 2008 or Vista, you _should use the MS Deployment Toolkit  2010. 

However, you can still hack out a unattend.xml file for Win7 like you used to edit an unattend.txt file for XP. See the attached XML for an example. There's also a third party on-line tool that generates an unattend.xml file (used for both deployment and cloning).

To do it, toss a xml file like this one into the c:\windows\system32\sysprep folder (it comes with windows now) and run the command

c:\Windows\System32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /unattend:C:\Windows\System32\sysprep\unattend.xml

It will reboot, ask you who you are, and you're done.

(You'll want to change the details in the xml file, and find-and-replace  x86 with amd64 for 64 bit hosts.)

Some general notes regarding cloning prep with sysprep...

New SID:

Unless you use the generalize option, you don't get a new SID. However, that turns out to have been a myth anyway (though I seem to remember it differently) Slashdot has some discussion

MS on Clone Activation:

For volume licenses, activation clock reset behavior is different, depending on the type of license.
Activation can be reset an unlimited number of times for an activated Key Management Service (KMS) clients. For non-activated KMS clients, the activation clock can be reset only up to three times, the same as a single license.

Microsoft recommends that KMS clients use the sysprep /generalize command where the value of the SkipRearm setting is equal to 1. After capturing this image, use the sysprep /generalize command where the value of the SkipRearm setting is equal to 0.

For Multiple Activation Keys (MAK) clients, the recommendation is to install the MAK immediately before running Sysprep the last time before delivering the computer to a customer.

Subpages (1): unattend.xml