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Image Windows 7

Posted on 2011-05-05
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I am looking to image a windows 7 laptop to deploy about 30 copies... I tried using Acronis true image home 11 to do this. IT creates the image fine, restores the image to the new laptop fine however, when booting up with a new imaged laptop I receive the Boot MGR is missing. Is this a normal thing with imaging Windows 7? Is it something I did wrong possibly? Also is there a better imaging suite out there?

Thanks
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Question by:eli290
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Expert Comment

by:Stelian Stan
ID: 35701071
Do you mean Acronis Home 2011 or version 11?
I used that software to do something like you did with great success.
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by:eli290
ID: 35701085
Acronis Home 2011
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by:jonahzona
ID: 35701091
If you are on a domain, Windows Deployment Services is a great option. Rollout images through PXE boot. It's a life saver.
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by:Brian Gee
ID: 35701103
In my org, we have been forced off of the normal imaging process using Ghost and into Windows native imaging using DISKPART, IMAGEX (or GIMAGEX) for our Win7 image deployments.
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by:Brian Gee
ID: 35701107
But yes, PXE boot imaging is the best route, if available...
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by:eli290
ID: 35701109
clonyxlro - I have used this many times as well. I actually just cloned 4 new HP PC's with windows 7 no problem... However with these Dell laptops I am having this issue. I cloned 3 of them and all receiving the same result

jonahzona - I am on a domain however I have never used Windows Deployment Services. What does it actually do in terms of cloning a new system?

Thanks both
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 35701111
I agree with jonahzona, that's the way to go.
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by:Stelian Stan
ID: 35701126
Did you run sysprep before imaging those laptops?
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by:jonahzona
ID: 35701132
@eli290

The way it works is you set up your computer with all drivers, software, etc. You sysprep the computer and boot (after setting up WDS) PXE over the network.

WDS captures the sysprepped image.

Once the image is captured and stored on the server, all you do is boot PXE into a Windows PE install environment. Format the disk, choose the image and Windows installs the image. Its a beautiful thing.

However, setting it up isn't for the faint of heart. It took me a few hours to set it up. But now if I have a computer that needs reinstalling (we have about 120 machines), it takes literally 70 seconds to get the image installing.

Let me know if you want more info and I will point you in the right direction.
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Author Comment

by:eli290
ID: 35701159
Clonyxlro - I did not sysprep before imaging the laptops. Since the previous HP desktops worked fine I didnt think that it was needed, should I go back and do that? Then reimage the laptop and try again?

Jonahzona - I would love some more info on the process. I think that is the way to go in the future...
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by:Ivano Viola
ID: 35701177
Here is a good guide for Windows 7 sysprep using Ghost or ImageX.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/A_3095-Windows-7-Sysprep.html
I have not used Acronis so I really can't comment on why you're getting that error. I use to see that error when you would try ghosting a computer with a version of ghost not compatible with Vista/Win 7 because it was not able to read the boot partition. I know Acronis is compatible. Make sure the Windows 7 system partition (100MB partition) is also captured in the image.
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by:jonahzona
ID: 35701184
Here is the walkthrough I followed when setting it up.

The simplest way to get WDS is to set it up on your DHCP server, btw.

http://rdsrc.us/Hg8X1o

Also, here is a thread I was a part of yesterday where I went in depth on the issue, including screenshots and quotes. Author still hasn't closed the thread, though he seemed pleased with the info.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Microsoft_Operating_Systems/Windows/Windows_7/Q_26992028.html#a35701171
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by:Brian Gee
ID: 35701223
Nice write-up there, jonahzona ;)
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by:jonahzona
ID: 35701365
@Yobri can you tell I like WDS? I should start a fan-club.   :D
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by:Brian Gee
ID: 35701407
:hehe:

That was very thorough. You should write an article for the E-E board with that very information. It will not only be helpful for reference, but you deserve the extra points from such article as well :)
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by:jonahzona
ID: 35701746
@Yobri - Just posted the article.

http://rdsrc.us/G6WIf9
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by:eli290
ID: 35705990
Is there anyway to fix this bootmgr is missing error? I can reimage the original if need be but I would like to get that fixed before trying to reimage again.... I really dont have the time to setup the WDS at this point but will be sure to look at it in the near future. Should I do the sysprep? I know I used to have to do that with windows 2000 but since then I never had to.
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by:Ivano Viola
ID: 35706153
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by:eli290
ID: 35706192
Unfortunately I tried those steps and it did not fix the problem. I tried this at least 4 times, rebooted and tried again. Also tried to let it auto fix with no luck
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Author Comment

by:eli290
ID: 35719925
I ended up using the following website to do what I needed to do for the images.

http://benosullivan.co.uk/windows/how-to-image-and-deploy-windows-7-a-complete-guide/

Worked like a charm... thanks!
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eli290 earned 0 total points
ID: 35721183
The only problem that I ran into was getting the USB drive to be bootable. I found some tutorials but this is exactly what I did...

1. Insert the windows 7 disk into the dvd drive
2. Insert your USB drive
3. Find your command prompt and right click on it and run as administrator
4. Run Command diskpart
5. Run Command select disk 0
6. Run Command list volume
7. With the results from the previous command make sure you write down the drive for you USB drive (Mine was H)
8. Run the command exit
9. Now navigate to your dvd drive with your windows 7 disk by Running the Command D: (D is my dvd drive letter, use the letter that corresponds to your drive letter)
10. Once it shows that you are on your dvd drive then Run the Command cd boot
11. You should now see D:\boot on your command line (Again if your dvd drive is a different letter then it will show that letter)
12. Run the Command bootsect /nt60 H: /mbr (H is my USB drive letter, you will have a different letter in that spot if yours is different)

You should now see the following message

Successfully updated disk bootcode.
Bootcode was successfully updated on all targeted volumes.

After I did this I was able to boot the new laptop up and boot to the USB with the image on it. Hope you all find this helpful...
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Author Closing Comment

by:eli290
ID: 35759424
I ended up answering my own question and submitted my steps for achieving that answer
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