Make a new image I'd say.
I'm having one of my days when I realise how little I know... So apologies for all the questions
I have a Windows 7 image which I have rolled out to all the PCs we've bought over the last 5 years. Only thing is, none of them have had more than 2GB RAM (mostly old machines upgraded from XP) and my image is 32 bit. We're about to buy some new laptops for teachers which will come with at least 4GB RAM, so the image will need to be 64 bit.
Is there a reliable way to convert the image? I have a generalised version of the 32 bit image and a 64 bit iso. I've been reading about USMT 4.0, which looks like it should work. I'm happy reading and playing (surely a must for any aspiring geek), but grateful for the combined wealth of your experience. I don't mind working to learn something new, but am not especially keen on wild goose chases
Make a new image I'd say.
It'll have to be a fresh install although you may be able to migrate the data.
The most reliable way would be to build a new image from scratch form the 64bit iso. Unless there is a particularly good reason for not wanting to...
TechieWils (20th May 2013)
Either document or automate the build and capture process. So it can be repeated. E.g with 64 bit win 7 source or 32 bit. Are you using mdt ?
jmak (20th May 2013)
You need to build a new image; cross architecture upgrades are not supported. When you build the new one keep a log of all your changes and save somewhere in the image.
I'm not using MDT at the minute. I know enough about it to know that it's what I should be doing, but it hasn't been needed yet. My current image is a tweak of someone else's, so I'm not certain of all of the customisations in the original. Number of machines is small, as is the amount of variation between builds. So far, updating the image has consisted of taking the most recent version, making any changes I want to add, applying all updates and capturing an image using FOG.
Most settings are managed through GPO - both computer and user - so that I can have a standard build used by people with different roles.
I think it's time to play with MDT. What's the best way to extract the settings currently applied? Can I get an XML file or similar?
Sorry to point out the elephant in the room but do you really need the extra 0.5GB RAM that 64-bit will give you on a 4GB machine? Also, have you considered that a lot of older curriculum titles may fail on 64-bit OS when they worked fine on 32? I'd stick with the image you have and see if anyone notices - I'd put £5 on the fact they won't!
Once they start getting machines with 6-8GB then you need to move, but you can plan now in slow time, perhaps over the summer?
Last edited by Giblets2; 27th May 2013 at 08:57 AM.
jmak (27th May 2013)
I agree that the users probably won't notice the difference - especially since it would be almost double the memory that they have already, along with a processor about 5 generations newer.
But it just don't feel right...
I'm employed term time only, so while I might do some project bits over the summer, it's only really stuff for my personal development / interest as I'm not paid to be there.
I'll have to agree with the others on this one, you're going to have to do a fresh installation from scratch.
Do you have a build log? If not I'd recommend creating one, just a tick-sheet with the software you install on particular computers.
I have a build log of what I have done, however I took over someone else's image. I have added a few tweaks - couple of power policies here, lock down something else there, plus the standard Windows updates, new versions of Flash and Java etc, but I don't have a definitive list of all of the customisations which were made to the original Windows installation. I generally use Group Policy to push out changes to how I want things to run, so it hasn't been an issue for me until now.
I'd like to keep them as much in line as I can, as some users will be using machines with both builds. Most of the pupil machines are netbooks, so will never run a 64 bit OS. I'll therefore have to keep two builds in step for the foreseeable future.
I'm going to echo what Giblets said... are you going to upgrade all of your computers to Windows 7 64bit? I personally wouldn't run a mix of architecture as you can end up with some profile issues. For example where users have pinned a program on a 64bit machine, the shortcut might be looking at C:\Program Files(x86)\random program\program.exe whereas on the 32bit machine the program is located in C:\Program Files\random program\program.exe.
I agree with Giblets2 - just image using your existing 32Bit image. Windows will still see over 3GB worth of memory which is plenty for most users.
jmak (30th May 2013)
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