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Cloning Windows 7 machines

Posted on 2010-08-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi,

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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Question by:mark_D74
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8 Comments
 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:ibrahim52
ID: 33470763
It is possible only if you have similar PC configuration on all the computers you have.Please follow the link below. Good luck.

Article :
http://www.sevenforums.com/general-discussion/18767-ghosting-win7-install-separate-hard-drive.html
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Assisted Solution

by:alex075
alex075 earned 600 total points
ID: 33470791
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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Ivano Viola earned 1400 total points
ID: 33471005
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..
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:ekincam
ID: 33471390
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.  
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Ivano Viola
ID: 33471555
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.
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Expert Comment

by:alex075
ID: 33471649
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.
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Expert Comment

by:BMStealth
ID: 33476530
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.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:ppdogs
ID: 33482465
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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