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O/S Deployment Thread, Same image across different hardware configurations in Technical; I last experimented with imaging back in the days of RIS . I gave up as I found I would ...
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    Same image across different hardware configurations

    I last experimented with imaging back in the days of RIS. I gave up as I found I would need about 4 different images to cater for different HAL types.

    I will shortly be needing to get to grips with WDS. I heard that WDS images do not have the HAL compatibility issues. I was wondering if there are any other issues to watch out for which would require different images for different hardware. How do you handle different driver requirements? I remember setting up a driver folder for RIS.

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    That's the joy of WDS - one image for all!

    Get hold of the Automated Install Kit (AIK), which is a huge download and then the Deployment Workbench. Once you've got it up and running you'll just be amazed at how much simpler your life will be.

    As for drivers, you use something like Driver Magician Lite to extract the drivers on any working systems to a memory stick and then import these into the workbench. These then get injected into your image files and the hardware should then use these.

    Pete
    Last edited by FragglePete; 8th February 2012 at 10:20 PM.

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    Jollity (8th February 2012)

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    If you're deploying Windows 7, you can image on different hardware out the box - no matter what imaging method you use.

    Gone are the days with XP when you needed custom tools to get around the HAL problem.

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    Jollity (8th February 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by FragglePete View Post
    As for drivers, you use something like Driver Magician Lite to extract the drivers on any working systems to a memory stick and then import these into the workbench. These then get injected into your image files and the hardware should then use these.
    That sounds really handy. Do you ever have problems with bits of the drivers getting missed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    If you're deploying Windows 7, you can image on different hardware out the box - no matter what imaging method you use.
    So you could pull a system hard drive out of one Windows 7 machine, stick it in one with a different lot of hardware and it will sort itself out? That is certainly an improvement.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    So you could pull a system hard drive out of one Windows 7 machine, stick it in one with a different lot of hardware and it will sort itself out? That is certainly an improvement.
    Not quite - you'd have to run Sysprep on System A and shut it down, then install the hard drive in System B. When you switch on, the Sysprep process will do all the work for you.

    Windows 7 SP1 does have a good driver database and does install a good chunk of hardware automatically. It's only newer systems where you may be required to install drivers for a network card or chipset for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jollity View Post
    That sounds really handy. Do you ever have problems with bits of the drivers getting missed?
    I haven't noticed so far; it's pretty good. It'll scan you PC and identify all the drivers and associated files required. It'll highlight drivers that are not included as part of Windows and then 'backup' those files for you. We usually use the Portable version on a USB stick which sucks off the drivers and allows you to import them easily into the Workbench. When we have a new PC or Laptop come into the School we take a backup of all the drivers and import into Workbench. It's worth keep it organised though as your driver list can get pretty big. You can I believe setup workbench for specific hardware profiles so only certain images go to certain machines which reduces image sizes but I had to admit to being a bit lazy and have just the one image.

    Free driver backup software, Driver Magician Lite

    Pete

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    Jollity (11th February 2012)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Not quite - you'd have to run Sysprep on System A and shut it down, then install the hard drive in System B. When you switch on, the Sysprep process will do all the work for you.
    That does make sense. When you said "no matter what imaging method you use", did that include methods like Clonezilla, which is pretty much a bit-for-bit copy, as I understand it? If so, do you have to use Sysprep in those circumstances as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by FragglePete View Post
    I haven't noticed so far; it's pretty good. It'll scan you PC and identify all the drivers and associated files required. It'll highlight drivers that are not included as part of Windows and then 'backup' those files for you.
    I will definitely give it a go.

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    Sysprep removes all of the information that identifies the machine, so that when you import it into AD it is seen as a unique entity (the 'sid' as it's called is also used by other programs as well), so regardsless of the imaging method that you use it's good practice to do it unless its built in as part of the imaging process.

    The newer versions of sysprep also remove the unique identifiers for WSUS

    I'd recommend the WDS route though - it make injecting the correct drivers easier than it has been pre Windows 7!

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