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O/S Deployment Thread, One ghost image to rule them all in Technical; I know this has probably been asked many times before but is it possible to create a near generic ghost ...
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    MK-2's Avatar
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    One ghost image to rule them all

    I know this has probably been asked many times before but is it possible to create a near generic ghost image?
    One that I can roll out to many types of hardware and then let GPO update the software afterwards. It just needs to get Windows XP on to the machine really.

    I know RIS is an option, and that ghost and sysprep can get something similar but is it possible just with Ghost?
    If not, what's the best and easiest option with Ghost as the imaging software?
    Cheers

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK-2 View Post
    If not, what's the best and easiest option with Ghost as the imaging software?
    Cheers
    For XP all you need is ghost and sysprep. You *must* use sysprep to stand any chance of making a generic image.

    As long as all the machines are ACPI and IDE/ATA/SATA then it should be possible. You need to use sysprep to add the additional mass storage drivers and then any additional drivers from a specified driver folder when it is run before taking an image of the sysprepped machine with ghost.

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    MK-2 (15th September 2009)

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    MK-2's Avatar
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    So basically if I sysprep a machine, and add the whole host of drivers stored in our drivers folder on the server (which covers just about every machine in our school), then after ghost it will pick up any relevant drivers from there?

    Are there any comprehensive guides to this?

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    ricki's Avatar
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    Yes in theory but I have never managed it. If the motherboard varies too much you can ghost the machine but then have to run a repair on the os to get it to work.

    Richard

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    We have one XP image that is (currently) rolled out through ghost and sysprep, but not "just ghost". In fact, I think that if you do it with ghost without sysprepping, it will likely BSOD because of too many hardware changes (depending on what differences you have between hardware setups).

    With sysprep, we are aware of all the hardware on all devices, and we include the drivers in the driver store (c:\drivers). We have to ensure that all the directory paths are written in the registry (HKLM>Software>MS>Windows>CurVer#DevicePath). The store is about 1GB these days as it includes 8 years of drivers (or thereabouts)!!

    Mini-setup runs through each directory noted in the registry setting to check the drivers for all hardware.


    -You could possibly do the same with hardware without sysprep; If the PC does boot and finds all sorts of different hardware, it would still search the driverstore to see if it knows what that hardware is I think. However, you are likely to have some regitsry entries that point to hardware that doesn't exist and could cause issues.


    Sysprep and mini-setup doesn't take long... I would recommend, PLUS it cuts down on the image size and makes it nice and clean. You can just install XP on a basic machine, install any stuff you want (i.e. flash), clean out the cache/temp/etc and sysprep it. There are a few steps in sysprep to be careful about (mass storage drivers for example), but it's pretty easy overall. Once sysprepped, boot to ghost and upload your image.

    You can also use PE to open the sysprepped disk to insert new drivers into the driverstore/registry if you find you missed something.

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    RIS, Autoimage and driverpacks.net = 1 image for every single computer i have ever imaged (laptops, netbooks, anything i bring in from home...)

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