System Imaging

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15 Feb 2008
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Hi,

I may have asked this before - but i can't remember.

I'm currently looking into OS imaging, but i'm not sure what i'm looking for tbh. I've found Acronis Home 2010 and Ghost primarily. I tried Macrium Reflect Free, but it couldn't find my Win 7 x64 image from my USB external HDD.

Basically, I would like to be able to have an image of Windows to be able to deploy rapidly at any time, without needing to reinstall drivers etc, but i need to be able to use my External Hard Drive.

Also, on one final point, would it be possible to use an application to deploy one image across multiple PC's?

Thanks!
 
Soldato
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For multiple computers look into Sysprep.

For a single one W7 has imaging built in, I've only done the creation and not tested a restore but from reading it seems good.
 
Soldato
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For your home PC you don't need anything more fancy than CloneZilla. It's free and once you get over the fact the interface is a bit basic you'll find it's a great tool. I use it all the time.

If you want a Windows 7 image to deploy across multiple PCs then you'll have to have to do some reading. I'd start here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/cc500470.aspx

And don't forget, if you deploy Windows across multiple computers make sure you're licensed to do so.
 
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For your home PC you don't need anything more fancy than CloneZilla. It's free and once you get over the fact the interface is a bit basic you'll find it's a great tool. I use it all the time.

If you want a Windows 7 image to deploy across multiple PCs then you'll have to have to do some reading. I'd start here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/cc500470.aspx

And don't forget, if you deploy Windows across multiple computers make sure you're licensed to do so.

Nice one, cheers. About licensing - I would have three individual Windows licenses - for each PC, would it be possible for me to deploy an image, so that the key could be added later, but with basic apps/drivers preinstalled?
 
Soldato
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I've never actually done it with Vista/W7 but yes this is possible with XP and I assume it is the same. When you "sysprep" the Windows install it essentially deactivates ready for you to clone it. Once you restore the image to another machine it goes through a mini-setup routine which creates a new SID for the computer and will prompt you for the activation code.
 
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I've never actually done it with Vista/W7 but yes this is possible with XP and I assume it is the same. When you "sysprep" the Windows install it essentially deactivates ready for you to clone it. Once you restore the image to another machine it goes through a mini-setup routine which creates a new SID for the computer and will prompt you for the activation code.

Nice one! And this is done with CloneZilla?

If i can do this for free, then why not? :D
 
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Doesn't vista/win7 already have complete pc backup and restore? or only certain editions?

Yes it does - on Professional and Ultimate, but i'm only going to be using Home Premium. :)

I've just used the Sysprep tool on a test XP system in Virtual PC - going to rebuild now using Macrium Reflect.

If it works, i'll test with a Windows 7 install tomoz :p
 
Soldato
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Nice one! And this is done with CloneZilla?

Sysprep and the like are Microsoft tools which do all the things related to making the instance of Windows generic and ready for cloning.

CloneZilla merely duplicates what is on the hard disk and dumps it elsewhere. CloneZilla doesn't really care what is on the disk - Windows, Linux, Solaris it doesn't really matter it just copies what is there. You could easily use an alternative product to do the cloning.
 
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