Looking for an expert opinion....

Posted on 2003-02-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Can I (without ghosting and sysprep), Install Win 2K onto a HD, then Install it into a totally different Comp??

Will the PnP detect and install automatically??

I will send them a copy of the Os's incase the wizard asks for the install disk...

I have never done this before and I don't want to mail this drive half way across the world and It doesn't work...

Thanks for any Info....
Question by:Exzilerate
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Jamie McKillop
ID: 8046358
This depends on how close the hardware matches. I have used Ghost extensively, which is essentially the same as what you are doing, and I have seen the PC blue screen on boot when putting an image from a Dell Precision 220 onto a 210. The hardware in these two PCs are pretty close. One is a PIII an the other a PII though. Basically, it is going to be a crap shoot without testing it first.

Author Comment

ID: 8046401
Okay so is there anyway to do this without relying on odds?

1--> So without knowing the system other than it is a pII 266 or higher 17 gig drive and basically nothing out of the ordinary, it is impossible to control the hardware detection....?

2--> Or is this question rely not an issue? If the hardware is fairly generic the PnP should kick in??

LVL 10

Accepted Solution

pbarrette earned 150 total points
ID: 8046404
Hi Exzilerate,

On the other hand, I've ghosted Win2K to almost completely different machines and had only minor problems, usually related to video drivers. Though I have also had identical machines bomb out because of a different brand of memory.

But if you're mailing this thing halfway around the world, you would probably want to use sysprep. If you don't trust that the user on the receiving end is proficient enough to finish the install, you can create an automated install "answer" file which contains the most generic of drivers.

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Author Comment

ID: 8046414
pbarrette - Thanx

 Yes an unattended install I have been researching this aswell , yet do you still need to know the driver info?? Other than the type of internet conection and the basic options during install??

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 8046487
Hi Exzilerate,

One can only hope that the hardware receiving the HD will be supported by the Win2K included drivers. I'd suggest that when you do the actual install, don't add any device specific drivers that aren't necessary. Keep it as simple as possible.

Sysprep usually works pretty well, so you shouldn't have too many problems if you decide to just run sysprep and hope for the best.

Usually, you include the driver options if you know the hardware configurations of the target machines. You can also include multiple drivers and the correct ones should be picked up automatically by Win2K. This is usually used when you have multiple groups of target machines with known hardware, but don't want to create an image for each group.

If you can contact the receiver of the HD, you can probably get them to give you some info about their current hardware configuration. Then you can include the drivers for that hardware on the sysprep'ed HD. It may not be needed, but it probably can't hurt.


Expert Comment

ID: 8047333
jimck mentioned a problem going from PIII to PII, this is most likely due to the machine using a different HAL.  

Virtually all new machines now are ACPI, older ones weren't.  During installation Windows installs a HAL.dll which corresponds to whether your machine is ACPI or not, and if it's multi-processor or not.  You cannot use an image for machines which differ on this criteria.

To conclude, generally (and I do mean generally!) if the donor machine and recipient machine both use the same HAL you should be ok!


Expert Comment

ID: 8047582
Hi Exzilerate

     I had teh same experience, here's what to do

Boot to your WIN2K installation disk

when asked if you want to install new or repair an existing installation choose NEW (Don't worry, keep reading) Let the install do its thing. when you are asked what partition to install to, choose the correct partition and choose to leave the filesystem intact, no chanhes.
The installation will detect your original installation again. THIS TIME CHOOSE REPAIR. This method will bring your system to almost its original state with the exception of:  If you had upgraded IE you will have to do it again
    Reinstall Service Packs

Good Luck

Expert Comment

ID: 8047626
PNP will work on the second server, but that wouldn't be your main issue.

When you install Windows 2000, during the initial setup it detects and installs the appropriate HAL, or hardware abstraction layer. This is the base drivers that Windows uses for your motherboard, hard-drive controllers, etc and PNP will not detect new ones. If the hard-drive controller is different, Windows will blue-screen.

While the repair option that gadge mentions might work (never tried it that way before).... it will reset all of the Windows files, drivers, and some settings back to what they were at the original time that Windows were installed. This will probably change any programs or services that were installed afterwards.

Since no one else has brought this up, and to stay within the user acceptance agreemement of the board:

To be legal, you need to purchase copy of Windows 2000 Server for each server unless you have a Select agreement with Microsoft and the appropriate licensing.

You may have done this already, but you never mentioned it and spoke of sending the same CD to be used on two servers.

Author Comment

ID: 8049892
Hi Guys ,

Just to say I have only recently found this site and it's great or I should say you guys are great....

About the cd issue and Microsoft I will be doing everything by the book..

Thanks again I think I will leave this question up for another day and see if there are any new opinions (or revised ones..:)

Then I will go with sysprep and a [winnt.sif] answer file.

If this is the way to go ofcourse...?

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