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How do you do....it? Thread, Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745 in Technical; I have hit a problem I did not anticipate while imaging new stations for our network and I wondered if ...
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    Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    I have hit a problem I did not anticipate while imaging new stations for our network and I wondered if anyone could shed light on it for me. I have updated our image for Dell Optiplex 745 stations and started deploying it today.

    After the Ghost session had finished the stations restarted as expected, but only 15 reached the stage where we could enter a name for the station. 16 of the stations showed the Windows XP slash screen with the blue progress bar rolling but they got no further.

    When we started one of the recalcitrant stations in safe mode it hangs at Ghpcw2k.sys. Further investigation shows that the 15/16 station split is perfectly aligned with the difference in Dell service Tags. The working stations have the tags in the format ***ABCD and the 'faulty' ones have the tags ***EFGH where '*' represents any character and the string which follows is the same for each station in that group. [I do not want to post the actual service tags of these machines]

    Ok so they were manufactured at different times, but they ARE all still 745's. I can't believe that I have to have two versions of an image for the same manufacturer and same model.

    I am Googling this problem at the moment, but if anyone knows the answer/solution to this I would be very pleased to see it.

    In work again tomorrow.
    Last edited by DaveP; 27th June 2008 at 09:11 AM.

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    kestrel1's Avatar
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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    Even though they are the same model, do they contain the exact same hardware? Dell may have changed something, maybe the graphics card. May be worth checking.

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    Quote Originally Posted by kestrel1
    Even though they are the same model, do they contain the exact same hardware? Dell may have changed something, maybe the graphics card. May be worth checking.
    I haven't checked this yet as the problem started to become apparent when I was ready to leave today. I was hoping that if some hardware had been changed it would be similar enough to allow Windows to slot in a compatible driver, or at least allow a Safe Mode start to allow us to investigate.

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    I meant to check today and I am really posting this as a reminder to myself tomorrow, but I think our Sysprep version is 1.1.

    Ghost is at version 7.5.

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    Dell are known for stuffing diff bits in the same product line/models...

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    It could be different "out of the box" BIOS settings - see Reboot on ghpcw2k.sys

    mb

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin
    It could be different "out of the box" BIOS settings - see Reboot on ghpcw2k.sys

    mb
    As I recall the BIOS versions could be different. I could live with that if I can find the setting that makes the difference between working and non-working. Could be a longish job tomorrow comparing the BIOS settings.

    Thanks Martin.

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    I am at work now and there is a difference in the BIOS versions. The ones that work have BIOS version 2.1.0 dated 12/04/06, while the ones which will not boot have BIOS versions 2.3.1 dated 05/21/07.

    Comparing the BIOS for the two versions of the station reveals an extra entry for UART power down options in the earlier version of the BIOS. No values set in the BIOS differ where that value exists in both versions of the BIOS.

    I suppose I could try downgrading the 2.3.1 machines to 2.1.0 and hope for the best.

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    I have been to the Dell website and all they are offering is the most recent version of the BIOS. Does anyone know how to get older [specific] copies of BIOSes?

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    OK. I have now downloaded and installed the older version of the BIOS and downgraded a station which currently does not boot. Result: Still hangs at the same place.

    When I try to use Dell's Hardware Chat facility to talk through the issues with a technician online the website replies with:

    "Thank you for selecting Dell Chat, however we regret that at this time Dell Chat is not yet available for your product."

    Now all I can think of to do is put the version of Windows that came with the machine and then compare working [as imaged on the domain] with non-working and try to spot a difference in the hardware.

    To top it all I damaged my car on the way into work this morning [no other cars or people, or even street furniture or wild animals were involved.] But it does leave me with an expensive repair bill! What else can go wrong this weekend?
    Last edited by DaveP; 4th March 2008 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Correct formatting errors.

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    Hi, did you reimage again the machine that you downgraded the bios on?

    I once caused £400 worth of damage to my wife's car by dropping an aluminium ladder on it if that makes you feel any better.

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    Also check 'Iopic Devices' in the bios if it's there - sometimes it can be set to disabled when it should be enabled - the Dell GX150's were great for doing that and stopping booting.

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    Quote Originally Posted by tech_guy
    Hi, did you reimage again the machine that you downgraded the bios on?

    I once caused £400 worth of damage to my wife's car by dropping an aluminium ladder on it if that makes you feel any better.
    Yes I have re-imaged that machine and the result is the same: Still hanging at the splash screen.

    Damage to the car: Thanks for the vote of support. I don't feel any better though, as I am still facing that large repair bill and now it looks like it is going to rain which will only cause more expense [long story which I will not go into now]

    Quote Originally Posted by tech_guy
    Also check 'Iopic Devices' in the bios if it's there - sometimes it can be set to disabled when it should be enabled - the Dell GX150's were great for doing that and stopping booting.
    I can't find this entry in the BIOS. If it is there and I am missing it what heading would it be under?

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    It's sometimes listed as ioapic devices under integrated devices if it's there in the bios.

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    Re: Problems Ghosting Dell Optiplex 745

    Dunno if any of this will be of use depending on your scenario:

    https://forums.symantec.com/rss/mess...essage.id=2547

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