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How to take image of hard drive and replicate it on the other machines with different sized partitions

Posted on 2004-09-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have 40 preinstalled (with XP) HP Machines all of similar configuration.

I formated and reinstalled with Xp and few licensed softwares on a machine with single partition of 40Gb. I faced lot of problems in installing the Rational Rose RT and in integrating it with Tornado. And so i want to take the image of this hard drive and replicate this on the rest.

And now how to take the image of this drive bcos it just has only one partition. Is there any way to take the image of that drive from a network computer.

And also
The rest 39 Machines have different sized partitions.
Like one machine has C: 10Gb, D:10Gb, E:10Gb, F:7Gb. And another machine has someother partitions.
and now if there is a way to take the image of that 40Gb drive then is there a way to replicate it on the machines with different sized partitions.

PS: It is not possible to take the hard drive out, as i dont want to break the warranty.

Question by:rviswanathreddy
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Accepted Solution

Pete Long earned 150 total points
ID: 11961732
>>The rest 39 Machines have different sized partitions.

dont matter :)

Using Ghost to Image a Windows PC

NB This applies to Windows95/98/ME/2000 & XP
IMPORTANT: Make sure you are licensed to produce imaged copies of your version of windows.

1.      Set the Master PC\Laptop up from its manufacturers rescue disks or the copy of windows that you wish to use.
2.      Ensure that you apply all the latest service packs for your version of windows. Go to to see if you need to install anything.
3.      Install and configure all the applications you would like on the image, and remember applications need service-packing too for MS Office updates go to and run the office update wizard. Don’t forget things like Adobe Acrobat reader and WinZip (This is a licensed product so ensure you have the rights to do this)
4.      If you have not serviced packed you internet explorer (in step 2) do this now.
5.      If you use a proxy server and/or wish to have ALL the imaged PC’s preconfigured to use this do the following, Open a MMC Console (Start - Run - MMC - [ENTER]) Add the group policy snap in. Configure the home page as http://yourhomepage then configure the proxy as Your Proxy IP address (Look in User Configuration\Windows Settings\Internet Explorer Maint)
6.      To display a Login message on every machine Go to the following registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon   and in the following keys paste in this text...


<Title of the Message>


<Text of the Message>

7.      If you use Host Files on your network copy them to the following locations

      Win9x c:\windows
      Win2k c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc

8.      If you use Novell Install and configure the Novell Client (WARNING – If using Zenworks for desktops and automatic workstation input consider NOT putting the Novell Client on your Image)
9.      If you wish you can copy the windows setup files to the hard drive – though this will obviously make the image a LOT larger.
10.      Defragment the hard drive then empty the recycle bin. (Unless you want to clone your rubbish: 0)
11.      Now if you meet any of the following criteria go to step 18.

You are imaging Windows 95/98/ME
You are imaging Windows 2000 or Windows XP that will NOT be on a network (i.e., it’s a standalone or your home PC)

12.      If you reading this bit your imaging a windows 2000 or XP machine and you rolling you image out onto a network, proceed to step 13.
13.      Download the latest version of sysprep for your operating system

Windows 2000 version 1.1
Windows XP version 2.0 (it’s in the deployment cab)

14.      You now need to create a directory called c:\sysprep and do the following

Windows 2000
Extract the file you downloaded to the c:\sysprep directory.
Look on the windows 2000 CD for the following d:\support\tools and there should be a file there called “”, Extract this to your C: \ sysprep directory.
Copy all the files from C: \sysprep\tools\ to the C: \ sysprep folder click YES when you are asked to overwrite the originals.

Windows XP
Extract the file you downloaded earlier to the C: \sysprep directory.

15.      In your sysprep directory you will now have a program called setupmgr double click it to run it, answer all the questions and it will create another file that will hold the answers to all the questions windows usually asks you when you install it. REMEMBER to tell it you ate IMAGING or it won’t work.
16.      Close all your open windows and click Start > Run > c:\sysprep\sysprep.exe -pnp The machine will then give you a warning message and close down, DON’T power it back up unless you want to test it (note if you do and your windows 2000 you’ll have to carry out all from step 13 again)
17.      Before cloning your Hard Drive, ensure you have another hard drive (That Big enough to hold the image fitted to the machine being ghosted. (You cannot ghost to the same Hard Drive!) – NEWER versions of ghost can) this procedure was tested with v6.5 and v7.0
18.      Arm yourself with a boot disk from (Ensure it had RAMDRIVE on it and it works!) And a copy of Ghost.exe from Symantec
19.       Boot with your boot disk
20.       Type ghost then return. (This will create one big image if you want to split the image up, to fit on CDROM’s type “ghost.exe -split=600 –auto”)
21.       At the welcome screen press enter to clear the message.
22.       Using the Cursor Keys select Local, Disk, To Image then return.
23.       At the select local source press enter
24.       At the file name to copy to screen, Use the Tab Keys to navigate to the image location your second Hard Drive.
25.       Press Tab to navigate to the filename box and give the image a name (i.e. image01)
26.       Keep pressing the Tab Key till Save is highlighted then press return.
27.       At the Compress Image screen Tab to "High" Then press return.
28.       At the proceed screen Tab to "Yes" then press return.
29.       When it is completed it should say, "Dump completed successfully"
30.       If you’re deploying from CDROM you can now burn the image “portions” to CDROM. Ensure the first disk is bootable and has a copy of ghost on it to restore the image to a new computer.


How To Create A Bootable Ghost Rescue CD Tutorial

Expert Comment

ID: 12100603
I'd try to connect the pc's with a simple network - even a few at a time if you're pc's r far apart and using norton's ghost to clone your hard drive to the other pc's. Basically your doing a clone operation while using norton's peer-to-peer feature to cross between machines.  

I recently had a similar problem – if your pc's house different hardware don’t expect the clone to work right away as the clone might lack needed drivers – this can cause you problems while booting up. There is a way to do this though I haven’t yet tried it which involves using the xp repair operation:

You do have to make sure the clone size fit's in all your pc's hard drives. to clone a personal bootable back up of your clean install to a hard drive that is smaller than the one that you have your clean install on you might have to use the switches -fni and -ffs located on the HDD tab. Cloning to a larger hard drive is no problem.

Articles related to cloning an OS drive:

Ghost guide:

Author Comment

ID: 12294759
Links given by WezzzeJo were very helpful and very informative....

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