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O/S Deployment Thread, How and what software to use Imaging Computers. in Technical; Hey Guys So I've just resurrected a old server and installed Windows Server 2008 R2 and made it a second ...
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    abillybob's Avatar
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    How and what software to use Imaging Computers.

    Hey Guys

    So I've just resurrected a old server and installed Windows Server 2008 R2 and made it a second Domain Controller! YAY!

    Anyway what I also would like to look into is a piece of software that will allow me to PXE boot from so I can re-image the machines in the School easily, we have nothing like this at the moment not even Norton Ghost so you can imagine the frustration building every computer up from scratch. In my old school we had a system where you could boot from the network, select which computer image you wish to use, click next and it would do everything for you and once the computer had restarted Voila it was re-imaged and sorted with all the drivers and so on.

    The latter is what I would prefer obviously but I don't know whether a system like that can be implemented for free, I'm guessing not!

    I am a huge noob at this as I have never set-up anything like this before, I've had a play with Clonezilla in the past but that's about it, so any help you could offer I would be very greatful!

    Cheers Guys

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    fiza's Avatar
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    MDT with WDS for PXE Boot without a doubt. (its free)
    Lots of info on Edugeek about using it.

    sounds like what your old school had.

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    abillybob (30th April 2014)

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    abillybob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiza View Post
    MDT with WDS for PXE Boot without a doubt. (its free)
    Lots of info on Edugeek about using it.

    sounds like what your old school had.
    Microsoft deployment Toolkit does ring a bell to me, I think it was that what we used in my old school. Could you point me to the right directions so I can learn how to set it up. I can't seem to find a document that tells me how to do it from scratch!?

    Thankyou

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    fiza's Avatar
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    lionsl2005 (1st May 2014)

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    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    WDS is great and will do all you want.

    If you wanted something a little more fun try FOG. We used to use it to preimage all our machines.

    FOG Server Install (Free Opensource Ghost) - Spiceworks

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    lionsl2005 (1st May 2014)

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    wds for pxe booting then mdt for actual imaging

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    FOG is excellent, one of the best things we ever implemented.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    How big is the school, what scale deployments are we talking about?

    Clonezilla is free and ultra-easy to use for small scale deployments. Store images on a network share, boot from penstick, CD or (with a little work) PXE.

    WDS is really easy to set up, free with Windows Server and all round the best option - but watch server and network load when using it. Possibly not a great idea on a DC, might want to avoid too much imaging if other users are around.

    MDT adds a little complication to WDS but does mean everything is automated. I think you can get MDT to the point were just turning a PC on is enough for an image to be deployed!

    Cream of the crop is System Center Config Manager. Costs a little more (actually free as part of an EES subscription). Takes some setting up (seriously!). But is worth all the hastles as AV, software deployments, machine images, etc all suddenly become a breeze to manage and deploy.
    Last edited by tmcd35; 30th April 2014 at 02:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    MDT adds a little complication to WDS but does mean everything is automated. I think you can get MDT to the point were just turning a PC on is enough for an image to be deployed!
    if youre prepared to play around yes i managed to set it up in 1 school so if a pc with mac address abcdabcdabcd booted into mdt it called it pc01 installed drivers for that pc installed software specific to that pc (so hp quicklunch as an example) ran the winsat tests to make sure aero was turned on ser the right screen res and logged off the local admin it logs in as when done.

    BUT unless you are doing a lot at once the extra work to make it that automated was imo more hassle than it was worth

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    BUT unless you are doing a lot at once the extra work to make it that automated was imo more hassle than it was worth
    To be honest, I always found MDT as a whole more hassle than it was worth! I stuck with vanilla WDS until we migrated to SCCM. I think SCCM is based on MDT, but it creates all the automation scripts for you.

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    Ok thanks guys for all your comments and help it's mostly appreciated. I have decided to go with Windows Deployment Toolkit and MDT. *Whispers and hangs head in shame* Though I am a bit stuck!

    I have followed the video on this website Windows Deployment Services - How to Set Up | TechNet to the letter! I get to the point where he tells me to right click "Boot Images" folder and click "Add Boot Image" though I browse to the place he tells me there is no .wim files to select just empty folders! Am I doing something wrong?

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    You need a Windows 7/8 install CD. You get the initial .wim files from there. They are then used to create the WinPE .wim files that you boot into using PXE.

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    MDT and WDS is the way we do it. Free option, easy to setup.

    I boot to PXE via the WDS section. Choose a task sequence to do a full install of a machine with all software etc. Then I sysprep and capture it to deploy out as a complete image. I also have ghost as a backup solution which can be launched from one of my MDT task sequences

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    Quote Originally Posted by abillybob View Post
    I have followed the video on this website Windows Deployment Services - How to Set Up | TechNet to the letter! I get to the point where he tells me to right click "Boot Images" folder and click "Add Boot Image" though I browse to the place he tells me there is no .wim files to select just empty folders! Am I doing something wrong?
    In the MDT console, right click the deployment share > update deployment share. Follow the wizard and after the wizard has finished, the boot image should be in the boot folder in the deployment share.

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