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How do you do....it? Thread, Quick effective imaging... in Technical; I have come to find...no effective cloning/imaging process at this school! I would normally use Ghost with multicast. I was ...
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    Ben_Stanton's Avatar
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    Quick effective imaging...

    I have come to find...no effective cloning/imaging process at this school!

    I would normally use Ghost with multicast. I was wondering if anybody uses anything known to be quicker and more reliable than ghost? Maybe a *nix piece of software?

    If not, multicasting here I come!

    Thanks in advance!

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    Well you can try RIS (Now known as WDS in W2k3 SP2). There's some stickes in the windows forum covering those options.

    If you want a *nix based solution then there's Ghost4Linux.

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/g4l

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    Ben_Stanton's Avatar
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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    Thanks Geoff - i'll check out the Ghost for Linux

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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    Am I right in thinking WDS doesn't throw a wobbly when you try to use an image made for a machine with a different HAL type? This is the main reason I didn't use RIS much. One day I'll just have one image that fits everything!

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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    That leads me to a side question to this topic, can you create an image without drivers, just with the software you want on the machine ?, and let windows request the drivers after install?

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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    Must be possible, not sure of the best way to go about it. Maybe use virtualisation and create the image from that? Windows will request the drivers it requires automatically, so it should just be a case of adding non standard ones to the image and ammending the oempnpdriverspath line in the .sif file. I also dimly remember something about changing registry entries to reflect this also, but don't quote me on that.

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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    The main problem would be with chipset/mainboard drivers. Rarely can you clone a SIS chipset image to a new drive to go on a VIA board and it boot without BSOD. A way around this is to merge generic or all drivers into the registry. I think if you google mergeide.reg you will find a txt file with what to copy and merge pre-imaging/sysprep!

    This is definitely a method I have used previously and is effective!

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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    I have image. One image to rule them all as it were
    Actually, I have two. One student, one admin - different local user account passwords and admin have sims etc.

    My images work on VIA, SIS, Intel chipsets and I have added the drivers for 4 different type of machine here. It even detects and changes to multiprocessor HAL for my new machines (testing phase atm).

    I use only sysprep and Ghost, then WinINSTALL to deploy room specific apps afterwards.

    Sysprep is great, you can image a machine to work on most other - as long as they have the same HAL type (ACPI or Standard)

    The bmsd option will build a sysprep file with all of windows HDD drivers so you can run it and then it installs them all before you take the image (this takes an hour on a p4 2.4 - but only creating the sysprep image, not after deploying it).

    I have altered RIS to give out the ghost client automatically, I no longer use the dreadful console, simply setup a session, F12 to boot machine from network and type the session ID for ghost, sysprep does the rest - just have it prompt for a machine name.

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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    Oh, ghost multicast if much more fun if you have the server plugged into a switch that supports multicast filtering (procurves here). Avoids other switches grinding to a halt.

    Oh, everything is more fun without broadcom NICs as I discovered today - ghost doesn't work with multicast with the universal PXE driver on 440x's.

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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    ghost doesn't work with multicast with the universal PXE driver on 440x's.
    Go back a couple of driver releases. It works then.

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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    You could use Netrunna it's not cheap but its fast and uses a lot less space to hold images. Bit of a combination of RIS, Ghost and Deepfreeze. It's also quite a bit quicker to send images down and unbelivably quick if its got the images on the hard drive. You could store about three or four different OS's without impacting to much on hard drive space and in three minutes any version of the OS could be installed with a full software install to. Unlike Deep Freeze it can also filter certain folders and files easily so that it can say this section never needs to be touched but rebuild everything else each reboot. or once a month things like that you can set this on the machine or on the server console it's very good I'm looking at buying it this year to replace my ghost and deepfreeze install.

    Wes

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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    You can't get much quicker than thin clients

    For the fat ones I use RIS (automated install with drivers and a couple of scripts so that one 'image' can be used for everything). Software is then deployed through GPOs.

    I used to use Ghost but then changed jobs and didn't see the point in spending all that money after the advances in RiS with Server 2003 (2000 Server was a bit ropey IMHO). I haven't tried mixed/native WDS yet... just keeping it in legacy mode for now

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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    Still using Ghost 8.0 - I hold the images on a NAS box - [ freenas ] - open up the ghost cast server on any PC, map the drive to the image and then boot to a boot CD and let it do the rest.
    Multicast comes in handy at Summer when I tend to re-build the PCs - having 24 PCs [ PCs in ICT room ] all build at once always makes me laugh...

    In fact just today I had to download a set of NDIS drivers for the realtek gigabit onboard ethernet card for the laptops that I am building for the wireless network. [ I hate everything wireless at the moment ]

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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    Do all you RIS people with your one image fits all really, really, really save yourself any actual time on this earth with your efforts?

    And if you beleive you do, how many machines do you estimate you need to have before payback really really happens?

    regards
    Simon

    PS many times I've "automated" something - but in hindsight, I've just been proving how clever I am and it would have been much easier and better to just have done things manually

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    Re: Quick effective imaging...

    Re my PS
    Setting up virtual W2k3 servers at my primaries has been a lovely technical challenge but it would have been far easier to just install a plain vanilla setup on a real machine at each site



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