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XP hard drive image deploy on multiple computers

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Curious D

Curious D


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My son's school has about 15 computers that may require a total reinstallation of Windows XP due to some viral problems. Each computer is a Dell Dimension 3100 and has a restoration partition on the hard drive. It seems very time consuming to go through each one to reinstall all the patches, SP3 and some basic security programs. Each computer appears to have its own authentication number for XP Home (not a multi-user license). I was wondering if it was possible to install all the necessary software and patches on one computer and then clone it to each of the other computers. Does Acronis True Image or any other freeware option do this? Will there be problems with the authentication and with subsequent updates to the OS? I do not suspect any problems with the hardware since the hardware should be the same. Is there an easier way to accomplish this task? Thank you for the input.
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Your original thought on cloning would be considered illegal by microsoft.
Thus, I can't discuss that.

I do want to Comment:
IF "hardware should be the same" , ISN'T, You'll have a Major headache at authentication time.

You could however do the following, which is Legal.


On a piece of paper, number it 1 to 15. Write down the Product key next to a number.
write down the machines serial number next to the Product key.
As you are getting the Keys off the side of the machine, label each machine
from 1 to 15.

1. Put Dell XP CD in the drive.
2. Create a folder on your desktop called XPCD

3 copy the contents of the Dell XP cd to the XPCD folder
Note: make sure you have show hidden files turned ON.

4. Download Nlite from http://www.nliteos.com/download.html

5. Download SP3 from the link below, save to your desktop

6. Dowload the updates from the link below, save to your desktop.
Note: the Download button you want is below the Nlite info (colored in orange)

Note: This pack doesn't include IE 7, if you want IE 7 go here.

7. Install nlite, then run enlite

8. Click Next (It will use English)

9. Use Browse to locate the XPCD folder on the desktop, click next.

10. On the available presets screen, click next. (You don't want to import anything)

11 .On the Task Selection page click on Service Pack; (The color of the button will turn from red to green); Hotfixes addons and Update packs; Unattended; and Boootable ISO
then click next

Note: Since I don't know which drivers you may need, I'm going to skip that step.
You can click this and when the time comes you can add them as well.

12. On the Service Pack Screen, click Select
Navigate to your desktop, click on WindowsXP-KB936929-SP3-x86-ENU
Click on open
(to the left of the select button it will now say SlipStreaming)
(a pop window will come up and extract the files from SP3)
(another screen witll appear saying Integrating files)
(It is joining the Service pack with the, original XP CD)

(Click on OK when its finished)
(It will take a few seconds after you click finished, then click Next)

13. The next Screen is Hotfixes, Addons and Update packs.
Click Insert (On the right hand corner of the white screen)
Navgate to your desktop, click on, XUpdatePack-SP3-v1.0.13.7z
Click on Open, Click on Next.

14. The Next Screen is the Unattended Screen.
On the general Screen, the one your looking at.

Change Unattended Mode, via the dropdown box from Hide pages to Fully Automated.

Leave everything else at the defaults.
NOW is the time you have to make a choice.
A. You can leave the prdouct key blank. Hang around until it gets to that point in the intall and enter the product key for that machine.
B. Enter the Product key from Machine 1 on your list.
We will be making 15 CD's that will be a fully automated for the 15 machines.

Note: Fully automated after you get past the point of selecting the partition to install
into. You can automate this too, but that scares me, especially in a school.
If a student gets ahold of one of these CD's boots from it, you would wipe out
any work done on that system. Think of what would happen if they brought
it home and booted YOUR system.
You can start the first one going while we make modifications for the second one.

I'll Explain Option B:

Enter the Product Key From Machine 1 on your list

15. Click on the Users Tab.
Now for Some more choices.
a. You can add more users.
b. Just have administrator and guest.
If the above is the case, click on New User, then Remove.

Click on the New user (Under guest), Then go over to the personal section, highlight New user and type in the new user name.

Change the local group (look up) to Users. Make sure, there is a check in the active
box above.

You can set password expiration. (Bottom Left) By default it's never.

If you added a user called system1, you can have it auto logon (Top Right)
If you Don't add a user or users, Administrator will log on by default.

If you require a password. type the password (below), retype to confirm.
If you Don't want them to be able to change the password, uncheck Can change password.
If you don't use passwords, check Blank password

16. Click on the Owner and network ID Tab.

TYpe in the Computer Name. (System1 for example)
Type in the Workgroup Name. (Usually WORKGROUP) This would depend on whether
the person who set up the network had changed the defaults.
In the FULL NAME box enter your School name.

17. CLick on the Regional tab.
If you speak English and your in the US you can leave the defaults.

Click on TimeZone drop down box (At the bottom)
Pick you time zone.

18. I leave all of the other tabs at the defaults except, Display.
Click on the display tab. I change my screeen resolution to 1024x768

19. Click Next
It will ask if you want to apply changes.
Clcik Yes

20. It will Highlight Preparing selected changes for a few seconds,
Then star Integrating hotfixes patches and themes
You will see it is extracting Able's XP SP3 Update pack.
Then it will start updating a bunch of files.
(It is merging the updates into the XP install)
It then processes the files.
Then it re- Compresses them into .Cab's which the install will later use.

When it's finished, Clcik on Next.

21. You are now at the Bootable ISO Screen.
Just to Keep everything consistant. IN the Label Box, type System1
Change the Mode drop down box to, Direct Burn.
You can change the speed if you like.

Pop A Blank CD in your CD Burner.

Click on Burn, message will pop up asking if you want to burn, click yes.
When it's done (in the Information box) it should say Write successful!

22. Click Next, Click Finish.
Label the CD, SYSTEM1 and put the serial number of the machine on it.

23. Put the CD in SYSTEM1, Reboot (Change the Bios Boot order to Boot from CD first)
(Use a Good Quality CD, I was actually Creating this as I wrote, using some crappy CD's) Had a problem reading driver.cab, was able to Retry several times and get it to read

24. When the system boots, it will start loading Windows, when you get to the part
where it shows existing partitions, delete the current on and create a new one.
(If you install into the existing partion, your going to end up with a dual boot system, the one you were trying to get rid of and the clean one)( If you oops and end up with dual boot, the first one on the list is the new clean one)

I always use the Quick Format.

25. That's it for the first of 15 systems. The rest are much easier to do.
You don't have to do the above 24 step all over again, now we will make only a few
Changes for SYSTEM2

26. Start Nlite
Click Next
(the location of your original CD will show up)
Click Next
on the Presets page, Click on last session, click on load, click on next.
Click on Service Pack, Hotfixes add-ons and Update Packs (Button color will change from Green to red) These have already been incorporated we don't need to do them again.

Click on Next
On the General Screen put in the Product key for SYSTEM2, on your list.
On the Users Tab, make any changes you need.
On The Owner and Network ID tab, Change the Computer Name to SYSTEM2

Click on Next. it will as if you want to start the process, click on yes.
When thats finished, click on next.
Change Mode, to Direct Burn, Change Label to SYSTEM2.
Click Burn, Click Yes.

Label that one SYSTEM2, and system2 serial.

Pop it in system2, reboot (Don't forget to change the bios)
Repeat Step 24.

For the Rest of the Systems Just repeat Step 26, changing the Product Keys, the System names, and possibly user names.

Thats it!! Have FUN!!
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Curious D

Curious D


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Sorry I didn't reply. You obviously took a long time to reply. Thanks. I did use nlite and it saved quite of bit of time.
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