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Old 12-03-2008, 09:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
Wizard Techie
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Default Cloning HDDs and constantly resizing partitions. Bad idea?

Long story short, I deal with hundreds of different computers. Some have 80gb drives, some have as little as 20gb drives. All of the data is stored on the server, so 20gb drives in the older computers (even for XP computers) isn't rare since all teachers need is Office and Firefox, for the most part.

I just set up a base image install of what teachers need. XP Pro SP3, flash, reader, java, office, blah blah blah blah... Then, using GParted, I resized the image from 80gb to 19gb.

Question is this. In the future, if I clone hard drives... I was planning on using this base image as a 19 gig to clone to others. The issue is with our cloner, it matches everything, partition size and all. Meaning if I clone this 19gb image to a 200gb hard drive, it'll use 19gb for the image and the remainder being unallocated.

So, I was going to just resort to booting up to GParted each time and resize the partition to be maxed out.

I know back in the day resizing partitions could be hairy. But it sounds like things got ironed out. Is that the case? Would there be any foreseen problems down the line that could result from resizing freshly made images for new computers?

Note - The reason I downsized the main image to 19gb is because if I deal with a 20gb hard drive, I cannot clone an 80gb image to it (even if only 5gb of the 80 is in use. The cloner won't take it). So I downsized the image to 19gb so I can handle any hard drive I come across. Just in case you guys were like uh why the heck did you do that...

EDIT - Ignore everything I just said. Turns out these computers are picky and when I clone a drive from a D530, it won't run in a D500. Grrrr.

What I could use is some sort of a bootable CD made through nLite for example that has everything I need on it.

I don't think nLite can slipstream actual programs into it (java, flash, reader, office, etc), but does anybody know of a free and open source version of a bootable CD creator so I can install XP, SP3, .Net 3.5, Office, Flash, Reader, Java, IE7, etccccc onto 1 single bootable CD?

Note - This is not a piracy thread. I have large amounts of computers to image and we (tech department @ a school district) have all of the proper licensing for the task at hand.

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Old 12-04-2008, 11:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cloning HDDs and constantly resizing partitions. Bad idea?

I'm not sure, but I do know that you can create plugins for nlite that will allow you to install other programs, just learning how to do that may be a bit difficult... Best be is to make an image for each computer model and store it on a server, and norton ghost 14.0 lets you reload windows onto anysized hard drive just fine, even if the image was made on a 3gb drive, it can load onto a 200gb just fine.. You could always experiment with ghost, possibly have xp and all the programs installed, then strip the system drivers, that way you can load everything at once and then only thing needed to be installed is the drivers... Meh,... just ideas that randomly poped up in my head..
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