Copying Hard Drives
I have about 30 machines that i need to install XP Pro on and all the software! Now the problem is we don't have terminal services setup for software installation due to lack of spaces!
What is the best way to speed up the process? I was thinking along the lines of installing Windows on one machine and all the software then copying it all and transferring to the other machines? Is this the best way?
I have never used a cloning software so would like to have a go at some easy packages that i could use!
Search these very forums for 'Ghost', 'Clonezilla' or 'FOG' (I'm sure there's others'). My personal favourite is Clonezille: Clonezilla
Boot from CD, use SAMBA options and point to a network share to upload (save) image or download (restore) image. Also very easy to set up with RIS for network booting directly into a Clonezilla session and save/restore images from their.
I vote for symantec solution suite I think the latest version is 2.5 but I am not sure its ghost but an enterprise version but its not cheap.
Yeah we use symantic aswell, been good so far had no problems with clients or anything like that
IMHO: there are only two 'issues' with Symantics Ghost Suite - 1) Price and 2) Network drivers. It's a bit of a pain sorting out DOS/NDIS drivers for all your NIC's. It's even more of a pain if your trying for a RIS setup. Clonezilla is 1) free and 2) linux based with all required NIC drivers built in.
That said the UI in Ghost is much better. Thus Ghost is a lot quicker/easier to use initially.
I use Symantec also, fine piece of kit. Think there is a 10 station ghostcast type trial that you can download, well worth a go as it makes life exceedingly simple. Although remember McAfee doesn't like the ghostcast server by default ;)
You can just load xp drivers in the new one if you use the Windows PE PreOS.
Originally Posted by tmcd35
Another vote for Clonezilla but don't forget (or rule out) Fog as mentioned above.
Having used both Ghost, Fog and Clonezilla, my vote would be for FOG. Am a big fan of it now, particularly having to reimage a lot of pcs at the moment (end of year clean up).
If you have a spare PC with avg specs, then the solution is free. Download and install Ubuntu desktop (pretty easy), install fog (pretty easy), and make a machine PXE boot (requires small modification on windows server). It's all well documented on the fogproject website.
I found ghost to be a pain with network drivers, and it was expensive (more clients = more money). Took a while for the license and activation to come through, too.
However, Clonezilla is a good option as well. Clonezilla has 2 modes; single pc mode, where you are dealing with copying 1 HD onto another, and a full blown server/client mode, which works much like FOG or GHost.
Having said that, before I found out about FOG, I had 48 laptops to reimage, and did it using Clonezilla single pc mode, using 2 usb hds which had the correct image, and 2 at a time imaging the target pcs. It took about 20mins a pc, but a lot of manual labour! Wife not too happy... Nice thing about using a FOG system is that when it is setup, it works very nicely and quickly, without being labour intensive.
what about the hard drive cloning utils mentioned on this page ( scroll down a bit )
Free Hard Disk Backup and Restore, Hard Disk Image and Cloning Utilities (thefreecountry.com)
One of them on there being bacula ( Dont think its used for copying hard drives but not sure )
i use ghost a lot thoughb i think the latest version is a backwards step it seems to cause more problems than older versions and takes more times to do simple things like add packages to the console. Ive found pe often causes more hassle than its worth from ghost and it basically fubared most of a batch of pcs i was trying to ghost so they wouldnt boot at all (just sat there saying verifiying dmi pool data) having worked flawlessly on my test case grrrr. Drivers can be an issue but solutiobs suite 2 and 2.5 now have a universal pxe driver that works on most things.
I have also used wds for imaging (1 school has an old version of ghost and some hp minilaptops that jst would not clone) and that seems to work quite well though it does seem to be a lot slower than ghost and you cant use it to fire out software packages at pcs (and im of the opinion the base image should be windows and drivers no software that wasy its smaller and i dont have to reinstall software for each pc type just fire out a spex+ say packages at any pc that needs it)
i have found that 1 way of getting round some of ghost boot problems is to create my own .wim file using vistape.net and shoving that into wds so i can boot into a useable winpe that has ghost on it this also means if a pc wont boot to windows i can rebuild it without having to go find a cd/pen drive/floppy
What about acronis true image?
Thats really quite easy
I use Acronis Snap Deploy with Universal Deploy. It allows you to take an image of a machine over the network and also deploy said images. Universal deploy allows you to send any image to a machine with different hardware, work a treat.
I also have a Hard Disk Dupe machine that allows me to dupe 4 drives at once. That is ace as it does all types of HDD's including Laptop.
i use fog in all the schools that have a machine capable of hosting it.
i really do like it at some scholls im using the fog client more, to manage things like printers
You could do it using StorageCraft ShadowProtect (according to the box they offer hardware independent restore and systemmigration).
You'll only need an external HD or Network drive to copy from.
A tiny bit off topic: Won't you need to have 30 licenses for XP ?
Edit: thought a URL would help : http://www.storagecraft.co.uk