We have about 20 laptops (windows xp or 7) that we're getting ready for checkout at a library. People will be using these laptops anywhere from 1 day to 3 months.

We have a few issues because of new policies enacted at our institution. First of all, the drives have to be encrypted. Second of all we'd like to easily (and hopefully quickly) refresh (i.e. re-image) the laptops before we recheck them out.

The issues we run into is that encrypted drives can't be compressed, so the images would be huge (like 150GB). The next issue we have is creating an imaging process that is simple for the library staff to use.

Any suggests would be greatly appreciated. We've looked into solutions like Deep Freeze, but we need the laptops to retain their configuration for more then just 1 reboot. We're also looking into TrueCrypt to do the encrypting for us.


Sounds like a job for Windows SteadyState.

  • I don't think it works on Win7. – Chris S Sep 17 '10 at 15:10
  • True but it will work on XP, so it would only be a partial solution. – joeqwerty Sep 17 '10 at 15:21

If you can upgrade to Windows 7, you can create a base image and set it to automatically enable BitLocker on the first boot. Deploying the image could be done with a custom DVD "installation" using Windows Setup.


Use MDT - Microsoft Deployment Tools.

It allows you to build an image from the base OS, include drivers and updates (Service Packs and/or individual updates) in your image then create a DVD or USB stick or use Windows Deployment Services if your laptops can PXE boot.

You create a Lite Touch setup that will ask only a few questions then it runs a scripted install.

It allows you to include scripted app installs and you can have users check the boxes or you can create packages.

It will also automatically run Windows Update.


Have you considered FDE hard drives?

The image can be a normal image as the hard drive itself handle the encryption, plus you don't have the (potential) hassles of a software encryption product and there is no slowdown as the encryption is run in a chip on the hard drive rather than taking up CPU cycles.

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