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how do i clone a hard drive to another computer

Posted on 2011-02-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I need to set up 6 Windows 7 computers exacly the same and would love to make it quicker by cloning the first one. What is the best (free) way to do this?
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Question by:TAXCC
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Accepted Solution

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csaroli earned 86 total points
ID: 34865668
I reccommend Acronis or Ghost, but as far as free options, i'm not sure

Steps
Install OS
Install your applications and default profiles
Run SysPrep
Create the image
Restore the image on destination computers
startup and give computer a name
deploy
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Assisted Solution

by:Oh-Y-Not
Oh-Y-Not earned 41 total points
ID: 34865716
The best, not free, method would be to use Symantec Ghost and Ghostcasting.

For a free solution, DriveImageXML offers most of the features of Ghost, including Shadow Copy, for free. You won't be able to do simultaneous image cloning to the other 5 Windows 7 ala Ghostcasting, but it is still very capable.
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by:babesia
babesia earned 41 total points
ID: 34865747
I used  Ghost to make an image. But here is list of free alternatives
at this site http://www.winvistaclub.com/d75.html

Re image to new machine then used NEWSID change from Sysinternals which is free , to change the SID and name of the machine.

Done
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:paulop1975
paulop1975 earned 41 total points
ID: 34865749
I normally use System Rescue CD. It's a very nice software. It has some fairly good documentation. I managed to install 5 HP DL380 G6 server from one image (first installation) and it went well.
And the best part: IT'S FREE!!
Hope it can be of any help.
Cheers,
eLN
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Assisted Solution

by:discgman
discgman earned 41 total points
ID: 34865813
Another free option is using windows WDS server to deploy Windows 7 machines. You would need to have a server or workstation to run it on and some sort of pxe boot setup (boot from network).

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744343(WS.10).aspx
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Assisted Solution

by:csaroli
csaroli earned 86 total points
ID: 34865853
Do not use newsid, use sysprep

IMPORTANT:Regarding SIDs, Microsoft does not support images that are prepared using NewSID, we only support images that are prepared using SysPrep. Microsoft has not tested NewSID for all deployment cloning options.

For more information on Microsoft's official policy, please see the following Knowledge Base article:
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;314828


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Expert Comment

by:JeremySBrown
ID: 35154546
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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