Been reading around this and there seems to be many ways to get around this one...
Basically for our admin PCs and random laptops I'd like to have one simple, basic image to keep them up to date nice n easy... compared to the teaching rooms it's more of a pain for admin as there's a fair few different types of hardware floating around in odd numbers.
The oldest is an Athlon 3000+ system and newest are Stone Core2Duo boxes.
So basically here's what I picked up...
- I can put drivers in folders in C: and edit the registry so it auto looks for them, so should cover the driver issue with any luck.
- mass storage drivers... no prob as I put all of em on IDE emulation anyway
- HAL type... here's where I'm a bit unsure... if I set it as ACPI Uniprocessor on the image and make no further adjustments will it change to ACPI Multiprocessor for dual core PCs? I'm using SMS 2003 that automates its own sysprep so would be best if I don't need to change anything there.
Also read it's best to built either on VMWare or AMD platform as AMD original image > Intel works better than the other way around because of a ppmm service or something along those lines.
I last created a universal image a while ago, haven't done it since, but there's a lot of info out on the net about it and some good guides on what you need to do - I think there's a comprehensive one somewhere written by a guy or two at Altiris on it (not using ADS either!)
I think you should be looking at Acronis imaging software with universal restore anywhere so that you can restore an image from one piece of kit to another and create your HAL to suite all this can be automated and the images can be updated piece meal automatically.
Expensive and good but then you might want to work within your own system without incurring costs except your time.
Corporate solution I know but it works for them so should be equally as good for you.