I'm in the process of deploying some new PCs (there's only 8), all identical hardware. What I'd like to do is install Windows 7 (64bit), join to domain etc, install a bunch of other software, and then clone that drive to multiple other machines. I'd also like to be able to use it as a backup image, so the machine can be restored back to that image at some future date.
I understand this involves at least sysprep, but I am confused after reading some tutorials that talk about using Windows Automated Installation Kit, or hacks with the registry and custom-build batch files. This process seems overly complex to me: I did something similar 10+ years ago, and and don't remember it being this bad. Surely things have improved in a decade?
There's also some products that involve having network servers running deployment software, network boot, etc etc.. this is way more than I want to set up.
My systems are all identical hardware. Is there a simplified way to clone PCs?
Preferably (since I'm a lazy developer, and not an IT admin) I'd like to find some off-the-shelf product that I can run after I get the machine setup, that will spit out a bootable DVD I can run on all the other systems, which will boot up, ask for a computer name, join it to the domain, and that's it. Does such as product exist?