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Old 04-20-2011, 06:54 PM
trueWeapon trueWeapon is offline
 
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Default What program should I use for making/restoring hardware-independent images?

I work for a company that only uses IBM laptops (T42, T51, T60, R60, R61.... etc)

We are constantly having to re-install these machines, as we are a rental business and we want each new customer to have a "fresh" install.

Anyway, the idea is that we want to make "master" images (as many as we have to) so then everytime we need to reinstall the machines, we only need to restore the image for it.

What program would I need to use for it? How many master "images" am I going to need to make?

In the process of doing some Google research, I found that two of the most common solutions would be to use:

a) Acronis Backup and Restore 10 (with Universal Restore) feature, or...
b) Symantec Ghost Solution Suite 2.5

If cost were not an object, what would the best/easiest solution be?

Also, in this case, I was thinking I would need to make a "master" image for each model laptop we use (once again, T42, T60, R61, etc.), but I really have no idea.

Technibble, please advise?
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:18 PM
ATTech ATTech is offline
 
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Acronis is probably the must plug-n-playable option, but will require a special set-up or separate images to handle separate drivers. I know Acronis has a program called Snap Deploy that would be more fitted to this situation, so there may be something in there to handle the separate drivers.

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) would be the most robust. You would have a single image for all machines that handles the base settings and applications. From there you could create profiles for the different models, and could script it to automatically detect. This will take more time to set-up, but less time to manage.

Regarding the Hardware Independence, it depends on the OS you're using. If it's Vista/7, then the image will just need to be sysprepped before it is captured, and Mini setup will handle it automatically. If it's Windows XP, Acronis has the Universal Restore add-on that will handle the hardware independence issues of Windows XP. MDT will require a special script to be implemented in the WinPE environment that changed the Sysprep.ini file to update the HAL accordingly.

There are also programs out there like Deep Freeze that you can use to restore a computer back to specific image. I'm not terribly familiar with these applications, but this might be another option that could work if you are using the same XX laptops.

Last edited by ATTech; 04-20-2011 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:43 PM
trueWeapon trueWeapon is offline
 
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Thanks for your reply ATTech.

Yes, all of the machines are Windows XP... I checked into both of the softwares that you mentioned. I am particularly intrigued by Acronis Snap Deploy.

Would I be able to make, say, 5 images with that (one for each model) and then deploy them to their appropriate, corresponding machine with Snap Deploy?
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:00 PM
dbdawn dbdawn is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trueWeapon View Post
Thanks for your reply ATTech.

Yes, all of the machines are Windows XP... I checked into both of the softwares that you mentioned. I am particularly intrigued by Acronis Snap Deploy.

Would I be able to make, say, 5 images with that (one for each model) and then deploy them to their appropriate, corresponding machine with Snap Deploy?
Yes you should be able to. That is the whole reason behind technology such as Ghost and Snap Deploy. You might find more info about Snap Deploy here.

EDIT:
After looking at the pricing for Acronis (and I assume Ghost is the same) I would rather make something work with MDT. $25 per license + $12.49 for universal deploy is $37.49 per machine that you want to have imaged.
If you want you can also take a look at PING and FOG. They are both free open source.

Last edited by dbdawn; 04-20-2011 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:01 PM
ATTech ATTech is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trueWeapon View Post
Would I be able to make, say, 5 images with that (one for each model) and then deploy them to their appropriate, corresponding machine with Snap Deploy?
Most likely. I dabbled with it long ago, so I couldn't give you much as my primary imaging solution is WinPE/ImageX/MDT.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATTech View Post
Most likely. I dabbled with it long ago, so I couldn't give you much as my primary imaging solution is WinPE/ImageX/MDT.

Are there any good guides online to learning how to use those programs to achieve the same result as I've described before?
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trueWeapon View Post
Are there any good guides online to learning how to use those programs to achieve the same result as I've described before?
I haven't actively looked for anything for Acronis, but there are some guides and videos for MDT, I don't have any readily available, but a modest amount of Googling should yield some favorable results.
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:17 PM
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Does Snap Deploy charge a license fee for each deployment?
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 16k_zx81 View Post
Does Snap Deploy charge a license fee for each deployment?
I've never been able to pin down exactly how the licensing works, but I think it's concurrent sessions because of the utilization of a licensing server. Hopefully someone more familiar with it will know...
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:02 PM
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Check this thread:

http://technibble.com/forums/showthr...ght=disk+image
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