Issue deploying generic build via network.

Posted on 2007-10-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
We have a single windows XP sysprep'd image. It is a ghost image, that automates through the mini-setup to login. Currently we deploy this via a bootable DVD which launchs into ghost and we select to image local disk, from image. etc etc.Our network consists of about 500 machines. We have dozens of different manufactered PC's (Dell/HP/Acer etc) so a RIS server isn't really an option, not to mention lack of Bios PXE on many of the older machines. Ghost was our next port of call.

Setting up a ghost server seemed simple enough, but we stumbled terribly on getting a single bootable disk (cd) to automate finding the correct drivers for whatever network card was present and then launch ghost. How easy is it to create a generic boot cd that can automate finding the correct drivers and become network ghost ready?
Question by:SimonBrook
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Expert Comment

ID: 20092097

I would use a Windows Based Boot CD for this.
UBCD4Win already includes a lot of Network drivers : http://www.ubcd4win.com/
It also has a plug-in ready for Ghost.

If you need help with this, just let me know...
LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 20092203
Hi Simon

I've created a multinic boot disk for use with multiple machines, including the Compaq EN, E500, Evo Series Dell GX270, GX280, 520, 745, D600, D610, D620, D630.

Normally I boot from a USB Stick rather than Floppy but it will work both ways, I prefer the USB Stick since the later version of Ghost.exe is around 1.3mb alone.

Basically goto www.bootdisk.com and download a dos boot disk for e.g. Win98SE once downloaded and installed on disk delete everything except io.sys msdos.sys.  Go to www.uconz.com/matrixnz/GhostBoot.zip and download my files (Note: it doesn't include the Ghost.exe)  Copy the files on to your floppy drive.

To customise, if a driver isn't available on my disk, download the network card drivers from the vendor, look for driverfile.dos and copy to the NET directory, edit the \NET\Protocol.ini and add the driver follow the existing drivers format within the Protocol.ini for example the Broadcom Driver is:

DriverName = "B57$"

Now boot the machine press F8 to get to the menu screen and then press shift F5 this will give you the command prompt now type pciscan -v
This gives you a list of all the devices on your computer note the Network Adapter line especially the Vendor and Device ID now add these to your netcard.map file for e.g for the broadcom driver I have the following:

ret="b57" - Driver Name
ven=14e4 "BroadCom" - Vendors Name
dev=16a6 "BCM5702X Gigabit Ethernet" - Dell GX270
dev=16a7 "BroadCom NetXtreme" - Dell GX280
dev=165d "BroadCom Ethernet" - Dell 520
dev=1677 "Dell Latitude D610 BroadCom NIC" Dell D600 and Dell D610
dev=167A "Dell Optiplex 745 BroadCom NIC" Dell 745 and D630

I hardly have to change anything as the settings seem to be very similar for most machines, especially the Compaqs which only seem to have one device ID.

Anyhow I hope I haven't made it seem more difficult then it is, but it is quite straight forward once you know the procedure.

Oh if you wish to use a USB Drive then in Autoexec.bat just change SourceDisk to C: from A:

USB Flash Drives are 10 times faster than Floppy + using my disk you can pull the USB stick out and ghost multiple machines as I use a Ram Drive to run Ghost.

Hope that helps.


Author Comment

ID: 20093385

Thank you for all the wonderful information. I'm still having issue getting a solution that works. I created a standard 98se bootdisk, removed all but io.sys and msdos.sys, then copied your disk over the top. I'm getting an error saying label not found. I thought this may have something to do with no ghost.exe on the disk. So created a bootable cd version of the disk (because as you say ghost is simply too big for floppies now) with ghost.exe in the ghost folder, still no luck, same error.

I need to map a network drive also directly before ghost launches.

Maybe you could assist further?


1) bootable cd
2) your multinic solution, I feel comfortable adding addtional .dos network card drivers also.
3) map network drive (net use), letter is irrelevant say X: for now to \\PEPBP04IT\ghost (I presume DHCP is initialised and will resolve the domain and machine name, then request login details?)
4) Launch into ghost

Apologies if I'm doing something entirely wrong. I've never been particularly good with bootdisks or batch scripting! Thanks for your assistance.
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LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 20097024
Hi Simon

1a. I'll try and get something for you today
2a. Cool
3a. Are you using Ghost Cast or Multi Cast?  If so you shouldn't need to connect to a network drive at all, can you please confirm?
4a. No problem.

The Network Boot disk I mentioned above really just enables the network card and allows an IP address to be assigned by DHCP, once inside Ghost you then specify the Ghost Server name and/or the IP Address of your Ghost Cast Server and the rest is fairly straight forward.

Anyhow if you can get back to me regarding this it'd be much appreciated.

LVL 29

Accepted Solution

matrixnz earned 375 total points
ID: 20098808
Hi Simon

Created an Floppy Image File (.IMA) which most modern CD Burners can read to create a bootable CD you can find it here www.uconz.com/matrixnz/GhostBootDisk.IMA If you're CD Writing Software doesn't support creating Bootable CDs from a Floppy Image File than download WinImage from www.winimage.com and write the GhostBootDisk.IMA file to a Floppy Disk then create your Bootable CD from this.  Before burning add your Ghost.EXE to the Root of your CD Rom, then burn the CD.

The Ghost Floppy Image basically will attempt to map the Systems CD Drive to M:\ then Copy M:\Ghost.exe to Z:\ (Ram Drive) and start Ghost from Z:\ (This allows you to remove the CD and place it in multiple machines if required).

Also I've tested it in VirtualPC 2007 and had no problems, the "label" errors you previously mentioned, was due to me not removing a couple of custom labels that I use for a dos menu.

Hope that helps.


Author Comment

ID: 20099197

Thanks for that. That worked. I can now visit any machine in the company and either ghost their image to the server for backup purposes or pull down a fresh copy of our xp image. thanks for your help!
LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 20099559
Hi Simon

Glad to help, any reason while you graded with a B


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