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27

Standard practice depends on how good a wipe you need. Fast wipe: Write one pass of zeros across the whole drive. Thorough wipe: Write alternating passes of zeros and ones across the whole drive at least twice. DoD Wipe: Write multiple (I believe the standard is 7?) passes of alternating ones and zeros across the whole drive. A tool like dban is probably ...


16

Why not convert the running systems to Virtual Machines? Most hypervisors like VMware or Hyper-V have a tool to convert a running system to a virtual machine easily. You can then work with a non-production system as you wish before doing anything on a production server. Thanks to @WernerCD Vmware Hyper-V


10

For wiping data I would use DBAN http://www.dban.org . Making an image of three diferent models its tricky. I know that Acronis had a tool for doing image of diferent configuration (image without drivers). I would simply do images of three models with clonezilla.


10

Can it be done? Definitely yes. I have copied an entire Linux server by simply packing up the files with tar and extracted them again on the target server. The only caveat I recall was having to remember to use --numeric-owner when extracting. I can't speak for other OS and other tools, but I imagine it is doable with all major operating systems. Should it ...


9

There aren't standards in PXE for Wifi that make this feasible. Apple does "wireless netboot" functionality in some of their models, but this isn't going to help you with PXE booting PCs because it's purely proprietary. Even if you could do this, I question the performance, reliability, and efficiency of using this method. You'd be soaking up a massive ...


9

While @TheCompWiz's answer is good, I'd like to add my own version based on my own personal experience. When you think about automating Windows deployments (anything Vista/2008 and beyond), it helps to separate the actual installation bits from the delivery of the installation bits to the destination machine. A Windows 7 DVD is the standard delivery ...


7

There's only one decent guide I've come across so far for Windows 7, and that's Brian Lee Jackson's "sysprepping" guide.


7

The "Microsoft" answer: Windows Deployment Services. When used properly, these images are easily updated with the latest patches, service packs, drivers, and applications. It's very modular by design and can easily adapt to your needs. Unfortunately it takes a team of people to manage. Waaay too much for 1 person to configure/maintain. Longer answer: ...


7

Copying all of the files could work. It's going to depend on the OS and what kind of copy method. One general problem is trying to copy the system while it is running. Typically at least some of the files will be locked, and therefore won't copy correctly. Using some kind of imaging software while the system is shut down is usually safest (you mentioned ...


6

If you are large enough to worry about big deployments you are large enough to use some sort of database for machine information. It should contain info about IP addresses, MAC addresses, and machine names and roles as well as the normal model and vendor info. Use this to populate configuration and installation tools. If it is just a few machines, the sys ...


6

You should look at an imaging and configuration suite like JAMF Casper or the free Deploy Studio. Both of them make scripting complex installation tasks easy and both support deploying images via PXE. For Deploy Studio, which I'm most familiar with, you would pre-install whatever software you want, then boot that reference machine to the PXE image and ...


6

Feasibility Sure, it's possible, because it's not hard to "install" Linux using unconventional means. You could, for example, replicate the server using rsync over SSH. Boot the target machine into a "rescue" image, whether using a Red Hat DVD, Ubuntu live boot, Knoppix, whatever. Partition and format the target machine, and mount the filesystems under a ...


5

Refer to my question here on security.SE. To reimage them I suggest using a solution where you use TFTPboot for windows. Your computers will then just boot from a prepared image over the network (so you don't need to put disks in every single one of them).


5

There are a lot of options, but you need to think further out than you are -- Getting all the machines installed with the same OS is easy (Create the image and use dd, Disk Utility (create an image and then restore it to each unit), Carbon Copy Cloner, etc. to get it everywhere). There is a question from a while back which may also be helpful here. The ...


4

While I do have no personal experience with OS X, I am very much in favour of package-based provisioning due to the following OS-independent reasons: Flexibility: database server, web server, load balancer, developer workstation, designer workstation. Would you have an image for every type or install everything everywhere? What about different releases of ...


4

Use Clonezilla, but then also use DHCP server and Active Directory to handle workstation names using their MAC Addresses. If set up correctly, it will automatically set up the hostname when each server boots up. It might take a bit to index the MAC Addresses and map hostnames to them, but it will help you out in the long run, as when you need to reimage the ...


