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Windows Thread, RM's create/restore imaging process in Technical; Hello all, I manage quite a few sites, but one of these sites are RM where as most of us ...
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    Michael's Avatar
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    Question RM's create/restore imaging process

    Hello all,

    I manage quite a few sites, but one of these sites are RM where as most of us know, things are performed a little differently.

    I've started to deploy new XP SP3 images + applications at other sites and all seems well. At the moment the CC3 network is running XP SP2 and eventually I'd like to deploy new XP SP3 images here too.

    I've been told that (if I wanted to) I could install XP SP3 OEM (as I would any other machine), with drivers and then use Smartclient to join the RM domain. This all seems straight forward, however I've been told that I couldn't create a local restore image, even if I created a hidden FAT32 partition.

    So my question is, how do those of you who look after RM networks deal with such a problem, or if you buy in third party hardware and used it with RM, what procedures do you take?

    I've come to the conclusion that the RM way of doing things is maybe a little redundant and that I'd be better off creating a syspreped XP SP3 + drivers images and restoring this image using Bart PE. Windows XP would then be ready in a standalone environment ready for me to run Smartclient and join the domain.

    Any opinions/tips would be much appreciated.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Personally I try to avoid smartclienting machines if at all possible. Full builds always seem to work better for me.

    A fully up to date CC3 XP SP2 machine is going to virtually be the same an SP3 machine. It might build a bit quicker as it wont be installing separate updates but I don't think its worth moving away from a full build to a smartclient for this.

    Also RM will be releasing SP3 for CC3 in the Autumn. I am just going to wait until then.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I was aware that RM are going to make SP3 available in the Autumn, but it means pushing out a 316MB update across the network (similar to WSUS) when it arrives. The hardware at this site isn't fantastic which is why I am looking at other ways.

    What is the difference between a Smartclient build and a full build? How would I go about creating a full build? I presume by full you mean Windows and all applications installed from the start? Then maybe only a few hotfixes need to be installed?

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    I would agree with Sparkeh - We'll be waiting for RM to make it available. It may take a little while to roll it out but lets be fair - there's bigger applications (Lexia springs to mind) that we need to roll out.

    Once we've allocated the package we'll set a remote 'Create restore point' so if anything goes wrong the machine can be back within minutes. Seems like the easiest way - any other way and I would say you are just creating work for yourself.

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    When they released SP2 it required a full machine rebuild, it wasn't sent out as an update so who knows...

    I wouldn't put it on until they release it as it may invalidate your support contract as they get huffy if you don't use their "rebadged" hotfixes.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    I was aware that RM are going to make SP3 available in the Autumn, but it means pushing out a 316MB update across the network (similar to WSUS) when it arrives. The hardware at this site isn't fantastic which is why I am looking at other ways.
    But what is SP3 other than a collection of the updates since SP2 (plus a couple of new bits that you may or may not be worried about)?
    To my mind there are two scenarios.

    1) Existing machines. On a fully up to date CC3 network is there any point in pushing out SP3? Will it really do anything? Perhaps tidy up the system package area. But pushing that 316mb seems pointless to me.

    2) New or rebuilds. In this case installing SP3 or SP2+updates is going to be about the same.

    As I only ever rebuild the odd machine and mostly use restore images, I will wait. At some point, when any problems with SP3 are ironed out, I will problem rebuild the network with SP3. But I'm in no rush.

    What is the difference between a Smartclient build and a full build? How would I go about creating a full build? I presume by full you mean Windows and all applications installed from the start? Then maybe only a few hotfixes need to be installed?
    By full build I meant plugging the machine into the network and installing the OS and Apps from the server. You can then take restore images.

    Smartclient is taking an existing machine with XP and installing the RM stuff over the top. I believe you can't take restore images with this.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    I agree with you that SP3 is essentially a group of updates, but the reason this came about are for two reasons. Firstly I have a machine with a duff image, yet interestingly if I swap a hard disk from another identical workstation it works just fine and talks to the domain. The problem I have is when I boot off a floppy, the drivers are loaded but it continually loops and cannot find the domain.

    I have to say I'm feeling a bit thick right now as RM seem to make this procedure really complicated. Normally I create a perfect system, sysprep it then deploy it.

    What I am confused about is if I installed XP SP3, along with any drivers, then run Smartclient at which point the workstation needs to restart. Now theoretically I could take an image at this point to the hidden FAT32 partition. So if the workstation needs re-building, I can restore from the local image and all the applications are then installed once it's re-built. Am I making sense?

    According to RM even if I manually created a seperate FAT32 partition manually, it still wouldn't work which makes no logical sense to me.

    One method RM have said would work, is installing Windows XP + drivers, then sysprepping the image for identical hardware. Then I would run Smartclient, join the machine to the domain and the applications get installed automatically through MSIs. I'm not too fussed having the applications themselves on the image as it takes less than 30 minutes to install them all.

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    Butuz's Avatar
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    To be honest as long as your RM Network is up to date with Hotfixes etc - XPSP3 doesnt really add anything new. I am waiting for SP3 to come out whenever RM see fit to release it.

    Butuz

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