thanks to all the responses. localzuk can you possibly expand abit on what you exactly do with gss. is there a step by step guide anywhere i could follow?
We use Windows Deployment Services because it's a free addition to Windows Server 2003 and my philosophy being why pay extra when there's a free version that does what we need fine! Once you got it setup, which can be a bit fiddly admitedly, it works really well. Have used this for the last year or so (prior to that we used RIS)
Have a read through the "WDS - Tips for beginners" stickied thread if you haven't done so already - loads of useful info. I've also written up a few guides detailing each step. It looks a lot but really isn't that complicated. I wish I'd done it much sooner.
Windows Deployment Services - Step by step guides
torledo (25th May 2008)
don't know how easy or difficult it is to set something like this up....you've mentioned gdisk for hiding paritions but what kind of commands would you need to reimage a machine from hidden partition remotely.....or if there's a way to script the process of re-hiding the partition after imaging.
And what about actually getting the image onto the hidden partition? Surely you would need to update it occasionally or am I just being thick? Then again, (starting to ramble now!) I suppose if you install all software via GPOs etc, you wouldn't need to update it.
I just use RIS and GPO installed software/policies/etc.
Once you have connected the laptop to the domain and put it in its correct OU for the first time, AD stores the GUID so that next time you come to "image" it it knows which PC it is and puts it in the correct group ready for software to install.
Pros- Only 1 image needed for all PCs, whether that be 30 or 3000. No messing about with floppy boot disks and the likes. Absolutely zero learning curve for a techy to come in and install Windows and all its software on a PC (once the system is set up). It doesnt matter if you need to install more software on a live PC as it just goes on top, no need to recreate a new image and deploy it. No extra licencing costs.
Cons- You need to know how to create MSIs, which can sometimes be a PITA and take a while but once you get your head round it they are generally easy enough to do. You can only install 1 OS on a PC, well without using extra methods and software.
Last edited by j17sparky; 25th May 2008 at 01:39 PM.
i think tbh with the tools available with windows server and the deployment vendors i think traditional disk imaging may be a thing of the past...
for those that can afford it SMS can do OS, service pack and application deployment. Even without SMS a network based unattended install followed by GPO software delivery or something like softricity for app streaming would work just as well, if not better than ghost. Don't forget ghost solutions suite comes with a license cost - licensed in effect by no. of machines in the org...if it were a SMS vs ghost deicsion i'd prefer to pay the extra for SMS.
And eschew traditional imaging. I mean what's the point of disk imagin pxe or boot floppy based if service packs and apps can be deployed through other centrall administered methods - softricity being the current hot product for this. Just put all the settings in an answer file for regional, domain membership etc. then do a centrla unattended install followed by use of the policy based software distribution method you're org prefers to use...softricity, GPO's, SMS/zenworks etc
Last edited by torledo; 25th May 2008 at 01:41 PM.
>i think tbh with the tools available with windows server and the deployment >vendors i think traditional disk imaging may be a thing of the past...
Depends its just another useful too.
Like I have a load of older P3s here, I created one image but done the restore of the image to all the HDs by taking out the drives and plugging them into a quick machine. This worked out a lot quicker. Also like said there is the OS issue.
Updating images has become a PITA though. Im tending to just do a OS and driver image these days and wrry about the apps later but that is time dconsuming - like lets spend all day (or more) sorting a machine out!!
RIS etc. sounds good.. when I find some time to play with it.
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