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Ghost Cast-issue.... Best image deploying tool for Lenovo laptops?

Posted on 2010-09-20
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I work in a small company who buy used computers and mostly I work with laptops. Nowadays I'm working with a batch of many different Lenovo Thinkpad laptops. I.e T500, SL300, W700 and so on.
Usually we use Ghost 11 (Ghost Cast) to deploy images to the computers after creating a master image (on each model) of the original recovery DVD-set but as in the past with i.e. T60/T61 I 've had some challenges to manage this. I've recently been looking for an alternative to Ghost since almost every Lenovo-machine is giving me a headache. With T60/T61 I found a workaround by disabling the pre-desktop area and changing the SATA-config from ACHI to Compatible and enabling the -ib swith in the Ghost Cast console. When cloning the image to the new computer I enabled the Image Boot-partition in Ghost on the client machine (accessed through PXE). This worked, but these new models seems to be a pain in the a*se working with Ghost or vice versa.

Does it exsist a permanent solution (other program than Ghost via PXE) or a workaround that will work on all Lenovo machines?
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Question by:elzacka
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Accepted Solution

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ServDeskKnows earned 672 total points
ID: 33719963
Fog Project (http://www.fogproject.org/) is an open source alternative to Ghost that we use to push images.  It has great PXE and Wake On LAN integration.

Alternatively, the Free Windows 7 Deployment Toolkit in combination the Windows Automated Installation Kit (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd349348(WS.10).aspx) works great. It instructs the creation of a WinPE 3.0 enviroment to push *.WIM images.  For the Lenovo ThinkPads, the image is hardware-independant and can be used on all models. After imaging just run ThinkVantage System Update 4 to grab the drivers from Lenovo.

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Author Comment

by:elzacka
ID: 33719988
I will look into this at work tomorrow and let you know if it worked out. Thank you!
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Expert Comment

by:Don S.
ID: 33720741
We've been using Microsoft's WDS and MDT 2010.  It is a file based/WIM deployment system.  For us, it works well with Vista/7 coming from a 2008 R2 server.  It seems to handle different systems fairly well and reduces the number of images you need -AND it's free.  There is a fairly steep learning curve however.
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Assisted Solution

by:funnyfingers
funnyfingers earned 664 total points
ID: 33738457
I would recommend sticking with ghost but using a different boot method.

If I understand correctly, you prefer using a DVD to transfer the image but have trouble with loading the SATA drivers?  
You can create a winpe.iso (http://www.svrops.com/svrops/articles/winvistape2.htm) that includes the ghost32.exe on it.
Once booted, you pull that CD out and put in the DVD with the image.
If you time it right, you can have a script run that will launch the restore process automatically.
You can do a bunch of command lin if statements to check for the ghost file so that you get the right drive letter as it may vary with model.

Key thing here is that the winpe cd has the correct SATA drivers.
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Assisted Solution

by:SysExpert
SysExpert earned 664 total points
ID: 33818481
network boot Universal TCP/IP Network Bootdisk is a DOS bootdisk that has almost all NIC drivers built in.
http://www.netbootdisk.com/

Ghost bootable
http://club.cdfreaks.com/f3/norton-ghost-bootable-cd-153755/

Create a Universal network boot floppy image and use that to create your CD boot. set it to connect to your server, and put a copy of Ghost.exe on the shared drive where the images are .

also
http://www.tech-forums.net/computer_articles/restore/restore-disk.php

SATA CDROM boot

http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/on-technology.nsf/0/02757dcb0c3c1ed68825734e0059c0b8?OpenDocument&seg=en&lg=en&ct=uk
drivers
http://marktsai0316.googlepages.com/gcdromfordos

I hope this helps !
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Expert Comment

by:Glen Knight
ID: 34850247
This question has been classified as abandoned and is being closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See my comment at the end of the question for more details.
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