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O/S Deployment Thread, Best way to 'image' a suite of Macs in Technical; Just received 10 new iMacs to replace some circa 97/98 ones (cant believe how long they've lasted!) Ive never set ...
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    Best way to 'image' a suite of Macs

    Just received 10 new iMacs to replace some circa 97/98 ones (cant believe how long they've lasted!)

    Ive never set up a load from scratch before, and Im thinking I defnately need to ghost/image them in some way after the amount of time it took just getting past all the welcome rubbish on the one Ive unpacked

    Ive used SuperDuper before on some iBooks but only to clone one to another, whenever Ive tried to create an image file its always failed. Is there a better product?

    Also is there anything to watch out when cloning, eg is there any possibility of problems with duplicate ID's or names like you get on PC's if you dont use sysprep?

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    Re: Best way to 'image' a suite of Macs

    As it happens I have done this recently.

    Check out the brilliant (free) NetRestore from Mike Bombich ( http://www.bombich.com/software/netrestore.html ). Hopefully you have an OS X Server too - this is important for making your life less stressful.

    There is also a good guide on setting up a lab of macs at http://www.bombich.com/mactips/workshop.html - you have to love Mr. Bombich!

    Any probs post them here and I'll see if I can help.

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    Re: Best way to 'image' a suite of Macs

    I suggest you sign up for EduGeek south and have a listen to Ross as he talks about how he did it.

    Mike Bombich is fantastic for this sort of stuff and Robert Moir (search EduGeek for Roberto) has lots of helpful hints too ...

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    Re: Best way to 'image' a suite of Macs

    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinder
    Just received 10 new iMacs to replace some circa 97/98 ones (cant believe how long they've lasted!)

    Ive never set up a load from scratch before, and Im thinking I defnately need to ghost/image them in some way after the amount of time it took just getting past all the welcome rubbish on the one Ive unpacked

    Ive used SuperDuper before on some iBooks but only to clone one to another, whenever Ive tried to create an image file its always failed. Is there a better product?
    I can only echo the advice you've had already. And maybe add a little of my own.

    I've found that you really need to boot from a seperate OS image for absolute best results in cloning, and for my last batch of deployments (Intel iMac machines with a ~50 Gb image footprint) I did the following:

    1. Got hold of a 200Gb firewire external disk, partitioned it into a small (30Gb) first partition and a second partition using the rest of the space.

    2. Installed OS X onto the first partition on this external disk - you can do this easily enough with a normal install, and just be careful about selecting the destination as the firewire disk. I also do a custom install at this point so I don't waste time installing stuff that won't be used on this image.

    3. Install NetRestore from Mike Bombich's site onto this firewire based OS install.

    ~~ you only really need to do these 3 steps once, and it will work for you as it is until you substantially change the hardware you're imaging from and need to update the OS to work with the new hardware ~~

    4. With that done, create your source disk image on the Mac you want to take an image from.

    5. When ready boot from the firewire disk (you can change the startup disk in system preferences), use netrestore to create an image of the system disk and copy to the second partition on the firewire disk as an ASR .dmg file.

    6. Go to coffee.

    This is perhaps far more complex than you can 'get away with' but doing it this way guarantees that i'll have no trouble when I'm doing this.

    Also is there anything to watch out when cloning, eg is there any possibility of problems with duplicate ID's or names like you get on PC's if you dont use sysprep?
    The only things you need to change afterwards are IP address (if you don't use DHCP) and network name - actually the Macs will work out their own names that don't clash, but you might want to change them to something more standard.

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    Re: Best way to 'image' a suite of Macs

    Thanks guys, some really good info there
    Ill have a play this week and Im sure Ill be back with more questions

    I think the Art department are keen for a Mac consultant to come in for a day to make sure its set up properly, which Im ok with, but Id rather get as much done as possible before he comes as he is THE slowest worker I have ever seen

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    Re: Best way to 'image' a suite of Macs

    @sidewinder

    Where about are you? I'd be interested to know which consultant this is ... PM me if you want instead of putting it in public.

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    Re: Best way to 'image' a suite of Macs

    Pm'd you

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    Re: Best way to 'image' a suite of Macs

    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinder
    I think the Art department are keen for a Mac consultant to come in for a day to make sure its set up properly, which Im ok with, but Id rather get as much done as possible before he comes as he is THE slowest worker I have ever seen
    Strikes me that a good thing to do on your part might be to agree with them but specify your own insultant.

    One that would work with you on what to do, so that you got up to speed quickly on what you needed to support the darn things yourself. One that doesn't have a vested interest in selling you more of their time.

    Where to find someone like that is another question of course.

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    Re: Best way to 'image' a suite of Macs

    @Roberto:

    Sounds like you are up for a bit of freelancing ;-)

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    Re: Best way to 'image' a suite of Macs

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    @Roberto:

    Sounds like you are up for a bit of freelancing ;-)
    it does, doesn't it. Not freelancing but the college might be persuaded to rent me out for a day if its asked in the right way.

    I think its a good principle though, to pick your own consultants who you can be sure have aims at least vaguely aligned with yours, I get suspicious when i have people thrust onto me whose aims I can't work out.

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    Re: Best way to 'image' a suite of Macs

    Yep ... it has taken us 5 attempts at getting the right ASE to work with, and with Apple not taking any direct role anymore in how things are developed within education in the UK (in spite of the work by Leonie and Julian) we are reliant on ASEs and consultants more and more.

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