Installing an OS on a single computer takes time. Imagine the time it would take to install operating systems on multiple computers, one at a time. To simplify this activity, you can use the Microsoft System Preparation (Sysprep) tool, as shown in the figure, to install and configure the same OS on multiple computers. Sysprep prepares the OS with different hardware configurations. With Sysprep and a disk cloning application, technicians can quickly install the OS, complete the last configuration steps, and install applications.
Disk cloning creates an image of a hard drive in a computer. For disk cloning, follow these steps:
Step 1. Create a master installation on one computer. This master installation includes the OS, software applications, and common configuration settings that will be used by the other computers in the organization.
Step 2. Run Sysprep.
Step 3. Create a disk image of the configured computer using a third-party disk-cloning program.
Copy the disk image onto a server. When the destination computer is booted, a shortened version of the Windows setup program runs. The setup installs the drivers for the hardware components, creates user accounts, and configures network settings to finish the installation.