Imagine hard drives... I'm sick of these guys jackin up their comps

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by driftwell, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. driftwell

    driftwell New Member

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    I'm the sole IT guy of my company... and it seems that I've been having to reformat a comp about once a week (about 30 users). And then they complain how they lose data and contact info (for some reason sometimes the comp doesn't sync with the network share drive)

    I was wondering what some of you guys have been doing to make this process faster. I was thinking of starting to use an imaging system.

    Image each comp once a month or so. What programs and hardware have you guys been using?

    I have about 30 comps to deal with and I do have a file server and backup server. So if you guys can think of any solutions... please let me know.
     
  2. cmsurfer

    cmsurfer ºllllllº

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    At my company, everyone's My Documents folder is redirected to a network drive on a file server. When I have to format a machine, and the machine can still function, I tell them to make sure all of their documents are in the My Documents folder. The only other thing I do is backup up their e-mail to the file server and do the format.

    I haven't had too many issues with people losing data except for a time or two when a hard drive died.

    I've been wanting to setup a RIS server to mess around with. I have a spare machine or two to use, but haven't had the time.

    I can usually reformat a machine, install all the work-related apps and get it online in about 2-3 hours, so it's not too bad, but I don't have to do it often either.

    I would make a base image of a machine with Windows/Office/Work Apps and then leave it at that. You can run the image and then customize what you need to for each user.
     
  3. Yep

    Yep Knick knack paddy whack, give the old dog a bone

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    Wow, we have about 150 machines and we're only forced to re-image when we have a hard drive failure.

    We keep recovery disks on site... but you could easily just have one DVD and run around with it.

    We use offsite backups so we just download all the user's files.

    Are your users administrators on their PC?
     
  4. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    I have to very rarely reimage someones machine for anything other than a hard drive failure. When I do all they might lose is their internet favorites if I forget to back them up (dont really consider that a high priority). My Documents is pointed to their personal network folder and all email is stored on the servers.

    For imaging we use Ghost. Never bothered building a Ghost multicast server, just either put the proper image on a portable USB hard drive or image from a file server.
     
  5. driftwell

    driftwell New Member

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    Thanks for the info guys...

    yea it takes me about 2-3 hours to do a reformat and reinstall all necessary apps...

    Just wondering if there was a faster way.

    And only I and one other user on the network have administrator logons (on a domain)

    Since I took over the last person's job... I don't know exactly how everything's setup. I noticed that some of the computers have "my documents" saved to the file server, while some do some sort of "sync" when you log off, which stores everything from files to computer settings (ie wallpaper, start menu placement, etc...)

    Not sure how to modify that "sync" thing.

    Maybe I'll create an image on a DVD with a "base" like you guys mentioned.

    Is imaging that much faster than re-format, install OS, and the apps?
     
  6. keleko

    keleko yes, he is

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    15 minutes TOPS vs 3 hours

    you choose
     
  7. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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  8. allanp

    allanp I don't ride bulls, but i have fought some men.

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    i would use ghost to make an image of one good machine with os, drivers, all apps etc installed and working then store the image on the server. when needed you can run ghostcast server and send the image over the network.

    the best idea for backing up the data is to have profiles for each user using active directory and all docs, files/emails/contacts stored on the server primarily with limited/no acess to users of the 'c' drive. regular server backups=no lost data

    hope this helps
     
  9. driftwell

    driftwell New Member

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    thanks xr250dr for that link... i'mma read up on that...

    and allan... yea... i should start looking into how to setup profiles for the rest of the users so their comps are backed everytime they log off.

    and I think i just might pick up ghost... 15 minutes sounds good to me :)
     
  10. TheRider

    TheRider Geeky OT Supporter

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    Read the license for ghost, I believe you need 1 copy PER MACHINE. Assuming your company cares about being legal, most do...
     
  11. Yep

    Yep Knick knack paddy whack, give the old dog a bone

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    I would make all of your users "Users". That way they can't do anything truly harmful.

    Then if all of your machines are identical, you can setup one the way you want and image it. Point all of your user's profile folders to a local network share, and if they ever have any problems you just re-image.
     
  12. Ardentfrost

    Ardentfrost Jesus is so f*kin' metal

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    My company has about 500 or so machines. We use ghost console and can image them all in a few hours when needed (updates of software, security updates, etc...).

    Additionally, ghost console can be run remotely, so you don't even have to leave your office.

    Everyone is given their own space on SMBA servers. Everyone knows anything they leave on the desktop might not be there later.
     
  13. chips

    chips ...

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    RIS server seems easy to use im setting it up now on my DC
     
  14. keleko

    keleko yes, he is

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    *bump*ing oldest post for the hell of it

    move along..
     
  15. tonyk

    tonyk New Member

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    :ugh: why bump it?
     
  16. keleko

    keleko yes, he is

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    boredom?
     
  17. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Agreed. Remote Installation Services is the way to go. Windows rots, and they are nice enough to provide a way to reinstall very quickly.
     
  18. CyberBullets

    CyberBullets I reach to the sky, and call out your name. If I c

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    If you have the same system, just make a ghost of it and use sysprep. i did this when working for VW. Saved us HOURS when we had to restore a system. I could have a system up and running in under and hour.

    We did have roaming profiles and my docs redirected onto the server as well.
     
  19. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    With RIS you can have a system up in under a minute... just walk away and it installs itself.
     
  20. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Redirect their Documents and Settings to an external FireWire drive. They can take it home with them, and they can unplug it when their computer needs to be reimaged.
     
  21. CyberBullets

    CyberBullets I reach to the sky, and call out your name. If I c

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    :nono: HUGE security issue there and cost.
    What if the drive dies or gets stolen? How can you recover files that are not in your possesion? GL telling your investers you lost private company data because the external drive died.

    More and more companies are preventing users from using USB sticks to transfer files, and rightfully so.
     
  22. rsxm5

    rsxm5 OT Supporter

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    :werd:

    This has been a problem at my company recently. People don't understand that their documents that are work-related and on the company's computers are the property of the company. They shouldn't need their work stuff at home generally.
     
  23. CyberBullets

    CyberBullets I reach to the sky, and call out your name. If I c

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    If it is needed at home, they will have a laptop and VPN access.
     
  24. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Windows as a desktop operating system in a coprorate invironment is disposable. You must reinstall periodically. Microsoft knows this, so they made RIS, which allows you to accomplish this task in minutes. Isn't it included in Win 2000/2003 server?
     
  25. rsxm5

    rsxm5 OT Supporter

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    Exactly... we set up Citrix for certain employees, and so far that is working out very well.
     

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