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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Windows Xp Drive Imaging

    In this weeks 3-28-2013 Windows Secrets Fred Langa suggests the use of drive imaging for the world wide back up of a corporations operating system. He is exactly correct, that is the absolute best way to back up a single computer... or even a group of identical computers. But, since Windows XP is well over ten years old, and it is a world wide organization AND since Windows XP runs on Intel Processors from Pentium III's to iCore 7's with RAM from 128 MBytes to more than 4 GBytes, I think he missed the target.
    IF EVERY computer in the organization is exactly the same drive imaging is great. Since the odds are very much in favor of that not being the case, I would complete inventory of EVERY computer that MUST still support the custom software. Then, I would collect all of the drivers for any unique hardware in the system in one central location with Master backup copies on different media.... flash drives, Gold DVD's, hard drives, etc. I would request budget for replacement of any computer more than seven years old. (Different country's have different amortization schedules.) I would replace as many of the older computers as possible with new hardware. I would investigate the possibility of running the custom software in the Windows 7 XP mode. If the custom software would not run in Windows 7 XP mode, I would go to: http://www.nliteos.com/download.html.
    I would download nlite for Windows XP (at least two versions) and check sum the result. I would then use the fastest computer that I could access and spend several days creating a master copy with every update Microsoft ever released of Windows XP. This is slip streaming at it's best. I would NOT remove any of the programs from the original Windows XP CD. I would add this master copy to the driver copies I had already created. This should allow me to re-install Windows XP on any computer that had failed.
    Yes Virginia, Windows XP DOES RUN ON A laptop with a Pentium III and 128 MBytes of RAM. I have three still in service.

    Merlin

  2. #2
    Star Lounger
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    As I am aware, in the corporate setting, downtime is often unacceptable, and strategies have to address this foremost. If workstations boot from network server in a true server client relationship, replacing the workstation (rather than the drive) may be simplest. Otherwise, employing trays with removable drives for prompt swapping of replacement clones is another approach. It is also possible to deploy the operating system from the server over the network, but obviously, this is not as expeditious. ;-)

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I considered this very issue on my last job. My thought was that the company could have two, or at most three, PC models used throughout the company. This would reduce the number of images down to two or three.

    Along with that, someone needs to research as to when a particular model would be going out of production, and then replace it with a new model that would be produced for a long time. The reason for that was, we were located near the Gulf of Mexico, and it was always possible to have to evacuate and relocate at a moment's notice. Therefore, by keeping all authorized computer models current, it would be an easy thing to simply order new computers, since they would all still be in production and available for purchase. HP or whoever could even have the latest image for each model and could image and ship new computers to the new location, allowing us to get up-and-running quickly.

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