Multiple machine system backup

  sdfnet 18:42 24 Mar 2010
Locked

Hi guys,

I’ve been tasked with trying to simplify the laptop reimaging procedures for the charity I work for, I have a few ideas but it’s somewhat out my field of expertise so was hoping for a bit of guidance as to if my ideas are viable/there’s a better way of doing it.

The current situation is we lend our 11 WinXP Dell laptops out to our clients for their use, then when they come back they are reimaged by using the factory restore from the 2nd partition. The primary issue with this procedure is it brings the computer back to a WinXP SP1 state, this as you can imagine means a lot of time and bandwidth on downloads and re-setting up, but in addition with the upcoming ceasing of support for early versions of Win XP it will mean we won’t be able to update even if we wanted. Each of the 11 machines has an identical hardware profile, however unique Windows keys (not on a mass licence). They do not have DVD writers. Finally it is important to mention being a charity we don’t have large amounts of money to throw at the machines for new hardware/costly software, to keep the machines working though a small amount of investment is possible.

Solution Idea 1: We invest in a USB Hard Disk (1tb? I’m unsure how much space would be needed for basic Windows & Office system images) and create a basic image backup of each machine (thus getting round the keycode issue) which can be overwritten each time the machine comes back. Does anyone have any suggestions of a free or low cost (keeping in mind we would need 11 copies) system image backup program? I’ve found free ones but they only seem to back up your files, not the whole system. Another point on the storage of the backups, would a raided NAS device be better? I have concerns about the 1 hard disk with all the images on failing leaving us up the creek.

Solution Idea 2: Somehow create a system image ISO disk? Something with all the drivers and settings saved, and when you restore from the disk you just enter the unique key for windows and office? I’m unsure of this idea, I’ve seen disks that do that in business so thought I’d ask.

Does anyone have any thoughts on either of my ideas or can suggest anything else? I’ve somewhat hit a wall so any help would be gratefully received.

  BRYNIT 18:52 24 Mar 2010

Paragon backup and recovery click here
Easeus TODO Backup 1.1 click here

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