Looking for hardware-independant computer imaging software

Hi guys.

At work we currently use a variety of Ghost 7.5 boot disks to connect to a file server to save and restore computer images. We have different images for each type of computer model.

We have found ourselves in a situation now where we need to restore a particular image (that has particular software installed with a fair bit of custom configuration) that was taken from one type of HP computer to another model of HP desktop.

When trying to boot up after the restoration process, the machine doesn't boot (continuously restarts). I'm guessing something in the HAL might be different.

Are you able to provide software options that strip the device information and restores the image so that I can boot into Windows.

I have one of the original machines available, so I can dump the Ghost image onto it, and then take a new image with the new software, then repeat for the other images. The images contain Windows Server 2003 Standard.

I'd like to have this all taken care of by Friday this week, so hopefully the suggested software isn't too complicated to setup.

Thanks
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Ryan_RIT Systems AdministratorAsked:
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Bryan_GabrielCommented:
If you are open to a new imaging software.....

Acronis True Image Echo Server with universal restore. This software is AMAZING! Not to hard to use once you get used to it.

http://www.acronis.com/backup-recovery/server-windows/

Its pricey yes but it will save you TONS of headache on cloning an image. Used it for multiple machines with all flavors of OS's and Hardware to be moved to a virtual machine environment. Also has a universal boot disk you can make from an ISO

The universal restore option allows windows to boot on "dissimilar" hardware. Have had good luck imaging from all types of systems.
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Ryan_RIT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Looks good, but yeah, a bit pricey for us.
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Ryan_RIT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
I've read the following information from this site (after reading a few things to see if sysprep might work):

The Mass Storage driver is
the one "Show Stopper" for migrating motherboards. The way to
get around it is before shutting down before the hardware swap
change the IDE/ATAPI driver to a "Generic" one that will work
for Intel/VIA/SiS/nVidia Chipsets. Then after booting into the
new hardware, put the vendor specific driver back in place.

From http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/52621-45-continuous-reboot-loop


Does anyone know the steps to swap to the generic drivers? I'm about to search on the topic now.
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Ryan_RIT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
I've had a look in Device Manager - IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers. I have 9 items listed there.

3 are called 'Primary IDE Channel'
3 are called 'Secondary IDE Channel'
3 are called 'Standard Dual Channel PCE IDE Controller'

Does this mean that generic drivers are already in use?
I've clicked the Driver Details button for some of the items in there and the driver files to appear to be pretty generic:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\DRIVERS\atapi.sys, pciide.sys, pciidex.sys, storprop.dll
The Driver provider is listed as Microsoft.
if I click Update Driver.... Have Disk, only the currently used driver is shown, along with drivers provided by Intel.

All of the storage drives in both the HP 7800 SFF and HP 8000 Elite SFF are SATA drives.
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Ryan_RIT Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
I used software called Shadow Protect to backup and restore the image on dissimilar hardware. I had to go into the BIOS and change a HDD setting from AHCI to IDE to get the PC booting, though.
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Windows Server 2003

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