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Windows XP hardware independ deployment

By Niall_Flynn ·

I have been assigned the task to create a hardware independent image to deploy windows xp to 3 types of Dell Desktop and 2 additional type of Laptop.
I have researched the microsoft website but a lot of the stuff is very project management over view style documents as opposed to techy hand on.
I would like to know about your experiences with a similar deployment, what tools you used and whats pit falls I can avoid in the process.

Really looking forward to your input as I will be attending a microsoft seminar in the near future and I would like to have plenty of Q's for them.


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by CG IT In reply to Windows XP hardware indep ...

well how many desktops in each hardware type is there going to be? If the amount of desktops is small, creating an image may be more work than just individually installing the software.

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by CG IT In reply to

note creating an image isn't that hard. you can use Norton Ghost to clone from computer to computer provided that each desktop is the same hardware. If you have a lot of desktops [and laptops]for each image, than you can go the route of RIS and create your image with answer file using the Wininstall Lite from Veritas and create an image for each hardware profile and store each image in the RIS server.

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by Niall_Flynn In reply to Windows XP hardware indep ...

We have 200 hundred of each desktop and about 50 of each laptop. We have 2 sites all under the one domain. Deploying an image(s) is the most efficient way for a company of our size to handle this project. We currently store many images for machines and diffenent departments. One of the goals is to reduce the number of images kept. Thanks for your interest.

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by hozcanhan In reply to Windows XP hardware indep ...

There is no thing as hardware independent image for Microsoft Operating Systems . You have to have images for certain specific hardware with minimum add ons .

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Actually there is such a thing

by nbauer In reply to

As mentioned in a previous thread, the Universal Imaging Utility (UIU) allows you to create one image that will automatically address all hardware differences for Microsoft OS's. One master image will work on all your laptops and desktops regardless of manufacturer and unique hardware. UIU v4.5 due out in October will be Windows 7 compatible. Anyone planning on making the migration needs to check out the UIU. Will create one image in ten minutes and can then be deployed to every machine in your environment.

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by CG IT In reply to Windows XP hardware indep ...

well how many of the 200 desktops are different hardware? same with laptops. If each one is different someone ought to seriously think about standardizing desktop hardware and laptops. Creating images for each one plus answer files, then storing them then the documentation and admin of the images all add to the TCO. Far to costly to have 200 different hardware types of desktops and 50 different hardware types laptops.

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by CG IT In reply to

1 domain under 2 sites and images for O/S installation via RIS. you might want to consider getting into a little more detail about just what you want to do. If it's just installing the O/S on new computers thats one thing but if its also user desktop configuration and program deployment for desktop users, thats another. There is Active Directory in a Windows 2000/Windows 2003 server domain in which using Group Policy, an administrator can control user desktop environments and deploy programs in a OU or user method [which is completely independent from installing the O/S and non hardware dependent]

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Windows XP hardware indep ...

Well with that many of the same units you can create a Slipstream image of Windows with the necessary drivers and use that to install on those machines but it will not work on anything else as you are only including the drivers for that particular set of hardware.

You'll have to create a different install CD/Image for each hardware configuration. But honestly with things like the Dell the recovery CD is exactly what you want. If you have recovery Cd's for each computer the one set can be used on all the same model that applies to the different models and the same applies to the NB's as well. If they are the same model they will have the same recovery CD so rather than making your own why not use what you already have as you would be making exactly the same thing yourself. If you need to you can store these different CD images on a Server and push out installs over the network as required.


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by jeanmarc In reply to Windows XP hardware indep ...

The best way I found is a simple 7-step process:

1. Purchase a copy of Acronis TrueImage and set-up a TrueImage bootup CD.

2. Prepare a 'template' PC. It needs to be set-up, configured (user, domain, etc), and all applications working.

3. Download as many drivers as you think you will need (especially if you are going to use Wireless, as WIFI cards are not easily recognized by XP) and put them on folders on the PC.

4. Run a Sysprep utility with the option that enables you to make XP detect the hardware turned on (look at sysprep documentation and options).

5. When the sysprep is finished, do NOT restart the PC from the hard disk. Reboot the PC from the Acronis CD and make an image of the PC partition or disk (it is extremely easy). Save this image to CD although I prefer network drive.

6. Finally, when you set up a new PC (or laptop), simply pop in the Acronis CD and install the backed-up image from CD or network drive. When the PC is rebooted, it will go through hardware detection and whatever option you defined in sysprep

7. When the new PC reboots, it will be completely ready - applications, settings, shares, etc.

Note: Step 1 is once for all. Step 2 to 4 take the longest but needs to be done only when you define new company PC specifications. Step 6 to 7 usually take about 20 minutes. Think about it, 20 minutes to set up a PC to your company's specs!

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by davidfacer In reply to Windows XP hardware indep ...

I was tasked with the same problem years ago with Windows9x on a plethora of different hardware. I took a Ghost image (this is back before it was a Symantrec product) of one install, and then removed the Enumerators out of the Registry before saving the image. This effectively removed ALL hardware settings, and forced the PC to re-detect all fitted hardware on THAT PC when booting the newly installed image. Then it was a simple matter of burning the image to a bootable CD, and setting the BIOS to boot from a CD device first. A simple batch file can call the DOS version of Ghost with the relevant switches to automatically load either the one image, or a menu to choose which image you want. There was lots more, as all our apps ran off the server, and we had to also remove the UNC paths out of all the shortcuts when the image went to another domain/network. We also had the shortcut icon files loaded locally in the image so they would not be downloaded from the network app storage location. etc etc etc. Hope this helps.

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