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Ghost and Deploy Anywhere When Booting from Network

Posted on 2010-09-17
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi folks!

We have approximately 150 workstations running Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 in a Windows Server 2003-based Active Directory environment. We use Symantec Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 for deployment of images to machines. This is a school environment and in addition to imaging new machines, we typically wipe and re-image machines every couple of quarters.

We have several different types of machines in our environment, each of which requires different drivers and some of which require different HAL's. When we create a Ghost image, we use the Microsoft Sysprep tool to prepare it for duplication and to have it auto-install appropriate drivers for things like video, NIC, etc. However, for computers that required different HAL's, we have just been preparing separate images, which has been quite an annoyance.

I am currently investigating the use of Symantec's Deploy Anywhere tool to overcome that limitation and be able to deploy the same image across multiple hardware platforms. In the testing I have done so far, using a Ghost boot CD, the process has been successful.

However, our normal procedure is to Ghost machines by doing a PXE network boot, not using a boot CD. Thus far, I have been unable to figure out how to make a network boot image that includes the Deploy Anywhere driver database. Even if I check that option in the Ghost Boot Wizard when creating the image, the WINDRIVERS directory is always absent when I boot from the network boot image.

Can anyone tell me how to properly use Deploy Anywhere when using the network boot option rather than boot discs?

Thanks!

- Ithizar
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Question by:Ithizar
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Expert Comment

by:harryhelp
ID: 33704415
Have you got the client on the computer pre-wipe? I sometimes make a DeployAnywhere task on the console...
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Author Comment

by:Ithizar
ID: 33704566
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. The Deploy Anywhere client gets added to the boot disc. I'm not sure how you would load that on the machine prior to wipe or what that would accomplish. Can you elaborate?
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harryhelp earned 500 total points
ID: 33704586
I was pretty sure that, if you're running the ghost client on your computer, you should be able to run a DeployAnywhere task from the server...
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Author Comment

by:Ithizar
ID: 33704885
Hmm. That would certainly make sense, but I'm not sure how. All the instructions I am finding on Symantec's web site say that you boot into the Ghost client from a boot CD, image the machine, then drop to a command prompt and use the Deploy Anywhere tool off of the boot CD. And, in fact, that works just fine. But the network boot images, unlike the boot CD's, don't get that WINDRIVERS directory that contains the Deploy Anywhere driver database.

I guess I could attempt to map a drive to the location on the server where the Deploy Anywhere files are stored. Is that what you're suggesting? And then run the tool from that mapped drive, or at least pointing to it for the driver database. Hopefully there would be some way to automate that, though, as I'd hate to have to have 'touch time' on each individual machine running a command like that.
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Expert Comment

by:harryhelp
ID: 33704943
Think I'll have to leave this to another expert, as this isn't my forte! Would be interesting to see if you could do, though, as we're currently doing different images for different hardware platforms!
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Author Comment

by:Ithizar
ID: 33705361
It may not be your forte, but in fact you pointed me in exactly the direction I needed to go!

Based upon your suggestion of running Deploy Anywhere from the server, I found the original WINDRIVERS directory on the server where the boot images are being created from. I shared that folder, and then was able to modify the startup batch file of our network boot image to map a drive letter to that new share. By doing so, I can run the Deploy Anywhere tool and tell it to look on the mapped drive for its driver database, and I can use the startup batch file to automated the process. Works like a charm!

Thanks so much!

- Ithizar
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Expert Comment

by:harryhelp
ID: 33705370
Great to know you've got this sorted ;)
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Author Comment

by:Ithizar
ID: 33705643
Yes, indeed! Thanks again!
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