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I need to configure almost 3 dozen laptops. We need half of them to have different IP addresses. Would configuring one laptop and then ghosting the rest be the fastest way to do this or is there a better way?

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migrated from May 4 '10 at 14:03

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It depends probably on what you call "configuring". – Gnoupi May 4 '10 at 14:01
I'm hoping you mean all of them need different IP addresses, at least if they're going on the same network at the same time. Are you configuring them with static IP's? Ghosting them (or imaging them) would probably work best if they're all the same hardware. – Bart Silverstrim May 4 '10 at 14:17

There are lots of newer methods for doing what you want that might be bigger/better/faster/more etc, but if you have experience with Ghost and you have no other deployment solution in place then that sounds like it might be the best idea for you - never underestimate having previous experience of code, even if it's not the latest and greatest.

Oh and I doubt you'd be hard-coding IPs to any laptop, leaving the job to DHCP, so that shouldn't be a problem. Oh and although you don't mention an OS, if these are to be Windows boxes then you should use Ghost's SID-rewriting abilities to ensure that each machine has a different SID - this will allow them to work correctly in an AD environment.

Best of luck, come back if you're having problems.

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Chopper3 - FYI, though I used to adhere to the belief that SID duplication causes problems as well, it appears that it is only problematic in a very few specific circumstances:… Other than that, great info. – EEAA May 4 '10 at 14:22
Anecdotally, I know that you should be able to duplicate SID's on the network, but we had issues with systems until we ran Newsid to alter them. Coincidence? Maybe. But sacrificing a few extra minutes to do that operation was worth saving headaches later. Maybe it's just equivalent to an old wive's tale but it happened enough to us that I use it as a standard procedure anymore with all due respect to Mark Russinovich (and he's due a lot of respect). – Bart Silverstrim May 4 '10 at 14:34
Totally with you Erik, we use PXE/ADS/APF but if I were Ghosting then I'd put the effort in to scramble the SIDs - just in case. – Chopper3 May 4 '10 at 14:46
Yah, NewSID and/or sysprep make it easy enough... – EEAA May 4 '10 at 14:57

I agree about using DHCP but the one software you should and can use is an open source conglomerate of software called clonezilla.

It requires a sperate server (easiest on Unbuntu) Clonezilla but like Ghost it lets you store images in a catalog for future use. I have used it personally at my university to configure 25 seat labs - over gigabit network about 35 minutes total YMMV.

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Of the "new methods" to wipe and reload the operating system and applications I'd go for Windows Deployment Services and/or any of it's supersets like Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010.

Also watch out for licensing issues when dealing with cloning and imaging - normally you need volume licenses for that.

But it sounds more like you'd just need to create a few scripts to run - if all you want is uninstalling and installing a few software packages and setting the IP address (try the netsh command for that btw).

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What I mean by "configuring" is removing all the installed "junkware", installing the client's required software (Dymo label drivers, SQL Server Express, a custom program, etc) and yes, configuring the IP address manually. These will not be on a network and DHCP is not an option as the custom program requires one laptop to be the master and another to be a slave, each with specific IPs.

Anyway, thanks for the assist.

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It depends on the OS. If you are deploying windows XP you could use ghost (if you have it). If you want to deploy windows vista or above you should seriously take a look at the deployment toolkit, or simply the The Windows® Automated Installation Kit (AIK) for Windows® 7. The MDT tookit can deploy windows XP as well as windows 7. I've had several clients run into issues with windows 7 and ghost. I didn't bother to troubleshoot as it was simpler to just set up the MDT and/or use WAIK.

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