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Mac Thread, Why is imaging macs so annoying? in Technical; I recently attended a four day course on mac server, the one thing I was particularly interested in was imaging ...
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    reggiep's Avatar
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    Why is imaging macs so annoying?

    I recently attended a four day course on mac server, the one thing I was particularly interested in was imaging macs as I wasn't sure at all.
    Anyway we didn't get to image as it would have taken too long in the course so we just read thru the chapter.
    So now back in real life i have been trying to use netboot with an image created with system image utility from an image I created with carbon copy cloner. Phew three thing to do one job.
    Anyway needless to say I'm failing. I have created the dmg with ccc then created a netinstall image with system image utility and then sent it to the mac with netboot.
    I boot the mac while holding down the N key, it shows me a globe and then goes to a grey screen with the apple and pinning wheel and never goes any further, ever.

    Argh

    Are there any easy ways to copy one mac to another as I now have a mac with nothing happening.

    Thanks

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    rolfea's Avatar
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    Have you tried using connecting a iMac with the base image to the xserve(?) through firewire?

    this is what we do, and then use System Image Utility to grab the image from the iMac base image.

    As far as I know, if everythings set up correctly it will automatically put it in the right place and automatically put it into Server Admin for you to select as the default image, which will be used when you hold down the N key, as you do already.

    You then go through the installation as usual.

    Only problem is connecting the iMac to the xserve through firewire.

  3. Thanks to rolfea from:

    reggiep (2nd April 2009)

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    Hi

    The 4 days set aside for the Server Essentials Course is never enough in my view. Having said that creating nbis should not be that difficult?

    What you can do is build the client mac as desired. If applications required are 3rd-Party then make sure its a site license. Make sure its fully up-to-date as well as the Server. Don't do any pre-binding to AD or even OD. Don't create any symlinks or aliases to other network resources either. You can set up networked printers. Avoid directly attached printers/scanners etc. These can be tackled later on. Steer clear of authenticated binding as well. I would also disable any network port you won't be using. OD works best if all clients are wired. Especially if you're contemplating music, graphics and of course Video. Don't entertain anything less than gigabit networking.

    Once you have your image built, make sure you name the client mac with an appropriate name. You can do this two ways. In the Sharing Preferences Pane > Computer Name. Choose something suitable. For example if all your client Macs are iMacs then something like iMac01 will do. If your client hardware is a mix of iMacs and MacBooks then iMac01 and MacBook01 will do.

    Once you're happy with this 'golden' mac shut it down and move it as near as possible to your server. Use a Firewire 400-400 or 800-800 or even 400-800 to connect the Server and your mac client together. Switch on the client mac and hold down the 'T' key. In a short while you should the Firewire logo appear on the screen as a screen saver. You should now see the mac's drive appear on the Server's desktop as a slave drive. Launch System Image Utility. The drive should then present itself in the application. With 10.5 SIU the Interface is fairly straightforward. With 10.4 SIU you had to give the image an Index Number.

    Prior to doing any of this Enable the NetBoot Service. You can't start it until there's an image saved in the appropriate folder. Select the Service in Server Admin and click Settings. Select the Interface you want NetBoot to work from. Select the drive you want to put the images and client data. Tick both boxes. Up the logging level to at least Medium. Save any changes and quit out of Server Admin. If you navigate to top level /Library folder you should see a NetBoot folder has been created. This folder is automatically shared by the Server with the appropriate POSIX permissions. There is no need to fiddle with this any further.

    Get into the habit of quitting out of Server Admin and WGM whenever you're done. Server Admin has a tendency to cause memory leaks if left launched for long periods of time.

    Continue with SIU. There will be a point after you click the Agree button in the EULA window where you'll be directed to save the NetBoot Image (nbi) save it in the NetBootSP0 folder.

    SIU can take some time. I recently built an image that was 110GB on the client computer and ended up being 78GB as an nbi. Took the better part of 3-4 hours.

    Once the image has been built quit out of SIU launch Server Admin, select the Service, select Settings, select Images and enable the image. Finally start the Service.

    Test by either selecting the image from the Startup Disk Preferences Pane or by using the 'N' key on reboot.

