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Windows Thread, How many times can you sysprep a machine? in Technical; Quick Q - How many times can you sysprep a machine, say you had to build an image but you ...
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    somabc's Avatar
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    How many times can you sysprep a machine?

    Quick Q -

    How many times can you sysprep a machine, say you had to build an image but you do not have the original.

    eg. Build Machine 1 -> sysprep -> Ghost -> Deploy to Machine 2

    can you then

    Sysprep Machine 2 -> Ghost -> Deploy to Machine 3

    I have heard conflicting reports over whether you can sysprep images multiple times, some people say you shouldn't do it, some say its alright.

    Whats the verdict?

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    amfony's Avatar
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    good q. id think that there was no problem with it as the sysprepping action is brininging it back to a unique state.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    In theory you can sysprep as many times as you like, but I've had it do some really weird things happen after three or four times.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    There is no limit as far as I am aware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    How many times can you sysprep a machine, say you had to build an image but you do not have the original.

    eg. Build Machine 1 -> sysprep -> Ghost -> Deploy to Machine 2

    can you then

    Sysprep Machine 2 -> Ghost -> Deploy to Machine 3
    I've done that without problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    In theory you can sysprep as many times as you like, but I've had it do some really weird things happen after three or four times.
    I've got at least one Dell that has been sysprepped into double figures with no problems (it's the only one with an optical drive), but have heard that 3+ times can be problematical.

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    I've done quite a bit of this over the last 3 years and can report both outcomes. The majority work just fine, however I have had machines from as early as second sysprep to as late as the 10th or 11th go tits up. Various interesting errors including complete refusal to be connected to any domain no matter what kind of setting reset attempts I made, blue screens etc.

    Interestingly a second syspreping of the original machine resulted in a good image on every occasion I can remember. So I would say keep a ghost of the machine pre sysprep and if it goes wrong go back to the ghost and re-sysprep.

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    Sysprep

    How many machines are you going to need new images on?

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    somabc's Avatar
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    It is for a computer lab of around 36 PC's.

    The lab was imaged in the summer (not by me) and the ghost image was giving an error.

    I figured it out today, the original image was of 2 partitions, the 2nd unformatted so 20GB of wasted space in the image. If I restore only the 1st partition its fine so I restored it to a PC and then immediately ghosted only the system partition so its now down to 10GB and working.

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    Glad you figured it out. If you had closer to 100 pc's in your lab, you would have to check out Universal Imaging Utility-it rocks. But I think they don't license for less than 100 seats. Good Luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nbauer View Post
    Glad you figured it out. If you had closer to 100 pc's in your lab, you would have to check out Universal Imaging Utility-it rocks. But I think they don't license for less than 100 seats. Good Luck.
    Why not use ghost?

    With the ghost console you can start imaging 100 machines in seconds. Then going round to name them wont take long.

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    How would you handle different HALs and hardware? Ghost can't do it.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nbauer View Post
    How would you handle different HALs and hardware? Ghost can't do it.
    We have one image that works on 3 different computers. We only have 3 types of computers.

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    Then Ghost is just great. When the hardware starts to differ, ghost gets a little tripped up. Sounds like it works perfect for your environment. Cheers.

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    Sorry i don't get you. all ghost does is making the copies of the installation. Windows start to play up on different hardware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nbauer View Post
    Then Ghost is just great. When the hardware starts to differ, ghost gets a little tripped up. Sounds like it works perfect for your environment. Cheers.
    The only difficulty when using ghost/sysprep combination is the acpi/non acpi HAL issue. I've got it working on all desktop machines here (laptops need a little work, probably because the old ones I was trying have broken acpi).

    I just add the drivers to the main sysprep config when we get machines in and re image. If you wanted you can leave empty folders in the sysprep config and copy the files into it with ghost image editor without reghosting the main image!

    Ghost on it's own can have issues yes, but combined with sysprep then it works in most cases.

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