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REQ: Create an universal WinXP image


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Please forgive me for asking a most probably answered question.

My present situation: I have many different workstations running primarily WinXP Pro & Server 2003. Multiple workstation mean all with different hardware: motherboard, NIC, VGA, audio etc.

My needs: I simply would like to know how to create an universal image of either WinXP Pro or Server 2003. When I install this image via some RIS method (I primarily use Acronis SnapDeploy for this part) and the OS boots into Windows I would like it to run an unattended mini-setup routine and auto installs most hardware drivers as possible.

For now I use the beautiful UIU application and Acronis TI to create the image. UIU driver package I have is December 2006. I would like to use like the _www.driverpack.net driver sets or other similar to get updated drivers included in my image.

I have read a lot, but gosh my head is hurting from so many threads and suggestions. I think I am really confused as to what really is possible out there. I only wished that Acronis Universal Restore or Universal Deploy allowed for adding multiple drivers to images. While Universal Deploy is the closest alternative to UIU it is limited to only Mass Controllers and HAL drivers and you CANNOT save these additional drivers when creating your master image. UR and UD allow you to search for additional drivers only when you are doing the image deployment. UIU used to sell from 10 seats now the minimum is 25 seats and up and I cannot afford that upfront costs at present hence my wanting to move to less expensive alternative.


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Maybe you should take a look at WDS from Microsoft to deploy your windows xp/windows 2003 machines.

Also you could consider making a custom Windows PE image and use that in combination with WDS to boot it from PXE.

I've allready posted my Windows PE method to install a Windows2003 machine on another forum, so no use to re-post it here..

Here is the Link... Clickeh!

Maybe you have some use for it!


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