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The Environment: I am working for a college. We have a couple of labs (about 100 PCs) for students. At the end of the semester, the PCs will be full of viruses, corrupt system files, all sorts of illegal downloads etc. (everything you can expect from a student environment). At the end of the semester, we would like to wipe out all the systems and do a clean install (WindowsXP + a set of application suites) to get ready for the next batch of students.

Question: Is there any free software that will enable an admin to deploy a clean disk image to all the PCs in one go?

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migrated from May 10 '10 at 9:13

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Nice and simple. +1 – JavaRocky May 10 '10 at 12:06


  • Make image of computer
  • Use WDS On a 2008 R2 server to distribute image using MULTICAST (if you can do multicast).


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Would be important to have a clean install and clone that to all other. Regarding viruses, downloaded files,etc look for Windows SteadyState, it is free and exactly for your situation.

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Check out UDPcast, does exactly what you are looking for. Bundled e.g. in the free and bootable PartedMagic distro.

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Clone the disk with one of those disk cloning softwares

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The best approach would indeed be to create a master image including all the software you need and then deploy that image to all your clients.

You can either use a manual method (a disk cloning software) or a deployment server; setting up one using Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2 is quite easy and lets you use the new Windows built-in imaging format (WIM) and tools.

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