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Image Deployment Tool

Posted on 2016-10-07
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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
Thanks!
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Question by:adhpctech
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by:helpfinder
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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
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by:adhpctech
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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
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 75 total points
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MDT from Microsoft does everything you want. Including offline image support.
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by:cwstad2
cwstad2 earned 75 total points
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Hi you could try Acronis true image, or microsoft MDT
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Complete VMware vSphere® ESX(i) & Hyper-V Backup

Capture your entire system, including the host, with patented disk imaging integrated with VMware VADP / Microsoft VSS and RCT. RTOs is as low as 15 seconds with Acronis Active Restore™. You can enjoy unlimited P2V/V2V migrations from any source (even from a different hypervisor)

 
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Mike T earned 350 total points
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HI,

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:
See https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28379516/Basic-question-about-MDT-2013.html
https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28171771/Deploy-Win-7-Master-Image.html

Mike
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Author Comment

by:adhpctech
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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!
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by:Mike T
Mike T earned 350 total points
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Hi,

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.

Mike
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Author Comment

by:adhpctech
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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!!

Tom
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Author Closing Comment

by:adhpctech
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Thanks to everyone for all the help!
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