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Unattended Self Installing Hard Disk?


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Yes. I use Drive Image (PowerQuest), and have automated the procedure to save the disk image to CD(s). I see no reason that it could not be carried over to DVD(s). Automating the restore procedure is easy, automating the save procedure is a little more tricky, yet certainly doable. If you install the users PC before delivery, hooking up a DVD burner, and starting the program costs another 15 minutes per system. The moment you have more than one identical machine, installation time for the second machine is reduced dramatically. I'm not sure about the licensing requirements for DriveImage, but I do believe that there are freewares or sharewares that work as well, though DriveImage has a nice, complete scripting language. Ghost does the same (I have not used it, but licensing is probably better).

It is really easy, and "Put your CD in the drive and press reset" is a lot faster to say on maintenance calls. Most importantly, you CYA - client has all the tools from the get-go.

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Looks like you edited the above post.

The Server Backup you suggested is doable: It is easy to schedule Windows to reboot and it is fairly easy to create a backup script (or calls from the command line). The backup/imaging software I use (Powerquest) must be run from DOS, but I believe the latest versions allow for scheduling from windows. The hard part (or at least the part I don't know...) is to set the boot toogle DOS/XP, XP/DOS.

In terms of your client PCs backup, in case you missed it, The IceMan seems to know more about it.

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Ghost will not fullfill your needs as a daily backup solution, but works great as a recovery process.

With it you capture and image of the drive to a file/files depending upon the size of the image and the media you are placing it on. So you could create a set of cds 1..n with a customers final image on it if they didn't have a dvd. one draw back is that Ghost only allows for a maximum image segment to be 2gb, so if you have an image over 2gb it will break it up into multiple files. Has something to do with limitations of older file systems and file sizes.

What I tend to do for my clients is create a two partitions, or sell them two drive, one for apps, one for data then I don't have to worry (not much at least) about the data and I can just reghost their apps.

The ghost license is per machine it is used on, I'm not sure of the exact cost but it was about $2 (us) per machine as I recall with a 3000 seat license.

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