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HardDrive Image

Posted on 2004-09-09
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have 10 computers i want to setup, all have been wided clean, I want to install XP Pro on all the systems but would like this to be as fast as possible.
I have heard of people making images of Hard drives and copying them to other systems and they work fine, and in a case like this I would like to do the same, but i don`t know the first step in getting this done...
All the computers are identical as in ram, v-card, Hdrives,CPU, Mboard etc..

Can someone give me a rundown of how i can execute this procedure?

thx
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Question by:greeneel
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complexymetron earned 100 total points
ID: 12013992
Hi!

Make a clean install on one computer with every driver and application you want to be distributed to all computers. Remember: Imaging is like making a snapshot of the computer and applying that to the others.

Then you need an imaging tool like Norton Ghost. You have to create an image of that machine and distribute it to the other computers (e.g. via network or DVD). I'm usually working with a DOS-Bootable CD-ROM with and (rahter old) DOS network client.
If you want to be without any cost at all, download a linux distro on CD, mount two HDDs into one PC (after installation), run the linux from CD and make a byte-by-byte copy from one HDD to the next with linux' "dd" command (syntax: "dd -if=/dev/hda -of=/dev/hdb -bs=64k")

The only thing you have to be careful about after cloning is Windows Domain registration. Because you're cloning the complete OS to 10 PCs, all 10 PCs will have the same GUID/SID (Globally Unique IDentifier/Security ID). This can have an impact to domain security. So you have to change the SID after applying the image to every PC. This can be done with SysInternals SID Changer (http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/source/newsid.shtml)

Hope that helped.
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by:TheBalance
ID: 12015089
The answers don't get any better than that.
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by:Gaud-wo
ID: 12015361
If you want a dynamic image, you can try MS OPK (preinstallation kit). This isn't a true 1/1 image, but an installer...

You can find the OPK files on your average WinXP cd or download them (just do a search on Google, you'll find plenty). Then you install this OPK windows on 1 pc, you install all programs and drivers you want, you apply MS updates, and when your setup is as complete as you want it, you can 'finalize' this installation.

OPK will then generate an 'image' of this installation, containing all that you've installed and applied. Afterwards you can also open up an existing image, add some service packs, updates, drivers etc., and finalize it again as another image. You can then distribute this image over the network or with a CD. The advantage is that it will truly install, generating unique ID's for every hardware component, installing other drivers where BIOS settings are different, and even install this on -completely- different hardware - this is hard with a true 1/1 image of XP.

This is a bit slower than making a ghost copy, but far more dynamic and with much more integrating options, plus it's free (and Ghost isn't) ^_^

I use it over the network all the time (through RIS), it lets me install XP on 9 different PC's in 20min, then it's just a matter of applying some specific drivers and entering the XP keycode.

Glenn
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12021922
Checkout SysPrep from Microsoft - it resets all the security info on a PC.  Basically, as previously described, install Windows and get it all setup with all the apps, updates, etc you want.  Then run sysprep.  DON'T reboot.  Power off.  Image the drive with Drive Image, Ghost, or some other drive imaging tool.  Then boot the PCs with the images - an XP setup screen will appear asking for certain security/config information - this process takes ~2-5 minutes, including boot time for well equipped PCs to complete.  And everything will be set.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12021938
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