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O/S Deployment Thread, New PCs Deployment in Technical; ...
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    Angry New PCs Deployment

    Hi, Just looking for your thoughts on this. We have ordered 110 Dell PCs and they were delivered last Friday. Today I had the head in my office saying why it's taking so long to deploy them and why we didn't get them ready to go from Dell, I explained that there is no such a thing, as all schools are different and we all use different bespoke applications that need to be added, join them to domain etc. I expalined that I was doing just that, adding apps and etc at the same time as jugling from one task to another and assisting users.

    I taken by surprise as I wasn't expecting this sort of question. I don't know who he was speaking to, but he wouldn't accept this as an answer, I said Dell could have installed office and most apps if we send them the CDs and pay £50 per PC.

    Have you been in a similar siituation and how did you handle it?

    Thanks in advance guys.
    Last edited by armadillo; 2nd December 2010 at 11:40 PM.

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    pritchardavid's Avatar
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    Don't You use some sort of imaging?

    If you use Windows Deployment Services (WDS) it should take long to get everything running (That if your using Vista or Windows 7)

    Are you manually installing each app?

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    p858snake's Avatar
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    Dell can load preconfigured images onto systems if you want, but i think you may need a larger order for them to do it. But creating a image and sending it out to all the systems shouldn't take all that long, how are you setting them up?

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    Dell (and most vendors actually) will load an image that you send them. It's normally negotiated via a reseller and they'll offer it for volumes as low as 30 at no extra cost (or my reseller is eating the cost).

    I assume you are just pushing out an image and not doing it manually? Because if it's the latter your head has a point.

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    I guess it also depends on how many people armadillo has on the case and what other work needs doing. Just unpacking and setting them up is probably a 2 day job if you are on your own.

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    Shouldn't be too much of a problem to setup that number of machines fairly quickly - though it's easier during the hols - when there are fewer distractions/demands..

    1.. IT Tech (or temp if we have a lot to do) unboxes, places kit on desks, labels, cables and sets machines to PXE - creating a spreadsheet of MAC addresses vs machine names for me.. (and disposes of the waste cartons)
    2.. using spreadsheet -machines are pre-staged in AD
    3.. switch on all the machines - go home..
    4.. next morning check the machines have built and all the applications have installed.. job done!

    of course to get to this stage we have invested a lot of time and a bit of money in creation of machine and application images. If your Head hasn't given you the time/money/resources/training to do this sort of thing - then he/she is being unreasonable to expect things to happen so fast..

    We use Specops Deploy - but equally you can do the same with Altiris or several other commercial deployment tools - or even invest time in learning WDS and it's mysteries..

    I'm always happy to share and if anyone wants to see how our system works and can get to Oxford - pm me..

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    SCCM makes our life nice and easy... unbox... PXE boot... enter name... come back to find a machine imaged, joined to domain, AV installed and in the right OU ready to roll

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    Too late now, but most manufacturers will deliver to desk, unbox at desk, plug in etc - there's typically a charge for this (some will say it's "free" but TANSTAAFL applies ...)

    Dell (and other large suppliers) will preimage - again, they may charge and there may be paperwork involved (typically they want proof that you have licenses for everything they're putting on the machines).

    We buy from HP and we no longer have an image put on the machine (too many different images would be needed so it's not worthwhile) but they do asset tag the machines and provide us with an XML feed of data about the machines that we import (so we get asset tag, serial number, mac address, model etc in our host database before delivery)

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    First of all thank you all guys for your usefyl and kind replies. I am going to replynto every post.
    p-dave, we symantec ghost to image the PCs then we justy run new sid and add them to the domain. But thefact the head was expecting them to be ready out of the box whixh I couldn't understand. I have look itno MS WDS and it's runining on my PC, but we're still using XP SP3. I will give it a go comes summer, when I'll be rolling out win7.

    Thank agin for your reply and sorry for the delay.

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    Are you using Sysprep?

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    laserblazer, it's 3 of us, me manager and two technicians. We look after a fairly large school and a large network. Therefore it's a;most impossible to deploy them during school time and the worst thing is the new PCs are to be put in IT rooms, No chance to re-room the lessons as we haven't got enough IT room.

    Thanks for your reply.

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    carvjo, I would love to come to see the deployment method you use; is Speccops reliable and is it reasonably priced?
    Also, could you remotely deploy apps with it.

    Thanks for your reply.

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    hi FN-GM, no after ghosting I just run new sid and add the PCs to the domain one by one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armadillo View Post
    hi FN-GM, no after ghosting I just run new sid and add the PCs to the domain one by one.
    I think you would be better of with sysprep. Its quicker. You just type your computer name in and it joins it to the domain for you. You wont need to run New SID aswell then.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armadillo View Post
    hi FN-GM, no after ghosting I just run new sid and add the PCs to the domain one by one.
    you probly are better off with sysprep as also mentioned. and also look at something like FOG free and does the full wammy plus has the ability to join the domain for you and also install software etc using the fog service.

    Toby

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