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Windows 7 Pro Workstation imaging

Posted on 2014-07-23
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I have 12 Windows 7 professional workstations in a domain that I would like to image.

I don't have 100% luck with the built-in Windows 7 Pro system image. But I have been able to make it work and image a Windows 7 machine. I have never had a successful Windows 7 system image using DVDs were it prompts you to insert a DVD one at a time - sometimes taking 3 to 6 DVDs
- in the cases that it worked, I used an external USB drive. It would create the default folder structure and create the image within that folder. I tested this with a older Dell Vostro 200 PC. That originally came with Windows XP but reimaged with Windows 7 Pro. I tested it by reimaging and other identical Dell Vostro 200 PC. It worked fine. These two particular PCs were not in a domain so at this time I was not concerned about any SID related issues. This was just for testing

My question is
I have a new one terabyte drive that I would like to create and save all 12 images onto this drive.
Could I still use the built-in Windows 7 Pro system imaging tool and let it create its default directory structure on the USB drive.
- Then I could just rename the directory that it created on the USB drive and do this for all 12 images by renaming the parent directory? Then I could rename a particular image back to the original name if I need to restore that image. Obviously I would keep track of which image policy which PC

Will this option actually work? If not, what would be a better recommendation other than purchasing 12 external USB drives?

I'm willing to look at a third-party solution. I wanted to be a good solution even if it costs money for the product. I thought about a Acronis but it's not very user-friendly.

Please help me with any recommendations from any experience you have
Thanks!
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Question by:agieryic
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by:Sid6_7
Sid6_7 earned 400 total points
ID: 40216124
We used HDclone in the past and it works fine for us. There is also a free version for you to try. See if it works for you.

http://www.miray.de/products/sat.hdclone.html
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nobus earned 1600 total points
ID: 40216126
i use Paragon software all the time for this - it's free for personal use,
and i make different folders for every image - and name it with the disk  + motherboard info + date

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/download.html
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by:Adam Leinss
ID: 40216557
Liveboot 2012: http://www.wondershare.com/boot-cd/.  I use it with Ghost32 from Ghost 15, but you can just use the built-in backup utility as well.
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by:agieryic
ID: 40217324
thanks!, I'll take a look at these
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by:nobus
ID: 40217343
if you want to use it for professional use - look at the partition manager suite and others too
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