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Hardware Thread, Dell Optiplex 760 SFF bios A03 - Ghost Slow Down in Technical; We have like many, procured our summer allocation of computers (Dell Optiplex 760 Small Form), they turned up yesterday, we ...
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    Dell Optiplex 760 SFF bios A03 - Ghost Slow Down

    We have like many, procured our summer allocation of computers (Dell Optiplex 760 Small Form), they turned up yesterday, we un-boxed them and set them up in our imaging lab.

    We had 20 on a session and that's when hell was realised!

    Image just one (forced multicasting for the test) and we get a solid 690MB/Min on ghost 8.2

    Image two or more and we get 2-6MB/Min, now we tried this on both multicast & unicast!

    We tried a few different specs of computers two hpdc5100 on the same cables produced 600+MB/Min, Even the

    Steps taken so far.

    Downloaded the latest packet drivers from Intel for the nic in the machine, this yielded no difference at all.

    Tried them on their own switch with fresh cables, no wimpy switch either, Cisco 2960G, still no joy.


    Our last solution is not ideal, but we will put the hard drives in to other computers and image.

    Dare i ask if anyone else has seen such problems before?

    It feels to me like a faulty network card driver/firmware

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zer0kbps View Post
    We have like many, procured our summer allocation of computers (Dell Optiplex 760 Small Form), they turned up yesterday, we un-boxed them and set them up in our imaging lab.

    We had 20 on a session and that's when hell was realised!

    Image just one (forced multicasting for the test) and we get a solid 690MB/Min on ghost 8.2

    Image two or more and we get 2-6MB/Min, now we tried this on both multicast & unicast!

    We tried a few different specs of computers two hpdc5100 on the same cables produced 600+MB/Min, Even the

    Steps taken so far.

    Downloaded the latest packet drivers from Intel for the nic in the machine, this yielded no difference at all.

    Tried them on their own switch with fresh cables, no wimpy switch either, Cisco 2960G, still no joy.


    Our last solution is not ideal, but we will put the hard drives in to other computers and image.

    Dare i ask if anyone else has seen such problems before?

    It feels to me like a faulty network card driver/firmware
    The hpdc5100 - does that use a sata hard drive or an IDE one

    Just thought maybe if you put the dells hard drive in IDE mode ( Think they call it bypass or suggested - but the description explains that its for older operating systems that dont support sata or something to that effect )

    Maybe AHCI or w/e its called - disable that and I think there is one other setting in the dell bios.

    What about the drivers from the dell website ?

    By packet drivers do you mean NDIS2 drivers ?

    Also I presume this is on a gigabit switch of some description ?

    Might be worth while looking at updating the bios - see if there are any bios updates for that machine.

    Seen on a few posts where you can maybe alter settings on the switch but with it being cisco switch not sure how or what settings - will pass the buck now
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 18th August 2009 at 07:37 AM.

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    andy_nic (18th August 2009)

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    can't say i've had that problem with them. I use the default card the intel pro 1000 which Ghost Gives it (I think from memory i'l check my ghost setup but i use symantec solution which includes 8.2), which template do you use ? MSDOS, PCDOS or PREOS? i use the PCDOS as the template.
    also do you auto ghost or manual?

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    one other thing in the bios under drive options theres some options about the mode or something, where it says ATA , ACHI. i turn the bios from the default ACHI to ATA. though beware if your imaging the image with ATA on to ACHI it will blue screen. i take it, that it will also blue screen the other way round too.

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    mac_shinobi (18th August 2009)

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy_nic View Post
    one other thing in the bios under drive options theres some options about the mode or something, where it says ATA , ACHI. i turn the bios from the default ACHI to ATA. though beware if your imaging the image with ATA on to ACHI it will blue screen. i take it, that it will also blue screen the other way round too.
    I can never remember the Dell BIOS settings but I do know that they exist lol

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    I did it by accident on the image, so every new 755 and 760 we have turn the bios to ATA

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    Cheers chaps,

    We have set the bios to ATA already, we also tried a few other things like speed step, and hard disk accoustics, didnt work mind.

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    Is ghost OK with other PCs? Rebooted server/switches? Try them off another switch....? How is the image files interfaced to the server? local disk? You do not need to change the HDD Mode - ours work fine.

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    what driver are you using?

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    fixed it, in said computers bios, set the sata operation to Legacy, not ACPI or ATA!

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    mac_shinobi (18th August 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zer0kbps View Post
    fixed it, in said computers bios, set the sata operation to Legacy, not ACPI or ATA!
    what sort of speed do you now get when you are imaging roughly ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zer0kbps View Post
    fixed it, in said computers bios, set the sata operation to Legacy, not ACPI or ATA!
    We have had 60 of these delivered [although not the small form but rather the full height desktop version [my preference for various local reasons]]

    We have imaged the majority of them without issue: I think a total of three may have failed but I think that may be down to the 3Com switches we are using [had problems with them in the past and never been completely happy with them]

    Back to the BIOS: We changed the SATA operation to legacy as you say but we also changed the Limit CPU ID and another value in the BIOS I can't recall ATM [could be something about the number of cores: Had a pint or two so memory is fuzzy]

    Works very well for us.

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    Well folks, today we have done 161 without any major problems, we did have a weird quirk involving the mini set-up not asking for the hostname to be set, but a power cycle of the unit solved this.

    Speed wise, in one room we had 20 going at 450MB/Min, and the other 34 at 609MB/Min our poor ghost server certainly felt the pain today but it's arddd!

    The image took 20mins to drop down and I am now happy, we even left them on legacy, I cannot help thinking it's one of problems involving a conflicting interrupt, these problems never really occur much except in dos

    I will say it again. to fix simply set Sata Operation in the bios to Legacy

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    Little-Miss (18th August 2009)

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    We had this on some Optiplex 745 USSF, these didn't do it from new though. When we re imaged the a few weeks ago they did it. I couldn't find what was up so i told Dell the network cards where dead. They replaced the boards and problem was solved.

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    We had an similar issue with some tosh laptops, ended up making linux versions of ghost and it maxed out the network. Only had access to 100mbit switch at the time.

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