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O/S Deployment Thread, Imaging across 66 laptops in Technical; Hey guys, I have to make 66 laptops with the exact some software on each one and the easiest way ...
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    Imaging across 66 laptops

    Hey guys, I have to make 66 laptops with the exact some software on each one and the easiest way to do this is to make one and image it across, however I don't know how to image. Can someone give me the steps needed to image it please? I tried acronis but that gave me a 30gb file and I can't put that on a memory stick to put across the laptops, so any help to allow me to image the software over to the other 65 laptops will be greatly appreciated, also if this is in the wrong section I apologise.

    The laptops are equipped with Windows 7 basic and use education based software, such as Clicker 5 and ColourMagic

    If you need any more details I'll be happy to help

    ~Kisageru
    Last edited by Kisageru; 9th January 2012 at 03:13 PM.

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    If you don't want to be shuffling USB drives use WDS over the network...

    Windows Deployment Services (WDS) - www.windows-noob.com

    Or there's the open-source FOG product but others will be able to tell you a lot more on that front, I'm an MS imaging fan myself

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I use Image for Windows which allows you to boot off a disc and image from either a network location or USB.

    As well as installing all software onto a single machine, it's recommended you patch it the the max and then Sysprep it. If you're not familiar with imaging you're probably not familiar with Sysprep either. This is something I would recommend searching for on these forums.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    WDS should be your first port of call - can be installed on any Windows Server edition (well almost any).

    If you want to take a step up look at the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit - mixes in with WDS and although the setup is more complex the end result is a lot easier to work with.

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    Thanks for the reply guys, before I look into it any further (I know I can google this) but is WDS free? And are there any "Noob" guides to work with or any installation and setup guides you could reccomend? But thank you for the quick replys even though mine is a week late.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kisageru View Post
    Thanks for the reply guys, before I look into it any further (I know I can google this) but is WDS free? And are there any "Noob" guides to work with or any installation and setup guides you could reccomend? But thank you for the quick replys even though mine is a week late.
    as long as you have a windows server 2003 sp2 or above its free yes

    as to guides plenty but its been that long since i looked id be hard pressed to recommenr one but its fairly simple and the basics you can learn with a vm and some spare time

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    Thank you Sted I'll have a look into it and try get it working, are there any tips you can suggest for when I do use it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kisageru View Post
    Thank you Sted I'll have a look into it and try get it working, are there any tips you can suggest for when I do use it?
    start with vms as images need to be sysprepped to be pulled into wds so if its a vm you can snapshot it before sysprep then roll it back. Tbh if starting from scratch id use mdt as well as wds on its own as it CAN be easier and more flexible

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    If starting from scratch I'd invest in SCCM

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    Quote Originally Posted by gshaw View Post
    If starting from scratch I'd invest in SCCM

    What's SCCM?

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    gshaw's Avatar
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    Microsoft System Centre Configuration Manager

    System Center Configuration Manager | Server Desktop Management

    Complete management of all your servers \ desktops (including imaging). Cheap as chips if you're on Microsoft EES licensing and extremely effective. Does take a bit of learning initially but once you get used to it there's so much you can do. Might be worth waiting for the new 2012 version that's should be out very soon

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    I'll have a look into it, does anyone have any experience with imaging with Acronis, the laptops need to be done quickly and I'd rather not faff around with WDS (Though I will set it up for future use). With Acronis I try use it but I get a huge file size that's about 30gb, and I definitely can't use that on a USB stick. I tried google but that doesn't come up with anything

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Which version of Acronis are you using? Whilst Acronis (and many other imaging systems) can compress the image, if you have created a very large base image then it will still be quite large. Many here use WDS, Fog etc. and then roll out the applications via group policy independant of the main OS image which keeps the initial image small and fast for deploying. The additional doftware is then deployed/installed in a secondary automated process.

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    Acronis v13 build 5055, I'd happily use WDS but the problem is setting it up and learning how to use it (I'm still in college so It's not too easy)
    Last edited by Kisageru; 16th January 2012 at 04:06 PM.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Is it Acronis Home is what I ment. But a little Googling shows me you are using Acronis Home 2010, which is fine for what it does (individual home computers) as I use it here for my desktop backup, but it lacks the tools you need that the network centric imaging systems have. My next question is this:

    Are you intending to image multiple computers with the same image and are you using a sysprepped image? If not, you are going to be in a world of hurt/work when it comes to manually resetting upmteen computers if they don't have the correct licence installed and they call home.
    Also, if you intend to image 66 laptops with Acronis this will take you.....well, let's just say 'A Long Time' if you don't have multiple external hard drives. For this kind of thing you really, really need network deployment I'm afraid.

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