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How do you do....it? Thread, New to Imaging and looking for advice please in Technical; We have 16 new workstations arriving soon. We will be setting them up over the summer. Thinking from reading here ...
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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    New to Imaging and looking for advice please

    We have 16 new workstations arriving soon. We will be setting them up over the summer. Thinking from reading here that the best way forward is setting one machine up then ghosting the image to the others. No experience on this though and would really appreciate pointing toward guidance - including which software to purchase and use

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Have a look at WDS and the WAIK kit from microsoft....basically the tools needed to create and deploy images based on the new wim image format.

    You can upload an image to a network share using WinPE and imagex and then deploy the image using WDS...normal rules of prepping a reference machine still apply i.e remove from domain, but the wim image can be modified at any time using System Image Manager and seriously cuts down on storage space for multiple images...also the new imaging process is HAL independent.

    New version of sysprep can also be used for a light touch deployment...although haven't tried the new sysprep out yet. SO can't comment on what's new.
    Last edited by torledo; 4th July 2008 at 02:59 PM.

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    speckytecky (4th July 2008)

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    I've really gotta get my head around this over the summer, yes i still manually install all 125+ pc's we have on site... keeps me busy lol

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    chrbb's Avatar
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    I do a mixture of autoit, msi and manual installs, mind you our computers come with xp already on and I have scripts to delete certain start menu items. But, I've downloaded fedora and am going to play with fog over the holidays.

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    speckytecky (4th July 2008)

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    contink's Avatar
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    Worth taking a look at AutoImage, nLite and RyanVM complete with Driverpacks too if you're looking at a more versatile (read: frankencomputer mix of hardware) style RIS install.

    I've been playing with it and got it to the point I'm relatively happy but leaving out any .NET srvpacks or similar as they cause all kinds of grief.

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    speckytecky (4th July 2008)

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    jamin100's Avatar
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    I use ghost solution suite 2.

    I make a base image which includes all software applications and then push the image out to all workstations with the same hardware.

    It means i have to make a image for every different type of computer but we only have about 6 different types throughout the whole school so its just 6 base images. But like i say that have all windows updates and every piece of software we have installed on the base image.

    New software is then rolled out from ghost AI images and the ghost console.

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    speckytecky (4th July 2008)

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    I am just starting out using FOG Imaging and it seems to work perfectly. It is nice, if you have VPN access to the network and set your computers to PXE boot first, you can start the computer imaging process from anywhere. FOG is free

    I have created one desktop image for about 7 different desktop models. We used to have different images for each model, but that was making the image process too confusing.

    I am presently working on scripting an automated sysprep (using the mini-setup) and using FOG to rename the PC and join the domain automatically. My scripts will then initiate a series of restarts to run gpupdate and trigger the Group Policy deployed software to automatically install, so that the entire imaging process is zero-touch.

    Hope this helps.

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    speckytecky (5th July 2008)

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    chrbb's Avatar
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    Would the fact that our computers have xp oem licences cause any issues with imaging and licence legalities etc? (Sorry really dumb question)

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    speckytecky (5th July 2008)

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I use Image for Windows which works great. You can download an evaluation version before buying it.

    Would the fact that our computers have xp oem licences cause any issues with imaging and licence legalities etc? (Sorry really dumb question)
    No it makes no difference. When you sysprep your image, you can create an answer file which includes the basics such as establishment name, but you'd enter each OEM serial manually, then proceed to add it to the domain. Of course if you had a volume license you wouldn't have this problem.

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    speckytecky (11th July 2008)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Of course if you had a volume license you wouldn't have this problem.
    Keep in mind that you only have to have one XP Professional or Vista Business volume license to legally be able to reimage all XP Professional workstations with the volume license media and VLK. We went ahead and purchased one XP Pro volume license for about $75. For all the time it saves in imaging, it is worth every penny (in my opinion).

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    speckytecky (5th July 2008)

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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the useful replies folks. However, I'm still a heap confused. Looking around there are a heap of tools available to do image / ghosting work. Some are free but others need paying for. Looking into Ghost 2.5 itself I see that the licence runs at between 7 and 9 per workstation depending on support levels.

    There has been no mentioned either of the other mainstream imaging software such as: Acronis (which seems to get the best reviews in the media) and Paragon. What really works most effectively and best for a school Windows vanilla network?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    RIS / WDS combined with GPOs.

    Free and easy but does require a bit more admin interaction at the client machine than some people like (ok ... you need to PXE boot it and press a few buttons!

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    speckytecky (11th July 2008)

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    If you've got Server 2003 or Server 2008 and you've got no other imaging set up in place yet then WDS is excellent.

    As others have said, the WIM file format is brilliant (think of it as a big ZIP archive only much easier to work with!) and because there's no cost to using WDS (compared to things like Ghost or Acronis) it helps when you're strapped for cash.

    If you have Server 2008 then the multicasting is absolutely brilliant - unlike Ghost and others I've seen, there's no need to have every machine ready to start at the same time - you just set up your server, set up a multicast session and that's it. You PXE boot your PCs, choose to install the image and off it goes.

    We're currently pushing out an image which is about 10Gb uncompressed (4.2Gb WIM file) and it takes about 10 minutes to actually get the image on the machine (100Mbit switch; using 90+% of available bandwidth!) and this time stays constant as you add machines.

    The only reason I can see not to use it is if you already have something else in place or you're using Linux machines (or other non-Windows machines)

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    dave.81 (11th July 2008), speckytecky (11th July 2008)

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    RIS / WDS combined with GPOs.

    Free and easy but does require a bit more admin interaction at the client machine than some people like (ok ... you need to PXE boot it and press a few buttons!
    The process can be totally automated using an unattended.xml file

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    speckytecky (11th July 2008)

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I know ... but a few button presses to get it going is what I meant, rather than the push technology that you can get from other suppliers.

  27. Thanks to GrumbleDook from:

    speckytecky (11th July 2008)

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