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Looking for Advice--Imaging PC's

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#1 rednekcowboy

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 14:53

Hi All,

Bit of a situation here. I can't give out too many details, but I'll try to give as much as possible.

I work for a company and I build our internal company images that is a universal image (ie works on any hardware regardless of make/model/processor, etc). I say this just to illustrate that I do, somewhat, know what I'm doing.

The problem arises is with one of our "partners". The company provides the image to us (supply a boot disk that connects to their server and that server pushes the image via Symantec. The problem arises that we provide the hardware and the pc's are all of different make and model and processor. Our partner insists on having an image for each model, which was not an issue for us as they store them, however they recently decided to delete all but one image, which is now corrupted, and they don't have a backup.

The only way they will provide an image is that we have to provide each model of hardware (if one particular model has revisions, then we have to provide the revised ones. IE we have a model of Lenovo, one of which uses a broadcom nic and another uses an intel--they would need one of each) which would be, off the top of my head, about 10 pc's or so. On top of that, they will take a minimum of 3 weeks before they deliver the image. These pc's run on the partners network and we don't have admin access to them, we simply supply the staff and place the computer. However the staffing demands are growing and I need an image today to ghost some pc's for Monday morning.

The person in charge of imaging for our partner refuses to speak with me or negotiate their position. I have provided the steps they need to make universal images from scratch (not that complicated to do) and have gotten no response.

Now I know I can use password recovery software and get local admin access to the pc off of the network, with this I can use my process and create a universal image in under an hour, however I have no way of joining this pc to their domain. The single image we have left crashes before it gets to windows and won't boot into safe mode. I know if I can get at their sysprep.ini, it would give me all of the information I need for joining to their domain, but am unsure how to go about doing this.

Any ideas/suggestions would be awesome!! I know it's easy to point the finger and blame them, especially with them being so stubborn unfortunately that does not help the situation any and I need a solution that I can implement now.....


#2 farmeunit

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 15:08

Have you talked to your boss about this? He should be talking to them and telling them that they're going to find a new partner.

We use a program called ENGL to do our imaging because we also use ZENworks, so I don't know the specifics of what you need. Surely someone else will.

I do know, from a business standpoint, that something needs to be changed. Good luck.

#3 OP rednekcowboy

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 15:15

Have you talked to your boss about this? He should be talking to them and telling them that they're going to find a new partner.

We use a program called ENGL to do our imaging because we also use ZENworks, so I don't know the specifics of what you need. Surely someone else will.

I do know, from a business standpoint, that something needs to be changed. Good luck.


I agree with you 100% and my boss simply said if they don't want to supply the image, then we won't support their floor.....but it's not that simple and it won't go away. He's dealing with the same guy that won't talk to me and that guy won't return my boss's calls.

We use FOG to deploy our images, but I manually create them with a combination of scripting and driverpacks. Free solution versus paying for imaging software. However this is not the issue. I can create the image just fine, for our network, but that won't work since this floor runs on their switches and servers. I was thinking if I could deploy the image that we have (crashes after rebbot once minisetup is complete), I could turn off the pc before minisetup starts and plug the hdd into a dock so I can grab their sysprep.ini and add the pertinent information(domain account used to add the pc to their domain) and just add that information into my process and use a functional pc on the floor to build a universal image, but I don't know if this will work.

#4 sc302

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 18:04

Wds is a viable solution to this so is acronis with universal restore. Haven't touched ghost in years.

Once you have a good image on a computer you could use any other image tool to create a master image for wds or acronis and restore that image to dissimilar hardware.

#5 OP rednekcowboy

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 19:13

Wds is a viable solution to this so is acronis with universal restore. Haven't touched ghost in years.

Once you have a good image on a computer you could use any other image tool to create a master image for wds or acronis and restore that image to dissimilar hardware.


That is not my issue. But my above plan worked, I got the credentials I needed to be able to make the image and add it to their domain.

#6 OP rednekcowboy

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 20:39

Image is all done, tested and added to their domain. It's being deployed to the other PC's as we speak and they will be deployed in the morning. Thanks for letting me talk through this. I knew there had to be a solution!!