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best way to deploy win7 pro over network to large amount of computers

Posted on 2014-01-06
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Last Modified: 2014-01-22
Currently we have win xp pro spreadout throughout 30 offices around the country.  These offices have anywhere between 2-300 computers.  There is a private mesh mpls network and one forest with a domain for each site (office).  We want to know the best way to deploy win 7 pro.  We are open to anything that makes sense, is afforadbale and makes the process as smooth as possible.
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Question by:rmartes
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With that many offices and computers, is one out of line by assuming that the target computers are a variety of perhaps brands, certainly models and ages?

Here are the questions I'm addressing regarding doing this:

1) Does the Microsoft Windows 7 compatibility test pass reasonably?  
(I've seen cases where it appears to pass but the reported issues were just too numerous to suggest even trying).
2) Is the computer fundamentally up to the task?  (CPU, memory).
3) Can the computer memory be made to be acceptable?
(I know that 1GB of memory *is* the minimum these days for XP (used to be 512MB but the evolving security programs have made that ineffective).  So, I believe that 2GB is the minimum for Windows 7 32 and 4GB for Windows 64).
4) Are there drivers for Windows 7?  I have succeeded in using Vista drivers for an XP-Win7 upgrade so you might try that if necessary.  Start with the manufacturer's web site and find out.
5) Do you have an established method for distributing the drivers in addition to the OS?
6) Are you prepared for the printers that will have to be set aside?  Are all essential operations going to be covered when they go away?
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