Jump to content

Multiple Xp Pro Installs Including Applications


Recommended Posts

This will be my first post here so please be gentle...

I am experienced in the use of Windows 98 and some use of XP Pro, however this is my task and I am looking for some guidance. (I am a teacher)

I need to install XP Pro, service packs and all 19 school applications onto 29 new identical PC's in a school I recently started working at.

I have experience of Ghost 2003 and have found Microsoft Sysprep program and would like some pointers:

1. The new PC's are all badged with COA Certificate of Authentication numbers on their cases and obviously have XP ready to go on their HDD, If I tried to ghost or Sysprep would the individual installs on each PC allow me to enter the unique ProductID's and then activate them after install, or will I destroy or overwrite them by putting an image over them??

2. The school applications are very varied and range from music, math, science etc and all have had service packs and upgrades applied. I must try and gather all of these into an image file along with XP from a master PC, is this really going to be possible?

Any advise will be appreciated, I will study the guidance and compile an instruction guide before rushing into this, we do have a new technical person starting at the school, but not for another month and I have been tasked to get these up and running ASAP. :no:

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Well I am not sure how useful this would be for 19 PCs but it is a great experience none the less. The days of using imaging software has greatly changes with XP having SIDS and the mass controllers issue. Sysprep can relieve all this but it is a pain.

You have several options here.

1) Build Unattended XP CD that installs with no input and the machines are all identical besides SID and computer name.

Pros: Gets around the SID and mass controllers issue.

Cons: Slowwwwww and the process of making a properly configured Unattended CD can take awhile as well.

2) Build an image using Ghost or Altiris that installs the exact same pre-configured image to each machine changing machine name and SID via sysprep.

Pros: Uniformity, faster than install, Highly configurable and automated.

Cons: Highly configurable and automated which is prone to more mistakes. Specific to mass controller used on imaged PC unless configured otherwise..(which I have never successfully done)

I use this method with Altiris and have one base image per chipset. (Wish I could get around the mass controller issue)

3) The method I am planning to switch too.. Setup a RIS server.

Pros: Network install but uses the image concept as each PC will be identical but gets around the mass controller SID issue. Saves disk space as the RIS server only stores the WinXP source once and each "image" would only be the changes applied to your source. So you could have 1 image per group in your organization but instead of using 600MB per image you could use 50MB or whatever.

Cons: Never used it yet but on paper it sounds awesome. Requires Active Directory :(

I think being you are doing such a small amount of PCs you could setup one PC exactly the way you like and then multicast the configured PC image to all the other PCs via a network boot disk. This is not at all difficult nowadays. Both Ghost and Altiris do this quite nicely.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

in regards to SIDS, hard disk controllers:

1) If all of the machines are the same then the controller issue is no longer a factor.

2) If the machines are not joining a domain, then changing the SID is not required either but it is a good idea.

So, if all the machines are the same, I would build a single machine the way you want it. Then once it is finished set it up to run sysprep to only reset the SID. and ghost it to the other machines.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just as a rule of thumb don't get into the habit of putting apps and drivers into your images. Otherwise you have to update your image everytime something gets updated. make the image clean and then create packages to deploy the software.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the info so far, this is informative and useful.

They will be joining the domain (NT4) no AD present. Servers will be 2003 in a few months but that's not my issue. I also understand 150 more XP clients will be delivered on a volume license at the same time but that will be done by the new guy.

I have not even ventured into Sysprep yet so the SID issue I will have to find in the setupmgr.exe??

I still am unsure about COA on the cases, can someone explain if I will be OK doing this?

1. Will it prompt me to enter ProductID during install on each PC?

2. Then can I go ahead and activate each one?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sysprep has an option to reset the SID.

If the machines are factory loaded, and you did not have to activate windows when they were taken out of the box, then if you create your image from that factory load you will not have to activae it on the destination machines either. If you relaod the machine from scratch using the OS cd not a recovery cd then you will have to activate each machines license.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sysprep has an option to reset the SID.

If the machines are factory loaded, and you did not have to activate windows when they were taken out of the box, then if you create your image from that factory load you will not have to activae it on the destination machines either.  If you relaod the machine from scratch using the OS cd not a recovery cd then you will have to activate each machines license.

You have any good sites for sysprep info? I would like to switch to this method instead of creating images for each chipset heh :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope I can be of some assistance. I work for a fairly big school district (over 6000 workstations and 80 servers) If every PC you have is identical both software and hardware wise ghost is DEFINATLY the best option for you. Install EVERYTHING you need on one pc. All the updates and everything. Do NOT join the domain. Dump the image off to some server. You can do a multicast session and ghost all the machines overnight. Then boot off a boot disk and run ghstwalk.exe. This will allow you to re-name each computer and it generates a new SID as well. Boot up and join the domain. Your set  As far as the CD Keys, it doesn’t matter as long as you have the licenses the keys do not matter. We have thousands of computers with the same exact key here but we have a license for each one. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SilverHaze420,

I have been preparing the master client today and have done all service packs for XP, Office Pro and installed all applications, (22) in all. Have cleared event logs, temp files etc and am just about ready.

I have unfortunately joined the NT domain though, is there a way to roll back from this or disjoint from the domain??

Also we only have Ghost 2003, is multicast included in this because I cannot find anything about it??

I am hoping I can go with the Ghost option as you suggest and as previously mentioned I can confirm I have not had to activate because it has OEM version prepared on each client HDD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't forget to clear the cache and your cookies as well. Don't worry about that you already joined the domain. Just right click my computer. Goto properties computer name and Join a workgroup. I find it easy to name the workgroup the same as the domain so it’s quicker when u join it in post-ghost. I am pretty sure it is part of ghost 2003, if not PM me. You need to look for the ghost server exe to do a multicast. Run that from the server, it should all be automatic if you use DHCP. Just run ghost.exe from a boot disk on the workstations. Also do it at a time when nobody else is on the network because using ghost KILLS your network speed! Espically when you push down an image onto 32 machines at the same time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are loads of info on M$ website: search Sysprep and you have pages of links. Many refer to possible problems using Sysprep.

There are some points to watch:

1. You should not use EFS on any folders in the master image.

2. Customised settings are only replicated to all users if applied to the Admin account (a change in SP2: KB 887816).

3. Desktop icons will be removed (KB 307543).

Each computer should have its unique SID in a workgroup (when not joined to a domain).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...