Cloning Windows 7 machines


I have 10 Lenovo machines that I need to set up on a school network, each running Windows 7.  I'm hoping I can just set the first one up perfectly, then ghost the image to the other machines, change the machine names and SIDs and then join them to the server 2003 domain.  Will this work or do I really need to go down the sysprep route?
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Ivano ViolaConnect With a Mentor System AdministratorCommented:
If you're using the OEM OS, then process should be pretty straight forward. As Alex said you will need to sysprep the image using the /generalize switch for the all the computers to be on the same network..
ibrahim52Team LeaderCommented:
It is possible only if you have similar PC configuration on all the computers you have.Please follow the link below. Good luck.

Article :
alex075Connect With a Mentor Commented:
You have to generalize Window 7 machine before copying to another computer. Windows 7 has no SID per say feature.
You can still have computers on the network if you just copy image from one to another, but Active directory will not work for sure.
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What version of Ghost are you using?

I had some issues with Ghost 8 trying ti clone a few machines where I had to go back in with the installation CD and run a disc check or something.

I ended up using WDS and doing a lite touch installation.  
Ivano ViolaSystem AdministratorCommented:
Ghost 8 does not read the Windows 7 boot partition. You have to update your ghost to the Windows 7 compatible version. I use ghost 11.5.
Ghost 15 - the latest version - will not generalize the image. Acronis workstation can add/remove drivers, but it's not what needed in this case.
Without generalization, as it was correctly said above - in windows\system32\sysprep folder - the Active directory services will not work.
You can search Google on SID, and you will find article published by Russinovich regarding SID past and future.
I've been using Ghost 11.5 to image and re-image Win7 machine before adding it to AD with out any sysprep and haven't had any issue so far. As long as they are identical hardware or similar enough, then I don't see a problem.

I've just recently deployed deployed 30 Win7 Enterprise laptop using this method and had no issue adding it to AD.
as long as the gold image is in a workgroup it will be ok. after cloning it and adding the clone to the the domain it will get e new Domain SID so there wont be any problems.
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