Cloning Hard drive

Hello Experts
I am getting 5 exact same workstations from a Vendor. I would like to work on one (Removing bloat ware, install business apps etc.) and than clone that HDD to rest 4. What is the best way of doing it? Please note my goal is to save time and be away from while rest 4 are getting done. So feel free to suggest any software you might have came across?

Thanks in Advance.
itcsproAsked:
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Eng. Nidal KamalInformation ConsultantCommented:
Good day,

One may try Acronis or Backupper.

Acronis website is: http://www.acronis.com/en-eu/

Backupper web site is: http://www.backup-utility.com/
Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
CloneZilla and Ghost are my favorite.  Below are some more free ones:

NTFSClone
PartClone
PartImage
Trinity Rescue Disk

Amongst paid one, below are is a list:

Acronis
Ghost
Macrium Reflect

They will all do what you want to achieve.

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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Be careful how you do this.

What you are trying to do is called reimaging.  There are certain requirements for doing it properly and honestly, for 5 machines, it's not worth it in my opinion.

To do it properly your reference system (the proper term for the first machine you setup), needs to be setup using a Volume License of Windows Pro in Audit mode.  Once your finished with your customizations you MUST sysprep the machine.  Then you capture and deploy it.  Doing this properly can take hours - creating your answer file, learning how to do it, capturing the image and deploying it.  If you expect to have 15+ workstations, it starts to make sense.... if you expect to do this repeatedly, it starts to make sense... but for 5?  It's faster to just set them up on a table and do them all sequentially - there's a log of hurry up and wait, so start one, when you're waiting for it to complete a task, start another, etc.

Note: FAILING to setup a machine properly (cloning it improperly) results in a system that is unsupported.  Odd things can happen with unsupported systems - from not being able to get updates to who-knows-what down the road.
awed1Commented:
Hi itcspro,

I have done this using Acronis.
I have only done this with Dell computers and don't know if it works as well with the other brands.
If you have Acronis, they supply an Emergency Boot Disk.
Set up the computer that you want to use as the basis for the other 4.
Set up its network for DHCP or expect to change the Address of each after cloning.
When it is set up the way you want, give it a name that is not the name that you want to have any of them end up with - in other words, rename it.
Then use the Acronis Emergency boot disk to image that computer.
After this is done, you  can  rename it, giving it its final name.
Then restore the image to each of the other computers.
After you restore each computer, rename each to what you want.
Some things will have to be set up on each computer once that computer has been renamed.

I hope this helps and I expect that it would work similarly with the other brands of cloning software, but I know Acronis is good.

B.
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