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Enterprise XP to Windows 7 imaging solutions?

The enterprise is planning a move from Windows XP to windows 7 on the desktop because MS is expiring in April 2014.  The workstation will not be replaced - it will be 'upgraded' with Windows 7.  What are some good options to installing Windows 7 on the existing workstations?  The ideal solution will allow booting to the network and possibly Microsoft provided/supported.  The computers are approx 4 different (total) flavors of Lenovo Desktops and laptops. Several hundred to migrate... Most are 'generic and do not have a highly 'customized' profile (ie - only need to transfer IE favorites - all user data stored on network)   Thanks for your insight!
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davis
Asked:
davis
2 Solutions
 
KimputerCommented:
In this situation, I would, get the Win7 Pro or Enterprise through Volume Licensing.
Then for the 4 different flavors, upgrade one machine, then use imaging to configure the rest (assuming the XP installation is also almost identical on all machines). Use Acronis software to create and distribute the images (That's because Microsoft's own solution. RIS, is used for totally new installations). Remember this only works if important software like Office, is also from Volume Licensing, OEM versions will have problems later with license activation/validation. Also, because you use images, all local data will be lost (unless you have it seperated on another partition). Better make sure every machine is properly backed up.
Also, if almost all PC's are different, filled with different software, there's no other way than to manually upgrade all machines.
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KCTSCommented:
I'd look into doing a clean install rather than an upgrade for a number of reasons - not the lease being the ability to move to 64bit - assuming that the computers support this.

The simplest way must be to upgrade using Windows Deployment Services and use Group policy to specify favorites etc as required.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh831764.aspx
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noxchoCommented:
You cannot upgrade XP machine to Windows 7 according to MS policy. You can install it new by erasing the drives with XP. Thus save the user data on some network share (if it is not saved yet) and install Windows 7 by reformatting the drives.
As for the install process. MDT2012 or newer should help you to sysprep the machine and deploy to the your workstations.
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rindiCommented:
You could use Windows Easy Transfer to move data in the User Profiles from XP to Windows 7. But as far as I know it only works if you upgrade to Windows 7 32bit (I don't think it works from XP to Windows 7 64bit, or at least not fully, so you might as well just copy the data manually):

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=4503

As already mentioned, you can't do an upgrade (and even if you could that wouldn't be advisable). Indirect upgrades could be done by first upgrading to Vista, and from that to Windows 7, but then you would be limited to the 32bit version (provided you aren't already using a 64bit version of XP, which is unlikely).
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Don't use Acronis.  Microsoft's solution has not been RIS for 10 years - Microsoft's solution is Windows Deployment Services (WDS).  You can use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK/WAIK), the User State Migration Tool (USMT), and WDS
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davisAuthor Commented:
MDT seems like a good option.  I learned today part of the organization is already using MDT 2012.  if we were to stand up a MDT2013 server for our 'leg' of the organization, would it integrate/interface with their MDT2013?
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davisAuthor Commented:
i meant 'their MDT2012'...   thanks
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noxchoCommented:
Simply upgrade their MDT2012 to version 2013.
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nobusCommented:
best run the upgrade advisor on each model, to be sure they are compatible
also which OS will you choose?  64 or 32 - bit?
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shahzoorCommented:
the best solution in this scenario is laplink pc mover
http://www.laplink.com/index.php/individuals/pcmover-for-windows-8/feature-overview

It transfers everything to windows 7 in a click
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McKnifeCommented:
Nothing against 7, but this: mainstream support ends 13th of January, next year. Just in case you didn't take it into consideration.
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