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Cloning OEM XP and Office remotely

Posted on 2009-07-09
Last Modified: 2013-12-12
I'm wanting to reinstall our workstations here (18) and think that cloning is the best way to go about it.
Problem is, I have no experience with cloning.

I want to :
Clone to a USB HDD or server (Windows Server 2003).
Still use our OEM XP licences.
Still use our OEM Office 2003 licences.
Clone McAfee TOP Advanced as well.
Create mutiple clones. (For different departments)
Update the clones every now and then. (Windows / Software updates)
Not have to first install cloning software on the machine I want to clone.
Not have to install new drivers after deploying a clone.
Not have to pay for the cloning software.
Preferably start deployment remotely or when booting the machine to deploy the clone on.

Because we are using 3 different types of HP workstations I believe I have to run sysprep before cloning to remove certain drivers. Or better yet, create 3 different clones.

I have found a few sites with free cloning tools, but would like to know your experiences before trying them all out.

Some guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Question by:DennisPost
LVL 95

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 24814494
> Clone to a USB HDD or server (Windows Server 2003).

> Still use our OEM XP licences.
Not sure you legally can.  Contact Microsoft Licensing and Pre-Sales support.

> Still use our OEM Office 2003 licences.
Not sure you legally can.  Contact Microsoft Licensing and Pre-Sales support.

> Clone McAfee TOP Advanced as well.
Not familiar with the product.  If it is installed on Windows then if it's legal to create an image of OEM, you should be able to create said image with McAFee on it.  NOTE: Make sure you have the appropriate number of licenses.

> Create mutiple clones. (For different departments)
Not a problem.

> Update the clones every now and then. (Windows / Software updates)
Restore to a machine, update, re-image.

> Not have to first install cloning software on the machine I want to clone.
No problem.

> Not have to install new drivers after deploying a clone.
That's the point of imaging.

> Not have to pay for the cloning software.
No problem.

> Preferably start deployment remotely or when booting the machine to deploy the clone on.
No problem.

The solution that is no problem is from Microsoft.  It's called Windows Deployment Services (WDS).  I just set it up at a client and created 3 types of images for three different machines.  With WDS installed on the server and properly configured, you boot the client using PXE (network boot) and select from a boot menu: Capture an image or deploy an image.  The process on a clean install of Windows XP took about 10-20 minutes.

FAR more information is available online from:

And a google search on "Microsoft" and "MDT", "Microsoft" and "DISM", and "Microsoft" and WDS" should yield TONS of information - blogs, articles, documentation, etc.
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 24814504
Keep in mind NO ONE HERE is qualified or, more specifically will have licensing advice given hold up in court.  ALWAYS CHECK LICENSING WITH THE MANUFACTURER FIRST!

Author Comment

ID: 24814878
Thanks for the comments leew!

Can't imagine that licences is a problem. We have more licences than computers, but i'll follow your advice and give MS a ring.
Is WDS the new RIS?
McAfee TOP is a webbased central managment tool. It registers each machine that McAfee is installed on. I think the registration occurs during the installation. I'll take it up with McAfee and post the results here.
Well I'm off for a long weekend, will carry on with this on Monday.
 Thanks again mate!
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 24814976
> Is WDS the new RIS?

Essentially yes.

Author Comment

ID: 24867135
Hi Leew,
Just letting you know that I am playing around with this at the moment.

btw, MS first reaction from MS was to contact pre-sales and gave me a number that I can't use. (Probably in the US somewhere).

They really know what they are talking about there......
"I understand that you would like to install Windows XP and Office 2003 through Wireless Distribution System and you would like to know if you are permitted to do so. "

I'll keep you posted.


Assisted Solution

xP3000 earned 200 total points
ID: 24867219
Windows Deployment Services was designed for deployment on Windows Vista platforms, but can still be used for rolling out Windows XP, if you want to use RIS with WDS make sure you select the correct mode :)

Link belows shows how to setup WDS:

Author Comment

ID: 24868542
RIS isn't in the "Add/Remove windows components list".
Is this because I have already installed WDS?
Is there any way I can get around installing RIS or do I have to uninstall WDS first?

I have downloaded WAIK. This gives me an .img file that I don't know what to do with.
Not sure if I should be using WAIK or WOPK.

In addition to xP3000 link I have also found these links:

Step-by-Step Guide for Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2003

Walkthrough: Create a Custom Windows PE Image


Building a Windows XP Image in BDD 2007 Part 1

How to create a WIM for Server 2003

EE Question with more links

Microsoft Solution Accelerator for Business Desktop Deployment 2007

 PC Deployment with ImageX


Author Comment

ID: 24877044
Found a few more useful links:

How to Deploy Windows XP Professional Using Windows Deployment Services (WDS)
Deploy XP Images in the Computer Lab with Windows Deployment Services on Server 2003.
How to sysprep XP Pro and create WDS image? (WMP11 Sysprep issue)
RIS/WDS on Windows 2003 SP2

This last one says to run C:\Windows\System32\RISetup.exe before you configure WDS.
But when I run RISetup, the WDS configuration starts up. :(

What am I doing wrong here?
LVL 16

Assisted Solution

ThinkPaper earned 50 total points
ID: 24879858
You can set WDS to mixed mode so that you can user RIS as well as WDS.. when you installed WDS it basically installed "on top" of RIS.
Since you already installed WDS, see this on how to set to mixed mode:

Author Comment

ID: 25022654
Sorry for the late response. Been away for a couple of weeks.

I downloaded Windows 7 RC to get the boot.wim.
I did not have to install RIS or worry about any modes. (?!?!?)
Can now capture and deploy images.

Can't seem to get rid of the Windows.old, windows.old.000 folders.
Tried deleting at command prompt (Safe mode), Disk Cleanup (Vista solutoii), Deleting in Explorer and Turning off system restore.
Any idea's?


LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 25025682
Never tried deleting them.  But, if you boot to a boot CD (either WinPE or BartPE/Ultimate Boot CD for Windows) you should be able to.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31601588
Thanks for your comments.
I'll open another question later to tackle the OEM product key side of things.

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