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Windows Thread, Copying machine in Technical; Hi I have 15 machines that i need to configure, they have no operating system installed on them at all, ...
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    Copying machine

    Hi

    I have 15 machines that i need to configure, they have no operating system installed on them at all, clean HDD!

    I was thinking about installing windows xp pro on one of them, install all software and latest service packs then i was wondering if there was a way of copying the whole HDD to the other machines then join them all to the domain!

    Now we don't have any imaging stuff in place at all so can anyone suggest an easier way of doing this? Is there a free software out there very simple to use that could do this without too much hastle?

    Thanks

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    Have you used this program before?
    Do i install XP on one machine with all updates + software and then create a bootable disk for the other machines? Will it then install XP + all the software on the other machine?

    Thanks

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    stig's Avatar
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    Personally I would get install your OS and software on a PC, use Microsoft Sysprep on it to create a Mini Setup, use HDClone to create a bootable system image then use that image to install your PCs.

    To be honest, I usually use either Ghost or Acronis TrueImage but this is a free alternative.

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    Clonezilla - works absolutely brilliantly here, use the LiveCD version and backup to either a portable HD or SMB share.

    Too small a shop here for a FOG server etc to be worthwhile so this works out perfectly - when a batch of 2 or 3 new machines turns up, full clean XP install on one, apply all the patches using Michael/Logistix's brilliant patch collection, install Office, run Clonezilla - copy to other 2 machines, boot them, run NewSID to generate a new SID and rename then join domain with all 3.

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    I've been using Acronis True Image and SysPrep. Work 95% of the time.

    Only issue is when trying clone a hdd to a smaller hdd. Eg. 160gb (40gb used) to 80gb (empty). Acronis won't let me do this even though it is supposed to shrink the partitions. Anyone know how to do this?

    Neil

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    Take a look at PING (Partimage Is Not Ghost)

    Once you have set up on machine the way you want it, if all of the machines are the same, then you can create an image of the original computer on a shared network folder, then send it out to the other computers either using PXE or a bootable CD. I think there is also an option to save the Image onto a DVD and then the other machines dont have to be near a network point.

    If the machines arent the same then you will have to use Sysprep as Stig says.

    Just another option.

    James

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    button_ripple's Avatar
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    I have occasionally downloaded the trial version of symantec ghost, does the job perfectly when I have a few workstations to install.

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    Like you said

    Install updates and drivers
    and any software you need installed unless you use group policy to deploy software

    then use sysprep (I can provide you with a template sysprep setup file)

    and then if you have a server, install Windows Deployment Services (WDS)

    set this up and then you can bott the computer up from the network boot for it to create the images of your hard drive. Once this is done your be able to deploy this image


    just ask if you need more help, this is all free if you have a server!

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    Wds is a bit ott for 15 boxes no?

    That said fog was much easier to get going for bigger jobs.

    I think one of the BartPE disk comes with a ghost client - but any of the above will work for you, just remember to sysprep before taking the image.

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    SteveBentley's Avatar
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    Are these 15 boxes of identical hardware or an assortment? If they are different then sysprep is absolutely vital, although there may be complications if some machines are single processor and some are dual/dual core.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    Wds is a bit ott for 15 boxes no?

    That said fog was much easier to get going for bigger jobs.

    I think one of the BartPE disk comes with a ghost client - but any of the above will work for you, just remember to sysprep before taking the image.
    ive also found pulling an image with wds is much slower than from the same pc with ghost

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    These machines are all the same.

    What i'm not sure about is that all the machines are blank, no operating system ir nothing...
    Now i understand that i have to prepare one machine, install XP and all software...
    But then do i let's say install clonezilla on that machine to create a boot disk and will that install XP and the rest of the stuff on the other machines if i boot it from CD?

    Thanks

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    Yeah thats right.

    However you must do a sysprep to reset the SID - regardless of the hardware

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    Is the sysprep quite easy to do? Has anyone got links or instructions on this?



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