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O/S Deployment Thread, Cloning in Technical; hi all a school has recently purchased 20 laptops that will be stored in a trolley and be used in ...
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    Cloning

    hi all

    a school has recently purchased 20 laptops that will be stored in a trolley and be used in classrooms. the head wants the laptops to be setup in exactly the same way as the school desktop pc's, with same software, wallpaper, start menus etc.

    the laptops obviously have very different hardware to the desktop pc's. i have heard that acronis universal restore works when you wanna clone pc's with different hardware, has anyone used this and got it to work, it doesnt seem as easy as they make out on their website.

    i could just setup one laptop and then clone that but this being a school, about 98% of the cd's have been misplaced, lol. oh the joys of working in schools. so is there any easy way of cloning the desktop pc's onto the laptops.

    thanks for the advice guys

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    First question i would ask is What OS are they running?

    If Windows XP or Vista if you sysprep an image from the desktops and deploy it to a laptop it will boot up. Then go into the laptop machine remove the desktop drivers and install the laptop drivers and re uplaod the laptop image. You may run into problems wiht Windows installer if you do use the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility that will sort them out.

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    have read a few sysprep guides and they say that you cannot do it with different hardware, something to do with HAL.
    Last edited by Techie101; 2nd May 2009 at 12:34 AM.

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    Yes, the [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardware_abstraction_layer"]HAL[/ame] might cause a issue. So if all the laptops are all the same you just need to set one up and clone it out, as for the missing discs all you really need is the OS since most manufactures offer the drivers on their websites.

    As for the Start menu, wallpapers ect that can be handled pretty easily if your running a windows server as the backend (no idea about mac os/linux servers ect)

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    I'm guessing the missing CDs are not drivers but the software that needs putting on the machines and this is often not replaceable (although some companies will ship you a replacement CD if you can prove you bought the package; they may charge a nominal 10-20 fee)

    It won't help now, but for the future, make sure that when any new software is bought a copy of the CD is put on a server and install it from there. You can then lock the CDs away knowing that you will probably never need to touch them again!

    It's certainly worth just taking your existing machine, sysprepping it and then putting an image on the laptop; it might just work. One thing to watch for is SATA drivers - check in the BIOS to see that the settings are the same (ie if your desktops are set for IDE emulation then change the laptop to match; if the desktop is AHCI then do the same on the laptop)
    Last edited by srochford; 2nd May 2009 at 08:34 AM.

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    As far as I know there are 7 different HAL.DLL's each one has a different name in the installation set, however these are renamed to HAL.DLL after the pnp detection phase.
    Once your hardware has been through this process the installer copies the correct version of HAL.DLL to the OS and renames it to hal.dll

    This is what makes the cloned image only suitable for hardware that shares a common hardware abstraction layer.

    As most modern cpu's are dual core or hyperthreaded (or both) most systems use the Multiprocessor HAL nowadays so there seems to be less of an issue between HAL layers now than there was a few years back.

    Acronis and BESR both intterupt the restore process and allow HAL detection to overcome this.

    In Win2k you used to be able to change the HAL by booting from the CD and pressing F5 (NOT F6)
    This would invoke a HAL selection menu before the OS was mounted allowing you to switch the HAL to be used which was a really cool way of making one image run on all platforms.
    We also used to restore backups of W2K machines to different HW all the time and use that trick to make it work.

    I have'nt got a cd or a system disk to try this with at the moment but I thought XP still had this feature.

    Cloning however has other issues, remember that you MUST use sysprep or sidwalker to ensure each cloned machine maintains a unique GUID otherwise you can have some dire repercussions later on.

    Recently I had an entire site awash with Conficker as the WUS server only had a handful of machines in it's database.
    As far as WSUS was concerned all machines were upto date, but actually only one in each Lab was upto date as the NM/techies had decided to shortcut the imaging process and had bypassed the SID change!
    This may also affect other updating processes as all of your machines may report themselves to be the same device.

    Lets face it if we all had identical bodies life would be a bit difficult wouldnt it?

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    the cd's that are missing are not driver cd's they have lost the software cd's that they want me to install on the new laptops, i'll try sysprep and let you know how i get on. thanks all for the advice and help.

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    ghost it and then do a windows repair, 9 out of 10 times its worked for me. you just need to make sure that they are both either intel or amd as thats where you will have probs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Techie101 View Post
    the cd's that are missing are not driver cd's they have lost the software cd's that they want me to install on the new laptops, i'll try sysprep and let you know how i get on. thanks all for the advice and help.
    You should probably get everyone to go though and send everything they find to a central location (eg: resource center/your office) and sort it out.
    Also make sure you have proof of ownership of everything that is currently running or will be running on the network because since your the network administrator it is your job/problem if any company comes knocking and wants to check and you can't prove ownership/running too many copies.

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    I have used acronis universal restore and it works excellent.

    Here is how you can clone the desktops to the laptops:

    1) First pop in the acronis universal restore cd and boot to it on the desktop computer. Clone the whole disk to a usb disk or network share using regular or universal restore method. If you use a usb drive, plug it in before you boot up to the CD so it can be detected. You don't need to concern yourself about using the universal restore option for cloning at this point, that comes at the restore part.

