How can I prepare my Windows XP, NT, 2000 or 2003 system for cloning or migrating the data to
In order to clone your Windows system or migrate it to different hardware, you should
first prepare Windows using Microsoft System Preparation Tool (sysprep). As it stands in
the Microsoft Knowledge Base, Article 298491, "One problem from duplicating an
installation of Windows 2000 is that each cloned computer has the same security identifier
(SID) and computer name. This may prevent the cloned computers from functioning correctly
in a workgroup or a domain. To work around this problem, administrators use the System
Preparation Tool (Sysprep.exe) to remove configuration settings that are unique to the
computer such as the computer name and SID. The resulting image can then be safely reused
for installation on other computers." This issue also exists in Windows NT 4.0 and Windows
XP, and thus computers running those operating systems must be prepared properly as well.
To download Microsoft System Preparation tool, click on your operating system: Windows NT
4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP. Microsoft System Preparation tool for Windows Server 2003
is available in the Deploy.cab archive that resides in the \Support\Tools\ folder of
Windows Server 2003 installation CD.
In brief, here is how you prepare your disk drive to create a master clone image or to
Create Acronis True Image 8.0 Server for Windows bootable rescue media with Rescue Media
Builder available in the Tools menu of Acronis True Image 8.0 Server for Windows.
Run sysprep.exe. Microsoft gives you an option of specifying the following keys:
-nosidgen : If you plan to erase all data from the original hard disk and/or do not plan
to use both original and new hard disks in different computers simultaneously, use this
-mini : if you plan to migrate your operating system to a computer with different
Prepare to reboot the computer. First, put the Acronis True Image 8.0 Server for Windows
bootable rescue media in the CD drive and boot the system. Then run the program and create
an image of the prepared hard disk.
Install a new hard drive onto your computer or take the image you just made to your new
Boot from Acronis True Image 8.0 Server for Windows rescue media again and restore the
image to the new hard drive or computer.
Reboot the computer.
We recommend you to read Microsoft articles regarding using sysprep on your operating
system, available at the following links: Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP,
Windows Server 2003.