Wednesday, July 11, 2007

selfImage

I've been working with vista at work.

We could spring for Ghost 12 or whatever it is to help deploy 14 machines, or I could sample a nice opensource GNU2 http://selfimage.excelcia.org/

I've been quite impressed as I booted to vista, plugged in a usb harddrive (harddrive from different manufacturer, and different size), cloned the ACTIVE drive I'd booted to to the usb HD, swapped, and it booted. Impressive.

Vista even jumped up and said it found a new harddrive and autoinstalled the drivers for it. cool.

To verify the work under the hood, i ran a scandisk after booting and it did find some orphaned unindexd files. It verified the 49264 files, and then scanned the freespace (clusters) and everything looks good.

7 comments:

Keith said...

now thats downright impressive! how was the compression options? could it compress and split image into dvd chunks? it would be nice if it had built in network boot server so you could boot a remote machine and clone across the network.

i'm REALLY glad someone is giving ghost a run for the money. the last time i used ghost with usb extrnal HD it didn't do so hot.

Keith said...

on more thing, check out this guys computers!. proof a p3 is still useful.

forkev said...

in the fine print it can push info to a NBD destination, which I think is 'network bootable device' but have not played with it. compression includes gzip ( levels 1 - 9, choose how much you want), none, and bzip2. I have not seen a 'split image' options, but it does have some BartPE plugins, so it could be quite useful.

Notes for next time; don't image vista when you've scheduled a scan disk and have NOT performed it yet. let everything clean boot and THEN image, it makes it much easier to deploy. My second attempt now works like a champ as the fist one was requiring a repair boot sector task from the vista boot dvd before it would boot SOMETIMES. live and learn, i guess.

also, install vista on about a 12gb disk, and THEN image that. that way you are sure to fit on anything - i started with a 40gb drive and am having a hard time getting it cloned to a 20; selfimage runs into errors as it cannot resize on the the fly, i think. Vista CAN grow the partition after the fact, so the key here is to start small.

forkev said...

it looks like vista needs at least 15gb to install, and 20 is recommended. also, turn off boot to usb or lower it's proprity below your hd if your having problems installing vista.

Keith said...

you could either make a virtual machine to install it on, and then deploy from there, or screw around with your partition sizing before you install it to get the smallest partition size.

you could install on a 20 gig partition, or what ever you require, delete all the crap you don't need after install, and then resize your working partition smaller before imaging. that way you could deploy on the smallest possible space

forkev said...

in theory, yes. but i'm still learning what's possible with selfImage. what i've gotten to work is to take the entire DRIVE, not just the partition. I also found it nifty to delete the restore points in vista, getting the actual data size down to about 8gb ,after running ccleaner, disk cleanup, scandisk, and installing vista business pro, office 2k7 pro plus ALL to run from hd, and all updates. With option 3 for bzip, it's down to 4.8gb compressed for a 20gb drive. I'm almost done building a BartPE disk with selfIMage as a plugin that can mount a network share and snag an image - so the physical image size should end up being irrelevent AND i can image computers as fast as I can boot bartPE. i'll test it monday, but i've only got about 7 machines left, so if all goes well, those will be imaged in my spare time monday.

Neal said...

neat find, i also use partimage