When working in any kind of company, I love imaging computers. When there is a problem with a machine you can quickly blow down the company image and get the computer or laptop back to the user as quickly as possible. Recently when working on a Windows 7 image that I had inherited from a previous administrator I ran into an interesting error while trying to run SysPrep on that Windows 7 machine:
sysprep cannot run on a computer that has been upgraded from a previous version
After doing some background research, I found that the Windows 7 image on the server was an updated image, the original laptops came in with Windows Vista, and was upgraded to 7 before the image was created. So I went online to see if there was anyway to do SysPrep with an upgraded Windows 7 install. Most articles that I found, just gave you normal directions on doing a SysPrep and none answered this question. So finally I was able to find the answer, it all lies within a single registry key:
There was a key called “upgrade”, that once deleted lets you run SysPrep like normal. Delete that key and you are good.