Desktop Imaging

Hi all!

I was wondering if there was a way I good sit up a domain desktop machine, have all the configs set, then image to another identical desktop. Here's the the tricky bit (well for me) I would like those other machines also to be put on the domain but have different computer names . Obviously to avoid conflicts.

I'm having a small roll-out in my company but do not have the facilities of SCCM or anything pricey. So looking for free alternative methods. I heard WDS may be a good way?

Would someone be able to put me into the right direction?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
There's a ton of information on this. Google Windows Deployment.  MDT (Microsoft Deployment Toolkit) offers a tremendous amount and is free.  WDS is a somewhat simple deployment service available on every version of Windows Server since 2003 R2 as an installable role.

Couple of key points:
1. You MUST use volume license media to build your reference computer (which means the client must have AT LEAST 1 copy of a volume License of the version of Windows you want to deploy - google reimaging rights.
2. You MUST run sysprep prior to capturing the image for deployment.  These two items, regardless of what you use, are not optional for a supported configuration.

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Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information SystemsCommented:
Sysprep is a windows utility to remove all the custom information about an installation so that installation can be backed up and restored as a new/different installation.  That's not necessarily necessary for what you want, but it's relevant.

Windows Backup will make a complete image of your computer that you can restore just about anywhere.  The trick here is that if you restore an image of a computer already on the network you'll run into DNS naming conflicts.  For a Windows Backup restore to work the way you want, you'd probably need to backup the computer before it's joined to the network.  Then, after you restore the image, boot the restored computer while disconnected from the network, change the restored computer's name, reconnect to the network, then join the domain.

This is just one, free solution.
Natty GregIn Theory (IT)Commented:
you can do this also Getting Started with the Windows AIK --- 
 its a bit old but this the guide I follow now I have a fully image windows 7 with all programs that we use on a usb stick -- which takes about 15 minutes to install everything the only thing to do afte that is put in the license and let the computer update itself
N00b2015Author Commented:
Thanks very much all. You have guided me in the right direction for sure.
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