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How do you do....it? Thread, Sysprep & Ghost in Technical; Can anyone point me to a decent tutorial on how to create a model pc in order to create a ...
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    Sysprep & Ghost

    Can anyone point me to a decent tutorial on how to create a model pc in order to create a Ghost image?

    I've "inherited" the management of a small network at a primary school. All of the clients are XP Pro and the server is 2000. I've been reading around the forum for a while and quite a few people say that they reimage their workstations to keep them running nicely. I'd really like to give this a go to save time but i've never done it before and i'm not sure the best way of going about preparing a pc for imaging (eespecially when sysprep is involved).

    Thanks in advance guys.

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    timbo343's Avatar
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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    Sysprep is easy to work. Just download a copy from the MS site. Run the sysprep wizard. This will create a system file which you can edit with notepad. Copy the sysprep folder to your c: and run it and run it in mini setup. The computer will prepare the machine to the settings which you specified in the wizard. Once the computer shuts down you need to boot the computer into Ghost, up load the image to the server. When ready you can pull the image off the server and sysprep will run once the image has been downloaded to the machines. We do our major IT rooms every 6 weeks and the rest of the school every 12 weeks. We are always using these programs. You can test out sysprep before uploading the image to the server. Just restart the machine once the machine has shut down. You can run sysprep as many times as you like. All you are doing is resetting a few settings.

    Tim

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    Oops_my_bad's Avatar
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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo343
    You can run sysprep as many times as you like. All you are doing is resetting a few settings.
    Are you sure about this? I was told by a predecessor that you should only run sysprep no more than 3 times on an image otherwise "things become broke" (his words not mine), but he could have been talking BS

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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    I don't see why you have to worry - it's not difficult to take an image just before you run ‘sysprep’... then ‘sysprep’ the machine... then take another image?

    Surely this is common practise?

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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    Thanks for the replies. I've been reading around these forums for ages and I think i'm making things harder than they actually are.

    There are a couple of other things that I'm curious about. I've read a number of posts that you should disconnect the machine from the domain before you sysprep and image it. Is this true? Do you also tend to create an image with all the software included or just of the basic windows install with drivers and then roll out software packages afterwards? Sorry for all the newbee questions. Just don't want to go in next week and screw everything up.

    Thanks again,
    Sam

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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    on the other hand....

    To store the image you need to have

    1. Another partition on the machine big enough to hold the image (twice the size if going to hold a pre-sysprep and post sysprep image)
    or
    2. A portable hard drive
    or
    3. Or save the image to a server (can require a lot of fiddling if the network card in the machine is not directly supported by your imaging software or the machines don't handle the PXE network boot facility).

    You'll need several images for each set of hardware or learn how to get around the problem


    etc etc etc

    They are experts here who will say this is easy to do - it is - because they are experts

    The x-over point for the learning payback curve in a primary school for imaging rollouts can be very far up the road

    Having said all of that - I use technique 1 and 2 in suites of 15 computers/laptops sometimes (but I've looked/look after many schools and the learning curve/payback has maybe been worth it )

    regards

    Simon

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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    Quote Originally Posted by cgiuk
    Thanks for the replies. I've been reading around these forums for ages and I think i'm making things harder than they actually are.

    There are a couple of other things that I'm curious about. I've read a number of posts that you should disconnect the machine from the domain before you sysprep and image it. Is this true? Do you also tend to create an image with all the software included or just of the basic windows install with drivers and then roll out software packages afterwards? Sorry for all the newbee questions. Just don't want to go in next week and screw everything up.

    Thanks again,
    Sam
    Not heard of having to disconnect the PC - there is an option in sysprep to remove the PC from the domain [ if its part of one ]
    In regards to software, its up to you and how you run your network. What I tend to do is build a PC with the latest service pack and updates. Then on top of that I install stuff like .net, PDF viewer, quicktime, flash, shockwave, defrag agent, vnc + some more stuff. Then I take the image - all the software after that is installed via packages or scripts.
    My images with high compression after the basics are around 4 gig.

    Are you sure about this? I was told by a predecessor that you should only run sysprep no more than 3 times on an image otherwise "things become broke" (his words not mine), but he could have been talking BS
    Never heard of this, I have run sysprep many many times on my images and have never had a problem.

    3. Or save the image to a server (can require a lot of fiddling if the network card in the machine is not directly supported by your imaging software or the machines don't handle the PXE network boot facility).
    This is how I do it, my images are held on a NAS box [ Freenas ] with some software mirroring. I use the Ghost 8 console on our 2003 server to take the images and also dish them out - both the NAS & 2003 server are on gigabit switches so when pushing them or building a PC it takes only around 5 to 10 mins.
    For the boot aspect I use the PC network cards NDIS drivers when setting up the template in Ghost and then the network boot aspect for the client I normally use a network boot CD. My fav being from http://www.netbootdisk.com/
    I have also used Bart's stuff to: http://www.nu2.nu/bootdisk/network/

    Like someone just said, its a bit of learning curve if you are not used to this type of stuff but once learnt it will make deploying and managing images a hell of a lot easier.

