Automated system deployment?

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electrix

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Joined
Jun 27, 2007
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Here's the situation. Right now I have a lot of computers that need to be set up completely from scratch. What I would like is to somehow create a disc that I can put on autorun that will install XP on to a blank hard drive, configure all of the settings involved (such as connecting to the server and adjusting screen resolution, icons, etc.), install and configure all the subsequent software that will be standard on all of the machines (such as readers, compression apps, Microsoft Office, etc.) and then run Windows/Office Update, all on its own. Is there software out there that can handle this kind of thing? If not, is there some other method I could employ to create such a disc? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 
Joined
Jun 21, 2007
Messages
99
Depends on how much money you want to spend.

1) You can go through Microsoft's OEM program and do OEM deployment. We do this where I work. Caution; this turned out to be a bear because all the how-to documents and advice are outdated (talk about SP1, wrong command-line switches, etc.), but once working, the installation it is fast.

It did take us 2 weeks to get OEM installation to work correctly.

2) If you are not a manufacturer, build a "template" PC with everything setup including applications IF you have multi-user licenses, except DO NOT activate.

Use a imaging utility (something like Ghost as long as you have the out-of-the-box install CD, you boot to this to recover an image). Make an image of C: from the "template" PC then recover the image to all other PCs.

Some CAUTIONS:

Note the multi-user comment above. If you do not have a multi-user licenses (OS & apps) you risk copyright violation, or you have to change the Product Key in each of the "other" PCs and phone MS to activate.

If you run your imaging software (like Ghost) off CD, and your image is on CD/DVD, you must have a 2nd CD/DVD drive. If we had decided to do our OEM install this way, we do have an external USB DVD Recorder we could use.
 
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