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What’s sysprep.exe (System Preparation Tool)? Is it safe or a virus?

Sysprep.exe is a tool provided by Microsoft Windows that allows users to generalize a Windows installation. Generalizing a Windows installation removes all unique system information, such as security identifiers (SIDs) and drivers, making it easier to clone the installation for deployment on multiple machines.

Sysprep prepares the system for imaging or delivery to a customer, ensuring that each new machine appears as a unique system once it is deployed.

(Researched by Carl @ SpyShelter Labs)

Executable Processes List

More about sysprep.exe on WINDOWS

Who makes sysprep.exe (System Preparation Tool)?

We’ve found Microsoft Windows should be the publisher of sysprep.exe.

How do we know? Our SpyShelter cybersecurity labs focuses on monitoring different types of Windows PC executables and their behaviors for our popular SpyShelter Antispyware software. Learn more about us, and how our cybersecurity team studies Windows PC executables/processes.

What does it mean if someone is the publisher of a PC .exe (executable or process)?

The publisher of an executable is the entity responsible for its distribution and authenticity. Most processes/executables on your PC should be signed. The signature on the executable should have been verified through a third party whose job it is to make sure the entity is who it says it is. Find an unsigned executable? You should consider scanning any completely unsigned .exe on your PC.

Is sysprep.exe safe or a virus?

Below are 4 simple steps you can take to see if the sysprep.exe process is safe or malware.

  1. Scan the executable with Microsoft's built-in tech
  2. Find sysprep.exe's publisher
  3. Search the executable's hash with VirusTotal
  4. Monitor the executable's behavior
Last updated: February 5, 2024

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Why should you trust us?

Our team at SpyShelter has been studying Windows PC executables for over 15 years, to help fight against spyware, malware, and other threats. SpyShelter has been featured in publications like The Register, PC Magazine, and many others. Now we’re working to share free, actionable, and easy to understand information about Windows executables (processes) with the world, to help as many people as possible keep their devices safe. Learn more about us on our "About SpyShelter” page.

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