how do i create a image of windows 7

i have 15 identical computers and i have to install office, symantec endpoint protection (network enabled), and some other applications.

these machines are windows 7 and will join the active directory domain.

how do i create an image of all of the above if i have to join it to the domain, at what point do i capture the image so that i can have it for 15 machines?

i have never done this before and would like to try as it might make life easier?

what version of symatec should i use for win 7?

thanks
LBCAsked:
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IT-ShrekCommented:
Hello,

install Windows Deployment Services (WDS), it's freeware from Microsoft.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766320(v=ws.10).aspx 

It can capture a finished Win7 installation with all drivers and applications and distribute it through the network or via disk-based image.
It includes wizards for the entire Process, including the individualization process with sysprep.

Shrek
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ibrahim52Team LeaderCommented:
Norton Ghost is a popular tool, you can strart with a trial edition. Heres the tutorial.

Referred Link :
http://reboot.pro/12832/
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ibrahim52Team LeaderCommented:
If you are free enough to explore more on "free" programs available. Check the link below.

Referred Link :
http://dottech.org/featured/6194/
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athomsfereCommented:
Windows Deployment toolkit is the best...

But Ghost is another popular solution.

Or, going low tech, you can build a slipstream disk.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/145343-slipstream-windows-7-sp1-into-installation-dvd-iso-file.html
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
The answers so far, are in my opinion, half answers.  The following is a high level overview of doing this:

1. Pick one system, WIPE it, reload it with Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise using a Volume License DVD or flash-based source.  It must be volume license.  You CANNOT use an OEM image.  You cannot modify an OEM image for redeployment unless it's to be sent to your OEM and the OEM applies the image at the factory.

2. When you get to the FIRST screen post installation reboots (where you're asked for the user name you want to use), press CTRL+SHIFT + F3 (more information here: http://www.everything-microsoft.com/2009/12/30/using-audit-mode-in-windows-7/ )

3.  Install all your windows updates, software, and custom settings that apply to all users - DO NOT join to a domain.

4.  Once you have configured the system as desired, complete sysprep (see the link above).  Select Shutdown (NOT reboot) - if you reboot you've messed up the image.  

5. Now, use disk imaging software to capture your image.  This is what gets deployed to the other systems.  There will still be limited customizations required (joining the domain, etc), but all your software and patches should be there.

DO NOT include Symantec in your image.  Symantec is poorly designed (in my opinion).  We use symantec at one of my clients (not my choice) and in order to get it reporting properly to the management console, we need to rename a file and delete a registry setting as a last step before running sysprep - you can just use the Symantec management tools to deploy - or better still, get rid of symantec and use a GOOD antivirus product (My recommendation is VIPRE).

As for what imaging software, WDS is NOT freeware anymore than Active Directory is freeware - Both are ROLES that can be installed on Windwos Server 2003 and later.  In 2008 and 2008 R2, you can use Multicasting to deploy the image to ALL workstations at the SAME time at FULL network speed.

WDS can CAPTURE AND DEPLOY the image.  I have a document for setting it up on Windows 2008 (not R2) but the basic setup should be the same for both R2 and 2003.
http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/installwds2008.asp

If you have to do this regularly or want to seriously customize things, Microsoft's tools, in my opinion, rival anyone elses. Some of which really need to be used with others (including SysPrep and some that could or even should, like the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK)).

Microsoft tools to look at:
Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAI)
Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT)
Windows Deployment Services (WDS)
Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT)
Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP)
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LBCAuthor Commented:
thanks for replying to my add, excellent answer.<br />I will investigate every option mention - brilliant!
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