Hard drive imaging

Michael L Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Wed Jun 21 09:36:40 MDT 2006

On Wed, 2006-06-21 at 09:11 -0600, Stephen Ward wrote:
> I'm looking for a convenient way to image a single hard drive and then
> deploy it on out to a bunch of other drives with capacity greater than or
> equal to that of the original.
> What I've come up with is to use the dd command to rip the raw data off the
> drive and save it to a file.  I'd like to store the file on a large Windows
> share, so I'd probably mount the share with samba and then just tell dd to
> save the file there.  Then to deploy, I'd just do the reverse.
> Maybe I'd mix in a little gzip/gunzip piping as well.
> Any thoughts?  Is there already some tool out there designed for this that
> would save me a few steps?

Google reveals one program that may or may not fill your needs:

As for Windows, we have found that rather than image, we do automated
installs using http://unattended.sourceforge.net/ .  We've found it
faster and more reliable than any imaging method, even altirus and
landesk.  It easily adapts to all disk sizes and a variety of hardware
types.  On most machines after booting on the network to a special
installer program (dosemu and WindowsXp setup!), 20 minutes later we
have a machine fully patched, with all the software we need installed,
and attached to our Samba domain.

I know that the CS department has some similar setup for rapidly
deploying linux machines.  I think it also may be a scripted install
somehow, and that it netboots which is a real time saver.


> Thanks,
> Stephen

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