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Windows Thread, Imaging machines with different hardware - Drivers in Technical; Hi All Glad to see Edugeek back again. I think this has been talked about before, but we have multiple ...
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    timbo343's Avatar
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    Imaging machines with different hardware - Drivers

    Hi All

    Glad to see Edugeek back again.

    I think this has been talked about before, but we have multiple basica images for different rooms and it would be great if we could put all the drivers on one image but i dunno where to put them all.

    Can someone help?

    Thanks

    Tim

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    contink's Avatar
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    I use either autoimage with driverpacks or just nlite.. .

    Nlite has a couple of minor glitches but usually they come down to it not copying across redundant files like readme.htm.

    Used it all successfully for a few workstations in the past though and recently a couple of laptop types..

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    Sysprep?

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    timbo343's Avatar
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    We use sysprep at the mo.

    I might have a look at autoimage and see what that does.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Sysprep will IIRC only handle the one machine you're installing to and not any additional drivers whereas Autoimage in tandem with the various tools it pulls together, can insert various drivers, applications, addons, etc... that can be used for multiple hardware setups.

    It's not an exact science though and does require a lot of patience, time and testing to get it right...

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    timbo343's Avatar
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    is autoimage free?

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    Quote Originally Posted by contink View Post
    Sysprep will IIRC only handle the one machine you're installing to and not any additional drivers whereas Autoimage in tandem with the various tools it pulls together, can insert various drivers, applications, addons, etc... that can be used for multiple hardware setups.

    It's not an exact science though and does require a lot of patience, time and testing to get it right...
    Unless you use the feature in sysprep to detect and install drivers

    I have one image that installs drivers for several different machines, I build it on vmware in fact, without any device drivers. All just done with the driver paths option in sysprep (with a little inf file tweaking on the drivers to stop tray apps etc).

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Doesn't sysprep only work for identical hardware?

    EDIT: Damn my slow response

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    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timbo343 View Post
    is autoimage free?
    Yep... as are all the tools it pulls in... nlite, ryanvm, wmpslipstreamer, driverpacks, scriptpacks, etc...

    You'll need to register on the forums to get the releases too...

  10. Thanks to contink from:

    sparkeh (11th July 2008)

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    contink's Avatar
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    @Gibbo.

    Sysprep is one of the tools to create the image for Windows Deployment Service or RIS Remote Installation Service (?).

    The benefits of RIS/WDS over Ghosting have been discussed at length so I'd check those over using search... For my money though RIS is a {deity} send... but I prefer to use RIS for the basic install with drivers then GPO for application installs whilst scripts can handle non-redeployable apps as silent installs on the first login.

    It's a confusing mess I can tell you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
    What are the exact benefits of sysprep? At two schools I've worked at they just build the image, give it a name like IT1-MST get it on the domain and fully tested, then remove it from the domain and ghost it.

    Then, after a room is ghosted you just have to rename it and join it to the domain. (ignoring the duplicate name warning you'll get)

    Would sysprep make it any easier or is it just a more automated (wizards?) way of doign the above?
    Key thing about sysprep is that it makes sure that you don't get two (or more!) machines with the same SID (security identifier - the thing which "really" identifies the machine to Windows). Most of the time having multiple machines with the same SID doesn't matter (and there are other ways of changing the SID) but if you don't change SID then it will come back and bite you at some point.

    Sysprep can handle the rename for you (at minimum it can give the machine a random name so you don't get errors at start up; may not matter but it means you can't have a "run-once" script which (say) connects to a network server and does some finishing off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timbo343 View Post
    I think this has been talked about before, but we have multiple basica images for different rooms and it would be great if we could put all the drivers on one image but i dunno where to put them all.
    We have a folder called "drivers" on the c: drive of our base image and in there go all the drivers we have. Sysprep.inf then contains:
    [Unattended]
    OEMPnpDriversPath=drivers

    (note you don't include the c:\ bit)

    and as the machine restarts it picks up the drivers it needs.

    I wrote about WIM files earlier but this is one of the areas where they are fabulous - the laptops we're now buying need a raft of different drivers so all you do is mount the WIM file, copy in the drivers, unmount and save and you're good to go. With Ghost you'd have had to restore the image to a machine, boot it with Windows PE (or similar), copy the files, load the image back to the server and all this can take an hour compared to perhaps 10 minutes for editing the WIM

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    timbo343's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    We have a folder called "drivers" on the c: drive of our base image and in there go all the drivers we have. Sysprep.inf then contains:
    [Unattended]
    OEMPnpDriversPath=drivers

    (note you don't include the c:\ bit)

    and as the machine restarts it picks up the drivers it needs.

    I wrote about WIM files earlier but this is one of the areas where they are fabulous - the laptops we're now buying need a raft of different drivers so all you do is mount the WIM file, copy in the drivers, unmount and save and you're good to go. With Ghost you'd have had to restore the image to a machine, boot it with Windows PE (or similar), copy the files, load the image back to the server and all this can take an hour compared to perhaps 10 minutes for editing the WIM
    Right ok, thanks for that. It sounds like we might go down that route.

    cheers

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    Quick question, whats a WIM file???

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    Key thing about sysprep is that it makes sure that you don't get two (or more!) machines with the same SID (security identifier - the thing which "really" identifies the machine to Windows). Most of the time having multiple machines with the same SID doesn't matter (and there are other ways of changing the SID) but if you don't change SID then it will come back and bite you at some point.

    Sysprep can handle the rename for you (at minimum it can give the machine a random name so you don't get errors at start up; may not matter but it means you can't have a "run-once" script which (say) connects to a network server and does some finishing off.
    At my last place of work, back when we were using boot floppies to deploy the corporate driveimage, one of the bods created a batchfile that loaded during the boot sequence that prompted the operator for computername, administrator name/pass and domain to join the computer to (just before the standard image was pulled down from a network share) - not sure on the specifics but i believe the prompts and captured info were done using a couple of obscure batch commands, enquire.exe change.exe. Various ini files were modified as a result...

    ...the script would then complete, diskpart commands would kick in driveimage would run and voila 20 minutes later you had a completed machine without manually needing to remove and rejoin from the domain. This method of naming was done because of the limitations of the syspreps computer naming facility....even today i think it was an ingenious solution, but made somewhat redundant by modern pxe-imaging and image deployment management consoles like WDS. Although even with the current advancements, significant out-of-the-box thinking is required to achieve zero-touch targeted computer naming of imaged machines.

    Agree with contink, that the options surrounding OS/apps deployment are at times a bit bewildering....wish we could just use server based computing for everything and not have to deal with deployment. period. Not that building citrix farms doesn't come with it's own problems.

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