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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    @mattx My setup is very similar! Does anyone actually store the images locally?

    Storing the images on a server using Ghost 8, RIS and so forth... is the way to go!

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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    Quote Originally Posted by cgiuk
    Do you also tend to create an image with all the software included or just of the basic windows install with drivers and then roll out software packages afterwards?
    The best way that works for me (in an average size secondary school with about 400 workstations and 100ish laptops) is to roll a basic Windows install with drivers in to an image and roll out whatever software packages afterwards via the use of MSI packages and Active Directory Group Policy or Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003.

    Cheers



    Ben

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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    Here we make all the images with the latest windows patches and everything, we then install all the software that the computer will have on it, other than management software (Secrus and Vision- These both installed via GPO).

    We have a PXE, so when it comes to deploying the images it's very easy. We change the BIOS settings on the computer so that it boots from LAN, then the computer boots into Ghost, from there we tell them to listen to a ghostcast session. We've been able to image 50 computers at a time. And it only takes about 20 minutes to do this.

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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    Quote Originally Posted by richard.thomas
    Here we make all the images with the latest windows patches and everything, we then install all the software that the computer will have on it, other than management software (Secrus and Vision- These both installed via GPO).

    We have a PXE, so when it comes to deploying the images it's very easy. We change the BIOS settings on the computer so that it boots from LAN, then the computer boots into Ghost, from there we tell them to listen to a ghostcast session. We've been able to image 50 computers at a time. And it only takes about 20 minutes to do this.
    My setup is pretty much the same, we GPO as much software as possible so we can have a 'standard' image as much as possible. By this I mean any specialist software will be deployed via GPO so we can administer what machines have that software.

    Our 'standard' image therefore has the software which we would like across the whole site. We are lucky to have the same computers throughout the site, or slight variations so it works well. One of the perks to being in a brand new Academy! hehe

    We have slightly different images for our ‘media’ machines; these have slightly different hardware which means the image has to include the specific drivers.

    We run three or four different images throughout the whole site. Very nice to administer!

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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    I've done our site images for the last 5 revisions, and I've got it down to a finer art than the LEA now - they've been told they're not required to do it for us now, but they give us the latest builds anyway for opinions.

    I start by doing a 2 partition flat XP install, installing no drivers and using defaults only. I then "\\" connect to our network shares and install office and the software we use. Then I set up the printing files and autoexec for the mail server connection.

    Then I join the machine to the domain, install the AV and configure it for updates. After that it gets disjoined again, tidied up and slimmed down (hibernate and swap files off, .tmp etc gone, no sys restore points etc).

    Then I copy over my "C:\Drv" directory for the Audio/Video/Nics we have that windows can't autoconfigure, and copy over my sysprep directory to the C drive from my USB stick, along with the locallinks shotcuts to the curriculum packages and a hidden one to CMiS (enabled if needed) and the ICONtool display app.

    THEN, I go into device manager and expand "computer", and reset the driver from "ACPI" to "Standard PC", reboot, let XP sort out all the base hardware enumeration for that HAL, then shutdown the VM and copy the disk file to a safe place for reuse in "modifications"..I've also heard the "do not repeatedly run sysprep on a machine".

    Then run sysprep with my own Sysprep.inf, to integrate the drivers and reseal the machine/regenerate the SIDs. Then ghost the final "rollout" image to my physical PC or our poweredge print server, which will then run ghostcast on demand to dish it out.

    This image technique seems to work with everything..P2 to P4, AMD and Intel, one or many cores, laptop or desktop. It runs quite happily on all of them.

    Plus it's a damn sight quicker than the LEA builds..login is FAR quicker and the machine is much more responsive. Removing the 8 graphics packages (often outdated), and other outdated/unwanted packages and replacing it with Photoshop elements, StudioMX and Paint.net means my latest 0707v4 build comes in at a 2.5gb ghost image ready for 95% of our machinery. The LEA's "empty base" image comes in at 6..without installed software!

    Any special request packages get rolled out using either RAdmin or Netsupport when requested.

    We ghosted 8 machines on friday night to see how quick it'd do it...7 minutes to ghost, and about 15 to run through sysprep, request the machine ID and reboot to a useable state. Very pleased with that.

    This is the first time I've managed to get the "non included" drivers for NICs/FireGLs etc to install as part of the sysprep..with 0706 I kept them on a network share and had the machines log into that.

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    A very good website with lots of info about ghost and sysprep. Through this site I managed to get one image to ghost lots of diferent PC types and hardware setups.

    http://www.gc.peachnet.edu/www/wbeck/

  14. Thanks to jsnetman from:

    speckytecky (30th March 2008)

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    Re: Sysprep & Ghost

    My images have all the educational software on that the school needs, plus all the usual updates, flash, adobe etc
    We leave off the antivirus until afterwards as it has been known to cause problems
    Rolling out software is problematic as our network is not good.

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