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O/S Deployment Thread, Imaging Windows 7 from Linux CLI in Technical; Hi 'geekers! I've heard but not verified that the latest version of fog is capable of cloning w7. FOG, last ...
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    Imaging Windows 7 from Linux CLI

    Hi 'geekers!

    I've heard but not verified that the latest version of fog is capable of cloning w7. FOG, last time I used it, used partimage to do its imaging so why is it then that I have had limited success trying to do the same using partimage manually? I am aware 7 defaults to installing with a hidden boot/recovery partition but I've got around that already by creating a single NTFS partition before installing 7 so there is only one partition that needs to be cloned and on top of that I'm targetting identical hardware too so there should be no need for sysprep as apparently FOG doesn't require sysrep to image 7 and I'm hoping to keep things as simple as possible here.

    I have tried imaging this setup (w7 installed to a single NTFS partition imaged onto indentical hardware) using both partimage and fsarchiver with the same results - when I try booting the imaged machine I get the dreaded Windows Boot Manager error screen and the only way I currently know how to rid of this is to boot the w7 install DVD and choose the repair option which does then get things running but doing that is certainly a hassle I can live without- I never had any probs imaging XP and Linux with these tools so I hope I can continue to use them for imaging 7.

    Maybe the way I create the target partition (I just create a normal, bootable NTFS partition with fdisk or cfdisk normally) has to be done differently for Windows 7? I suppose we could look at the source code for FOG to see how they do it but I'm presuming there will be some on here who have already done so. I do actually like FOG but its been decided against where I work and I'm keen to be able to do this from the manually or from scripts I run off live CDs/ USB/ PXE because its a hell of a lot less work to get going than FOG.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by danboid; 1st December 2011 at 04:42 PM.

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Less work?! I'll only use live CDs etc when absolutely forced, they're so slow! FOG is immensely easy to set up on Debian/Ubuntu (probably others too, but that's my experience). It has supported Windows 7 since 0.28 or so, I'm still on 0.29 as it has been flawless but there are further releases since. Still have to sysprep though, there's just no way round it when imaging like this I've found - it's not that much of a pain especially with the tools you can use to automate the post image process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danboid View Post
    I've heard but not verified that the latest version of fog is capable of cloning w7.
    Works fine for me - Windows 7 images in under 5 minutes, and FOG restores both partitions. I run sysprep before imaging and now I have one Windows 7 image that works on at least 3 models of machine. Oddly, FOG doesn't seem to be able to image Linux partitions - I wound up making my own installer for the netbooks we set up with Debian.

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    3s-gtech:

    FOG does reduce the amount of work after a considerable initial investment in setting it up, registering all the clients and creating images. First time I tried setting up FOG I'm sure it took me days if not weeks to get it all setup exactly how I wanted and I'm mainly a Linux user- its a bigger time investment for those unfamiliar with GNU and with no-one experienced to help set it up.

    live cds are slow if you're booting to a graphical desktop but thats totally not needed. Instead I use a remastered finnix which is like systemrescuecd in that it boots to a root console but its based on Debian (instead of gentoo like SRCD) and loads a lot less services at boot by default so it actually boots very quickly- especially off USB. I've yet to try it but one day I will setup a PXE server so I can boot finnix off the network too. Combine that with custom scripts you roll into the CD and you have a very fast and efficient toolkit at your fingertips. This also allows you to clone a machine to a local USB drive which you can't do under FOG.

    dhicks:

    FOG definitely can image Linux partitions as I have used it in the past to deploy a dual-boot install - a minimal Debian 'restore' partition alongside XP. Dunno if this would work with 7 too but you just need to choose 'raw' for the partition type of Linux partitions under FOG IIRC.

    So it sounds like Windows 7 pretty much mandates the use of sysprep for clean restoring of images then. Thats a shame - its just more work MS have created us admins as I never had to use sysprep when imaging XP onto identical hardware, it was just a case of making sure the machine was not on the domain before imaging and then changing the hostname (and maybe IP address) after deploying under XP.



    The ONLY thing I think thats better in 7 than XP is the installer- 7 requires twice the RAM XP does, takes at least 3 times longer to boot, requires several times more HD space and is generally just slower and creates more admin hassle- having to register each install online with MS is another example of how Windows has made me like it even less. I've been amazed at how many people swallowed the Windows 7 Kool-Aid - its just a streamlined Vista in my eyes which means there is too much bloat and lag for me. Windows 8 is going to be even worse I think and Server 8 sounds like the ultimate OS disaster waiting to happen!


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    Quote Originally Posted by danboid View Post
    So it sounds like Windows 7 pretty much mandates the use of sysprep for clean restoring of images then. Thats a shame - its just more work MS have created us admins as I never had to use sysprep when imaging XP onto identical hardware, it was just a case of making sure the machine was not on the domain before imaging and then changing the hostname (and maybe IP address) after deploying under XP.
    In the grand scheme of things being able to make HAL independent images straight out of the box was one of the best features of both Vista and 7. That coupled with driver injection in WDS for 2008 R2 has saved us hundreds, if not thousands, of man hours.

    You have to run FOGPrep prior to Sysprep for FOG to work with Windows 7 images. Whatever FOGPrep does may help you.

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    ^^Not with the very newest versions.

    Shouldn't need to register each workstation with MS (though you can if you really want to). You can use KMS with the Volume Activation Management Tool, this can push license keys to PCs in AD and register them by proxy. Instantly saves a huge amount of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    ^^Not with the very newest versions.
    I thought 0.32 was the newest version? That's what I've used most recently and the images we made with that fell on their arse without running FOGPrep first. Nothing quite like deploying a broken image to brighten up my day :-)

    On the key front even MAK keys can be registered with a script if you haven't got KMS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtotheb View Post
    I thought 0.32 was the newest version? That's what I've used most recently and the images we made with that fell on their arse without running FOGPrep first. Nothing quite like deploying a broken image to brighten up my day :-)

    On the key front even MAK keys can be registered with a script if you haven't got KMS.
    They can also be installed remotely using the volume activation toolkit or whatever it is called.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jtotheb View Post
    I thought 0.32 was the newest version? That's what I've used most recently and the images we made with that fell on their arse without running FOGPrep first. Nothing quite like deploying a broken image to brighten up my day :-)
    Yeah I though 0.32 was newest, maybe I can't remember correctly and they have announced it won't be needed for 0.33? Funny though, only one of my suites was FOGprepped before imaging, I have 14 other working Windows 7 images that I didn't use it on. Not that it's not a good idea

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    I've not got round to looking at what fogprep does to Windows 7 installs yet but I pretty much got the whole imaging of Windows 7 using the Linux cli thing sussed out and so I released my own custom version of SystemRescue CD complete with cim (create NTFS image) and im (restore NTFS image to /dev/sda1) to make the imaging of XP and Windows 7 as quick and easy as possible:

    cim imaging | Free software downloads at SourceForge.net

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