Brian Stempin on 4 May 2008 21:04:14 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Microsoftian Encephalitis & failure to WindowsUpdate

In my largest environment, I've used RIS + WSUS with great results. 

With RIS, I can take a Windows ISO, unpack it, make a few tweaks, add in a few drivers, and install it via PXE to any machine that supports Netbooting (provided that I added in the correct drivers into the source files).  Since I was running WSUS, I could obtain updates a LAN speeds.

For my environment (which was a telemarketing environment), if the fix took more than 10 minutes, we took the machine off of the desk, replaced it with a fresh one, and re-imaged the old one.  Initiating the imaging took > 2 minutes, and within a few hours, you had a totally fresh, fully up-to-date machine.

On Sun, May 4, 2008 at 8:02 PM, Michael Leone <> wrote:
Art Alexion wrote:
> On Sunday 04 May 2008 19:41:16 Toby DiPasquale wrote:
>> If you're reinstalling Windows with that frequency, you should be
>> using a centralized image that's itself updated with patches as they
>> come out. This reduces the re-install time to ~45 minutes + however
>> long the restore from backup takes. This kind of setup is extremely
>> common in large-organization Windows deployments and is
>> well-documented. Large-organization Linux deployments follow much the
>> same strategy.
> While we always talk about doing this, I find the hardware -- and consequently
> the drivers -- to vary so much from machine to machine, that I feel we'd
> almost have to create an image for each machine.

Sysprep the image. This way, Windows will run  mini-setup and add
drivers. Or, you can copy the drivers to the base image before sysprep,
in specific installation locations, so that Windows finds them and
installs them during first bootup.

I used to use one sysprepped Windoes image, that started out on a Dell
GX110, and I just kept using it, and adding drivers as each new model
was purchased, and re-making the image.

The Optiplex line changes only every 18 months or so, while the Inspiron
line changes every 6 months or so.

> Sometimes its seems that we can get 3 new machines from Dell with the same
> model number in the same shipment, and there are still some variations in the
> hardware drivers.
> To solve this, we've tossed around the idea of installing a lightweight Linux
> and having Windows run in a VM.  The image might then be less hardware
> dependent if I understand the virtualization correctly.

The Windows image would always use the exact same hardware configuration
in the VM (presuming you used the same VM software).

Michael J. Leone                  Registered Linux user #201348

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