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Generic Windows image

Posted on 2009-05-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I feel like this has been asked before but I was unable to find

I manage approx. 100 computers mixed between Dell Hp and various models of each

I use norton ghost and new sid to roll out my machines

currently I have an image per brand per model can I install all the drivers on one machine and then image that way I will have a generic image that will work with all my machines?

Thanks in advance
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Question by:eanda10
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by:mutahir
ID: 24339393
Hi Eanda,
HAL (Hardware abstraction layer) independence is a property of Windows Vista sysprep,  so you will still need to maintain separate XP images.
I would recommend deploying XP via Windows Deployment Services (WDS) if possible in your environment ; you can read about it at the following link :
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserversetup/thread/6bba2f92-de57-49ce-9bb3-2fdcfea494b5
http://datanotes.wordpress.com/2007/11/26/how-to-deploy-xp-using-windows-deployment-services-wds-2/
Hope this helps
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Expert Comment

by:Derek Schauland
ID: 24339407
If you load drivers on the system and then image it, the image will contain all the needed drivers.  You will need to change the SID as you mentioned after image rollout, but any drivers or other software (Office, Adobe, etc) will be part of the image when it is created allowing the system built from that image to use all of that installed software/hardware.

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by:briandunkle
ID: 24339456
?
Derek, that would work if all of the machines are identical, but if they're mixed, it certainly wouldn't. You would generally need to keep one image for each unique type of hardware. We set up a machine from the proper specific image, and then add it to the domain, give it an IP address, create the user profile, etc. The software and drivers come from the image.
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by:Derek Schauland
ID: 24339478
You are correct.

There would need to be an Image for XP and Dell, XP and HP etc.

But each image could be created for that brand of hardware and have apps/drivers loaded before the image is created.

Would yield 1 image per hardware brand per OS
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Expert Comment

by:briandunkle
ID: 24340170
One per model per brand. Each optiplex, dimension etc each needs specific drivers.
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U.S. Department of Agriculture and Acronis Access

With the new era of mobile computing, smartphones and tablets, wireless communications and cloud services, the USDA sought to take advantage of a mobilized workforce and the blurring lines between personal and corporate computing resources.

 
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Accepted Solution

by:
Adam Leinss earned 125 total points
ID: 24340490
See http://www.leinss.com/uniimg.html

My universal image currently supports:

Workstations Supported:
Dell Optiplex 270 (APCI Uniprocessor HAL)
Dell Optiplex 280 (APCI Uniprocessor HAL)
Dell Optiplex 520 (APCI Uniprocessor HAL)
Dell Optiplex 620 (APCI Uniprocessor HAL)
Dell Optiplex 745 (APCI Multiprocessor HAL)
Dell Optiplex 760 (APCI Multiprocessor HAL)
Gateway 500 XL    (APCI HAL)
Gateway 700 XL    (APCI HAL)
PDS Infinity EN   (APCI HAL)

Laptops Supported:
Gateway 600YGR     (APCI HAL)
Dell Latitude D600 (APCI HAL)
Dell Latitude D610 (APCI Uniprocessor HAL)
Dell Latitude D620 (APCI Multiprocessor HAL)
Dell Latitude D630 (APCI Multiprocessor HAL)
Dell Latitude E6400 (APCI Multiprocessor HAL)
 
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Expert Comment

by:sunny72
ID: 24342349
You could possibly use BARTPE builder and load all drives onto one disk, do a install then ghost it?
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Expert Comment

by:bluntTony
ID: 24343801
With XP there is no native way to do this. As stated above, Vista deployed using WDS can be deployed to different hardware, but nothing for XP. ASR backup/restore re-evaluates hardware during restore but it's a bit clunky.

However there are imaging products that allow for restoring to different hardware, for example Acronis True Image Echo with the Universal Restore option.

You could create a base image, sysprep it and take an image using the Acronis boot CD. Then you can 'restore' this image to different hardware. The universal restore option patches the correct drivers during the restore process.

I've used Acronis to restore an image to various different boxes with good results.
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Assisted Solution

by:techxperts
techxperts earned 125 total points
ID: 24349514
the vernalex site has a great video walkthrough on this:
http://www.vernalex.com/guides/sysprep/video.shtml

we did something similar dloading all needed drivers to a drivers folder with subfolder by machine and extracted them all out into the appropriate folders video audio chipset etc. then we ran the SPDrvScn from the site on the folder and removed all the non xp drivers from what it found and added c:\windows\inf to the path. saved this file then edited sysprep.inf file to include all the mass storage drivers with the sysprep -bmsd switch to add them all to sysprep.inf and continued with the rest of our sysprep answers in setup manager and did the -clean switch at the end of the install to remove all the drivers not needed when sysprep restored to a machine later on to keep boot time speedy. we chose to maintain a single and dualcore image although aleinss:has a solution there you could use with replacing the HAL etc. also
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Expert Comment

by:briandunkle
ID: 24349550
I am impressed. Haven't rolled out a pile of different machines in quite a while and didn't know there were so many tools available. :)
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