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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Dec 2009
    Galway Ireland
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    Lightbulb Deployment of OS on numerous machines

    Lovely new setup congrats Woody.
    Hope this is the correct section.
    I manage a few schools and I have to reinstall the OS on 15 student laptops before they return to schools after the summer hols. As I now have a lot of schools I am wondering is it possible to deploy the operating systems to these laptops over the network which I hope to safe time. I was thinking of having a portable server that I can bring to the various schools. the optiplex 790 small form factor would suit. None of the schools have a server. Hope this is not a silly idea. What would I need in relation to software etc.
    Thanks ahead of replies.

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    I always created an install image with everything pre-installed and ready to go, then copy the image to a bootable USB hard disk and restore the image. Takes about 10 minutes per machine and doesn't require large boxes that have to be set up on networks. Several USB disks can be used at the same time so you can have 3 or 4 running together.
    Nice set of instructions for image creation:

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    A cultural area in SW England
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    There are a few variants on this procedure, one of which I hope to use next year for 70 (allegedly-identical) PCs is:

    1) set up one system unit exactly as required with Windows 10 plus customisations
    2) remove hard drive from a different PC and put it in a USB external caddy, and connect this into the first PC
    3) using a disk imaging program on the first PC, image the first PC's drive to the drive in the caddy
    4) reinstall the hard drive in the second PC, boot Windows 10.
    5) on the second PC, change computername and Window 10 Product Key to the ones corresponding to that PC; activate Windows 10

    You can do several re-images simultaneously using several external caddies and system units.

    The procedure would change slightly if you have a Volume Licence product key, or are attempting to reuse an original Windows 7 product key for Windows 10. See link.
    Last edited by BATcher; 2018-11-28 at 04:19. Reason: Added link...

    If it goes right, nobody remembers;
    if it goes wrong, nobody forgets.

  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
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    I've never used SYSPREP, but it sounds like a tool that you should use for this. SYSPREP strips the activation key out of the image that you will push to each computer. Then, when you boot a newly-prepped computer, it will be like new computer in terms of the activation key.

    Here is some information on SYSPREP:

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