4

You can use Ghost Solutions Suite, Acronis SnapDeploy, or Microsoft Windows Deployment Services to image the machines. What you want to do is install a Volume License copy of Windows and Office on 1 machine, then customize it how you'd like with other software and preferences. You can customize the user profile as well by making changes to a profile and ...


4

How draconian do you want to get? I work for a largish Higher Ed and our computer lab machines (somewhere between 1200-1700 of 'em) all have to be locked down to a high degree. It's pretty well locked down. Malware outbreaks are usually handled by just reimaging instead of cleaning them up, and such outbreaks are pretty rare. This sort of thing is made a ...


4

Check out Darik's boot and nuke... you can make a few CD's of it pre-configured to startup, nuke the hard drive with a DoD level wipe, and come back later to a finished clean PC. I would provide media, but leave installation to the new owner, not your problem.


4

If you have to ask "What should I back up?", then the only answer I can give is: Everything. Rsync might work for your situation, but it's missing many critical features found in real backup tools. One thing to consider that would ease the bring-up of new machines is to use a configuration management product like Puppet or Chef. Using these to deploy ...


4

According to Microsoft, you can sysprep a Windows 2012 server running RDS. Since you already have a backup of a functioning server, you can: Restore that backup. Disconnect the network cable. Boot the server. Make sure you have a functional local administrator account. Run c:\windows\system32\sysprep.exe and pick OOBE. You don't need Generalize unless the ...


4

What is a boot image? A boot image is a slimmed down WinPE environment that is delivered to the client via PXE. It's similar to the first stage of the Ghost PXE install, where the client boots to a slim program before applying the image. It's what gets you started. What is an install image? This is the image that you capture (or the generic install.wim ...


3

We use the netboot functionality of MacOS Server and DeployStudio to image and deploy images to our Macs. Works great. I believe you can config a linux server to proved Netboot services if you don't have a Mac Serrver


3

I discovered the method (Deploy Studio) I was deploying my images had scripts already to do the Open Directory binding - I've modified the scripts slightly to give the crux of the script for here to answer my question. This example only uses anonymous binding (not explicitly bound to the OD server) #!/bin/sh # Used ds_open_directory_binding.sh (v1.6) from ...


3

Modern Linux distributions will remember the MAC address of the card they were first installed to. Booting them on any other machine may well cause your eth0 to become eth1 when you least expect it. The solution is to remove the file that maintains the persistent mapping between your MAC address and ethernet interface, which (on Debian/Ubuntu at least; ...


3

It depends on the Linux distribution but generally it means adjusting a few files in /etc for hostname and IP details. On RedHat-flavoured distros you would have to change: /etc/hosts: hostname and IP addresses /etc/sysconfig/network: hostname /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth*: network configuration grep -r image_hostname /etc and grep -r ...


3

I recently had this same issue and here's the basic steps of how to do it: Mount the WIM file like this: dism /Mount-Wim /WimFile:<x:\img.wim /Index:1 /MountDir:<x:\mountPath> Add the driver: dism /image:<x:\mountPath /Add-Driver:<x:\path\to\drivers> /Recurse Commit changes and unmount the WIM file: dism /unmount-wim ...


3

The answer will vary on an app-by-app basis. With Sharepoint, for example, you've got to be prepared to restore databases, content repositories, registry settings, IIS virtual directories... and probably a few other locations. I wouldn't go down this path unless I knew exactly what files & settings would need to be restored - there's a reason the ...


3

IMO, the best way to go is unattended installation. Here's a link to a guide for Windows XP. An unattended install requires some care and feeding, but it makes it easy to provide driver support for just about anything... we've been using this method from 2004 to 2009 and went from > 100 traditional Ghost images to a single image. Our current approach is ...


3

As a junior admin I can only hope you learn too much from those senior admins. If they do this annually why don't they already have images? Please, for your own sake and sanity, find somewhere else to work. As for the actual question about imagine, there are quite a few products that will do what you want, provided they support the specific drive and/or ...



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