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Wireless Networks Thread, Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I? in Technical; Hi, At the moment when I image a room I just have to go round the PCs, rename them (roomname-computernumber ...
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    mrforgetful's Avatar
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    Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    Hi,

    At the moment when I image a room I just have to go round the PCs, rename them (roomname-computernumber ie Z3-01), run a diskpart script to map Virtual CD Drives, and a script to install that room's printer.

    It's not an arduos task, it only takes 10 or 15 minutes per room.

    But I'm looking into setting up Prestaging - is it any good? So far I'm thinking these:

    Pros: set off imaging job done forget about it.

    Cons: I sometimes need to move PCs around/swap them out when problems arise etc.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    Prestaging is fantastic. It also makes the PC's self-healing as they replace any corrupt files (where possible) from the source. They also name themselves, add themselves to the domain and lots of other little lovely things.
    In short, spend a few days gathering mac addresses and do it. It's so nice to be able to re-image a machine and not have to return to it.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    Lazy way to get those MAC addresses is with arpwatch.

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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    we like ghost multicast, i know like you said its manual entry of computernames but how long does it take really, we've just imaged a whole room, installed all software and named them? total time for 25 computers 35 mintues, thats ok isnt it?

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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    I thought you could play around with the ghost console and do that anyway? Or am I thinking of something else?

    Wes

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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by danIT
    we like ghost multicast, i know like you said its manual entry of computernames but how long does it take really, we've just imaged a whole room, installed all software and named them? total time for 25 computers 35 mintues, thats ok isnt it?
    Yes, but if you prestage it only takes the few mins that you need to start imaging, saveing you half an hour, much typing and it make you look cool.


    *the last bit may not be true.

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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    OK you're gonna tale a boredom hit the first time you do it because of all the prep work involved. It's the subsequent rebuilds which will benefit.

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    mrforgetful's Avatar
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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    I'm just confused as to how to get it to load an image.

    At the minute I boot using PXE and have a Ghost Image that I choose. How do I add that image to RIS?

    Can I use a standard sysprep'd image?

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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    Have a look at the RIS topic ni the How do you do it section.

    I've just started to prestage PC's as i'm going round and it certainly makes rebuilding machines much quicker.

    All I do is start one machine with ris and then stop it when it's added to the domain. When this is done I get the guid and add a new computer. Give it the proper name and restart the machine again with RIS and leave alone.

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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    I just did it manually the first time round and subsequent RISes go on fine as the account already exists.

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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    exactly - no need for collecting mac address [unless you are reserving IP address - which is still nice as you can add them in DHCP as you go along because it displays the MAC address during the very begining of the process lol]

    *mental note - remember to play with RIS again*

    Nath.

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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    Not sure what benefit prestaging has as I did not set our ris up I have not seen this feature yet. How do you automate it?
    I know the concept of prestaging but I can find the killer benefit other then security in comparison to normal PXE booting with ris of a unknown client.
    Does this allow remote rebuilds?
    How?

    cheers

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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    The only manual thing we have to do when ghosting sysprepped images is to enter the computer name in mini-setup.

    All software is then installed via GPO and printers are setup each time a user logs on so they only get the one in the room and maybe the next closest one to the room as well.

    Ben

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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    We used to use ghostcast, but it meant that we had a load of images for each set of hardware and different departments.
    We've now moved over to RIS and we have one install (no images), a script that runs on first boot which renames PC - there's a database with mac addresses linked to computernames -, moves it to correct OU and installs some software. The rest of the software is installed via GPO.
    The only manual part of the job is having to boot up via PXE, enter logon details then start install

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    Re: Prestaging...Should I or shouldn't I?

    How much did it cost for the Ghost licenses?

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