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O/S Deployment Thread, Portable Imaging solution in Technical; ...
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    Portable Imaging solution

    I now visit lots of different schools and at the moment for imaging itís a case of creating a new image for different models of PC\Laptops and capturing the image using Ghostcast which is installed on the sites server or capturing to a USB drive. This is can very time consuming and inefficient.

    What i looking for is a Method of using 1 image (1 for each different OS, Mainly XP some Win 7) for all sites, and maybe having MDT or some other Imaging software installed on my laptop ready to go?

    Iím only familiar with Ghost, so can someone advise if this is possible?

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    Fog is looking like my best option

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Fog is a very good piece of software - i use all of its features (green fog, login tracker etc). What you will have to do though is create an image and use the sysprep to select the correct drivers. But if you want it for different sites you couldn't use all the features like joining domain etc becuase (i assume) you have different domains on each site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    But if you want it for different sites you couldn't use all the features like joining domain etc becuase (i assume) you have different domains on each site.
    I have FOG do the imaging and host renaming, but domain join is done via a script - just have your image auto-login to a local administrator account and do a domain join. You could have the script join a different domain based on machine name.

  5. Thanks to dhicks from:

    mtdmitchell (14th March 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I have FOG do the imaging and host renaming, but domain join is done via a script - just have your image auto-login to a local administrator account and do a domain join. You could have the script join a different domain based on machine name.
    great tip thanks, will look to include that

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    mdt can be set to do varous things, on boot you can select your image, be it from cd or a custom one you've captured, you can then add programs, drivers are injected automagically and you can use different task sequences for different schools ( for adding to ad etc)

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    WDS should do the trick too, although you will need a server licence for it - maybe have it running as a VM on your laptop. You can then create a single use image (i.e. it has all the drivers and generic software on it for all hardware types you encounter), and you can simply update the domain joining part of the sysprep file prior to imaging. You can also create a folder on the server for additional drivers, so if you get new hardware you simply drop the drivers into here which saves having to update your image.

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    TechSupp's Avatar
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    Speaking of creating an image for all hardware etc, has anyone got any simpletons info/instructions of how to do that, i.e. I know there are downloads available with all the recent drivers etc but where do I put them and how to tell the install where to look when it reboots, how best to use sysprep? I have used Fog in the past and its been OK, but used it for renaming etc. I'm in a similar situation where I cover a few schools but having a single image (or 2) for each school would be great instead of my current range of images. I currently use Partimage (part of the SystemRescueCD) as its usually not a major image job just one or two that need reimaging due to faults etc. (larger imaging jobs I let our supplier do, pay them as its more cost effective in time etc).

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    Quote Originally Posted by TechSupp View Post
    Speaking of creating an image for all hardware etc, has anyone got any simpletons info/instructions of how to do that, i.e. I know there are downloads available with all the recent drivers etc but where do I put them and how to tell the install where to look when it reboots, how best to use sysprep? I have used Fog in the past and its been OK, but used it for renaming etc. I'm in a similar situation where I cover a few schools but having a single image (or 2) for each school would be great instead of my current range of images. I currently use Partimage (part of the SystemRescueCD) as its usually not a major image job just one or two that need reimaging due to faults etc. (larger imaging jobs I let our supplier do, pay them as its more cost effective in time etc).
    I'm currently working on an XP image that does all hardware - I'm getting close to the final product, just having to tweak sysprep.inf files etc till it's right. Once it is right and works on all our hardware (it's going to take a few days to test the various computers) I will be documenting how I created the image. I will post this documentation up once done.

  11. 2 Thanks to Hightower:

    RetroTech (14th March 2011), TechSupp (14th March 2011)

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    Thats just what I need, thanks, looking forward to reading it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TechSupp View Post
    Thats just what I need, thanks, looking forward to reading it!
    Or watching it

    Planning on doing video documentation as I find it easier to follow (and to document for that matter!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hightower View Post
    I'm currently working on an XP image that does all hardware - I'm getting close to the final product, just having to tweak sysprep.inf files etc till it's right. Once it is right and works on all our hardware (it's going to take a few days to test the various computers) I will be documenting how I created the image. I will post this documentation up once done.
    Sounds Good

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    It's all well and good have a 'Universal' Image, it's a great idea but I'd watch out where licensing is concerned if you are going to other schools your still going to have to alter each image for different locations to suit the licensing.

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    In my case Universal would be universal for one school then another universal image for another as each have their own software requirements so could not have a single universal anyway.

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    You may want to check out Clonezilla instead of WDS, FOG, Ghost etc. I've haven't used it but from what I've read it has options that can make it more suited to portable use, whereas all of the others are really designed to be permanently located on a site. Maybe not so important if you can take a VM around with you though.



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