Disk Cloning

linux,dhcp,ping,ghost,nfs,tftp,pxe,disk cloning,open source

I have 23 Dell Desktops, and about 8 laptops.  I needed a solution to wipe and reload the systems as quick as possible.  I did some testing and the best free cloning software I found was PING.  PING is modeled after Norton Ghost and will allow you to put the images onto a network file server or a local partition.

Once I had PING down, I moved onto the network system . Since PING is capable of booting the computers through PXE, I wouldn’t need to burn any CDs or DVDs.  It even allows you to script the image creation or restoration.  Since the image creation was a one shot deal for me I just did it manually.

So in the end,  I ended up having a linux server with TFTP and DHCP for the PXE and NFS for image storage.  It took the Dell D800 image 4 minutes to restore from boot to shutdown.  A heck of a lot better then the 1.5 hours it took me to put on XP and all the drivers.

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