Ghosting Laptops with USB HD

MiXdNuTs

Gawd
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Aug 9, 2002
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I have 10 or so laptops that will be "checked out" to users in our enterprise. We have a Microsoft site liscence so all of our computers use the same product key so liscensing isn't an issue. These laptops will need to be completely reloaded when they are returned from being checked out. We have been doing remote installations over a Server2003 RIS server, but these laptops have broadcom chipsets that don't support the RIS.

What I need is probably for a setup where I can make a master image on a USB portable HD that I can use to download an image of a master install to all of the machines. I know that there is software designed to work for backing up a single computer to removable storage, but what about backing up a single computer to removable storage then repeatedly pulling that image down onto multiple clients? Also, what if one of the dumb users formatted the computer (possible); would we then have to reload it with Windows and Client software in order to recover it?
Any help would be appreciated.
 

djnes

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What if you used Ghost to make bootable CD or DVD with the Ghost image located on a single DVD or multiple CDs, and just push them out that way? I have a bootable DVD I use at home made with a sysprepped ghost image that I use to rebuild any of my home machines.
 

MiXdNuTs

Gawd
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That sounds great to me. Before I run out to newegg could you tell me exactly what kind of Ghost software I need? I will need to buy a DVD burner for this also but that is no problem. I know Norton makes some Ghost software but there seems to be a bunch of different types available. Could you please explain the process to me a little more? I am not sure if the DVDs will be bootable or not. Ideally we would be able to boot to this DVD from POST screen and then have a complete OS and software packages and network settings loaded unattended. Is this the way that it works? As I said earlier, we have site liscenses for all the software packages that we use so we are free to bit-for-bit copy all of our software.
Thanks for the help and this is a much better solution than I had originally imagined.
 

djnes

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I use Ghost Corporate to make my image files on another machine (server). Then I burn a bootable DVD that loads CD-ROM drivers, like the old WIn98 boot floppies. On the data portion of the DVD, I stick the ghost.exe file and the ghost image. When you boot from the DVD, I run ghost from the command line, and then tell ghost to lay down the image on disc.
 

MiXdNuTs

Gawd
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Do you think that Ghost 9.0 would work? Link I really like this idea and will probably move forward today, but I can't find Ghost Corporate on Norton's website. Thanks again man.
 

djnes

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It should, but I'm not too familiar with Ghost 9.0. Norton is typically the name given to their home line, while Symantec is the product name given to their Enterprise products.
 

MiXdNuTs

Gawd
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I was looking at the EULA and it looks like you technically not alowed to use this for anything but disaster recovery and machine deployments are strictrly prohibited. Does anyone know of a good open source program that can do this? All I need is a way to image a hard drive to a CD and boot that image to the hard drive.
 

djnes

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MiXdNuTs said:
I was looking at the EULA and it looks like you technically not alowed to use this for anything but disaster recovery and machine deployments are strictrly prohibited. Does anyone know of a good open source program that can do this? All I need is a way to image a hard drive to a CD and boot that image to the hard drive.
Without actually looking into the EULA, I can tell you something is off. Unless they put that language in there to force you to buy the Corporate version. Machine deployment is one of the primary uses of Ghost.
 

abudhu

[H]ard|Gawd
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Hm, I am very interested to see if your Ghost'ed version works. I tried ghosting my HD onto my USB HD for the same reason but it ended up corrupting the HD, and required a reformat :(

Please do tell if it works for you.
 

djnes

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abudhu said:
Hm, I am very interested to see if your Ghost'ed version works. I tried ghosting my HD onto my USB HD for the same reason but it ended up corrupting the HD, and required a reformat :(

Please do tell if it works for you.
Did you clone the drive to the USB drive, or did you create an image?
 

MiXdNuTs

Gawd
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The EULA does actually say that you can NOT use the software to deploy software onto multiple machines and that Ghost can only be used to clone to drives internal to the computer on which it is running. This seems kind of odd because it says that it supports removable media such as external hard drives....

At this point I am seriously looking into some open source packages like the ones found here.
 

djnes

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In that case, go to a computer show and pick up a copy of Symantec Ghost Corporate 8.0. If seen it as low as $20 for just the disc.
 

abudhu

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djnes said:
Did you clone the drive to the USB drive, or did you create an image?

:-X...cloned...hm, I am now assuming an Image would have been ten times smarter?
 

djnes

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abudhu said:
:-X...cloned...hm, I am now assuming an Image would have been ten times smarter?
The image would have taken less space, and allowed you to use the USB drive as storage as well. Then you could just pull the image back down to the main internal drive when needed...or if needed.
 

MiXdNuTs

Gawd
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I'm probably going to use bootable DVDs instead of images on a USB hard drive now. It sounds much better since I won't need any client software if I use one of the open source packages found on the site I linked to above. And also no nasty Symantec EULA that says I can't use their product to install software to multiple computers.
 
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