3 Replies Latest reply on Apr 16, 2013 3:05 PM by mricharf

    What is the best method to maintain Release Stations?

    Edmund Greene Wayfarer

      I am using Ghost Suite to deploy OS images to about 50 computers around my University campus.  It works, but I have a number of better ideas, even though these ideas don't work currently.

       

      The problem I have with Ghost is I need to make different images depending on computer models.  If anyone knows a way to do one image for a lot of models, please enlighten me.

       

      One idea I would like to try is to PXE boot the release stations, but the OS image for XP+Pharos Station is just too big to make that practical.  If Pharos Station ran on something like linux I could make a pretty thin OS image I could PXE boot.

       

      What are other peoples thoughts or experiences?

        • Re: What is the best method to maintain Release Stations?
          Tony Fappiano Wayfarer

          If you have the means, look into virtualizing your release stations using VMware View.  It's been great for us.

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          • Re: What is the best method to maintain Release Stations?
            Yadin Flammer Navigator

            If you sysprep your image before you ghost it, then it will work on anything.  Of course to have it auto install all the hardware on first boot you need to slip the drivers into your image before you package it.

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            • Re: What is the best method to maintain Release Stations?
              Adventurer

              As the majority of my release stations are "throwaways" (surplus discards from other departments), I ran into the same issue you have as far as a unified  image.

               

              I used a program called n-Lite (http://www.nliteos.com/) to  create a CD image of an unattended install of Windows XP specifically tailored  for my pharos stations. It allows you to slipstream the updates into the CD,  determine exactly what driver sets should be included in the image, etc, and can  be preconfigured with product keys and post-installation software. I even have  it create a privileged account for maintenance and the "guest" account that  actually runs the Pharos software (and heavily restricted functionally through  Windows SteadyState).

               

              When I set up a new Release Station, I drop the CD-RW in the drive, delete  any old partitions, and create a new one. After that, the next interaction is  after the system is fully installed. A quick hostname change, installation of  SteadyState and Pharos Station and we're done. From bare metal to new install is  usually within an hour per station.

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