Time to load and build an XP Pro box?

Posted on 2004-09-20
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Greetings folks, I have a query as to the average time it would take an efficient and experienced system engineer to load and build an XP Pro machine.

For arguments sake lets' say a Dell GX280 Small Desktop (nice brand new machine).  Bear in mind that the HD would be deleted completely prior to XP Pro being installed.

In addition to the OS the following items are to be installed:

Drivers for the Dell GX280 (i.e. audio, graphics, networking, chipset)
Updates to Win XP (i.e. SP2 and other windows update items)
Microsoft Office Suite
Acrobat Reader
Media Players (QuickTime, RealPlayer)
Anti-Virus (Sophos or Norton)

Just a guesstimate of the time it would take to build this system and have it ready to be given to an end-user will be much appreciated.

Would you use any sysprep methods to speed things up and could the dell drivers be included in the unattended install, also can the other applications be setup to install in unattended mode?

What would you recommend as being the best way to build a box on a domain?

Please ask any questions if you are unsure as to what I have asked, thanking you all in advance for your replies and attention to this thread.

Question by:thewhirlwind
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

zvitam earned 60 total points
ID: 12101023
Form your question I don't quite understand if this machine will be a prototype and then you will install many machines like this, or it's just one system.

If it's one system it will take between 1 to 1,5 Hours to get it to work.

If it's a prototype and you want to create an unattended scripts, that might take at 5 Hours according to my experience.

Assisted Solution

Huseyin1 earned 90 total points
ID: 12102145
I have reinstalled one of these machines here at work, this is how log it took.

The image disk loadeed on to the HDD - about 1hour
Drivers installed from DELL CD - about 30mins
the application you listed above 30-40mins
You cannot connect an XP machine to the net because you will be indected with the sasar and blaster worm, so install those patches 30mins
Windows critical update on a LAN connection at the speed of half a MB/second - 2-3hours
that includes SP1,
I have not ever and do not wish to use SP2, but I guess this will take about and hour to fully download and install. -1hour.
Setup up groups and or users + testing 15-20mins
update anti virus definition 5-10mins
I would set the PC up and get it on the net patched up and secure then create the user and specify it is a LAN user, defining the domain name.

adding up, about i'd say six hours, which is about right, because we can build a PC in a day.

tell me your internet connection of a better estimate.


Accepted Solution

acovello earned 100 total points
ID: 12103338
Here at my office we have been using a similar setup as you are looking to use.

We setup a master computer with everything we needed, which included a large number of legal programs (we are a large Law Firm). The master computer we took our image from took about 10-12 hours to setup completly and test everything. We then syspreped the computer and took an image using Symantec's Ghost.

The ghost down process takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get the image onto the computer, then we go through a very, very extensive QC process that takes an additional hour or so to complete. With a less extensive QC process, the whole ghost down & QC process should be do-able in an hour and a half, tops.

I would definatly recommmend making the computers from an image, and automating it as much as possible. It is considerably more work at the outset of the project, but it really pays off in the end.
LVL 92

Expert Comment

ID: 12110126
and do not forget the things that you will have forgotten to install / do, like shortcuts, wallpaper, zip and minor things the customer wants or needs

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