Cloning Windows 7 and later versions to multiple PCs

  • Install Windows and configure all necessary Windows settings
  • Install and configure all applications
  • Make sure that everything is configured correctly so that an image of the hard disk can be created
  • Make sure that you have a valid non-OEM Windows license code for every computer, including the one that will be used to create the image of the hard disk
  • Open a command prompt with Administrator privileges (elevated)
  • Type: C:\Windows\System32\sysprep\sysprep.exe /oobe /generalize /shutdown
  • The above command prepares Windows for “Out of the box experience” which means that at next start Windows will ask for all initial settings, like language, license code, IP address and more. However installed applications and user accounts will be preserved.
  • Boot from USB and create an image of the hard disk. Recommended imaging software: Macrium Reflect
  • Restore the image to new PCs.

The above procedure is the correct procedure to clone hard disk images to multiple PCs. It is important to know that the sysprep.exe command will modify the Windows installation on the original PC so that initial settings will have to be done also on the original PC after next Windows start.