System Imaging\Deployment Questions (Clonezilla)

Discussion in 'Application Software' started by mountbaldy, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. mountbaldy

    mountbaldy MDL Novice

    May 31, 2016
    Hi all,

    I'm a new sys admin looking for any advice on deploying images in a large organization (school district). I currently help administer 400+ computers. The majority of our organization is running Windows 7. We have about 100 computers that are new as of last year. These machines are all the same model. They are UEFI. Our biggest hurdle has been to successfully create and deploy an image on these machines.

    I ran through a fresh install of Windows 7 and all updates. Then I install Office 2016 and then image. I add each machine to the domain after I push the image to it. We recently started using Clonezilla to clone and deploy our images. The problem I run into is upon boot up of the newly imaged machine (clone), I get a BSOD and Windows boots into system recovery console. I try running the recovery and the recovery fails. I have successfully pushed clones on this model going machine to machine with Clonezilla.

    I'm assuming that this is because I have not ran sysprep on the machine prior to cloning. I'm going to try this and see what happens.

    Also, my method has been to create an image. Store said image on a network share. Boot from CD or USB flash drive into clonezilla and pull the image from the network share. Is this the quickest method? Or is their a better way? All of our organization is on the same subnet/domain.

    My other issue has been the time that it takes to push these images across our network. We use gig switches and fiber between buildings so infrastructure shouldn't really be an issue. Also our school system is not in session so it's not a bandwidth problem either. The size of these images aren't super huge either.

    Please give me insight if their is a better method. Thanks!


  2. TrustMe

    TrustMe MDL Member

    May 2, 2013
    Hi and welcome to MDL,

    I'm not sure if this is your problem but I have read you should image the (original) hard drive and not clone it. If you clone the drive, it copies the hard drive ID and Windows has trouble booting after the image is restored (applied) to the target drive.

    I'm not in IT or a power user so I don't know the answers to the rest of your questions.
  3. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
    Being school, you have MS School License Agreement (or you should have)

    Setup SCCM & have the full control of your environment
  5. cocachris89

    cocachris89 MDL Senior Member

    Mar 1, 2013
    Or if you can, MDT can help you out.
  6. mountbaldy

    mountbaldy MDL Novice

    May 31, 2016
    Thanks for the advice!! I'm not 100% sure what we have as far as licensing goes but I do believe we use site licensing (probably EDU). I could certainly utilize the MS server side deployment services but I'm looking for something quick and easy and we are in the middle of upgrading our only server that has Windows Server 2008 (we have others but they are older). Setting up a master image seems like it would certainly simplify things. As it is we have to add each machine to the domain and install AV after the cloning process. I'm going to experiment with utilizing USB drives instead of eating up bandwidth to see if it saves any time.

    pisthai - I will have to look into this. For us though, we have all of our machines installed in labs or in classrooms so physically bringing each drive or computer into the server room is out of the question. Clonezilla will let us push/pull the image to and from our NAS servers via the network. The setup you have would certainly be much quicker.


  7. nokia8250

    nokia8250 MDL Novice

    Aug 19, 2009
    #8 nokia8250, Jun 17, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
    1.BSOD after booting
    --> select -j1 in Advanced menu but not -t1

    2.low speed when mulitcasting
    a. set client computer NICs to high spped idle mode, aka NIC LED keep green on/off when power off
    b. connect all clients to one giga switch, aka the same level
    c. mod DRBL server files: etc/drbl/drbl-ocs.conf, replace "max-bitrate 100m" into udp_sender_extra_opt_default="" (or try other speed)

    then multicasting speed would level up to GB/min compared to original MB/min
    ps. if possible, you can bind several NICS on DRBL server & active Link Aggregation in switch, then speed would be much more better than above.

    if you focus on DRBL, you should make sure all client computers are identical, aka hardware attachment such as HDD@sata port 1.
    or you would get some troubles after restore.

    btw, do we need new SID? the SID must be unique is a myth.
  8. CaffeinePizza

    CaffeinePizza MDL Junior Member

    May 19, 2013
    From personal experience in an almost exactly same situation, sysprep the systems and generalize. However, if you're only using this image on the same model computers it was made on, you may be able to get away with PersistAllDeviceInstalls flag in your unattend.xml. I'm not pro here, but this worked for me when I deployed about 200 computers with clonezilla.
  9. MDL Junior Member

    Sep 14, 2011
    I have been using DriveImage XML for imaging since past many years and have found it works very well. It is available on Gandalf's Win10PE which you can boot from USB. You can search on the net for this. Very useful tool.