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Cloning Dell Computers

Posted on 2014-04-03
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Afternoon Everyone. I'm in the process of getting 60 Dell machines for work. They are all the same model and configuration. In the past I would install all the software I'd need, clone it and then blow out the image to the other machines. My boss was doing some research and a colleague told him that the cloning might not work because each Dell machine has a unique system ID which I guess would mean Windows won't activate? Is this a concern? We will be cloning Windows 7 machines. If you guys need more information please let me know and I'd be happy to provide it. Thanks
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Question by:Smp351
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6 Comments
 
LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39976450
No concern. Change the product key on each machine and activate.
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LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Patrick Bogers
ID: 39976458
Hi,

You would install one machine and install all updates. Just before Joining the domain use sysprep to delete all system specific info like Unique PID.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc721940(v=ws.10).aspx

Whats left is an image you can distribute to the 60 machines.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:discgman
ID: 39976537
Yes, use the new sysprep and then either register each of the licenses once they are online or use a kms server script (If you have a kms server) to automate the windows licenses during the sysprep process.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:Pancake_Effect
ID: 39976635
I image dell machines on a daily basis at work using imagex. As others stated, simply change the product key and you will be just fine. I've also done it using clonezilla.

The unique system ID might simply just be the service tag code that's installed on the support tool software when you buy it. You can simply go to their website and download their tool to be able to have their support website recognize the service code again, it's not a big deal.
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Expert Comment

by:esarmiento
ID: 39976805
Sysprep and then http://clonezilla.org/
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LVL 96

Accepted Solution

by:
Lee W, MVP earned 1200 total points
ID: 39976832
You cannot "clone" a machine running Windows anything OEM edition.

The way this MUST be done so as not to violate licensing:

1. Take one of those machines and install Windows 7 Pro from Volume License Media in Audit mode.
2. Once you have setup the machine as you like, run Sysprep
3. Shutdown and Capture the image.
4. Deploy the image.

I would suggest using Microsoft's tools rather than third party tools - these include Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT), Windows Deployment Services/Server (WDS), and the Windows Automated Installation Kit (AIK)/Assessment and Deployment Toolkit (ADT).

If you don't have Volume License media, you need it.  You DO NOT need a volume license for each machine, you need ONE to build the image and deploy with.
For more information, see: https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/about-licensing/briefs/reimaging.aspx

You can use ImageX but WDS can deploy ALL 60 machines in an hour or so using Multicasts over a gigabit network.
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