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O/S Deployment Thread, Imaging for Back-ups in Technical; Ok, simply put, I work in the IT department at my college and I opened my mouth how disk imaging ...
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    Imaging for Back-ups

    Ok, simply put, I work in the IT department at my college and I opened my mouth how disk imaging is my favorite method of backing up and how simple it has become. Since then, my supervisor has placed on me the task of finding the best solution of making one image for each unique computer (for example, each computer lab has identical computers. He wants one image per lab but each lab does not have the same computers) and a way to deploy images via network in the event of a virus (they tend to stay in one lab or the library) or some other event requiring reinstalling the OS (XP on 90% of the campus.) One problem I run into is the SID. I can image computers that are not on a domain all day long with no problems what so ever. What is the best way of using FOG (it seems the best solution so far) and cloning these workstations and being able to re-deploy to multiple PC's without the SID problem? Some one suggested removing the host PC (the one that is copied for the clone) and then broadcasting, then having each computer re-join the domain. Is this correct? I would normally try it, but i dont wanna screw up a whole lab and have to fix my error the hard way.

    Sorry for the long post, but I am sure someone on here can provide me with the answer I need.

    Thank you,

    CJ

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    ssx4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmcbowler10 View Post
    Ok, simply put, I work in the IT department at my college and I opened my mouth how disk imaging is my favorite method of backing up and how simple it has become. Since then, my supervisor has placed on me the task of finding the best solution of making one image for each unique computer.

    Wow lots of things here, lets break it down shall we?

    #1 glad you are interested in computer imaging. There are LOTS of different ways to image a pc and set up a computer for a work envyroment.

    You are going to want to start by reading though MSFN's unattended xp installation guide - MSFN's Unattended Windows : Unattended Windows Introduction

    You put [fog] in the title of the post so i'm assuming you are using FOG to image pc's correct?

    You also are going to want to sysprep your computer images. I'm assuming you have a VLK for Windows XP and aren't using OEM for everything.


    Quote Originally Posted by mmcbowler10 View Post
    (for example, each computer lab has identical computers. He wants one image per lab but each lab does not have the same computers) and a way to deploy images via network in the event of a virus (they tend to stay in one lab or the library) or some other event requiring reinstalling the OS (XP on 90% of the campus.) One problem I run into is the SID.
    #2 you need to be a bit more specific about the lab setting. If you don't all of the same hardware this makes your life alot harder. By harder I mean ALOT harder.

    How many different hardware models do you have? 10 or more? 15 or more?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmcbowler10 View Post

    I can image computers that are not on a domain all day long with no problems what so ever. What is the best way of using FOG (it seems the best solution so far) and cloning these workstations and being able to re-deploy to multiple PC's without the SID problem? Some one suggested removing the host PC (the one that is copied for the clone) and then broadcasting, then having each computer re-join the domain. Is this correct? I would normally try it, but i dont wanna screw up a whole lab and have to fix my error the hard way.
    You are going about this the wrong way. You are going to want to end up sysprep'ing the pc's that are not on the domain (do a mini-setup + reseal). Fog has lots of extra features that will make your life easier (auto changing computer names + adding it to domains)

    Lots of stuff to go over here, so take it one step at a time. If you need help with creating an image let me know (hardware independent imaging is no easy task)

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    ssx4life's Avatar
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    Also, I'm going to start doing a full walkthough on FOG from start to finish when it comes to imaging a pc.



    Check the fog documentation and website for more info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ssx4life View Post
    You are going about this the wrong way. You are going to want to end up sysprep'ing the pc's that are not on the domain (do a mini-setup + reseal). Fog has lots of extra features that will make your life easier (auto changing computer names + adding it to domains)
    No you want to sysprep EVERY machine, especially those in the domain.

    I'm not completely sure how FOG does it but basically it should be something along the lines of you setting up the host machine and then setup the sysprep and run it so it shutdowns down the machine then you boot into whatever environment you want to create the image (Not the windows install as that runs though the sysprep) and then deploy the image.

    Some people seem to like to use NewSID, this is ill-advised by most since it's not officially supported by Microsoft and that it only resets the Domain SID and not the information for other services such as WSUS.
    Last edited by p858snake; 26th September 2009 at 04:57 AM.

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    You have to use a combination of SYSPREP and the Fog client to get the best out of FOG.

    The Fog client will rename the host at first startup then re-boot it, then join to domain on the second startup, then re-boot it again. Then the client is ready for use. Using SYSPREP will ensure hardware is installed properly if there's slight differences between machines, and of course generate unique SID's for every machine - which is the important bit on a network.

    In your sysprep answer file, just leave the computer name blank so it choses a random one, and don't fill in the part for joining a domain - fog will sort this out after it's renamed the workstations. I've just used FOG to image over 500 machines, and it worked absolutely brilliantly.

    The other things you have to make sure you do is fill in the Active Directory part of the Fog system correctly, not forgetting that the password has to be encrypted using the FogCrypt program for it to work properly - this is a common mistake to make if you're not used it before. Also ensure that the windows support tools are installed on the machine (or more specifically the netdom untility) as the fog client uses this for renaming the machine and joining the domain, and of course ensure you've installed the FOG client before you take your image!

    Mike.
    Last edited by maniac; 26th September 2009 at 03:11 PM.

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    ssx4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p858snake View Post
    No you want to sysprep EVERY machine, especially those in the domain.
    p858snake I never said that he shouldn't do that at all. I never said he didn't want to sysprep every pc. Ugh... Please read what I type.

    As mentioned above...

    First you install xp and drivers / software / tweaks / etc.

    Next you make a sysprep.inf using M$ tools and run a mini-setup + reseal which will auto generate a new sid on reboot.

    Machine shuts down

    image pc with fog

    Push image to multiple systems of the same hardware type.

    Machine reboots and changes name based off of what you have /want. Then reboots and adds system to domain.

    Good luck
    Last edited by ssx4life; 26th September 2009 at 07:11 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    The other things you have to make sure you do is fill in the Active Directory part of the Fog system correctly, not forgetting that the password has to be encrypted using the FogCrypt program for it to work properly - this is a common mistake to make if you're not used it before.
    Follow the instructions at FOGUserGuide - FOGWiki
    Also ensure that the windows support tools are installed on the machine (or more specifically the netdom untility) as the fog client uses this for renaming the machine and joining the domain, and of course ensure you've installed the FOG client before you take your image!
    It's best that you set the image to upload straight after you have done all the set up on your "master" machine. Then it should automatically join itself to the domain when it reboots afterwards.

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