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I've been reading MSFN Unattend and find it very useful, but I'm not sure if this is what I want to do.

I like an opinion from the experts on this forum and hopefully "my confusion" or hesitation will be resolved. :D

What I'm looking to do is create a master computer loaded with XP (SP1a for now), customize this master computer with the proper local security settings, IE settings, software application installed, etc.....

Then, I like to ghost this master computer and use the image to deploy to source computers.

Should I use MSFN Unattend as my basis? If so, what are the proper steps including the imaging process?

The end results I would like to make this image bootable on a DVD so that I don't have to use a network connection to deploy the image.

I hope I'm making sense in what I'm trying to accomplish.



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If the computers you want to install using the image are all the same, the best practice is to use a ghost image or to use sysprep for making an unattended install.

A ghost-image is very fast and comes in handy if you use a coorporate license.

All settings, drivers and licenses are the same.

Using sysprep (comes on the Windows oem-CD), you can install one PC and then delete user accounts and license information. After installing a new PC with the sysprepped-image the user is promted for a license-key and user information.n This comes in handy when building the same machines for different end users.

Unattended install can be used if you need to install machines with different hardware with the same settings and software. It does require a bit more work and there are a few drawbacks. (p.e. it isn't possible to create partitions automatically.).

I use the different methodes for different types of installation.

So as you can see it depends on what you want to do with the image.

I hope this will help you in making a decision.

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True, when all computers are using the same HAL you can use (ghost) images.

Since images are a static thing (all computers will have the same software versions as your master computer and also newer windows updates aren't included), it is wise to create an unattended installation to install the computers.

An unattended installation is more flexible and you can update it with newer versions of software and include the latest hotfixes.

Then, when you need to (re)install some or all of your systems you can use the unattended install to install the master computer and use ghost to do this fairly quickly on all other systems.

On my company images have a certain lifetime, since they are quickly out of date, so we are only using them to quickly install a batch of computers using our unattended.

For home users i understand the ease of images.

Since this is just my personal opinion, feel free to totaly ignore what i wrote :)

Just hope this is of any use to you

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