    NetBoot will only work if there's a DHCP Server on the network. It can't traverse subnets easily unless an appropriate switch has been configured to forward the NetBoot's Server IP Address. It can't work wirelessly. 10/100 networks will support 6-10 clients although it does depend on the size of the image. I've successfully installed up to 20 mac clients with a 45GB image using NetBoot over a gigabit network. Took about an hour. Your mileage may vary.

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)

  5. Thanks to AntonioRocco from:

    reggiep (2nd April 2009)

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    reggiep's Avatar
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    I'll try plugging a macbook in to the server directly as I have always grabbed an image on to another external drive first.

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    Well I don't work with macs at all, and yet I managed it after a 5 minutes training session. We used ... something, a cloning program for macs, I can find out what it was if you want. You just set it to take an image, saved the image somewhere, firewired the target mac to the mac with the image on it, booted the target mac while pressing 't', and then set the program going to image it. It was so easy (and fast) that I sat there drooling for about ten minutes before asking why PCs don't have the 't' function. At which point my boss started being all smug about macs blah blah blah.

    I'm sure it's much more complex if you're imaging via a network, but if you have macbooks (or ibooks) floating around, it's stupid not to utilise them and cut out the network step.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioRocco View Post
    NetBoot will only work if there's a DHCP Server on the network. It can't traverse subnets easily unless an appropriate switch has been configured to forward the NetBoot's Server IP Address.
    Following on from this

    As it's not multicast you can get it working on a different subnet by adding an additional ip helper pointing to the netboot server (which doesn't need to be running dhcp). Remote boot requests should be forwarded and returned correctly then. As long as you have a route to the server thats all thats needed.

    Creating a netboot image instead of a netinstall one is also a good way to test it out on a few machines first without having to overwrite them. One problem with the imaging is that it is vastly slower on any non intel machines (hours and hours to do anything!).

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    I don't know much about reimaging macs from the server but I make images of my computer all the time. I just use disk utility after I have configured and setup the mac to my specs and then make an image from my local computer. When I last upgraded my hard drive I just restored the image using disk utility and it took about 15-20 minutes to restore and booted with no problems. Make sure though that you don't have MobileMe turned on when you are imaging. Caused me TONS of headache with conflicts!

    Good luck!

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    I would still be inclined to use Net-restore, if it works with 10.5.6.

    The reason is it is simple to image a machine, it creates the .nbi file as well so you just save it straight into the NetBootSP0 folder and also you can stick your .pkgs into a folder on the server and edit a script to locate them. This will deploy the .pkgs after the image has deployed and it's automated. You can also set net-restore to find the name of the machine from a CSv file and it will rename the client for you after the image process has taken place, during the by-host preference settings part i think.

    Overall i think it works fantastically well and also can deploy the Windows side if you're doing things that way.

    Just my 2p worth.

    You can no longer download net-restore though from Bombich site, you will need to find an alternative source.
    Last edited by HodgeHi; 22nd April 2009 at 03:15 PM. Reason: add the point that pkg files are automated and not manual

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    Quote Originally Posted by HodgeHi View Post
    I would still be inclined to use Net-restore, if it works with 10.5.6.

    The reason is it is simple to image a machine, it creates the .nbi file as well so you just save it straight into the NetBootSP0 folder and also you can stick your .pkgs into a folder on the server and edit a script to locate them. This will deploy the .pkgs after the image has deployed and it's automated. You can also set net-restore to find the name of the machine from a CSv file and it will rename the client for you after the image process has taken place, during the by-host preference settings part i think.

    Overall i think it works fantastically well and also can deploy the Windows side if you're doing things that way.

    Just my 2p worth.

    You can no longer download net-restore though from Bombich site, you will need to find an alternative source.
    I am new to Macs and would like to know how to transfer a dual OS master image to the rest of the mcas, I have a master Mac with OSX and Win XP, used bootpicker to have the option of both OSs at logon. I tried to tansfer the image from that master Mac onto another mac, evrything transfered fine but when I click to logon to windows xp, it restarts to try to do just that and it stops at flashing cursar and black screen and hangs there. Could you please let me know how to make the win xp image bootable?

    Thanks a lot



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