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Windows 7 Thread, Complete PC backup to deploy Windows 7? in Technical; Hi there. One of the schools I'm supporting is ready to go down the Windows 7 path (After waiting for ...
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    Complete PC backup to deploy Windows 7?

    Hi there. One of the schools I'm supporting is ready to go down the Windows 7 path (After waiting for 8 to come out, then realising it was awful) and have a suite full of PC's of identical spec.

    Can I use Windows Complete PC Backup to capture an image and restore it to the other PC's. I did this for Vista in another suite with 10 PC's and it worked fine but I wondered if there were any issues with doing it for Windows 7.

    PS: I'm aware of the 'proper' way of doing this WIAK, WSIM, ImageX, DISM, WinPE USMT etc but I'm only imaging 12 PC's.

    Any tips or advice gratefully received.

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    probably though i suspect activation may be an issue

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    This could work if you sysprep them after imaging. Better if you can do it before and and use the persistpnpdrivers bit: Prepare to Capture an Image for Deployment (Generalize)

    TBH better if you can do it right as you can think of it as more than for just 12 machines, given the better setup routines you can use it on future machines too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimaryTech View Post
    I'm aware of the 'proper' way of doing this WIAK, WSIM, ImageX, DISM, WinPE USMT etc but I'm only imaging 12 PC's.

    Any tips or advice gratefully received.
    I would have thought that 12 PCs makes it worth the time investment in setting up an "officially sanctioned" method. Surely all you need is WDS + an unattend.xml + sysprep? I had to look up some of the tools you mentioned! *Hangs head in shame*

    As @SYNACK says, once you have a decent image you should be able to use it elsewhere. Even if you get your head around the unattend.xml you can always use another tool (like Clonezilla) for "quick" image creation of "one-off" machines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeMarchand View Post
    I had to look up some of the tools you mentioned! *Hangs head in shame*
    That's it, there's sooooo much reading to do if you go through the MS way of doing it. I've found a couple of decent walkthroughs and I've got some time this morning so I'm going to give the 'official' way a go. I suppose in the long run I may need to do this for 000's of PC's one day so I might as well do it right

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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimaryTech View Post
    That's it, there's sooooo much reading to do if you go through the MS way of doing it. I've found a couple of decent walkthroughs and I've got some time this morning so I'm going to give the 'official' way a go. I suppose in the long run I may need to do this for 000's of PC's one day so I might as well do it right
    I found this tutorial for creating the unattend.xml (didn't use it for the imaging) and this for setting up WDS then capturing and deploying the image. IIRC all needed a few tweaks, but were good starting points.

    I think that the clever peeps on here may do it differently, but the above definitely works. Until MS change the procedure, of course...

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    Personally,for just 12 machines, I'd sysprep and then use Clonezilla. Even for a single classroom of 30 I'd still use this method. The only reason I set up WDS here was because we have 250+ machines of various makes and models to manage, and am now moving to SCCM to make that easier...

    edit: for 12 machines I wouldn't even bother with unattend.xml. Just generalise the sysprep and set them up manually after imaging.

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    @LeMarchand I was reading that first link this morning and I've managed to set up an answer file from that, really useful. Now I'm at the stage when I've got a machine in audit mode so I'm now chucking all the curriculum software at it ready to have a go at sysprep'ing and imaging...

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    If you have a server of any kind that will take WDS I would just set that up and roll out your images from that and save bodge jobbing together something of your own design.

    It could certainly help prevent any issues that may crop up in the future from misconfiguration now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimaryTech View Post
    @LeMarchand I was reading that first link this morning and I've managed to set up an answer file from that, really useful.
    Good luck!

    I think that I changed the locale, number of reboots and stored the passwords unencrypted (to make life easier). Once you have got one you are happy with you can just open it in notepad to make any necessary changes (e.g. x32/x64) - I use the same one across 4 sites with relevant tweaks.

    Following on from @jamesfed's note, I found out the hard way that 32-bit server = 32-bit WIMs only. Let's just say the air was a bit blue!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeMarchand View Post
    Good luck!

    I think that I changed the locale, number of reboots and stored the passwords unencrypted (to make life easier). Once you have got one you are happy with you can just open it in notepad to make any necessary changes (e.g. x32/x64) - I use the same one across 4 sites with relevant tweaks.

    Following on from @jamesfed's note, I found out the hard way that 32-bit server = 32-bit WIMs only. Let's just say the air was a bit blue!
    assuming thats mdt just install another copy pf it on an x64 pc and manage x64 stuff from there the share can still be on the server

  12. Thanks to sted from:

    LeMarchand (6th March 2013)

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    Have you seen Redo? We use it here without problems ....

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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    assuming thats mdt just install another copy pf it on an x64 pc and manage x64 stuff from there the share can still be on the server
    Never thought of that, though as my schools are primaries the only machines that tend to be "free" are the servers . I got quite excited at one of my schools when I found a fairly recent laptop that was spare as the battery was completely dead; alas it would only accept x32 Windows. I was going to use as a VM host (still am, but will have to revise my plans as it appears that there is a similar problem using Hyper-V on x32 systems).

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    I had a go at doing it 'properly' and so far it's been OK. Fresh install of Win7 then into Audit mode, sling on all the software, create the Unattend.xml, sysprep shutdown then boot to PE and image to USB HDD using ImageX. Just waiting until end-of-play today to try and use the Image on another machine...

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    Good luck!

    When you get time, it's worth looking at WDS to capture/deploy the images. If the school ever buys a bunch of new laptops (or a suite!) it's a lot quicker that using an external disk.

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