In our organization we frequently deploy images on new computers and we would like to optimize this process.

We are currently using Norton Ghost - Creating a boot floppy with a unique IP for every new computer and deploying the image from a server using Unicast (since Broadcast floods the network).

We do not want to use a management product such as SCCM. We just need an efficient way to deploy 2-4 types of different images on many computers efficiently.

Any suggestions?

  • Build your images on a VM with snapshot support. This alone has been a major time saver for us. – jscott Apr 13 '12 at 13:13

Look at the Windows AIK and the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2010 (both are free downloads)

Combined with Windows Deployment Services (if you have a Windows Server), you can use PXE boot to deploy over the network.

  • What advantages this setup will give us over our current setup? – Katie D Apr 14 '12 at 15:03
  • Off the top of my head: 1. Offline editing of images - you can inject drivers, enable/disable features, install service packs and windows updates to images without having to deploy and recapture on a machine 2. Image size. The WIM format is file based and uses single-instance, so multiple images built from a base OS WIM file will be much smaller than their Ghosted equivalents. 3. The AIK also includes the System Image Manager which enables you to easily build custom answer files for deployment. There's lots more, but I'm too lazy to list. Google is your friend! – Chris McKeown Apr 14 '12 at 16:13
  • Apologies for lack of formatting, can't get the markdown to work for lists for some reason! – Chris McKeown Apr 14 '12 at 16:17

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