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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, 16 new netbooks to set up - best practice tips in Technical; I've worked with banks of netbooks for some time now. I've got 90 in one school which a third-party company ...
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    kaphc's Avatar
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    16 new netbooks to set up - best practice tips

    I've worked with banks of netbooks for some time now. I've got 90 in one school which a third-party company cloned from a master image that I created (and considering I wasn't sure what I was doing and googled / used common sense) that went OK and I've since used Clonezilla to reimage some of them successfully.

    In another school I support, 16 netbooks have arrived today for me to set up over the next couple of weeks. With it being a clean start, I want to do it right. And also with it being a New Year and all that ... I'm less jaded than normal :-)

    They all came with Windows 7 Home Premium on so need upgrading to Windows 7 Professional under the EES agreement terms. I've got the master netbook running this now. What I'm thinking of then is setting up the rest of that netbook, getting all the drivers back, making sure all the Toshiba bloatware is off, setting things like the local Admin password, defrag and UAC settings etc. and then cloning the other netbooks off this master. It'll save me having to upgrade them all to WIndows 7 Pro individually I guess and will mean they are all stable.

    What I've never fathomed out is the use of Sysprep with cloning and whether it needs to be run on the master image, the cloned devices or what? I've found guides on the internet which I'm going to have a look at - but is this the best way of preparing a machine for cloning?

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    Not a full answer, but one thing I'd ask is whether you've considered upgrading to Win 7 Enterprise, which I believe is included under EES. We bought perpetual Win 7 Pro licences and I think it was an error, as I have been hamstrung by restrictions of the OS a couple of times now.

    Quote Originally Posted by kaphc View Post
    need upgrading to Windows 7 Professional under the EES agreement terms
    Depending on whether you want to create a master image which you could adapt for other machines, sys-prepping is a good idea. Depending on the imaging package you use, you may not need to sys-prep if you're always going to use the same machine. I would prepare at least two images (from experience of having failed to do this!): one with only the OS built the way you want it and another with base curriculum software (Office and anything that your school must have especially if there isn't an .msi for it). That way, if you upgrade to a new version of Office or similar, you can easily clone your base image and add the new software, creating a nice clean image without having to mess about uninstalling old versions.

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    To quickly answer your sysprep question... you sysprep the master. Basic sysprep settings will take it back to the Out of Box Experience (OOBE) which means you will be prompted for a name, etc. at first boot.

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    kaphc (8th January 2013)

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    @Ric_ do you think this would be better in the O/S deployment or Windows 7 forum? It really isn't a specific netbook question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    @Ric_ do you think this would be better in the O/S deployment or Windows 7 forum? It really isn't a specific netbook question.
    Probably better in OS Deployment but I can't remember how to move things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    but I can't remember how to move things.

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    Sorry about the wrong forum post, please feel free to move this.

    To be honest I've never had any problems in primary schools using Windows 7 Pro so I've never encountered Enterprise and had a look at what additional features it has.... I'll take a look though.

    Thanks for the sysprep information as well, sounds like I may or may not need to go down that route. The bit I want to sort out is the device name on the network, as usually I have to unjoin it from the domain, rename and rejoin back to the domain once I've cloned. This never usually causes any problems but I've also heard that the SSID can sometimes be duplicated and therefore conflict by doing it this way, hence my being on the look out for best practice.

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