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Old 01-08-2013, 04:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Re-Imaging Advice?


I'm working on a big project at work; details aside, it's going to require me re-imaging roughly 30 identical computers so they have the same everything. Here are my issues:

--The platform I'm drawing the client image from is a Panasonic Windows 7 installation that needs to be ported over to a Dell Latitude E6520; there isn't a way around this. I'm going to need to figure out how to make this re-image process as painless as possible.

--I was wondering if anyone knew of any *FREE* software available that I can use to scan for and record all the drivers I'll need to download to stabilize the Latitude computers once they've been reimaged...or if everything I'll need to download is located in the drivers folder if I can just rip that off somehow to re-install them after re-imaging. I plan on re-imaging a single computer, getting all the drivers and loading them up, testing the system for stability, then making a new image of the stabilized platform that I can then multicast to all the other computers. If that's not good/doesn't make sense let me know how I can improve that plan.

--I don't...exactly know how to multicast with Ghost, I just know I've seen it done. If anyone has a good link or instructions on how to do this without breaking 30 computers I'd really appreciate the help.


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Old 01-09-2013, 02:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Re-Imaging Advice?

#1 - sysprep the panasonic. image it. restore the image on the dell. windows mini setup should run and reconfigure the pc.

#2 - i would try win driver backup or lansweeper

#3 - Ghost is old news. I would try FOG instead. see link below

FOGUserGuide - FOGProject Wiki

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Re-Imaging Advice?

Originally Posted by office politics View Post
#1 - sysprep the panasonic. image it. restore the image on the dell. windows mini setup should run and reconfigure the pc.

#2 - i would try win driver backup or lansweeper

#3 - Ghost is old news. I would try FOG instead. see link below

FOGUserGuide - FOGProject Wiki
+1 to this.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Re-Imaging Advice?

Looking at FOG I have to wonder how many end users are going to be up to manually entering the MAC address of each client, which is required for a server uni or multicast image from FOG. (Just saying)

Microsoft has a complete tutorial and free software to do this...

Build a Windows 7 Image - Sysprep, ImageX, Deployment | TechNet

a couple of quick questions...

1) how close are the machines hardware wise? different chipsets, and or SATA controllers will make this an impossible feat. your best best would be to do your initial image on one of the Dells

2) I know it is a silly thing but the OEM installers from Dell and Panasonic are probably incompatible to combat greyware piracy check the X number on the COA... if they are IDENTICAL you will be OK from a software licensing perspective it should be somthing like

X16-96072 or somthing similar

If yoiu are doing this for work please be careful as there may be licensing issues as well that could cost your company a lot of money if this is not done correctly
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Re-Imaging Advice?

Since you have two separate systems requiring two separate sets of drivers, I would definitely recommend trying out the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to deploy. MDT is essentially a single interface, called the Deployment Workbench, which automates the whole range of Microsoft deployment technologies.

The most applicable benefit of this to your situation is that it automatically injects drivers from a driver store during deployment based on the hardware detected. You can basically copy the driver store for both systems into MDT and then let the software sort it out. You may want to test it out first though, as some drivers require more than just the files which allow the operating system to communicate with the hardware, such as some drivers for buttons to control media or notebook functions. For these you may need to add them to MDT as an application to be installed automatically upon deployment.

The method linked by Netsolved would also work, and for only 30 machines may be faster than learning the ins and outs of MDT. It is slightly more difficult to create a hardware agnostic image using this method, as configuring an external driver share is more difficult, but it can be done. You can find resources for the deployment of Windows on the Deliver and Deploy Windows 7 page on the Springboard Series on TechNet including the tutorial linked by Netsolved, other walkthroughs of specific Microsoft deployment technologies, and instructions and guides on MDT and its use.

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