View Full Version : Disk Imaging

08-08-2007, 01:37 AM

50 identical 3 year old laptops, one customized image. This is for a small school, say, and the system is fully configured.

Every admin has an imaging technique he likes the best, what's yours?

Open source software is a plus, but I wouldn't mind hearing proprietary solutions.

The optimal solution would involve an idiot proof, bootable, single dvd. The image is around 3 gigs. Something a school teacher with a few tech skills could boot up and hit <enter>. It would be used for the initial installation and as a restore disk.

I'm researching using partimage and systemrescuecd (http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page). It has an autorun feature, like most bootable linux cd's, all the necessary tools, and a 122mb footprint. I've used these in the past to pull images over the lan with good results.

This is a pro bono job, btw, for a small rural school using donated equipment.

Ideas, suggestions, experiences?


08-08-2007, 02:12 AM
Ghost does this very well to both cd and DVD (both bootable) and accross a network with just a bootable floppy, I seem to remember it can repartition the drive too. Not opensource but quick easy and not expensive. I have used this many times in the past

I believe driveimage can also repartition the drive to how you want it too, and then restore the images.

I am assuming the target OS is windows based from your scenario as it is a small rural school, and possibly has NTFS partitions. Which is why I listed windows native options because of NTFS problems.

08-08-2007, 03:13 AM
ghost server =)

08-08-2007, 04:06 AM
My brother wants to use ghost. He's running into a driver issue with the laptop's built in nic. That's why I've been looking into alternates. It's a win2000 system I'm cloning, with the appropriate volume license, of course.

I wasn't aware that ghost would do a bootable dvd. I've never bought a license, but he's got one. If it will do a bootable dvd, this is probably the route I'll take.


sure will :D

Any other's?

08-08-2007, 12:51 PM
Take a look at Mondo (http://www.mondorescue.org/index.shtml).

08-08-2007, 04:02 PM
Altiris Deployment Solution. Beats the pants off ghost imo. http://www.altiris.com. It's kinda pricey, but academic should be cheaper.

Btw, the trial version has a nice stand alone executeable called RapidInstall, which lets you do a snapshot-install-compare method for installing software packages. Nice thing is is that it can be used to then see exactly what an installer changed (files and registry).

08-09-2007, 05:08 AM
We ended up getting around the hardware issues with ghost by taking the configured hard drive out of the laptop and putting it in another system. We created the image from there and went through the steps to make a bootable dvd. It works well.

Thanks for everyone's suggestions. I'll have to give mondo another look. When I played with it several years ago, it seemed over complicated. From glancing at the docs, they seem to have streamlined the process, somewhat.