Windows 7 Sysprep limitation

So you’ve syspreped an image Win7, deployed it and found that you need to fix something in the image. So you make the changes, sysprep it again and deploy it – and find that there some other fixes needed to be made.

Its a scenario we all know – you’ll probably go thru lots of deploying times before you are actually satisfied with the image.
But during one of those ordinary sysprep’s you find that the sysprep has failed, or other mysterious bugs are happening.
What you need to know is that Microsoft have actually limited the number of times we can perform a sysprep with the /Generalize key – why?? Don’t ask me!
Read more here:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff716063(v=ws.10).aspx
The official solution is to modify the Unattend.xml file and add a SkipRearm to the the Microsoft-Windows-Security-SPP section.
There is another solution, which worked for me, and that is to change the registry on the machine before the sysprep. The key to change is located:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform

There is a key there called SkipRearm which is set to 0 – change it to 1.

Please note, if you use KMS keys to activate your Windows – this setting will not work for you!
Another this to notice – you have to change this key every time you perform sysprep, the setting changes back to 0 after the sysprep.
You can read more in the following Microsoft articale:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744512(v=ws.10).aspx

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