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Norton Ghost full disk images


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#1
DA IMP

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Hello,

To save myself a good deal of time and labor on having to do a clean start reinstall on close to two dozens of PCs, I did the following:

Did all software installs and setting adjustments in just one PC, then got Norton Ghost 10.0 to make a full image of that computer's hard disk. Let me clarify now, though I know what it's all about and I have my fair share of computer knowledge, this is the first time I use that software.

From there, I format each computer, then simply load the image into it. Other details aside, it seems to work perfectly, even though it's quirky about recognising networks (I load the image from either a shared folder or the server itself). I have to use the "files" option instead of "whole computer" sometimes, but it doesn't seem to make a difference when I set the advanced options right.

Most computers are clones from each other, including the one that I used for image creation, so those ones don't present any problems so far.

But when I tried it on one of the few PCs that have slightly different hardware, the OS wouldn't load. We're talking XP Pro with SP2 and all patches to date. These are the differences I know of, pretty much:

Hard disk: 40GBs instead of 30.
CPU: Celeron 2.8 instead of 2.4.
RAM: 256 DDR333 instead of 128.
Video: Card instead of onboard.

I'm yet to check just how different those more potent PCs really are, since for warranty reasons I wasn't allowed to open them up myself until very recently, and no detailed listing of their hardware remains.

I never expected this to be a problem really, I thought XP would adapt smoothly to a few differences. I'm mostly suspecting the hard disk size difference, and maybe the motherboard is not the same, tho I think it is.

Anyone's got any ideas on this? I already had to work over a plethora of issues to get this plan going, and even then it's still faster and smoother for me than manually doing several installs and endless setting adjustments, times 20+. I'd loathe having to make a whole different image for these other computers.

I already tried using XP's recovery option from its CD, but since all I got are SP1a versions, it basically does half the installing all over again, overriding some settings and killing all patches and who knows what else.

Even if I knew what to replace from then on, it's far too messy for the clean reinstalls I intend, and it's 6 of those more potent PCs there... Obviously, they're used for more critical tasks than the rest, so I want them at their best. Hopefully, this can be done without needing for another Ghost image.

Thank you all in advance, hope anyone can help!
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#2
Neil Jones

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I never expected this to be a problem really, I thought XP would adapt smoothly to a few differences. I'm mostly suspecting the hard disk size difference, and maybe the motherboard is not the same, tho I think it is.


It depends entirely on the chipset. If its a different chipset from the system it was cloned from, it will often not work. If the chipsets are the same, it should be okay to go and then find a whole bunch of other bits on the first boot. This is the only scenario where XP will adapt itself, although I have seen on occasion XP go from one chipset type to another and adapt itself with no complaints at all. This is exception to the rule.

Anyone's got any ideas on this? I already had to work over a plethora of issues to get this plan going, and even then it's still faster and smoother for me than manually doing several installs and endless setting adjustments, times 20+. I'd loathe having to make a whole different image for these other computers.


Ideally, this could have been better planned. Warranties that supposedly expire just because you take the side of the case off are typically a myth and scare story.

I already tried using XP's recovery option from its CD, but since all I got are SP1a versions, it basically does half the installing all over again, overriding some settings and killing all patches and who knows what else.


Google "slipstreaming", then google Autopatcher. Then consider what you can do if you use the process of slipstreaming with the separate patches available in Autopatcher... :whistling: Then consider driver packs, the fact that they can be slipstreamed and then also Google and consider nLite. The benefits of all of this lot you can probably work out.
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#3
starjax

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Slipstreaming is good if you want to include additional patches and such. Sometimes drivers. Problem is that things like chipset drivers are compiled into the windows kernal at the time of install. Find out if the ones you are having issues with have the same hardware, specifically chipset.

If I am dealing with a one time situation I just use my xp disk and run a repair. It will not alter any of the settings or software. You will just need to reapply the patches from microsoft when you are finished.

IF the hardware is similiar for the ones that are troublesome, just do an xp repair, patch, and make a new ghost image.

Now, once you have everything imaged are you going to be joining these to the domain? If so then you will need to run newsid to change the sid on the pc. This is important as the sid is the "security id" for the os. If all the systems have the same sid, it would be very easy for somone to crack one system and have access to all the rest.

Try this and get back to us and let us know what works for you.
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