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Steve Tinsley
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How to clone 20 identical latops

I have 20 brand new laptops and I want to setup them all up the same.
What is the best way of cloning the hdd from 1 laptop to the rest??
I believe you can do this using Windows rather than a 3rd party software.
Any help would be gratefully received.


Laptops NotebooksWindows OSPCDisaster Recovery

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Lee W, MVP

8/22/2022 - Mon
Lee W, MVP

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Lee W, MVP

More information of Microsoft's free tools used to deploy images as well as imaging rights and requirements:

Reimaging rights (from the below link):
Reimaging is the copying of software onto multiple devices from one standard image. Reimaging rights are granted to all Microsoft Volume Licensing customers. Under these rights, customers can reimage original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or full-package product (FPP) licensed copies by using media provided under their Volume Licensing agreement. However, certain conditions exist for using the Volume Licensing media for reimaging software that is previously installed either by the OEM or from FPP.


Sysprep (this is REQUIRED, not optional)

Windows Deployment Services:

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit:

If these are Dells ,you can use  Dell deployment imaging no minimum unit required.

Steve Tinsley

These are HP ZBooks.
I started with Experts Exchange in 2004 and it's been a mainstay of my professional computing life since. It helped me launch a career as a programmer / Oracle data analyst
William Peck

Lee W, MVP

Almost certainly too late.  Those programs allow you to customize one system, SEND IT BACK TO THE MAKER, and then future systems ordered from them can contain the customized image.  You'd almost certainly have to do this with one, return them all, and then re-order 19-20 of them to get this done this time.

If your time is valuable, just buy the volume license - it's $180-200 (depending if you have an open VL agreement).  And you'll also have a "pre paid" upgrade to 10 Pro on an existing pro machine.  It's also probably less than the cost of shipping 20 laptops back to HP/your vendor.

If it were so easy to do this with Windows then third party deployment tools would not exist. Get a backup & recovery software, create a bootable USB stick with it.
Then boot one of the machine from it and backup its HDD to USB Drive.
After that you can restore the backup to the rest of the machines.
This will take some time but with 20 machines 15-20 minutes per machine you will get all them done in one day.
Then you have the only question remaining - how to go with Windows activation. But as long as you have a volume license - this should not be a problem.
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Lee W, MVP

Or, setup WDS in 30 minutes, Capture the image in 15.  Deploy it to the 19 others in 15.  Instead of a day, it could take as little as an hour.

But even if you try the backup and restore method - let me repeat what I said earlier - YOU MUST SYSPREP.  AND you must re-install with a VL version of Windows first.  In which case, why not do it right with the free tools from Microsoft.