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Old 10-10-2008, 02:57 PM
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seedubya seedubya is offline
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Default How long to image 200 systems?


I have a customer with about 200 systems (approx. 10 different models) which I need to quote for re-imaging. They'll need to have images created, stored and restored onto the machines about 4 times a year. (They run a mobile computer training company)

Ideas on what tools to use and how long this might take so that I can quote would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 10-10-2008, 04:33 PM
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tartis tartis is offline
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I work contract for a large company that images PC's every day, and we use Norton Ghost with either a boot CD, or a USB memory stick for booting into the network. After booting into the network, you launch Ghost and install the image. If you had a small switch, you could do 8 or 10 at a time and be done in no time.

We seal the images using Microsoft Sysprep so that it boots with a unique computer name. Most of your settings are also already setup using a small file when sealing.

Using this method, it would take about 30-45 mintes per PC doning one at a time (depending on network speed). Don't forget that when it boots for the first time, it needs to do a mini setup because of SysPrep.

You would also have time building the images, and adding updates to the images as needed.
Big Dog Computer Services, LLC
Web Design, Web Hosting, Email Solutions in Battle Creek, Michigan
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Old 10-10-2008, 04:48 PM
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MHCG MHCG is offline
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Because we can't have a server we use this. ImageMASSter 4008i

We're able to image 8 drives at a time. We have one hard drive that contains all of our masters and depending on how much data (usually there's not much because it's just a basic operating system) we can reimage the drives in about 5-8 minutes per set of 8 drives. At that point all you do is install them, rename them and add them to the domain.

Edit: keep in mind we have a VLK for windows.

Last edited by MHCG; 10-10-2008 at 04:50 PM.
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:33 PM
jhoppe jhoppe is offline
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Like tartis said, it depends on the network speed.

Just setup a server with WDS, build the 10 different models from scratch, sysprep them, create the 10 images, upload them to the server, and image away.

(Just try to keep them on a gigabit switch), and image maybe 10 or so at a time.

If I remember correctly Ghost now charges per total workstations, not per workstation at a time.

If anything, if they do not have a server, you can sell them a workstation to act as a server out of the whole deal, too!
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Old 11-08-2008, 10:19 AM
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Nextora Nextora is offline
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I am a big fan of Acronis. It is very similar to Ghost but I like the interface much better and think it is easier to use. Ghost is still very good I just like Acronis better.
[FONT="Verdana"] Shaun Barney
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San Diego Computer Repair

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Old 11-13-2008, 02:49 AM
veedar veedar is offline
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With 200 units if you go with commercial software like ghost or acronis you are talking serious money in licensing fees.

For a free ghost like alternative check out Clonezilla. Find it at: clonezilla dot org

There are two versions a "Live" boot cd version but also a sever version that supports multicasting so you can image many systems at the same time.
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Old 12-11-2008, 05:40 AM
quizbowler1057 quizbowler1057 is offline
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I was part of a team of system admins that worked for a local school district. We used an older version of Norton Ghost and had to do quite a bit of tweaking to get it to work accross multiple computer names. Those computers with static IPs needed a VB application ran to reassign the same static IP. Hidden files had to be deleted before the comps were ghosted to prevent lock ups.

Trying to use a NEW version of Ghost was even worse - less intuitive, more bloated software and we had to find new work arounds for the glitches.

My vote's with Clonezilla. I've never dealt with multicasting on Clonezilla, but it's so fast that even doing the PCs individually would be easier than navigating Ghost.

Oops, forgot to mention. I'm sorry to some of the Acronis fans out there, but I've done R&D and found that Acronis crashed most of my systems, or that there were major problems with the OS a month down the line.
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Old 12-11-2008, 03:46 PM
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I worked for a large IT outsourcing company on a contract with 10,000+ workstations - we used an older version of Norton Ghost until XP came out (then we moved to PowerQuest). We never had issues, did you use Sysprep on your images?


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Old 12-15-2008, 09:23 PM
cis4smack cis4smack is offline
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At the moment I'm working on creating a universal ghost image for our laptops/desktops. I'm mysysprep(deals with HAL), sysprep, ghost(v11) and driverpacks.

If you have any questions or like more detail just PM and maybe I can answer some questions you have.
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