    2) Next, backup all the drivers on the laptops. Use a driver backup software that can save all the drivers or just the non microsoft drivers to a self installing exe file. I use driver genius, but there are others. There are FREE ones out there that will detect and backup drivers to a folder or a zip file, but for speed, and automated convenience, I like to use the self installing exe type. Backup all the drivers from the laptops to a self installing file AND to a folder. Put the .exe and the regular folder full of drivers on the usb drive or network share with the cloned image.

    3) Next, restore the cloned desktop image you made with Acronis to the laptop disk. Boot the laptop to the acronis universal restore cd and this time, choose the UNIVERSAL RESTORE option. Acronis will detect and select the correct HAL for you. It installs the drivers for the hard disk controllers OR if not found, will prompt you to supply the drivers. Access the necessary disk drivers from the driver folder you put on the usb drive.

    4) Reboot the laptop machine to the working image. Microsoft may have been able to install some or all of the remaining drivers, but you probably won't get that lucky. If not, run the self installing driver backup exe file and let it install all the drivers. If you did not use self installing exe to backup the drivers then you can still let the machine detect the hardware and get the drivers from the driver folder on the usb drive.

    5) DONE. That's pretty much it, but you'll maybe want to adjust the power schemes for laptop use.

    That said, you can have trouble if the dekstops are using an OEM version of Windows. You should only use VLK versions. If you don't use VLK versions, you'll get prompted for activation. Also make sure you back up ALL the laptop drivers , they have some extra drivers for the touchpad and whatnot.

    Use my instructions above as a guide to getting it done successfully ONLY if the weather is good, you've had a good breakfast and your'e feeling like you can do no wrong.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Oakie; 5th May 2009 at 02:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m25man View Post
    Cloning however has other issues, remember that you MUST use sysprep or sidwalker to ensure each cloned machine maintains a unique GUID otherwise you can have some dire repercussions later on.
    Is there an easy way to check the GUID's as our desktops are all cloned using Symantec Ghost and I suspect that is how we are gettting problems with deploying software through AD? GUID be changed for any which have the same?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oakie View Post
    I have used acronis universal restore and it works excellent.

    Here is how you can clone the desktops to the laptops:

    1) First pop in the acronis universal restore cd and boot to it on the desktop computer. Clone the whole disk to a usb disk or network share using regular or universal restore method. If you use a usb drive, plug it in before you boot up to the CD so it can be detected. You don't need to concern yourself about using the universal restore option for cloning at this point, that comes at the restore part...................

    Good luck.
    tried the above but acronis encountered errors when restoring from the image, here is a copy of the log -

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
    <log build="8206" product="Acronis True Image Echo Enterprise Server" version="9.7">

    <event code="415" id="17" level="4" line_tag="0x51A94C3AC27C9F2E" message="Failed to install service from section 'NativePCI.NT.Services'." module="29" time="1241533761" />

    <event code="415" id="28" level="4" line_tag="0x51A94C3AC27C9F2E" message="Failed to install service from section 'pciide_Inst.Services'." module="29" time="1241533764" />

    <event code="413" id="32" level="4" line_tag="0x51A94C3AC27C9EB8" message="Copying files from section '@isapnp.sys' is failed." module="29" time="1241533846" />

    <event code="415" id="44" level="4" line_tag="0x51A94C3AC27C9F2E" message="Failed to install service from section 'ACPI_Inst.NT.Services'." module="29" time="1241533851" />

    <event code="415" id="47" level="4" line_tag="0x51A94C3AC27C9F2E" message="Failed to install service from section 'Processor_Inst.NT.Services'." module="29" time="1241533852" />

    <event code="415" id="52" level="4" line_tag="0x51A94C3AC27C9F2E" message="Failed to install service from section 'atapi_Inst_primary.Services'." module="29" time="1241533854" />

    <event code="415" id="57" level="4" line_tag="0x51A94C3AC27C9F2E" message="Failed to install service from section 'atapi_Inst_secondary.Services'." module="29" time="1241533855" />

    <event code="0" id="58" level="4" message="Operation has completed with errors.
    Please, see log for more details." module="100" time="1241533855" />
    </log>

    now when i boot the laptop i get blue screen of death and the laptop restarts caught in this loop, any ideas why this hasnt worked?

    the image was taken from a pc that belongs to a domain, dont know if this is causing issues.

    also the image was taken from an AMD pc but the target pc is a Intel Core 2 Duo.
    Last edited by Techie101; 5th May 2009 at 03:59 PM.

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    Sounds like an issue for Acronis to resolve. However, IF you had an XP cd, ( I know you said 98% were misplaced) I would attempt a repair install to see if the MS cd would resolve what looks like driver install issues inluding the processor. Once that was done, then clone the working laptop to use for all the others.

    This is a longshot, but IF you had the paragon cloning bootable disk with their version of universal restore, I would give that a try and see if Paragon's software coders can do a better job than their Acronis counterparts in this situation.

    Good luck again.

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    i have got a windows xp cd but the when the cd is starting up, way before it gives you the options, it gives the blue screen of death and restarts, you cant do a repair, or even do a fresh install it blue screens as the cd is starting up

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    You need catch the machine as it boots and tell it to start from the CD rom NOT the hard drive.

    At the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see these options:


    To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

    To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

    To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

    Press Enter, don't choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console.,


    You don't want to load Recovery Console.



    Accept the License Agreement and Windows searches for existing Windows installations.


    Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair.

    Setup continues like it's doing a clean install, but the apps and settings remain intact.
    Last edited by Oakie; 5th May 2009 at 09:37 PM.

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