Solved

Image PC's over network

Posted on 2011-03-23
13
648 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I'd like to image PCs over the network to a Raid storage area.
The machines are a mix of desktops/laptops of differing models and
have different contents like PSTs and My Documents/desktop as dumping ground.

Users cannot boot from USB/CD so the programme must run in windows
Also the users are not local admins or power users, so if it ran as a service that
an end user could use an app to interact with that would be handy

The image must also be browsable so that if hardware is replaced the My Docs
can be recovered rather than just dumping an image omnto different hardware.

Plus it must be cheap and work on XP & Win7

Any suggestions?
0
Comment
Question by:Majicthise
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
  • +3
13 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:vinaypatki
ID: 35196977
Have your tried Ghost Solution Suite by Symantec? Its reliable and tested. Support on various forums available too.
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:vinaypatki
ID: 35197005
or Acronis True Image if you are looking for freewares,,,
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:greenbug2002
ID: 35197006
Aronis Truimage is the best option Ghost on steroids! i use it on a 500 node lan its bril you can ghost servers encluding AD servers to network file servers supports most raid cards absolutly briliant!
0
Netscaler Common Configuration How To guides

If you use NetScaler you will want to see these guides. The NetScaler How To Guides show administrators how to get NetScaler up and configured by providing instructions for common scenarios and some not so common ones.

 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:onkt
ID: 35197400
If you want a solution that is totally free and works very good. you should absolutely try
http://www.fogproject.org/
Open source software for deploying. When you want to see what fog can do (and it is a lot) then check the tab overview.
0
 
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 35199224
If this is for image based BACKUP, then WDS is not appropriate - if this is for image deployment (image capture to deploy) then you can use the FREE WDS tool (you could technically use it anyway, but you'd have to manually capture the image as a sysprep is required)

If this is a small network, you could add a Windows Home Server to the mix that does image based and de-dupe backups - the cost of a home server (when divided by 10 workstations) is typically LESS expensive than the cost of Acronis True Image or Ghost.  And you can get multiple Home Servers to handle more than 10 systems
If this is a larger (but still small) network, you could wait a small bit of time and migrate to Windows Small Business Server Essentials which has a 25 user limit
0
 

Author Comment

by:Majicthise
ID: 35199861
I will havce allok at acronis Truimage
0
 

Author Comment

by:Majicthise
ID: 35199930
Is TruImage not a home Product - and even then requires to be bought?
I have 2 sites with 150 machines or so.
Each site has a NAS box also.

I just want the user to click backup my machine and it puts a backup to the NASbox.

Anyone got a link
0
 
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 35200064
True Image (and Ghost) is going to require a license for every system.

Why are you backing up 150 machines?  In a client server setup, you should be storing all data on a server and backing up the server - the workstations don't matter (for the most part) - they can be rebuilt or replaced quickly.  If you have a few special workstations, use Home Server to automatically create periodic images (For example, a client of mine has a CNC machine that uses an XP workstation - that could be a huge pain if it went down, so that gets backed up, as do the CxO PCs.  The other users machines, we don't care about... we just replace/reload if there's a problem that takes more than 30 minutes to solve.
0
 

Author Comment

by:Majicthise
ID: 35200263
i have many laptop users who store stuff in My Docs, as they're regularly out of contact from the office.
They cant always get a vpn connection to the office (who'd backup over GPRS anyway?)

Plus end users in the offiec store stuff in My Docs also and on Desktop
I know I can use a policy to force them to store on server but I dont want server full of their crappy holiday snaps
and other junk.

I cannot rely on an automated solutinn as users are frequently awayu from the offices.
I need something that a user can kick of, it'll work away in the background and dump a browsable back on some spare spaec.


0
 
LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 75 total points
ID: 35200526
One thing you should understand - the more flexibility you provide the MORE EXPENSIVE it is for your company.  In a typical client-server network, there is no need to spend $50 per computer on an imaging solution - and when you have 150 computers, thats going to add up to nearly $7500

Yes, you can use a policy to redirect documents - and you can use the File Server Management features to prevent them from storing things.  You can also use policies to enforce certain file types are not stored on the server.  And if you can (really should) have an acceptable use policy for company resources so that they don't do those things and there can be consequences when they do.  Finally, it's a lot cheaper to add 2TB of storage to accommodate those files than to buy a product that can do what you're asking (forget the implementation time of installing it on 150 PCs and how much that would cost the company...)

VPNs, Terminal Services, etc are ways to prevent problems and save money...
0
 
LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
jmargraf earned 175 total points
ID: 35210915
I administer a small network (around 25 desktops/laptops) and have used a program called Backup for Workgroups in the past (http://www.backup-for-workgroups.com/).  It can be run as a service and automated, or it can be kicked off by a non-admin user.  It does a complete backup and allows you to restore individual files or do a complete disaster recovery/restore.  The licenses were around $100 each, which seemed to be cheaper than most other enterprise solutions..
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:vinaypatki
ID: 35212871
Majicthise, how was your experience with Acronis? did it help?
0
 

Author Comment

by:Majicthise
ID: 35339729
I dont think there's a simple free solution. I'll need to look further.
0

Featured Post

Netscaler Common Configuration How To guides

If you use NetScaler you will want to see these guides. The NetScaler How To Guides show administrators how to get NetScaler up and configured by providing instructions for common scenarios and some not so common ones.

Question has a verified solution.

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

When you start your Windows 10 PC and got an "Operating system not found" error or just saw  "Auto repair for startup" or a blinking cursor with black screen. A loop for Auto repair will start but fix nothing.  You will be panic as there are no back…
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 teach you how to the overview of Microsoft Security Essentials. This is a free anti-virus software that guards your PC against viruses, spyware, worms, and other malicious software. This will be demonstrated using Windows…
This Micro Tutorial will go in depth within Systems and Security in Windows 7 and will go into detail regarding Action Center, Windows Firewall, System, etc. This will be demonstrated using Windows 7 operating system.

821 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