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UEFI GPT and cloning disks

I have 50 laptops running XP. All 50 laptops are identical, so Acronis True Image has been great. I created 1 working system, cloned that system to a external disk, then just copied to all 50 laptops using that 1 external drive. Works great.

Now, I have another 50 laptops. But these HP 655 notebooks come with UEFI & GPT 500GB disks and Win8. Win8 Pro will not run our custom software, so I downgraded one HP655 to Win7 Pro. I then wanted to copy that hard drive (using Acronis) to all the other laptops, by using Acronis bootable media. NOPE! Acronis 2013 saw the internal drive and the external drive, but when I tried to clone it, the only choice I had was to MOVE. Thats no good because it destroys the source drive. And if I did that, the destination drive would then just move to the next drive. I want a viable clone on the external drive that I can copy to the other laptops, and they in turn will boot up.

How do I create an image of this HP655, copy it to an external drive, then copy to another HP655, creating a bootable copy of the first HP655? I don't know much about UEFI/GPT, but I am beginning to hate UEFI/GPT. These drives are only 500GB, so don't need GPT, if that is the problem.

Someone said to abandon Acronis and use Sysprep, but I have never used Sysprep. I would prefer to use Acronis if I can. If I have to abandon Acronis, how do I use Sysprep?  Where do you get it?  What are the commands?  And what is ImageX?
Any help would be appreciated.
Microsoft Legacy OSLaptops NotebooksAcronis

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Shane McKeown

8/22/2022 - Mon