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How to Automate the initial configuration of a ghosted Windows XP client

Posted on 2012-03-30
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Last Modified: 2012-04-05
Hi,

Our current WinXP client deployment process is as follows:

1.) Attach USB pen drive with standard WinXP SP3 ghost image to new PC/laptop
2.) Boot new workstation/laptop with bootable ghost disk, browse to .GHO image and restore to disk
3.) Boot machine up, let sysprep complete
4.) Enter TCP/IP info (IP address, mask, gateway, DNS, WINS)
5.) Rename PC and join to domain
6.) Reboot PC
7.) Log in with user account
8) Configure Outlook 2007 client wizard
9) Configure Internet Explorer setup wizard

Process completed.

Is there anyway of automating any/all of the boot steps?

e.g. Getting ghost to use an unattend file/startup script to run the above tasks?

HELP!

Thanks,
Fin
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Question by:cpadm
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Daz_1234 earned 500 total points
ID: 37790997
The short answer is 'yes', most of the steps can be automated.  The trouble is that in a short question you have actually asked for a large amount of work.  Normally questions on this site are either, 'help me adapt my script / script part' or 'please show the method to do this single thing'.

You are asking for a complete automated solution, which could easily be split into many questions:
1. how to automate the ghost command line
2. automate the configuration of static ip information
3. rename a PC and join to a domain
4. automate Outlook 2007 configuration
5. automate IE configuration.

I'll try to give you a few pointers, then when you have something, if you need further help you can ask another question.  

When the ghost disk boots, what is the OS?  DOS? WinPE?  Does it automatically run the ghost program?  If it does then it is automatically firing a batch file.  Whatever the batch file is, you should be able to edit it to amend the ghost.exe command line.

This raises the next question: Is the flash drive you insert always assigned the same drive letter?  If it is then the ghost command line is easier to set up.  This link is to a list of command line switches for Ghost:

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH130961&locale=en_US

This batch snippet will show you how, in batch, work out which letter the flash drive is, if it is not consistent:
for %%a in (G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z) do (
  if exist "%%a:\yourfilename.gho" (
    set FLASH_DRIVE=%%a
  )
  ghost.exe  -CLONE,MODE=LOAD,SRC="%FLASH_DRIVE%:\yourfilename.gho", .... .... .... ... ... etc.

Open in new window


How to execute tasks automatically after a sysprep:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc780201(v=ws.10).aspx

Set IP Address via a batch file:

http://samanathon.com/set-your-ip-address-via-batch-file/

VBscript to rename computer and join domain:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Languages/Visual_Basic/VB_Script/Q_23741845.html

For IE I recommend that you either create an installation using the IEAK, or install it via Windows Update or WSUS and use GPO to set the defaults.

For automating Outlook, there are many dedicated Outlook experts on here (I am not one of them) that would be more than happy to give you detailed answers.

Good Luck!
Daz.
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by:cpadm
ID: 37794123
Cheers for that Daz.

I found an article about Outlook autoconfiguration:

http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/uncovering-new-outlook-2007-discover-service.html
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