Imaging (Ghosting) question.

Discussions around the setup, operation, replacement, and disposal of clerk computers, not to include using MLS
DJacobus-p40
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Imaging (Ghosting) question.

Postby DJacobus-p40 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:29 pm

We have about a dozen new Optiplex machines for all of our Clerk's offices that our FM group just delivered to us. My plan is to setup an image for these and install them in the various units. Has anyone imaged a PC with MLS installed? Were you successful?

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:24 pm

While I have not used a hard drive image from one unit's administrative computer to setup another unit's, there are issues that will surface. If the computers are exactly the same then there should be little to be concerned about except for MLS.

I would recommend creating the image you will use for the 2nd through 12th computer from the first before installing MLS. That way you will not have to deal with removing the first unit's MLS database from each of the other computers. Instead you will only have to copy the pertinent MLS folders and files from the old computer to the new and then install MLS. The steps doing it this way are fewer and less prone to error than if you go through the process of creating the image after MLS is set up on the first computer.

If you decide to completely set up the first computer to include installing MLS and then create the image you will have to remove the database for the first unit from each of the next eleven computers as well as setting up MLS for each unit.

Don't forget to transfer all data folders and files (My Documents, etc.) from the old computer to the new.
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kd7mha
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Postby kd7mha » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:05 pm

Imaging will duplicate the computer name as well as the SID's which should be unique
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Postby bdayley » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:51 pm

I did this when our stake upgraded to MLS a few years ago.

Set up one machine with everything except MLS. Then, to solve the duplicate SID issue, run Microsoft's SysPrep utility on the machine:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457073.aspx

Now, use your image creation software of choice to create the image.

Install the image to the other machines, and then install MLS on each machine last.

Worked great on our 9 machines, and you have the image as a starting point in case you have to re-load a machine later down the road.

DJacobus-p40
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Postby DJacobus-p40 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:36 pm

Not only will they be imaged they will be "syspreped" along with it so the SID will not be an issue. I have thought about the MLS issue and once the PC is ready to be imaged the plan is to load MLS then stop. Then as each computer comes up we can configure MLS for the specific unit. I was just wondering if anyone has already done this or if there are any "gotchas."

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Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:45 pm

DJacobus wrote:I have thought about the MLS issue and once the PC is ready to be imaged the plan is to load MLS then stop. Then as each computer comes up we can configure MLS for the specific unit. I was just wondering if anyone has already done this or if there are any "gotchas."


I wouldn't do that. It may confuse the communications portion. I know some software creates a GUID during the install that's expected to be unique. MLS may also get confused if you rename the computer after it's been installed.

( Don't forget that the machine names should be unique as well. I think the guidance is to have the unit number as part of the name. )

My advice is to image Windows and then load MLS on each machine. I think the risk that something will come up and bite you is too great for the minimal amount of time you save.
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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:48 pm

What about Sophos Firewall and AV? What about the LanDesk pieces? Has anyone tried imaging with that software installed? I'm personally leery of it, but after having run the process to install that software last winter.... I'd prefer to just have it in the image.

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Postby russellhltn » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:51 pm

I don't know about Sophos, but there was a procedure I was given for FHC machines in dealing with LANDesk after a Ghost. Essentially you have to rename the machine, erase the GUID and restart LANDesk it so it re-creates the GUID.

Do-able, but takes some post-prep.
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