Image Deployment Tool

Posted on 2016-10-07
Last Modified: 2016-11-22
I am looking for a tool to deploy images with, Windows 7, 8.1, and 10
It would need a GUI, with a simple do this, then that type interface.
It needs to be run from removable storage (do not have the resources or the bandwidth for a deployment server)
It needs the ability to add driver packages to the image during deployment.
In short, I'm looking for a tool similar to Dell's Image Assist, but one that I could use for any hardware, not just Dell.
I am trying to get to a single image solution.

I do appreciate any recommendations
Question by:adhpctech
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 41833761
Hi, I did this article based on my home configuration of PXE deployment - take a look on it, maybe will be good solution also for you

Author Comment

ID: 41834142
That would be a good solution except for the fact I cannot deploy across the local network.
(The powers-that-be above my pay grade decided this)
We also have several users that have a 3MB downstream for their building
LVL 58

Assisted Solution

by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 75 total points
ID: 41834221
MDT from Microsoft does everything you want. Including offline image support.
U.S. Department of Agriculture and Acronis Access

With the new era of mobile computing, smartphones and tablets, wireless communications and cloud services, the USDA sought to take advantage of a mobilized workforce and the blurring lines between personal and corporate computing resources.

LVL 15

Assisted Solution

cwstad2 earned 75 total points
ID: 41834995
Hi you could try Acronis true image, or microsoft MDT
LVL 18

Accepted Solution

Mike T earned 350 total points
ID: 41835068

MDT is the only tool I would look at and it's not cost.

I am looking for a tool to deploy images with, Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 : yes
It would need a GUI, with a simple do this, then that type interface. :yes
It needs to be run from removable storage (do not have the resources or the bandwidth for a deployment server) : yes
It needs the ability to add driver packages to the image during deployment. :yes

MDT has been developed by Microsoft for over 10 years and has plenty of blogs, books and videos to help you. Acronis is good enough, but it cannot handle a single-image or inject drivers. No "imaging" tools do that, with the exception of Ghost. I haven't used Ghost for years  so I'm not sure what Symantec have done to it since they bought it.

I would forget "imaging" and concentrate wholly on "deployments". They are dynamic, flexible and adapt as OSes change. Imaging in more like a stone-mason: rigid, static and needs a new version every time which you will pay for.

Links of my previous:


Author Comment

ID: 41838865
Cliff, CW, MIKE
I have looked at MDT and would love to use it
I'll read through the links you provided Mike.
 My biggest issue with deployment is the fact  most of our users (about 88%, around 3500 machines) are in remote locations.
Many of those locations have a very slow internet connection (3 - 12Mb downstream is common, these are very rural areas), with 5 - 10 machines in the office.
I don't have the resources for a deployment server in those remote offices.
I'm hoping that I've missed something when I started looking at MDT, and the links Mike provided will give me the answers.
But thank you for your suggestions so far!
LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:Mike T
Mike T earned 350 total points
ID: 41839111

I've worked on 2 major deployments for big corporations now, and despite them being both local and well connected network-wise, they both chose to use USB deployment. It works very, very well, so I would go for that personally. Don't bother trying to squeeze it over the network as it will likely be a horrible experience. You can just pop a USB stick in the post too.

If security is a major issue then you can password protect the deployment.

A final note to consider: you might want to time-limit the media. The reason is that media (DVD or USB) will be out of date pretty quickly as apps wax and wane. So you will want to reissue new media and bin the old ones. To enforce that (because we KNOW people will keep an old build USB in their drawer) you can add a small script that checks the date. If it's older than 3 months it won't work. It's not foolproof but stops idle re-use. I can share the script I've used recently.


Author Comment

ID: 41842422
Apparently I hadn't dug deeply enough into MDT before.
It looks like that is the solution!
Mike, I'd appreciate that script to time-limit the media.
Thanks to everyone for their support!!


Author Closing Comment

ID: 41847371
Thanks to everyone for all the help!

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