Need way to re-image PC from USB flash drive

I need to be able to re-image a PC's hard disk from a USB flash drive at USB 2.0 speed.   I have tried putting DOS on a USB flash drive and using Ghost but only get USB 1.0 speed (Takes over an hour to re-image).  I have also tried Bart on USB flash with the same slow results.  It seems like there must be a driver that needs to be added to allow the full USB 2.0 speed when in DOS or Bart.  I have tried various brands of flash drive as well.  The PC consists of a Itox G5C100 mother board with a SATA hard drive.
cmunzAsked:
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RunningGagConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You can use a PE based imaging software.  In our enterprise we use Active@ Disk Image it works very well.  Approximately 5 - 10 minutes to re-image a PC.

http://www.disk-image.net/
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I suspect your issue is with the specific USB2 implementation (and possibly the included XP drivers in most boot solutions). I've used USB based disks to image from CDs running BartPE and the performance was fine.  I've also used WinPE based Win Vista/7 CDs as well and imaged entire drives in 10-15 minutes.
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cmunzAuthor Commented:
Is that 5-10 minutes from a USB flash?  How large is the image?  I noticed that the trial software does not allow booting to a USB disk so I want to be sure before I purchase.

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RunningGagCommented:
Well, the images I built are either 2K3 or XP installs plus a couple of extra applications (AV software, a couple of relatively small business applications, etc.)  

Just taking a quick look, the compressed image size is between 4 and 5 GB.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
WinPE is free. It's part of the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK/Windows AIK).

The images I've created were 6-10 GB, 3-4 GB compressed.
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RunningGagCommented:
Leew is correct, WinPE is free, it just takes time to build the images.  The Active@ software builds the PE environment for you and includes an imaging software.  

The only real difference is that the Active@ software doesn't really require learning how to build and customize a PE build.  Which is why we went with it.  Either method will work.
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RunningGagCommented:
Should say, "it just takes time to learn HOW to build the images."
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cmunzAuthor Commented:
With Active@ is it possible to automate the re-imaging process?  For example Ghost allows you to specify command line arguments to set certain parameters (partition size, exclude folders, etc.)

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Question - why not use the network to install and exploit the powerful features of Microsoft's deployment tools, including the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit, Windows Deployment Server, and Windows Automated Installation Kit.  (The other day - this was beautiful) - I reinstalled via image 7 PCs in 15 minutes over the network.  From the point at which the image started copying, it took less than 8 minutes to reach a login screen).
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cmunzAuthor Commented:
These machines are in the field and not connected to a LAN unfortunately.  Our service people are not the most tech savvy people so I like to minimize the steps needed to perform a re-image.  Currently I have them connect a disk, turn on the machine, type one command at the DOS prompt and the rest is automatic.




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RunningGagCommented:
"With Active@ is it possible to automate the re-imaging process?  For example Ghost allows you to specify command line arguments to set certain parameters (partition size, exclude folders, etc.)"

It is GUI based so it requires that the user open the imaging software, select the image, select the destination disk, and say yes to delete the data on the destination disk.

From what I understand, there is (or will be?) the ability to add some scripted processes to the startup of the PE.  But I haven't played with that.

There's some screenshots available on the site:

http://www.disk-image.net/screen.htm


"These machines are in the field and not connected to a LAN unfortunately."

This is why we went with this method as well.
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cmunzAuthor Commented:
I am downloading and testing both solutions...
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nobusCommented:
try the paragon backup & recovery free :  http://www.paragon-software.com/home/db-express/index.html
it includes usb handling
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Auric1983Commented:
Do you use Server 2003 R2 or Server 2008? You could always try Windows Deployment Services.

I use network boot (PXE) Windows 7 and Vista are HAL independant so you can create one image and apply it to many different machines.  

Takes me about 20 minutes to apply a Win7 Image
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cmunzAuthor Commented:
I am applying a Windows XPE image from USB flash, I will be testing some of the software listed above today.
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