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Network and Classroom Management Thread, Rebuilding PC's in Technical; Hi, the school where i work at has Windows Server 2003 Standard which is used as a domain controller. so ...
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    Rebuilding PC's

    Hi,

    the school where i work at has Windows Server 2003 Standard which is used as a domain controller. so students can logon to any machine and still have the same profile.

    well anyways we currently have about 20 machines which need to be rebuilt, we usually rebuild the machines by just reinstalling xp using a CD and then adding them back to the domain and then installing all the programs. we was just wondering is there a program out there whihc works like RM Station Rebuild whihc we can run from the server which rebuilds the machines without having to be next to them.


    thanks

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    Symantec Ghost?

    I'm sure Acronis probably do something too.
    http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    If you have Server 2003 then I suggest you use RIS, especially as it's built in and there are plenty of tutorials on the site to help you. It will automate all steps of the reimaging process for you saving you a HUGE amount of time and effort.

    Remote Installation Services

    Remote Installation Services (RIS)

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    Acronis do indeed have a solution called True Image and True Image Home. This is extremely easy to use and from the wording of the query (and an infered level of expertise as a result) is probably your best solution.

    Check licensing carefully as although it is possible to clone multiple machines using one media (buying physical copies give you a bootable CD), if I recall correctly you should have one copy for each machine you are cloning. Volume licence may be available.

    The key thing to remember is the hardware should be identical, or at least use the same drivers, or your imaged machines won't work.

    Some solutions also require all computers to have the same hard drive size, others will work if the hard drive to be cloned to is the same size or larger than the machine you captured the image from.

    Cloning Solutions include-

    Acronis True Image
    CloneZilla (free)
    Symantec Ghost

    Automated Windows Deployment Solutions include-
    Answer file installation
    RIS (depreciated, and requires software to be installed afterwards)
    Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows Vista and above)

    Clonezilla is fairly easy to use with the Live CD if you have technical knowledge and is free but Acronis definetely the easier to use.

    When Cloning machines all software and configuration (including user accounts and temporary files etc.) will be copied to the new machine. This should be done while the machine is NOT part of a domain as domain SSIDs must be unique- join your computers to the domain afterwards. As the machine SSID will not be unique you should be aware that WSUS will only report for one computer per image. Ideally you should build a new clean configuration for deployment.

    Automated deployment saves clicking through the setup screens and entering the licence key each time for Windows, but you'll still have to install software on top. In many cases this can be done in Active Directory but this seems beyond the scope of your expertise.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    RIS (depreciated, and requires software to be installed afterwards)
    Erm, no. Once you have uploaded the disk image you simply RIPREP the full desktop install, siftware and all. You can deploy software via GPO later if you wish, but I've always made full images up and with the answer file (in the EduGeek tutorial) it will join the PC to the domain and configure a host of other systems variables. Just ensure you computers are managed in AD first!

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    Acronis

    On a side note for Acronis, they have a Universal Restore which will put in drivers you specify, or just remove the drivers and once the OS is up and running install the drivers afterwards. I don't image across processors, but this has worked on every different Intel chip I've tried. There are admittedly better ways, but it's quick and easy. It will also change the SID.

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    I use Clonezilla and a external hard drive, install a computer with everything on that your not deploying with Group Policy, sysprep... pop in the clonezilla cd and then upload to the hard drive.

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    pritchardavid's Avatar
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    WDS (Windows Deployment Services)

    Thats what you want to use


    Make an unattended newwork RIS file from the program which you can extract from the support cab on the xp disc

    Setup a computer on how you want it setup

    Then you can sysprep it and make an image using WDS

    pm me if you need any more details, be happy to help

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    naturalbornchaos's Avatar
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    I've looked at WDS and thought it was just a little too complicated. And I am not a newb, I've got about 10 years experience. I personally found it much easier to make an image with Ghost. Then I run the UIU (Univeral Imaging Utility) on it. I've now got one hardware-idependent image, as opposed to about 20 different images last year. The image works on old laptops, new laptops, old desktops, new desktops, etc.

    I use another app to push any applications that aren't part of my base image.

    Just my two cents. From the original post I got the impression that the posters skill level was not all that high. I think Ghost would be the easiest to figure out.

    Also, UIU is not free. I've calculated that for my District it paid for itself in one year, but that might be different for you.

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    FOG (www.fogproject.org)

    Been using that for about 18 months, very impressive and free.

    SpecOps Deploy 4 (www.specopssoft.com)

    Just purchased licenses for this to do OS deployment and application deployment. Very impressed with it and is based on Group Policy Objects so scales up nicely. The OS deploy part works as a wizard on top of WDS.

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    aerospacemango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naturalbornchaos View Post
    I've looked at WDS and thought it was just a little too complicated. And I am not a newb, I've got about 10 years experience. I personally found it much easier to make an image with Ghost.
    Just seen this about WDS.

    This time last year, with 6 months ICT exp, I looked into the possibility of using WDS. I found that it was pretty straightforward, but then I had no exp of Ghost, so that may be very easy to use.

    I found this site was very helpful.....

    Augusto Alvarez

    But, you have to be careful, as depending on your build, you could end up inserting missing drivers by script. (And for a newbie like me, that WAS pretty daunting!)

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    IanT's Avatar
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    Symantec Ghost is the way.

    Build your ghost image, sysprep it. deploy it

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