Solved

What's the best practice for imaging HDDs for small business? Moving beyond Ghost to winPE? Sysprep?

Posted on 2010-09-01
5
659 Views
Last Modified: 2013-12-12
My small biz usually buys PCs in 2s or 3s. Even so, it takes a while to build up a naked system with all our applications & settings. In my years with Windows XP, I've used various versions of Ghost to get the job done. I've skipped Vista entirely but am now deploying Windows 7.  I have read that Ghost 15.0 (the latest version) won't allow a ghosted Windows 7 HDD to be placed in a different piece of hardware (PC), even if they are the same model and vintage (Say, Dell Vostro 220s).  Actually, I'm reading that Win 7 is the problem, not Ghost itself.

We don't do any volume licensing. All my PCs are purchased with XP Pro or Win 7 Pro pre-installed and have product key stickers. I'm new to winPE and Sysprep. Are the Microsoft tools the way to go? Or something else? What is the definitive starting guide for newbies?
0
Comment
Question by:oakie22
5 Comments
 
LVL 2

Accepted Solution

by:
Mike_Brodeur earned 500 total points
ID: 33577570
Definitely go with Windows Deployment Services and Sysprep, it'll save you a lot of time and isn't that hard to set up. Here's a great article I used to get my company up on WDS: http://www.petenetlive.com/KB/Article/0000107.htm

Here are a few other related articles that might help:
Step-by-step for WDS images: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766320(WS.10).aspx
Sysprepping Windows 7 step by step: http://blog.brianleejackson.com/sysprep-a-windows-7-machine-%E2%80%93-start-to-finish-v2

With regards to your product keys being individual, you can install Windows 7 without a product key and have a grace period, then when you bring your image up after setting up a new system you can type the key manually from that particular PC.

Good luck, hope this helps!
0
 
LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 33578124
Alternatively, you could give this free trial a chance: http://drivesnapshot.de/en/hardware.htm
Depending on the number of systems (you wrote about 2s or 3s in a row), it's no problem to clone this way and manually change the key and activate.

I'm just showing this alternate method because there are users that find adopting WDS too time consuming for their small environments.
0
 
LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 33591726
IN addition, there may be activation issues with OEM versions of Windows, so do a test first after first backing up ( image ) one machine .

I hope this helps !
0
 
LVL 54

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 33591882
I haved cloned some OEMs, no problem activating after changing the key.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:oakie22
ID: 33592672
I'll try this next time.
0

Featured Post

What is SQL Server and how does it work?

The purpose of this paper is to provide you background on SQL Server. It’s your self-study guide for learning fundamentals. It includes both the history of SQL and its technical basics. Concepts and definitions will form the solid foundation of your future DBA expertise.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

By default the complete memory dump option is disabled in windows . If we want to enable the complete memory dump for a diagnostic purpose, we have a solution for it. here we are using the registry method to enable this.
While working, an annoying popup showing below will come and we cannot cancel or close it form the screen. The error message will come again and again.
This Micro Tutorial will give you a basic overview of Windows DVD Burner through its features and interface. This will be demonstrated using Windows 7 operating system.
The viewer will learn how to successfully download and install the SARDU utility on Windows 8, without downloading adware.

778 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question